Download The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society by William H. McNeill PDF

By William H. McNeill

In this impressive synthesis of army, technological, and social historical past, William H. McNeill explores a complete millennium of human upheaval and lines the trail through which we've arrived on the scary dilemmas that now confront us. McNeill strikes with equivalent mastery from the crossbow—banned by means of the Church in 1139 as too deadly for Christians to exploit opposed to one another—to the nuclear missile, from the sociological results of drill within the 17th century to the emergence of the military-industrial advanced within the 20th. His primary argument is advertisement transformation of worldwide society within the 11th century triggered army task to reply more and more to marketplace forces in addition to to the instructions of rulers. basically in our personal time, indicates McNeill, are command economies exchanging the marketplace keep an eye on of large-scale human attempt. The Pursuit of strength doesn't resolve the issues of the current, yet its discoveries, hypotheses, and sheer breadth of studying do provide a point of view on our present fears and, as McNeill hopes, "a floor for wiser action."

"No precis can do justice to McNeill's complicated, encyclopedic remedy. . . . McNeill's erudition is beautiful, as he strikes simply from eu to chinese language and Islamic cultures and from army and technological to socio-economic and political advancements. the result's a grand synthesis of sweeping proportions and interdisciplinary personality that tells us nearly as a lot in regards to the heritage of butter because the historical past of weapons. . . . McNeill's higher accomplishment is to remind us that each one humankind has a shared prior and, quite in regards to its selection of guns and battle, a shared stake within the future."—Stuart Rochester, Washington put up publication global

"Mr. McNeill's comprehensiveness and sensitivity do for the reader what Henry James acknowledged that Turgenev's dialog did for him: they recommend 'all different types of invaluable things.' This narrative of rationality utilized to irrational reasons and of ingenuity cannibalizing itself is a piece of readability, which delineates mysteries. the best of them, to my brain, is why humans have by no means realized to cherish their very own species."—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker

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Additional resources for The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force and Society since A.D. 1000

Example text

In fact, most of the flight was made at 100-150ft (30-50m) above the desert floor in order to ensure the height limit was not busted. With smoke billowing from the turn points and the mirrored pylons flashing in the early morning sun, Gray lowered Skyhawk 820 towards the Joshua trees and sagebrush on the desert floor and accelerated towards the starting point. As he passed the first marker the clocks were started and the little silver jet raced towards the first turn and pulled into a thirty-degree bank.

A similar procedure was used with radial piston engines in order to lubricate the top cylinders, but was not a usual practice with jets. Many inflight failures, which of course were much more serious, were occurring between 20 and 100 hours of flight. VA-44, the East Coast Replacement Air Group (RAG), suffered at least nine catastrophic engine failures that resulted in the loss of an A4D-1 or A4D-2 during a period of only three months in late 1958 and early 1959. Only when one aircraft was ditched in the St John’s River near Jacksonville and recovered largely intact was the cause of the engine failures traced to the high-pressure spline that connected the fuel pump to the accessory gear drive.

To qualify the A4D for its intended role of nuclear strike, the Naval Air Special Weapons Facility (NASWF) conducted weapons separation trials at China Lake, California between March and July 1956. The Skyhawk was cleared for carriage and release of the Mk 7, Mk 12 and Mk 91 nuclear weapons. The next stage was the Fleet Indoctrination Program (FIP), conducted at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. Pilots of fleet squadron VA-72 flew the six aircraft for up to eighteen hours a day, achieving the best daily availability rate of any design tested under the FIP system to that time.

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