Weapon of Choice: Small Arms and the Culture of Military Innovation

Hardcover | March 1, 2017

byMatthew Ford

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This book examines Western military technological innovation through the lens of developments in small arms during the twentieth century. These weapons have existed for centuries, appear to have matured only incrementally and might seem unlikely technologies for investigating the trajectory ofmilitary-technical change. Their relative simplicity, however, makes it easy to use them to map patterns of innovation within the military- industrial complex. Advanced technologies may have captured the military imagination, offering the possibility of clean and decisive outcomes, but it is the lowtechnologies of the infantryman that can help us develop an appreciation for the dynamics of military-technical change. Tracing the path of innovation from battlefield to back office, and from industry to alliance partner, Ford develops insights into the way that small arms are socially constructed. He thereby exposes the mechanics of power across the military- industrial complex. This in turn reveals that shiftingpower relations between soldiers and scientists, bureaucrats and engineers, have allowed the private sector to exploit infantry status anxiety and shape soldier weapon preferences. Ford's analysis allows us to draw wider conclusions about how military innovation works and what social factors frameWestern military purchasing policy, from small arms to more sophisticated and expensive weapons.

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This book examines Western military technological innovation through the lens of developments in small arms during the twentieth century. These weapons have existed for centuries, appear to have matured only incrementally and might seem unlikely technologies for investigating the trajectory ofmilitary-technical change. Their relative s...

Matthew Ford is a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Sussex. He has a PhD in War Studies from King's College London and is an Honorary Historical Consultant to the Royal Armouries, a former West Point fellow and a founding editor of the British Journal for Military History.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.4 × 5.4 × 0.98 inPublished:March 1, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190623861

ISBN - 13:9780190623869

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