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I shall now assume a more casual posture, now that the formalities of reviewing the work itself are out of the way. I included an analysis of the book in an academic setting because I work in such a setting, as do other users of this list. Others are equally free to use their space for their purposes. I am writing last, and apologise for any shortcomings arising from my haste. From the standpoint of an author with implicit claims of writing as a foundational work, Lynn needs to establish whose discourse he puts at the center of any given cultural space/time unit. When we examine prescriptivist texts, perhaps like those of Tang China, we should exercise some caution in that while we know they served as a vehicle for a discourse — they survived and were widely reproduced — we do not know what evidence of other discourses may have perished due to accident, or to their eventual supercession by a contemporary rival for dominance. In one sense the lettered will have the last word over the silent practioner. When working on my thesis on British military culture one hundred years ago (the culture, not my thesis), every officer I discussed it with reminded me that while training manuals and pams may reflect official thinking, “the battalion decides for itself.” Hence, I would argue, more precision on the discourses and vehicles we intend to examine. Perhaps the chapter on the _chevauchee_ worked best because we share the belief that chivalry represented a truly hegemonic cultural system and the chapter elegantly contrasted it with the reality of war. But where is the discourse of the Welsh bowmen standing around during the victory tournament? Remember that he must be enticed to serve, and that the more skilled the person, the more important it would be to get him to serve freely. What was his discourse, his expectation of war? Tang Chinese historians wrote their accounts of war to reflect their scholar- administrator values; where can we find the discourse of the career military officer? My wife works in the late-medieval period in Spain, and there are many prescriptivist texts that share some assumptions, but also differ radically in others. The facts that these records are lost, if they ever existed, that they can contradict each other when they exist and that we are forced to rely on a limited set of evidentiary material do not mean that we cannot make large, systemic judgments. But we must be aware of the problematic nature of our claims. The issue only becomes more severe as the potential authors of discourse become more numerous. Consider British civil discourse on war in the late- nineteenth century, whose? Ruskin? Cobden and Bright? The Fabians? The Independent Labour Party? Like France in the period, this is contested ground and evidence can be found for a wide range of beliefs, as one can when looking at military discourse. With the advent of the professional journal, we see competing intellectual school establish themselves. They are fighting for cultural dominance it is true, but do the losers of a given struggle simply surrender? Consider the ebb and flow in the British debate over edged weapons and the cavalry. Is the contemporary dominant discourse on the nature of war shared by armies, navies and air forces? The chapter on Japan touched on this by tracing the evolution of values regarding the bombing of cities. In my mind, that served the core of the chapter. What might help is to examine more thoroughly the process whereby a dominant discourse changes to meet a challenge. The Italian response to Charles VIII’s invasion, the rise of the mass army in Europe after 1870, the participants in the First World War are stereotypical examples of how discourses evolve due to stress. Dr. Lynn’s work _tended_ to examine his models when they were at rest, not in the process of moving from one state to the next, which is what his appendix served to represent. Which returns me to the first paragraph, the audience for this book. This book is not a monograph; it is an entry into the semi-public debate over the concept of “the western way of war.” Hence, it is more likely to be picked up by a member of the general public than a study of the professional military press in Britain, 1870–1939, published by Oxford University Press, £75.oo net. Hence the small group of serious undergraduates I face each year will likely have read it. Good. Even better if the general public reads this work; it demands that they reflect on their assumptions. Hanson’s opening salvos have turned into an exercise in teleology, 21st century Whig history. I believe that Dr. Lynn’s effort to refine the debate, to ground it in the standards of evidence and argument rather than in rhetoric has done us a great favor. We still need to consider the work’s thesis, argument and evidence. Let me close by repeating that this discussion is a response to a well- written, thoughtful book. The wide range of comments reflects the book’s ambitions. If Dr. Lynn’s intention was to influence the discipline’s agenda he has succeeded. No higher praise is can be offered in a discipline that has often been referred to as possessing the cohesion of “a herd of cats.” M.A. Ramsay Kansas State University