Category: Military History

Andre M. Fleche: Why an International Perspective is Important in Understanding the Civil War

For too long, popular interpretations of the Civil War have portrayed foreign-born soldiers as hirelings and mercenaries, similar to the hated “Hessians” who had fought for the British during the American Revolution. It is high time to acknowledge that they had as many ideological reasons for fighting as their native-born counterparts. Continue Reading Andre M. Fleche: Why an International Perspective is Important in Understanding the Civil War

Excerpt: The Peninsula Campaign & the Necessity of Emancipation, by Glenn David Brasher

Turning to the war, Davis confirmed reports that some slaves were armed and fighting for the South, but he assured his audience that it “was done solely on compulsion.” Having been a slave foreman, he perceptively compared their plight to that of slaves who “were often made to fill the place of whipping-master.” He maintained that the best way to prevent the South from continually taking military advantage of the enslaved community was to free the slaves so they could “go forth conquering.” Continue Reading Excerpt: The Peninsula Campaign & the Necessity of Emancipation, by Glenn David Brasher

Interview: Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine on America’s quest for empire

Most Americans have been inoculated against the notion that our country can behave like an empire. Therefore, some readers may well find the focus on empire unsettling. After all, we are regularly reminded by our politicians, clergy, teachers, and the media that the U.S. is an exceptional country. We don’t do empire. That’s for the bad guys. We like to believe that whatever America does internationally is for the common good of humanity. As authors, all we ask is that readers consider our general definition of empire on its historical merits and give our treatment of the U.S. case a fair hearing. Continue Reading Interview: Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine on America’s quest for empire

Excerpt: Arc of Empire, by Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine

The history of American empire building and warfare in one region speaks to the current imbroglio across the Middle East and Central Asia in a striking variety of ways. U.S. policymakers have ignored or have deliberately forgotten the lessons from the conflicts in eastern Asia. Continue Reading Excerpt: Arc of Empire, by Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine

Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

Turning our backs on the grim prospects for Afghanistan is part of a long tradition. We drew a veil over the struggle against insurgents in the Philippines. A combination of amnesia and speculative might-have-beens disposed of the Korean stalemate and the Vietnam defeat, and it seems likely the Iraq invasion and occupation will suffer the same fate. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Afghanistan and an unkind God

Meredith Lair: What Was in the Other Three Bags?

The fourth bag, the one for which O’Hair had to pay, contained weapons, essential implements of warfare that speak to the harsh conditions one would expect to find in a war zone. Yet no one has ever asked what is, in my opinion, the most important question: What was in the other three bags? Continue Reading Meredith Lair: What Was in the Other Three Bags?

Tanya Harmer: Thirty-Eight Years after Chile’s 9/11

For Chile, Latin America, & the world beyond, understanding what happened on 11 September 1973 has been a slow process of discovery, debate, & forensic science. Continue Reading Tanya Harmer: Thirty-Eight Years after Chile’s 9/11

Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

Michael Hunt on how the United States’ exit from Afghanistan might seem similar to some past tricky military retreats. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Out of Afghanistan: Tragedy or Farce?

EPIC SALE TIME!!

It’s EPIC SALE TIME! Over 700 UNC Press books are on sale! Read more about the huge deals here. Continue Reading EPIC SALE TIME!!

James Marten: Charity for All: A Little-Known Legacy of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

We welcome a guest post from James Marten, author of Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America.  Today is the anniversary of President Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural, in which he made a promise that was kept by passing federal programs that took care of war veterans and their families. Here, Marten discusses the importance… Continue Reading James Marten: Charity for All: A Little-Known Legacy of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural

Leon Fink: Oceanic Piracy–A War without Nations

In today’s guest post, Leon Fink, author of Sweatshops at Sea: Merchant Seamen in the World’s First Globalized Industry, from 1812 to the Present, reflects on the recent Somali pirate attack on a group of Americans on a private yacht.  With piracy on the rise off the Somali coast, the relationship between commerce, globalization, power, and security becomes problematic.  Fink… Continue Reading Leon Fink: Oceanic Piracy–A War without Nations

Shane Maddock on the Persistent Nuclear Myths of the Cold War

Shane Maddock, author of Nuclear Apartheid: The Quest for American Atomic Supremacy from World War II to the Present blogs for the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations at SHAFR.org. In his most recent post, after the ratification of the New START treaty between the U.S. and Russia, Maddock addresses some Cold War-era myths about American nuclear hegemony that… Continue Reading Shane Maddock on the Persistent Nuclear Myths of the Cold War

Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Update 4/21/2011:The lamentable news of Tim Hetherington’s death covering the civil conflict in Libya reached us yesterday (20 April 2011). Restrepo is one of this fine and courageous documentarian’s major achievements. His record of what it meant for U.S. soldiers to fight in the Afghan War will stand the test of time.—MHH Ignore all the vacuous policy statements, the bland… Continue Reading Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?