Other Sites

Invisible Armies

An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present

Max Boot (Author)

Logo markA Liveright book

Overview | Formats

“Destined to be the classic account of what may be the oldest . . . hardest form of war.”—John Nagl, Wall Street Journal

Invisible Armies presents an entirely original narrative of warfare, which demonstrates that, far from the exception, loosely organized partisan or guerrilla
warfare has been the dominant form of military conflict throughout history. New York Times best-selling author and military historian Max Boot traces guerrilla
warfare and terrorism from antiquity to the present, narrating nearly thirty centuries of unconventional military conflicts. Filled with dramatic analysis of strategy and tactics, as well as many memorable characters—from Italian nationalist Guiseppe Garibaldi to the “Quiet American,” Edward Lansdale—Invisible Armies is “as readable as a novel” (Michael Korda, Daily Beast) and “a timely reminder to politicians and generals of the hard-earned lessons of history” (Economist).

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • October 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-87140-688-0
  • 6 × 9 in / 784 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverInvisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present


Endorsements & Reviews

“A sweeping panorama that ranges over a vast terrain... thoughtful, smart, fluent, with an eye for the good story.” — Mark Mazover, New York Times Book Review, Front Page Review

“[A] comprehensive history of guerrilla warfare, breezily written and chock-full of perceptive insights.... [Boot] has a great feel for details...a mighty impressive achievement, one that should be a bible for policymakers everywhere in the civilized world.” — Steve Forbes, Forbes Magazine

“The word “magisterial” is bandied about far too freely these days, but in the case of Max Boot’s sweeping and deeply researched history of guerrilla warfare, it proves fair. Somewhere in the first third of Boot’s book, you begin to realize that guerrilla wars (and terrorism and insurgencies) are the way we fight, while the formal set battles of, say, the Napoleonic wars are but an exception.” — Lucas Wittmann, The Daily Beast

“For the historian and journalist Max Boot to use the phrase ‘an epic history’ in the subtitle of his own book implies a magnificent lack of modesty in his own capabilities. The work more than matches the hype…. This pathbreaking book should thus be on the reading list of every NATO officer hoping to defeat an insurgency.” — Andrew Roberts, Commentary

“There’s no better guide to both the past and the future than Invisible Armies, the tour de force of a scholar as well as a man who’s seen American adversaries and soldiers at work up close.” — The Weekly Standard

“A landmark book about a perennial and important challenge: guerilla warfare.” — Jon Meacham, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House

“...[I]mpressively researched, astutely synthesized, and eminently readable.” — Booklist

“Fascinating. . . . Beginning with the barbarians at the gates of the Roman Empire, a wonderful and valuable historic narrative filled with colorful characters.” — Walter Isaacson

“Starred review. A military historian and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Boot presents a sweeping, well-written, and comprehensively documented history of guerrilla war… The result is a compelling narrative and perceptive analysis: a must read in today's world.” — Publishers Weekly

“The most definitive and comprehensive work to date on the dominant form of warfare of our times. A must read for scholars, military and government professionals and a fascinating journey for the general public.” — General (ret.) Jack Keane, former Army Vice Chi

“Sweeping, meticulous, and exceptionally thoughtful. Max Boot's Invisible Armies is an important, compelling contribution to our understanding of how men make war.” — Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle

“Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The Savage Wars of Peace, presents an astutely synthesized account of insurgency and counterinsurgency through the ages—from the Peloponnesian War to the post-Sept. 11 battlefields of today.” — Ihsan Taylor, New York Times

“A magisterial overview of insurgency and counterinsurgency, peppered with fascinating personalities. The author counts 442 insurgencies since the American Revolution, 25.2 percent of which were successful.” — Gerard DeGroot, The Washington Post

Also by Max Boot All

  1. Book CoverThe Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right


  2. Book CoverThe Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam


All Subjects