The Military Enlightenment brings to light a radically new narrative both on the Enlightenment and the French armed forces from Louis XIV to Napoleon. Christy Pichichero makes a striking discovery: the Geneva Conventions, post-traumatic stress disorder, the military "band of brothers," and soldierly heroism all found their antecedents in the eighteenth-century French armed forces. From Louis XIV through Napoleon, from Canada to the Caribbean and India, the military was one of the few institutions of the Old Regime to transform progressive theories into practice, actually operationalizing the Enlightenment.
Pichichero isolates and examines a crisis in consciousness that has characterized attitudes toward war from the eighteenth century until today. The demands of global political power warrant an ever more formidable and efficient fiscal-military state, and at the same time, awareness of the "human factor" generates the desire to minimize the devastation of war on cities and landscapes, and civilians, as well as the mind, body, and heart of the soldier. Readers of The Military Enlightenment will be startled to learn of the many ways in which French military officers, administrators, and medical personnel advanced ideas of human and political rights, military psychology, and social justice.
1. The French Military Enlightenment
2. Before Fraternity
3. Humanity in War
4. A Nation of Warriors
5. The Dialectic of Military Enlightenment
"" The Military Enlightenment provides a refreshing angle in European cultural histories of war. Christy Pichichero unpacks the paradoxical questions that inspired the military enlightenment: how to wage war with greatest economy and efficiency but also how to wage war humanely, with compassion and civility. Pichichero's work deftly shows how both great and lesser-known minds struggled to achieve these ideals in eighteenth-century France and how the military enlightenment continues to inform war ethics to this day.""
--Christian Ayne Crouch, author of Nobility Lost "Christy Pichichero's thought-provoking work should inspire, or compel, us all to reconsider eighteenth-century military thought in a much broader context. She presents an impressive variety of issues discussed across a range of contemporary genres. Her study of enlightenment France marvelously demonstrates that the consideration of military topics both by professionals and by civilians infuses as well as reflects the intellectual tenor of an age."
--John A. Lynn II, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and author of Battle "Christy Pichichero has written an ambitious, wide-ranging, engaging, and informative book about what she calls the 'military Enlightenment' in eighteenth-century France. Well-researched and clearly presented, it will be read avidly by historians, scholars of eighteenth-century French literature and philosophy, and military historians."
--David A. Bell, author of Shadows of Revolution " The Military Enlightenment is comprehensive, original, and significant. It has so many virtues, I hardly know where to begin. It is impressively sweeping in the source material Christy Pichichero mobilizes, daring in its chronology, and beautifully written. It will command the attention of scholars in a wide range of disciplines, including history, literature, philosophy, and psychology."
--Rafe Blaufarb, author of The Great Demarcation