From Napoleon's revolutionary campaigns to the way insurgency, terrorism, and nuclear weaponry have defined the nature of warfare in the 21st century, the results of military strategy have changed the course of history. These 24 thought-provoking lectures give you an inside look at both the content and historical context of the world's greatest war strategists.
From the triremes and hoplites of ancient Greece to the Special Forces in 21st-century Afghanistan, strategy is the process by which political objectives are translated into military action - using the means at a nation's disposal to compel an enemy to bend to its political will.
In this concise and rigorous survey, Professor Wilson introduces: Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War; Sun Tzu's famous The Art of War; Machiavelli's strategy for a republic with a citizen-army; Jomini, Clausewitz, and the Napoleonic revolution in warfare; the development of naval strategy and the rise of airpower; Mao Tse-tung, David Galula, and Roger Trinquier's reflections on insurgency and counterinsurgency and their influence on the U.S. Army's Field Manual 3-24; Just-war theory, from Thucydides' Melian Dialogue to Operation Iraqi Freedom; nuclear war, terrorism, and other strategic challenges for the 21st century.
You'll come away from this course with new insight that will allow you to take an informed, active interest in political and military debates - which ultimately will determine the course of our nation.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this course are those of the professor and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
This may seem like a cliché, but what Carl Sagan did for science, Prof. Wilson has done for Strategy. I am a civilian with no military background. I found Prof. Wilson’s lectures interesting, well-structured, and informative. The lectures have a just the right balance of factual dissertation and storytelling to keep the listener engaged. These lectures have left me with a better mental framework for applying strategic thinking to my own decisions, and for understanding the actions of others on the larger world stage.
Prof. Wilson’s attention to the importance of a back-and-forth dialog between civilian and military leaders actually changed my preconceived notions in that area.
No I would not. As the title says it is a great lecture series not a great story so the lecturer moves quite fast through the material with the expectation that the listener is well versed in military history. Not for the casual listener more for a student of the military. If that happens to be you well then this is a thorough course covering many characters and military strategies.
I would buy more classes from the great courses. I own several and while some are hard to follow and keep up with the material I find most to be enlightening and very educational.
Fall of Greek states
No. You need a break to absorb the just taught materials before moving on to a new part of history and new countries and their battles.
I expected to learn a lot from this course, but was left feeling there has to be more. I'm unconvinced that the "masters of strategy" contribute much more of an understanding of war than the obvious. War is hell, and each era reinvents hell in new terms that redefine the meaning of effective strategy.
Dr. Wilson's concise, coherent, and fascinating summary of history's strategic masters was infused with enthusiasm and perfectly paced. As a physician and amateur historian I have listened to countless lectures in my lifetime. This series ranks among the very best. I would put Dr. Wilson among the "Masters of Strategic Education".
I'm listening to the entire series for the third time. I'll have to get back to you on this one. I can't pick out a single memorable moment...it's all good!
His true excitement about strategic theory combined with a comprehensive unbiased geopolitical knowledge base served up a perfect lecture seres.
I found the lectures on terrorism and counterterrorism particularly relevant.
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