Robert NeerNapalm: An American Biography

February 13, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in Biography] Just as there is no one way to write a biography, nor should there be, so there is no rule dictating that biography must be about the life of a person. In recent years, the jettisoning of this tradition has led to a number of compelling explorations of the lives of commodities [...]

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Waitman BeornMarching into Darkness: The Wehrmacht and the Holocaust in Belarus

January 11, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] The question of Wehrmacht complicity in the Holocaust is an old one. What might be called the “received view” until recently was that while a small number of German army units took part in anti-Jewish atrocities, the great bulk of the army neither knew about nor participated in the Nazi genocidal [...]

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Aaron S. MooreConstructing East Asia: Technology, Ideology, and Empire in Japan’s Wartime Era, 1931-1945

October 26, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in East Asian Studies] We tend to understand the modernization of Japan as a story of its rise as a techno-superpower. In East Asia: Technology, Ideology, and Empire in Japan’s Wartime Era, 1931-1945 (Stanford University Press, 2013), Aaron Stephen Moore critiques this account in a study of the relationship between technology and power in the context of [...]

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Eric Schmitt and Thom ShankerCounterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

October 25, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Terrorism and Organized Crime] There are many books about the war against Al Qaeda. Most of these focus on counter-terrorism or counter insurgency military tactics or espionage operations. These books have become more frequent with the death of Osama Bin Laden. Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda (Times Books, [...]

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Robert GerwarthHitler’s Hangman: The Life of Heydrich

July 24, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in Genocide Studies] Few history books sell better than biographies of Nazi leaders. They attract anyone even tangentially interested in World War Two or Nazi Germany.  It’s not surprising, then, that there are dozens of biographies of Himmler, Goering, and Hitler himself. Oddly, though, Reinhard Heydrich is relatively understudied.  Robert Gerwarth’s wonderful new biography of Heydrich, [...]

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Brian SandbergWarrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France

July 15, 2013

Brian Sandberg‘s Warrior Pursuits: Noble Culture and Civil Conflict in Early Modern France (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010) significantly revises our understanding of early modern military culture and absolutism. By examining the frequent civil wars of the early seventeenth century in France, Sandberg demonstrates that the French nobility were neither merely resisting the spread of the [...]

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Dale MaharidgeBringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War

July 3, 2013

Dale Maharidge’s Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War (PublicAffairs, 2013) is something of a departure from our regular offerings. Normally our authors are established academics specializing in the field of military history. Dale Maharidge, however, is an award-winning journalist who, prior to Bringing Mulligan Home, has had only limited exposure to [...]

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David J. SilbeyThe Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China

June 3, 2013

Historian David Silbey returns to New Books in Military History with his second book, The Boxer Rebellion and the Great Game in China (Hill and Wang, 2012). The popular uprising known as the Boxer Rebellion has long only been vaguely understood, with Hollywood playing as great a role in shaping common perception of the event [...]

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Mary Louise RobertsWhat Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France

May 24, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in French Studies] Tracking soldiers from the villages and towns of Northern France, to the “Silver Foxhole” of Paris, to tribunals that convicted a disproportionate number of African-American soldiers of rape, Mary Louise Roberts’ latest book reveals a side of the Liberation of 1944-45 that is typically obscured in histories of the D-Day [...]

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James Q. WhitmanThe Verdict of Battle: The Law of Victory and the Making of Modern War

April 29, 2013

James Whitman wants to revise our understanding of warfare during the eighteenth century, the period described by my late colleague and friend Russell Weigley as the “Age of Battles.” We commonly view warfare during this period as a remarkably restrained affair, dominated by aristocratic values, and while we recognize their horrors for the participants, we [...]

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