Category: Military History

Southern Gateways: The best in southern reading from UNC Press

One of the strengths of UNC Press is our commitment to publishing first-rate books about the region in which we live. From college hoops to environmental history, from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, from the coast to the hills, our books about the South educate and entertain readers within the region and beyond. We’ve recently updated our… Continue Reading Southern Gateways: The best in southern reading from UNC Press

Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

Proponents of military force learned from Vietnam that their freedom of action depended on insulating the public from the effects of war. Contractors were an ingenuous solution to the problem of a public squeamish about fighting and killing. Continue Reading Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

The Story of Service, Part 6: The US Colored Regiment

On July 26, a mural named SERVICE was dedicated at UNC’s School of Government in the Knapp-Sanders Building. The mural depicts a gathering of African-American leaders at the counter of a diner, painted by Colin Quashie as a creative interpretation of the historical 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina sit-in. We are featuring each of the eight panels in a series, highlighting… Continue Reading The Story of Service, Part 6: The US Colored Regiment

‘Confederate Minds’ and the Page 99 Test

We’ve previously mentioned the “Page 99 Test,” with which one can “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you,” according to Ford Madox Ford. Marshal Zeringue edits a blog that follows this theme, asking authors to test their books and analyze the content based on page 99. The authors… Continue Reading ‘Confederate Minds’ and the Page 99 Test

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Barack Obama’s Afghanistan commanders are something else. First, they promoted a highly debatable counter-insurgency strategy. Then, despite the numerous and cogent contemporary critiques, they got the president to buy into their particular brand of wishful thinking, and they got from him the additional troops supposedly needed for success. They have since failed to deliver. There are no convincing signs of… Continue Reading General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

Developments over the last month or so have put the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan under a dark cloud. The McChrystal affair and the WikiLeaks revelations are symptomatic of deeper troubles: the rapid bankruptcy of counterinsurgency, a surge in U.S. casualties, the persistently problematic role of Pakistan, the continued immobility of the Karzai regime, the sluggish progress in training Afghan forces,… Continue Reading Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

Sutherland Wins Inaugural Tom Watson Brown Book Award

We know, we know. Winning isn’t everything, but we have to admit, it sure does feel good!  Author Daniel Sutherland was awarded the first ever Tom Watson Brown Book Award, a $50,000 prize, by the Society of Civil War Historians, for his book A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War. The Watson Brown prize “is awarded… Continue Reading Sutherland Wins Inaugural Tom Watson Brown Book Award

The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

There is good reason to pity the poor historian, who has been tested especially severely during the recent McChrystal-Obama imbroglio as the eruption of historical parallels and lessons have ranged from the wrong-headed to the off-kilter. Continue Reading The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

June is LGBT Pride Month

When former President Bill Clinton was elected nearly 18 years ago, there was heated debate about gays serving in the United States military. Originally, a proposed federal law was to ban all gays from the armed services; Clinton rallied support for a compromise and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was born in 1993. Seven years later, Clinton declared June… Continue Reading June is LGBT Pride Month

Victory in Vietnam: The Myth That Won’t Die But Can’t Stand Up

The U.K. edition of A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives hits bookstores across the pond today — just as Britons head to the polls to elect a new Prime Minister. In a previous guest post, editor Michael H. Hunt addressed one of the more striking similarities between the Vietnam War and the current conflict… Continue Reading Victory in Vietnam: The Myth That Won’t Die But Can’t Stand Up

When Janey Comes Marching Home – Photo exhibit now in Arlington, Va.

When Janey Comes Marching Home: Portraits of Women Combat Veterans is more than a book we’ve just published — it’s a multimedia project based on interviews with dozens of female military veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book juxtaposes 48 photographs by Sascha Pflaeging with oral histories collected by Laura Browder to provide a dramatic portrait of… Continue Reading When Janey Comes Marching Home – Photo exhibit now in Arlington, Va.

Karzai and the Shadow of Diem

“We’re frustrated,” conceded President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, on Monday. The U.S. relationship with Afghan president Hamid Karzai is currently strained, to say the least. Offering some historical perspective on the situation, we welcome a guest post today from Michael H. Hunt, whose most recent book, A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives, was… Continue Reading Karzai and the Shadow of Diem

Remembering My Lai in the year of Calley’s apology

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the My Lai Massacre, certainly not a happy memory—in fact , the opposite of that—but one well worth stopping to ponder. On this day in 1968, during the Vietnam War, the massacre was carried out by United States troops.  Under the direction of Lt. William L. Calley Jr., a unit of the army tortured,… Continue Reading Remembering My Lai in the year of Calley’s apology

National Women’s History Month: Women at War

If you are familiar with the UNC Press Blog, you probably know that we know a thing or two about celebrating. If it has a national celebration day, week, or month, we probably have it marked on our calendars well in advance. Why else would we have a 1000-word post on the merits of National Chili Day, like we did… Continue Reading National Women’s History Month: Women at War

Bringing the War Home: Operation Homecoming and the Unending Vietnam War

We welcome a guest post today from Michael J. Allen, author of Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War. In his book, Allen analyzes the effects that activism by POW and MIA families had on U.S. politics before and after the Vietnam War’s official end. In this post, marking the anniversary of the first… Continue Reading Bringing the War Home: Operation Homecoming and the Unending Vietnam War

Obama Pronounces on Afghanistan: Deja Vu All Over Again!

In a follow-up to his article on Obama and Afghanistan, Michael Hunt responds to President Obama’s speech at West Point last night, in which the President laid out his plan for additional troops and a timeline for withdrawal.–ellen  [author photo by Dan Sears] Barack Obama has an impressive intellect, and he has given the decision on Afghanistan policy the careful,… Continue Reading Obama Pronounces on Afghanistan: Deja Vu All Over Again!

Obama and Afghanistan

Before we close up shop for the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to highlight some excellent commentary on President Obama’s impending decision about how to proceed with the war in Afghanistan. The President is scheduled to make an announcement next Tuesday, December 1, about his intentions for America’s next steps. Between now and then, we would do well to consider the… Continue Reading Obama and Afghanistan

The Calley Apology: What Does It Mean?

We welcome a guest post today from historian and Vietnam veteran Ron Milam, author of Not a Gentleman’s War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War. In his book, Milam debunks the view of the junior officer typified by Lt. William Calley of My Lai infamy, demonstrating instead that most of the lieutenants who served in combat… Continue Reading The Calley Apology: What Does It Mean?

The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

Saturday, August 9, marked the 64th anniversary of America’s WWII bombing of Nagasaki, Japan. In the following guest post, J. Samuel Walker, author of Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan, discusses the controversy over whether the use of the atomic bomb on Nagasaki served any military purpose and considers what did and didn’t… Continue Reading The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki

Upcoming events 4/14 – 4/20

Upcoming author events, including a C-SPAN taping tonight! Today, Tuesday, 4/14: John & Dale Reed in Kernersville, NC –  Shakespeare & Company Books in Kernersville hosts the authors of Holy Smoke at 6 pm. Lars Schoultz in Durham, NC – The author of That Infernal Little Cuban Republic will read and speak at the Regulator Bookshop at 7 pm .… Continue Reading Upcoming events 4/14 – 4/20