300 episodi

Interviews with Scholars of Military History about their New Books

New Books in Military History New Books Network

    • Cultura e società

Interviews with Scholars of Military History about their New Books

    Andrew Marble, "Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s Remarkable Success" (UP of Kentucky, 2019)

    Andrew Marble, "Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s Remarkable Success" (UP of Kentucky, 2019)

    When President Bill Clinton nominated John Shalikashvili to be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993, it represented the climax of a long journey that began in waning days of the Second World War. In Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s Remarkable Success (University Press of Kentucky, 2019), Andrew Marble recounts this journey in order to better understand his remarkable personality and how he achieved his uniquely American success story. The descendant of Georgian and German nobility, as a boy Shalikashvili experienced an itinerant life that took him from prewar Poland to southern Germany before catapulting him across the Atlantic to the United States. Though he would make the army his career, Shalikashvili’s embrace of it was a reluctant one that took him from a college ROTC program to enlistment as an ordinary soldier before a grueling officer candidacy program and an initial posting to Alaska set him on his course. As Marble shows, Shalikashvili’s personality was central to his achievements as a military officer, as he demonstrated several nontraditional traits that nonetheless made him a success at his chosen profession.
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    • 42 min
    Graham T. Clews, "Churchill’s Phoney War: A Study in Folly and Frustration" (Naval Institute Press, 2019)

    Graham T. Clews, "Churchill’s Phoney War: A Study in Folly and Frustration" (Naval Institute Press, 2019)

    Given the overwhelming amount of books printed in the past ten years on various (usually rather obscure) aspects of Sir Winston Churchill’s glorious career, it is of great interest that so little has been written about his activity during the Phoney War phase of the Second World War (1 September 1939-10 May 1940). It is this dearth of scholarship on Churchill and the Phoney War, that Australian scholar Dr. Graham T. Clews, author of a previous study on Churchill and the Dardanelle campaign, aims to remedy in his book: Churchill’s Phoney War: A study in Folly and Frustration (Naval Institute Press, 2019).
    In a truly interesting and well-written book, Dr. Clews examines the early months of World War II when Winston Churchill’s ability to lead Britain in the fight against the Nazis was being tested. Dr. Clews explores how Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, proposed to fight the war against Hitler, with particular attention given to his attempts to impel the Royal Navy, the British War Cabinet, and the French, toward a more aggressive prosecution of the conflict. This is no mere retelling of events but a deep analysis of the decision-making process and Churchill’s involvement in it. This book shares extensive new insights into well-trodden territory and original analysis of the unexplored, with each chapter offering material which challenges to some degree the conventional wisdom on Churchill during this phase of his career. Dr. Clews reassesses several important issues of the Phoney War period including: Churchill’s involvement in the anti-U-boat campaign; his responsibility for the failures of the Norwegian Campaign; his attitude to Britain’s aerial bombing campaign and the notion of his unfettered “bulldog” spirit; his relationship with Neville Chamberlain; and his succession to the premiership.
    A man of considerable strengths and many shortcomings, the Churchill that emerges in Dr. Clews’ portrayal is dynamic and complicated personality. Churchill’s Phoney War adds a well-balanced and much-needed history of the Phoney War while scrupulously examining both Churchill’s successes and his manifold failures.
    Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.
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    • 1h
    David Head, "A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution" (Pegasus Books, 2019)

    David Head, "A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution" (Pegasus Books, 2019)

    In March 1783, George Washington confronted a meeting of disgruntled Continental Army officers at their encampment at Newburgh, New York. In his book A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution (Pegasus Books, 2019), David Head explains the background to this meeting and its significance to the larger events of that time. As Head notes, the meeting at Newburgh took place amidst an atmosphere of anticipation of peace with Great Britain. With their service coming to an end, the officers – many of whom were men who anticipated an elevated social status as a result of their service in the Continental Army – feared that the financially strapped Confederation Congress would fail to deliver on their promises of overdue pay and lifetime pensions. With their petitions unheeded, several of them contemplated some sort of action before the army was disbanded. As Head shows, it was Washington’s dramatic appeal to his officers which forestalled such an event, thus ensuring a peaceful resolution to a situation that threatened a very different outcome of the struggle for independence.
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    • 56 min
    The Treaty of Versailles On Hundred Years On

    The Treaty of Versailles On Hundred Years On

    The Versailles Treaty of 1919, celebrates its one-hundred anniversary this year. And, yet unlike the more recent centenaries, such as that of the outbreak of the Great War or the Russian Revolution, the Versailles Treaty, notwithstanding its importance as perhaps the most important of the twentieth-century, has not seen the same level of interest? Is this relatively indifference due to the fact that it is still regarded by some (in the words of John Maynard Keynes) as a 'Carthaginian Peace', which lead inevitably to the rise of Hitler and the outbreak of the Second World War? To discuss this and other aspects of the Treaty, in the podcast channel, 'Arguing History', are Professor of History at the University of Exeter, Jeremy Black and Dr. Charles Coutinho, of the Royal Historical Society.
    Professor Jeremy Black MBE, Is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. A graduate of Queens College, Cambridge, he is the author of well over one-hundred books. In 2008 he was awarded the “Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Lifetime Achievement".
    Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century
    European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for Chatham House’s International Affairs.
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    • 39 min
    Reider Payne, "War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)

    Reider Payne, "War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era" (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019)

    Though Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh remains well known today for his role in shaping the post-Napoleonic peace settlement in Europe, his half-brother Sir Charles Stewart has received far less attention despite his own prominent part in the politics and diplomacy of those years. In War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era: Sir Charles Stewart, Castlereagh and the Balance of Power in Europe (Bloomsbury Academic, 2019), Reider Payne describes the adventurous life of the third Marquess of Londonderry and the roles he played in the events of his time.
    As a young man Charles Stewart initially pursued a career in the military rather than one in politics, and served in the cavalry during Great Britain’s war against revolutionary France in the 1790s. After a brief period in the War Office he resumed his military career and served with the Duke of Wellington in the Peninsular War. His record as an officer and his relationship with his half-brother led to his appointment as an ambassador – first to Prussia, then to Austria – in which roles he represented Britain at the courts of her most prominent allies during the final stages of the Napoleonic Wars. Though Charles was often better known for his social escapades, he served ably as Britain’s ambassador to Austria until his brother’s suicide in 1822, during which time he was active in both post-Napoleonic diplomacy and the efforts to collect incriminating evidence against Princess Caroline of Brunswick in aid of the Prince Regent’s effort to divorce her.
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    • 1h 8 min
    Matthew Lockwood, "To Begin The World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Matthew Lockwood, "To Begin The World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Growing up as an American, you’re bound to be all-but-suffused with triumphalist histories of the American Revolution. Those histories might have a tough of the Hegelian to them, asserting that the Revolutionary War was part of the inevitable development of freedom worldwide. More academic histories have focused more critically on the war itself and what it meant for American society, such as the fact that a war allegedly fought for freedom also involved the ongoing oppression of slaves. The war’s global dimensions have similarly been discussed, dating back at this point to Samuel Flagg Bemis’ The Diplomacy of the American Revolution.
    Matthew Lockwood’s To Begin The World Over Again: How the American Revolution Devastated the Globe (Yale University Press, 2019) pushes this analysis farther, looking at the global consequences of the American Revolution. Lockwood shows that the war, whatever its debatable effects for the residents of the thirteen colonies, unleashed a whole host of catastrophes for people elsewhere. Those living under British rule found their relationship with their government dramatically revised. British distraction allowed some European powers to undertake conquests of their own, while the United Kingdom in turn sought new commercial opportunities. Meanwhile, the effects of the war spilled into India and South America, setting off a new wave of global unrest.
    Zeb Larson is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University with a PhD in History. His research deals with the anti-apartheid movement in the United States. To suggest a recent title or to contact him, please send an e-mail to zeb.larson@gmail.com.
     
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    • 1h 6 min

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