Shannon Bontrager, "Death at the Edges of Empire: Fallen Soldiers, Cultural Memory, and the Making of an American Nation, 1863-1921" (U Nebraska Press, 2020)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
Hundreds of thousands of individuals perished in the epic conflict of the American Civil War. As battles raged and the specter of death and dying hung over the divided nation, the living worked not only to bury their dead but also to commemorate them. President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address perhaps best voiced the public yearning to memorialize the war dead. His address marked the beginning of a new tradition of commemorating American soldiers and also signaled a transformation in the relationship between the government and the citizenry through an embedded promise and obligation for th ..read more
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Eugene Rogan, "The Damascus Events: The 1860 Massacre and the Destruction of the Old Ottoman World" (Basic Book, 2024)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
The Damascus Events: The 1860 Massacre and the Destruction of the Old Ottoman World (Basic Book, 2024) recreates one of the watershed moments in the history of the Middle East: the ferocious outbreaks of disorder across the Levant in 1860 which resulted in the massacre of thousands of Christians in Damascus. Eugene Rogan brilliantly recreates the lost world of the Middle East under Ottoman rule. The once mighty empire was under pressure from global economic change and European imperial expansion. Reforms in the mid-nineteenth century raised tensions across the empire, nowhere more so than ..read more
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David Stahel, "Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942" (FSG, 2019)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
Germany’s winter campaign of 1941–1942 is commonly seen as the Wehrmacht's first defeat. In Retreat from Moscow: A New History of Germany's Winter Campaign, 1941-1942 (FSG, 2019), David Stahel argues that it was in fact their first strategic success in the east. The mismanaged Soviet Counteroffensive became a phyrric victory as both sides struggled with strategic leadership and supply. German generals, caught between Stalin's hammer and Hitler's anvil, found loopholes in increasingly irrational orders to hold at all costs. Drawing on official war diaries, journals, memoirs, and correspond ..read more
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Citizen Soldiers, Republican Virtues, and the Roman Way of War
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
How was the Roman way of war unique, and what were the virtues that defined the Roman Republic? Are there lessons for modern Republics from the Roman one? Annika sits down with 2022-2023 James Madison Program Garwood Visiting Fellow Dr. Steele Brand, a professor of history and director of the Politics, Philosophy, and History Program at Cairn University. Dr. Brand, Professor of History at Cairn University and former U.S. Army tactical intelligence officer to discuss his book Killing for the Republic: Citizen-Soldiers and the Roman Way of War (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019). Dr. Brand shares ..read more
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Scott Crawford, "The Han-Xiongnu War, 133 BC-89 AD: The Struggle of China and a Steppe Empire Told Through Its Key Figures (Pen & Sword, 2023)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
For two centuries, the Xiongnu people–a vast nomadic empire that covered modern-day Siberia, Inner Mongolia, Gansu and Xinjiang—were one of the Han Dynasty’s fiercest rivals. They raided the wealthy and prosperous Chinese, and even forced the Han to treat them as equals—much to the chagrin of those in the imperial court. There’s not much known about the Xiongnu: Even their name is in Chinese, which literally translates to “"fierce slave", which is unlikely to be what the actual people called themselves. But writer and historian Scott Crawford set himself the challenge of writing about the over ..read more
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Citizen Soldiers, Republican Virtues, and the Roman Way of War
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
1w ago
How was the Roman way of war unique, and what were the virtues that defined the Roman Republic? Are there lessons for modern Republics from the Roman one? Annika sits down with 2022-2023 James Madison Program Garwood Visiting Fellow Dr. Steele Brand, a professor of history and director of the Politics, Philosophy, and History Program at Cairn University. Dr. Brand, Professor of History at Cairn University and former U.S. Army tactical intelligence officer to discuss his book Killing for the Republic: Citizen-Soldiers and the Roman Way of War (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019). Dr. Brand shares ..read more
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Cathal J. Nolan, "The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost" (Oxford UP, 2019)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
2w ago
History has tended to measure war's winners and losers in terms of its major engagements, battles in which the result was so clear-cut that they could be considered "decisive." Marathon, Cannae, Tours, Agincourt, Austerlitz, Sedan, Stalingrad--all resonate in the literature of war and in our imaginations as tide-turning. But were they? As Cathal J. Nolan demonstrates in The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost (Oxford University Press, 2019), victory in major wars usually has been determined in other ways. Even the most legendarily lopsided of battles did not necessar ..read more
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Gary J. Bass, "Judgement at Tokyo: World War II on Trial and the Making of Modern Asia" (Knopf, 2023)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
2w ago
In December 1948, a panel of 12 judges sentenced 23 Japanese officials for war crimes. Seven, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, were sentenced to death. The sentencing ended the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, an over-two-year-long trial over Imperial Japan’s atrocities in China and its decision to attack the U.S. But unlike the trials at Nuremberg, now seen as one of the touchstones of modern international law, the trials at Tokyo were a messy affair. The ruling wasn’t unanimous, with two judges dissenting. Indian judge Radhabinod Pal even chose to acquit everybod ..read more
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Jan Grabowski, "On Duty: The Role of the Polish Blue and Criminal Police in the Holocaust" (Yad Vashem, 2024)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
2w ago
"The Polish Police, commonly called the Blue or uniformed police in order to avoid using the term “Polish,” has played a most lamentable role in the extermination of the Jews of Poland. The uniformed police has been an enthusiastic executor of all German directives regarding the Jews." -Emanuel Ringelblum, Warsaw, 1943. Shortly after the occupation of Poland in the fall of 1939, the Germans created the Blue Police, consisting mainly of prewar Polish police officers. Within a short time, this police force was responsible for enforcing many anti-Jewish regulations issued by the Nazis. Who were t ..read more
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Judy Batalion, "The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos" (William Morrow, 2021)
New Books in Military History
by Marshall Poe
2w ago
Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland--some still in their teens--helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these "ghetto girls" paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them ..read more
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