Military History

Blogging about the Battlefield since 2005

Posted by William Young on January 24, 2013

Birmingham "On War"

Charles Kirke, Red Coat, Green Machine: Continuity in Change in the British Army, 1700-2000. London: Continuum, 2009. Figures. Bibliography. Index. Appendices. XVI + 240pp.

Kirke has written a book that straddles the fields of social anthropology and military history, bringing a new methodology and a new set of insights to the study of the British Army. He begins by setting out his project and the approach taken. He discusses how his research was into a culture in which he, as a Lieutenant Colonel, was a long-standing and important member, and the care he took to prevent this from influencing the results of his research. He sets out the theoretical framework of his study—his models for categorising and explaining social structures in the British Army, and for doing the same with personal, non-hierarchical relationships and interactions between individuals in the Army. He sets out particular definitions of his terms…

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