Motivation in War: The Experience of Common Soldiers in Old-Regime Europe, by Ilya Berkovich: Motivation in War: The Experience of Common Soldiers in Old-Regime Europe

    Research output: Contribution to JournalBook Review

    Abstract

    Why do soldiers fight? Where the armies of Europe’s ancien régime were concerned, the existing scholarship is clear on this point. Life in an eighteenth-century army was apparently harsh and tightly controlled. Common soldiers were exhaustively drilled until they became a cog in a machine (a redolent image of the Enlightenment), leaving no scope for individuality or initiative. They were required to obey their superiors at all costs, or face arbitrary martial law. If they tried to flee the enemy or desert, they could expect to be executed. In a rare example of consensus between military and cultural history, Foucault described a similar state of affairs: the disciplinary regime of the military was a testing ground for forms of social power.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-231
    Number of pages1
    JournalThe English Historical Review
    Volume134
    Issue number566
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018

    Keywords

    • Common Soldiers
    • Old Regime Europe
    • Motivation
    • War

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