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Latest episodes from New Books in Military History

Johanna O. Zulueta, "Okinawan Women's Stories of Migration: From War Brides to Issei" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2022 46:41


The phenomenon of “war brides” from Japan moving to the West has been quite widely discussed, but this book tells the stories of women whose lives followed a rather different path after they married foreign occupiers. During Okinawa's Occupation by the Allies from 1945 to 1972, many Okinawan women met and had relationships with non-Western men who were stationed in Okinawa as soldiers and base employees. Most of these men were from the Philippines. In Okinawan Women's Stories of Migration: From War Brides to Issei (Routledge, 2022), Zulueta explores the journeys of these women to their husbands' homeland, their acculturation to their adopted land, and their return to their native Okinawa in their late adult years. Utilizing a life-course approach, she examines how these women crafted their own identities as first-generation migrants or “Issei” in both the country of migration and their natal homeland, their re-integration to Okinawan society, and the role of religion in this regard, as well as their thoughts on end-of-life as returnees. This book will be of interest to scholars looking at gender and migration, cross-cultural marriages, aging and migration, as well as those interested in East Asia, particularly Japan/Okinawa. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Reeva Spector Simon, "The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa: The Impact of World War II" (Routledge, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 22:30


Incorporating published and archival material, Reeva Spector Simon's book The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa: The Impact of World War II (Routledge, 2019) fills an important gap in the history of the Jewish experience during World War II, describing how the war affected Jews living along the southern rim of the Mediterranean and the Levant, from Morocco to Iran. Surviving the Nazi slaughter did not mean that Jews living in the Middle East and North Africa were unaffected by the war: there was constant anti-Semitic propaganda and general economic deprivation; communities were bombed; and Jews suffered because of the anti-Semitic Vichy regulations that left them unemployed, homeless, and subject to forced labor and deportation to labor camps. Nevertheless, they fought for the Allies and assisted the Americans and the British in the invasion of North Africa. These men and women were community leaders and average people who, despite their dire economic circumstances, worked with the refugees attempting to escape the Nazis via North Africa, Turkey, or Iran and connected with international aid agencies during and after the war. By 1945, no Jewish community had been left untouched, and many were financially decimated, a situation that would have serious repercussions on the future of Jews in the region. Covering the entire Middle East and North Africa region, this book on World War II is a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in Jewish history, World War II, and Middle East history. Drora Arussy, EdD, MA, MJS, is the Senior Director of the ASF Institute of Jewish Experience. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Cold War Homefront

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 63:10


We could do a whole season on Vietnam war films, but in this episode we chose three films that highlight the Cold War's omnipresence in daily life. You wouldn't associate any of these films with how Vietnam figured into the Cold War dynamic because they are about the homefront. The Deer Hunter (1978), Coming Home (1978), and Da Five Bloods (2020) are reminders (or are they revelations?) that the Vietnam War deeply wounded American society from top to bottom. Whether it's working class immigrants in rural Pennsylvania, severely wounded veterans and their caretakers, or Black and Brown soldiers contending with racism and shattered lives decades removed from the war, our three films depict the Cold War homefront in vivid detail. We often think of the Cold War as an impersonal contest between global powers that nearly ended the world, but the Vietnam War was incredibly personal for millions of Americans and Vietnamese. Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Beverly Weintraub, "Wings of Gold: The Story of the First Women Naval Aviators" (Lyons Press, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 55:51


On Feb. 2, 2019, the skies over Maynardville, Tennessee, filled with the roar of four F/A-18F Super Hornets streaking overhead in close formation. In each aircraft were two young female flyers, executing the first all-woman Missing Man Formation flyover in Navy history in memory of Captain Rosemary Mariner — groundbreaking Navy jet pilot, inspiring commander, determined and dedicated leader — whose drive to ensure the United States military had its choice of the best America had to offer, both men and women, broke down barriers and opened doors for female aviators wanting to serve their country. Selected for Navy flight training as an experiment in 1972, Mariner and her five fellow graduates from the inaugural group of female Naval Aviators racked up an impressive roster of achievements, and firsts: first woman to fly a tactical jet aircraft; first woman to command an aviation squadron; first female Hurricane Hunter; first pregnant Navy pilot; plaintiff in a federal lawsuit that overturned limits on women's ability to fulfill their military duty. Leading by example, and by confrontation when necessary, they challenged deep skepticism within the fleet and blazed a trail for female aviators wanting to serve their country equally with their male counterparts. Beverly Weintraub's Wings of Gold: The Story of the First Women Naval Aviators (Lyons Press, 2021) is the story of their struggles and triumphs as they earned their Wings of Gold, learned to fly increasingly sophisticated jet fighters and helicopters, mastered aircraft carrier landings, served at sea and reached heights of command that would have been unthinkable less than a generation before. And it is the story of the legacy they left behind, one for which the women performing the Navy's first Missing Woman Flyover in Mariner's memory owe a debt of gratitude. Jane Scimeca is Professor of History at Brookdale Community College. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Patrick O. Cohrs, "The New Atlantic Order: The Transformation of International Politics, 1860-1933" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 67:32


The New Atlantic Order: The Transformation of International Politics, 1860-1933 (Cambridge UP, 2022) elucidates a momentous transformation process that changed the world: the struggle to create, for the first time, a modern Atlantic order in the long twentieth century (1860-2020). Placing it in a broader historical and global context, Patrick O. Cohrs reinterprets the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 as the original attempt to supersede the Eurocentric 'world order' of the age of imperialism and found a more legitimate peace system - a system that could not yet be global but had to be essentially transatlantic. Yet he also sheds new light on why, despite remarkable learning-processes, it proved impossible to forge a durable Atlantic peace after a First World War that became the long twentieth century's cathartic catastrophe. In a broader perspective this ground-breaking study shows what a decisive impact this epochal struggle has had not only for modern conceptions of peace, collective security and an integrative, rule-based international order but also for formative ideas of self-determination, liberal-democratic government and the West. Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow 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 for Chatham House's International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

It's The End Of The World As We Know It

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 73:45


Last episode we discussed films about how a nuclear war would start, particularly the insane logic of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). In this episode we explore how American, British, and Australian filmmakers imagined the unimaginable - Armageddon and the literal and figurative fallout. We look at On the Beach (1959), The Day After (1983), and Threads (1984). We challenge the conventional wisdom that the West only seriously worried about nuclear after the Cuban Missile Crisis, provide some background on the history of anti-nuclear social movements, and compare how these three unforgettable films chose to depict nuclear destruction. How accurate were they? Did they make a difference? And, how many of us are still traumatized by seeing them? Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Michael R. Gordon, "Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump" (FSG, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 64:44


In Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State, from Barack Obama to Donald Trump (FSG, 2022), Wall Street Journal national security correspondent Michael R. Gordon reveals the strategy debates, diplomatic gambits, and military operations that shaped the struggle against the Islamic State. With extraordinary access to top U.S. officials and military commanders and to the forces on the battlefield, Gordon offers a riveting narrative that ferrets out some of the war's most guarded secrets. Degrade and Destroy takes us inside National Security Council meetings at which Obama and his top aides grapple with early setbacks and discuss whether the war can be won. It also offers the most detailed account to date of how President Donald Trump waged war--delegating greater authority to the Pentagon but jeopardizing the outcome with a rush for the exit. Drawing on his reporting in Iraq and Syria, Gordon documents the closed-door deliberations of U.S. generals with their Iraqi and Syrian counterparts and describes some of the toughest urban battles since World War II. As Americans debate the future of using force abroad, Gordon's book offers vital insights into how our wars today are fought against militant foes, and the enduring lessons we can draw from them. Michael R. Gordon is the national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and former chief military correspondent for The New York Times. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

John M. Curatola, "Autumn of Our Discontent: Fall 1949 and the Crises in American National Security" (US Naval Institute Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 24:27


In the Fall of 1949, a series of international events shattered the notion that the United States would return to its traditional small peacetime military posture following World War II. John M. Curatola's book Autumn of Our Discontent: Fall 1949 and the Crises in American National Security (US Naval Institute Press, 2022) chronicles the events that triggered the wholesale review of United States national security policies. The review led to the adoption of recommendations advanced in NSC-68, which laid the foundation for America's Cold War activities, expanded conventional forces, sparked a thermonuclear arms race, and, equally important to the modern age, established the national security state-all clear breaks from America's martial past and cornerstone ideologies.  In keeping with the American military tradition, the United States dismantled most of its military power following World War II while Americans, in general, enjoyed unprecedented post-war and peacetime prosperity. In the autumn of 1949, however, the Soviet's first successful test of their own atomic weapon in August was followed closely by establishment of the communist People's Republic of China on October 1st shattered the illusion that American hegemony would remain unchallenged. Combined with the decision at home to increase the size of the atomic stockpile on and the on-going debate regarding the "Revolt of the Admirals," the United States found itself facing a new round of crisis in what became the Cold War. Curatola explores these events and the debates surrounding them to provide a detailed history of an era critical to our own modern age. Indeed, the security state conceived of in the events of this critical autumn and the legacy of the choices made by American policymakers and military leaders continue to this day. Charles Coutinho, PH. D., Associate Fellow 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 for Chatham House's International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

The Future of Nuclear Weapons: A Conversation with Fred Kaplan

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 61:05


For much of the Cold War the United States had thousands more nuclear weapons than it needed. And it took decades for American political leaders to realise no one had ever asked: ‘how many nuclear weapons is enough?' As for Ronald Reagan, he went into office a nuclear hawk and came out considering total disarmament. These aspects of the history the US nuclear programme are described in Fred Kaplan's book The Bomb: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War (Simon & Schuster, 2021). Owen Bennett-Jones has been speaking with Fred Kaplan. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Máté Rigó, "Capitalism in Chaos: How the Business Elites of Europe Prospered in the Era of the Great War" (Cornell UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2022 59:31


Capitalism in Chaos: How the Business Elites of Europe Prospered in the Era of the Great War (Cornell UP, 2022) explores an often-overlooked consequence and paradox of the First World War—the prosperity of business elites and bankers in service of the war effort during the destruction of capital and wealth by belligerent armies. This study of business life amid war and massive geopolitical changes follows industrialists and policymakers in Central Europe as the region became crucially important for German and subsequently French plans of economic and geopolitical expansion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Based on extensive research in sixteen archives, five languages, and four states, Máté Rigó demonstrates that wartime destruction and the birth of "war millionaires" were two sides of the same coin. Despite the recent centenaries of the Great War and the Versailles peace treaties, knowledge of the overall impact of war and border changes on business life remains sporadic, based on scant statistics and misleading national foci. Consequently, most histories remain wedded to the viewpoint of national governments and commercial connections across national borders. Capitalism in Chaos changes the static historical perspective by presenting Europe's East as the economic engine of the continent.  Rigó accomplishes this paradigm shift by focusing on both supranational regions—including East-Central and Western Europe—as well as the eastern and western peripheries of Central Europe, Alsace-Lorraine and Transylvania, from the 1870s until the 1920s. As a result, Capitalism in Chaos offers a concrete, lively history of economics during major world crises, with a contemporary consciousness toward inequality and disparity during a time of collapse. Roland Clark is a Reader in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool, a Senior Fellow with the Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right, and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC-funded project on European Fascist Movements. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Theodore McLauchlin, "Desertion: Trust and Mistrust in Civil Wars" (Cornell UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 58:06


Desertion: Trust and Mistrust in Civil Wars (Cornell UP, 2020) examines the personal and political factors behind soldiers' choices to stay in their unit or abandon their cause. Theodore McLauchlin's explores what might spur widespread desertion in a given group, how some armed groups manage to keep their soldiers fighting over long periods, and how committed soldiers are to their causes and their comrades. To answer these questions, McLauchlin focuses on combatants in military units during the Spanish Civil War. He pushes against the preconception that individual soldiers' motivations are either personal or political, either selfish or ideological. Instead, he draws together the personal and the political, showing how soldiers come to trust each other—or not. Desertion demonstrates how the armed groups that hold together and survive are those that foster interpersonal connections, allowing soldiers the opportunity to prove their commitment to the fight. McLauchlin argues that trust keeps soldiers in the fray, mistrust pushes them to leave, and political beliefs and military practices shape both. Desertion brings the reader into the world of soldiers and rigorously tests the factors underlying desertion. It asks, honestly and without judgment, what would you do in an army in a civil war? Would you stand and fight? Would you try to run away? And what if you found yourself fighting for a cause you no longer believe in or never did in the first place? Theodore McLauchlin is Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science of the Université de Montréal and Director of the Centre d'études sur la paix et la sécurité internationales. His research interests lie in civil wars, international security, military behavior, and civil-military relations. He earned his Ph.D. at McGill University (2013), during which time he was also a visiting scholar at the Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals. Lamis Abdelaaty is an associate professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at labdelaa@syr.edu or tweet to @LAbdelaaty. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Levi Roach, "Empires of the Normans: Makers of Europe, Conquerors of Asia" (Pegasus Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 56:47


Empires of the Normans: Makers of Europe, Conquerors of Asia (Pegasus, 2022) by Dr. Levi Roach is a tale of ambitious adventures and fierce freebooters, of fortunes made and fortunes lost. The Normans made their influence felt across all of western Europe and the Mediterranean, from the British Isles to North Africa, and Lisbon to the Holy Land. In Empires of the Normans we discover how they combined military might and political savvy with deeply held religious beliefs and a profound sense of their own destiny. For a century and a half, they remade Europe in their own image, and yet their heritage was quickly forgotten - until now. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

A MAD, MAD, World

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 59:11


The world lived under the shadow of the acronym MAD for forty years. Mutually Assured Destruction was no laughing matter, but Stanley Kubrick thought dark comedy was the only way to approach a topic as ridiculous as MAD. In this episode we compare and contrast Dr. Strangelove (1964) with Failsafe, a serious film about the same subject that came out the same year. We reveal just how spot on Dr. Strangelove was about MAD versus Failsafe's unwarranted optimism that limited nuclear war was possible. An army of political scientists and bureaucrats game theoried fighting and winning a nuclear war like it was just another social science problem. Civilians are the warmongers in our MAD films. Dr. Strangelove may be a deranged Nazi freak, but everything he said was seriously considered by real life MAD Men. Lia Paradis is a professor of history at Slippery Rock University. Brian Crim is a professor of history at the University of Lynchburg. For more on Lies Agreed Upon, go here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Manoj Joshi, "Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya" (Hurst, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2022 37:48


On June 16 2020, Indian and Chinese forces clashed high in the Himalayan mountains in Aksai Chin. Beijing and New Delhi both claim control over this remote region in a territorial dispute dating back decades. Sources differ on how many soldiers died in the skirmish, fought with fists and clubs rather than guns, with the potential dead ranging into the dozens. Looking back two years later, Galwan marked a clear turning point in relations between the two Asian countries, with India now taking a much harsher line towards China, joining the U.S., Australia and Japan in the so-called Quad Alliance, banning Chinese-affiliated apps like Alibaba and TikTok. Why has the border between China and India been disputed for so long? And what made the bloody clash at Galwan a watershed for New Delhi? Manoj Joshi in Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya (Hurst: 2022) explains where this dispute came from, how it sometimes sparked war, and the many failed attempts to find a negotiated solution. Manoj Joshi is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation. He has been a journalist specializing on national and international politics and is a commentator and columnist on these issues. As a reporter, he has written extensively on issues relating to Siachen, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka and terrorism in Kashmir and Punjab. Today, Manoj and I talk about the border dispute, where it came from, and why both countries have been unable to reach a negotiated solution. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Understanding the India-China Border. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Jonathan Wyrtzen, "Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East" (Columbia UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 9, 2022 62:10


It is widely believed that the political problems of the Middle East date back to the era of World War I, when European colonial powers unilaterally imposed artificial borders on the post-Ottoman world in postwar agreements. This book offers a new account of how the Great War unmade and then remade the political order of the region. Ranging from Morocco to Iran and spanning the eve of the Great War into the 1930s, it demonstrates that the modern Middle East was shaped through complex and violent power struggles among local and international actors. Jonathan Wyrtzen shows how the cataclysm of the war opened new possibilities for both European and local actors to reimagine post-Ottoman futures. After the 1914–1918 phase of the war, violent conflicts between competing political visions continued across the region. In these extended struggles, the greater Middle East was reforged. Wyrtzen emphasizes the intersections of local and colonial projects and the entwined processes through which states were made, identities transformed, and boundaries drawn. This book's vast scope encompasses successful state-building projects such as the Turkish Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as short-lived political units—including the Rif Republic in Morocco, the Sanusi state in eastern Libya, a Greater Syria, and attempted Kurdish states—that nonetheless left traces on the map of the region. Drawing on a wide range of sources, Worldmaking in the Long Great War: How Local and Colonial Struggles Shaped the Modern Middle East (Columbia UP, 2022) retells the origin story of the modern Middle East. Ronay Bakan is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Julia Margaret Zulver, "High-Risk Feminism in Colombia: Women's Mobilization in Violent Contexts" (Rutgers UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 59:28


In High-Risk Feminism in Colombia: Women's Mobilization in Violent Contexts (Rutgers University Press, 2022), Dr. Julia Zulver documents the experiences of grassroots women's organizations that united to demand gender justice during and in the aftermath of Colombia's armed conflict. In doing so, she illustrates a little-studied phenomenon: women whose experiences with violence catalyze them to mobilize and resist as feminists, even in the face of grave danger. Despite a well-established tradition of studying women in war, we tend to focus on their roles as mothers or carers, as peacemakers, or sometimes as revolutionaries. This book explains the gendered underpinnings of why women engage in feminist mobilization, even when this takes place in a ‘domain of losses' that exposes them to high levels of risk. It follows four women's organizations who break with traditional gender norms and defy armed groups' social and territorial control, exposing them to retributive punishment. Dr. Zulver provides rich evidence to document how women are able to surmount the barriers to mobilization when they frame their actions in terms of resistance, rather than fear. High-Risk Feminism in Colombia has also been translated and released in Spanish! Dr. Zulver discusses the book in Spanish here. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Michael O'Hanlon, "The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint" (Yale UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 54:24


In The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint (Yale University Press, 2021) Dr. Michael O'Hanlon presents an informed modern plan for post-2020 American foreign policy that avoids the opposing dangers of retrenchment and overextension. Russia and China are both believed to have “grand strategies”—detailed sets of national security goals backed by means, and plans, to pursue them. In the United States, policymakers have tried to articulate similar concepts but have failed to reach a widespread consensus since the Cold War ended. While the United States has been the world's prominent superpower for over a generation, much American thinking has oscillated between the extremes of isolationist agendas versus interventionist and overly assertive ones. Drawing on historical precedents and weighing issues such as Russia's resurgence, China's great rise, North Korea's nuclear machinations, and Middle East turmoil, Dr. O'Hanlon presents a well-researched, ethically sound, and politically viable vision for American national security policy. He also proposes complementing the Pentagon's set of “4+1” pre-existing threats with a new “4+1”: biological, nuclear, digital, climatic, and internal dangers. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Ian Campbell, "The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy's National Shame" (Hurst, 2017)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2022 112:07


In February 1937, following an abortive attack by a handful of insurgents on Mussolini's High Command in Italian-occupied Ethiopia, 'repression squads' of armed Blackshirts and Fascist civilians were unleashed on the defenseless residents of Addis Ababa. In three terror-filled days and nights of arson, murder and looting, thousands of innocent and unsuspecting men, women and children were roasted alive, shot, bludgeoned, stabbed to death, or blown to pieces with hand-grenades. Meanwhile the notorious Viceroy Rodolfo Graziani, infamous for his atrocities in Libya, took the opportunity to add to the carnage by eliminating the intelligentsia and nobility of the ancient Ethiopian empire in a pogrom that swept across the land. In The Addis Ababa Massacre: Italy's National Shame (Hurst, 2017), Ian Campbell reconstructs and analyses one of Fascist Italy's least known atrocities, which he estimates eliminated 19-20 per cent of the capital's population. He exposes the hitherto little known cover-up conducted at the highest levels of the British government, which enabled the facts of one of the most hideous civilian massacres of all time to be concealed, and the perpetrators to walk free. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Meighen McCrae, "Coalition Strategy and the End of the First World War: The Supreme War Council and War Planning, 1917-1918" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 74:02


When the Germans requested an armistice in October 1918, it was a shock to the Allied political and military leadership. They had been expecting, and planning for, the war to continue into 1919, the year they hoped to achieve a complete military victory over the Central Powers.  In Coalition Strategy and the End of the First World War: The Supreme War Council and War Planning, 1917-1918" (Cambridge UP, 2019), Meighen McCrae illuminates how, throughout this planning process, the Supreme War Council evolved to become the predominant mechanism for coalition war-making. She analyses the Council's role in the formulation of an Allied strategy for 1918-1919 across the various theatres of war and compares the perspectives of the British, French, Americans and Italians. In doing so we learn how, in an early example of modern alliance warfare, the Supreme War Council had to coordinate national needs with coalition ones. Alex Beckstrand is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Connecticut, an officer in the Marine Corps Reserves, and works in the aerospace industry. Email: alex.beckstrand@uconn.edu Twitter: @AlexBeckstrand. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Tommi Koivula and Heljä Ossa, "NATO's Burden-Sharing Disputes: Past, Present and Future Prospects" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 35:20


In NATO's Burden-Sharing Disputes: Past, Present and Future Prospects (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), Dr. Tommi Koivula & Heljä Ossa argues that burden-sharing is one of the most persisting sources for tension and disagreement within NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation). It also belongs to one of the most studied issues within NATO with distinguishable traditions and schools of thought. However, this pertinent question has been rarely discussed extensively by academics. The key idea of the book is to make burden-sharing more understandable as a historical, contemporary and future phenomenon. The authors take a comprehensive look at what is actually meant with burden-sharing and how it has evolved as a concept and a real-life phenomenon through the 70 years of NATO's existence. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

John M. Kinder and Jason A. Higgins, "Service Denied: Marginalized Veterans in Modern American History" (U Massachusetts Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 126:21


Wartime military service is held up as a marker of civic duty and patriotism, yet the rewards of veteran status have never been equally distributed. Certain groups of military veterans--women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and former service members with stigmatizing conditions, "bad paper" discharges, or criminal records--have been left out of official histories, excised from national consciousness, and denied state recognition and military benefits.  Chronicling the untold stories of marginalized veterans in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Service Denied: Marginalized Veterans in Modern American History (U Massachusetts Press, 2022) uncovers the generational divides, cultural stigmas, and discriminatory policies that affected veterans during and after their military service. Together, the chapters in this collection recast veterans beyond the archetype, inspiring an innovative model for veterans studies that encourages an intersectional and interdisciplinary analysis of veterans history. In addition to contributions from the volume editors, this collection features scholarship by Barbara Gannon, Robert Jefferson, Evan P. Sullivan, Steven Rosales, Heather Marie Stur, Juan Coronado, Kara Dixon Vuic, John Worsencroft, and David Kieran. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Thomas Donald Conlan, "Samurai and the Warrior Culture of Japan, 471-1877: A Sourcebook" (Hackett, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 43:38


In addition to providing excerpts from classic tales of Japan's warrior past, Samurai and the Warrior Culture of Japan, 471-1877: A Sourcebook (Hackett, 2022) draws on a wide range of lesser-known but revealing sources—including sword inscriptions, edicts, orders, petitions, and letters—to expand and deepen our understanding of the samurai, from the order's origins in the fifth century to its abolition in the nineteenth. Taken together with Thomas Donald Conlan's contextualizing introductions and notes, these sources provide a rare window into the experiences, ideals, and daily lives of these now-sentimentalized warriors. Numerous illustrations, a glossary of terms, and a substantial bibliography further enhance the value of this book to students, scholars, and anyone interested in learning more about the samurai. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Nathaniel Jarrett, "The Lion at Dawn: Forging British Strategy in the Age of the French Revolution, 1783–1797" (U Oklahoma Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2022 79:38


In February 1793, in the wake of the War of American Independence and one year after British prime minister William Pitt the Younger had predicted fifteen years of peace, the National Convention of Revolutionary France declared war on Great Britain and the Netherlands. France thus initiated nearly a quarter century of armed conflict with Britain. During this fraught and still-contested period, historian Nathaniel Jarrett suggests, Pitt and his ministers forged a diplomatic policy and military strategy that envisioned an international system anticipating the Vienna settlement of 1815. Examining Pitt's foreign policy from 1783 to 1797—the years before and during the War of the First Coalition against Revolutionary France—Jarrett considers a question that has long vexed historians: Did Pitt adhere to the “blue water” school, imagining a globe-trotting navy, or did he favor engagement nearer to shore and on the European Continent? And was this approach grounded in precedent, or was it something new? While acknowledging the complexities within this dichotomy, The Lion at Dawn: Forging British Strategy in the Age of the French Revolution, 1783–1797 (U Oklahoma Press, 2022) argues that the prime minister consistently subordinated colonial to continental concerns and pursued a new vision rather than merely honoring past glories. Deliberately, not simply in reaction to the French Revolution, Pitt developed and pursued a grand strategy that sought British security through a novel collective European system—one ultimately realized by his successors in 1815. The Lion at Dawn opens a critical new perspective on the emergence of modern Britain and its empire and on its early effort to create a stable and peaceful international system, an ideal debated to this day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Greg Woolf, "The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History" (Oxford UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2022 50:53


The human race is on a 10,000 year urban adventure. Our ancestors wandered the planet or lived scattered in villages, yet by the end of this century almost all of us will live in cities. But that journey has not been a smooth one and urban civilizations have risen and fallen many times in history. The ruins of many of them still enchant us. The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History (Oxford University Press, 2020) by Dr. Greg Woolf tells the story of the rise and fall of ancient cities from the end of the Bronze Age to the beginning of the Middle Ages. It is a tale of war and politics, pestilence and famine, triumph and tragedy, by turns both fabulous and squalid. Its focus is on the ancient Mediterranean: Greeks and Romans at the centre, but Phoenicians and Etruscans, Persians, Gauls, and Egyptians all play a part. The story begins with the Greek discovery of much more ancient urban civilizations in Egypt and the Near East, and charts the gradual spread of urbanism to the Atlantic and then the North Sea in the centuries that followed. The ancient Mediterranean, where our story begins, was a harsh environment for urbanism. So how were cities first created, and then sustained for so long, in these apparently unpromising surroundings? How did they feed themselves, where did they find water and building materials, and what did they do with their waste and their dead? Why, in the end, did their rulers give up on them? And what it was like to inhabit urban worlds so unlike our own - cities plunged into darkness every night, cities dominated by the temples of the gods, cities of farmers, cities of slaves, cities of soldiers. Ultimately, the chief characters in the story are the cities themselves. Athens and Sparta, Persepolis and Carthage, Rome and Alexandria: cities that formed great families. Their story encompasses the history of the generations of people who built and inhabited them, whose short lives left behind monuments that have inspired city builders ever since - and whose ruins stand as stark reminders to the 21st century of the perils as well as the potential rewards of an urban existence. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Síobhra Aiken, "Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War" (Irish Academic Press, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 42:22


Siobhra Aiken teaches in the Department of Irish and Celtic Studies at Queens University Belfast. Her research interests include modernist Irish-language poetry; twentieth-century Irish-language literature; the Gaelic Revival in the United States, and 'trauma' and emigration during the Irish Revolution (1916–23). In this interview she discusses his new book Spiritual Wounds: Trauma, Testimony and the Irish Civil War (Irish Academic Press, 2022), a study of trauma, memory and forgetting in memoirs and literature of the Irish Civil War Spiritual Wounds challenges the widespread belief that the contentious events of the Irish Civil War (1922–23) were covered in a total blanket of silence. The book uncovers an archive of published testimonies by pro- and anti-treaty men and women, written in both English and Irish. Most of the testimonies discussed were produced in the 1920s and 1930s, and nearly all have been overlooked in historical study to date. Revolutionaries went to great lengths to testify to the ‘spiritual wounds' of civil war: they adopted fictionalised disguises, located their writings in other places or periods of time, and found shelter behind pen names. This wealth of published testimony reveals that the silence of the Irish Civil War was not necessarily a result of revolutionaries' inability to speak, but rather reflects the unwillingness of official memory makers to listen to the stories of civil war veterans. Aidan Beatty is a historian at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Andrew Dubbins, "Into Enemy Waters: A World War II Story of the Demolition Divers Who Became the Navy SEALs" (Diversion Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2022 47:36


With echoes of Unbroken; the derring-do and bravado of The Right Stuff; and the battle-forged camaraderie of Band of Brothers, Andrew Dubbins' book Into Enemy Waters: A World War II Story of the Demolition Divers Who Became the Navy SEALs (Diversion Books, 2022) is the World War II story of 95-year-old veteran George Morgan and the Underwater Demolition Teams.  Forerunners of the Navy SEALs, the elite unit was given nearly impossible pre-invasion missions from D-Day to the most crucial landings in the Pacific Theater. Into Enemy Waters details the origins and heroic missions of World War II's most elite and daring unit of warriors told through the eyes of one of its last living members, 95-year-old George Morgan. Morgan was just a wiry, 17-year-old lifeguard from New Jersey when he joined the Navy's new combat demolition unit, tasked to blow up enemy coastal defenses ahead of landings by Allied forces. His first assignment: Omaha Beach on D-Day. When he returned stateside, Morgan learned that his service was only beginning. Outfitted with swim trunks, a dive mask, and fins, he was sent to Hawaii and then on to deployments in the Pacific as a member of the elite and pioneering Underwater Demolition Teams. GIs called them "half fish, half nuts." Today, we call them frogmen--and Navy SEALS. Led by maverick Naval Reserve Officer Draper Kauffman, Morgan would spend the fierce final year of the war swimming up to enemy-controlled beaches to gather intel and detonate underwater barriers. He'd have to master the sea, muster superhuman grit, and overcome the demons of Omaha Beach. Moving closer to Japan, the enemy's island defenses were growing more elaborate and its soldiers more fanatical. From the black sand beaches of Iwo Jima to the shark-infested reefs of Okinawa, to the cold seas of Tokyo Bay, teenaged George Morgan was there before most, fighting for his life. And for all of us. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Emizet F. Kisangani and Jeffrey Pickering, "African Interventions: State Militaries, Foreign Powers, and Rebel Forces" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 67:58


Foreign military intervention has had a profound impact on post-colonial African history and politics. Interventions have destabilized borderlands, overthrown governments, and taken a devastating toll on populations. In African Interventions: State Militaries, Foreign Powers, and Rebel Forces (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Dr. Emizet F. Kisangani and Dr. Jeffrey Pickering advance a new theoretical framework and combine quantitative, qualitative, and historical methods to shed fresh light on these important but understudied events. Their detailed analysis brings understanding to supportive and hostile interventions and to interventions by former colonial states, non-colonial foreign actors, and African countries. Dr. Kisangani and Dr. Pickering also analyse military incursions into ungoverned territories and lands engulfed in civil war. Showcasing a variety of examples from the Second Congo War to the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict, the book offers a rich and accessible examination of military intervention on the continent. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

James Lacey, "Rome: Strategy of Empire" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 59:33


From Octavian's victory at Actium (31 B.C.) to its traditional endpoint in the West (476), the Roman Empire lasted a solid 500 years -- an impressive number by any standard, and fully one-fifth of all recorded history. In fact, the decline and final collapse of the Roman Empire took longer than most other empires even existed. Any historian trying to unearth the grand strategy of the Roman Empire must, therefore, always remain cognizant of the time scale, in which she is dealing. Although the pace of change in the Roman era never approached that of the modern era, it was not an empire in stasis. While the visible trappings may have changed little, the challenges Rome faced at its end were vastly different than those faced by Augustus and the Julio-Claudians. Over the centuries, the Empire's underlying economy, political arrangements, military affairs, and, most importantly, the myriad of external threats it faced were in constant flux, making adaptability to changing circumstances as important to Roman strategists as it is to strategists of the modern era. Yet the very idea of Rome having a grand strategy, or what it might be, did not concern historians until Edward Luttwak wrote The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century A.D. to the Third forty years ago. Although the work generated much debate, it failed to win over many ancient historians, in part because of its heavy emphasis on military force. By mostly neglecting any considerations of diplomacy, economics, politics, culture, or even the changing nature of the threats Rome faced, Luttwak tells only a portion of what should have been a much more wide-ranging narrative. For this and other reasons, such as its often dull presentation, it left an opportunity for another account of the rise and fall of Rome from a strategy perspective. Through a more encompassing definition of strategy and by focusing much of the narrative on crucial historical moments and the personalities involved, Rome: Strategy of Empire (Oxford UP, 2022) promises to provide a more persuasive and engaging history than Luttwak's. It aims not only to correct Luttwak's flaws and omissions, but will also employ the most recent work of current classical historians and archeologists to present a more complete and nuanced narrative of Roman strategic thinking and execution than is currently available. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Tom Zoellner, "Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire" (Harvard UP, 2020)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 45:32


For five horrific weeks after Christmas in 1831, Jamaica was convulsed by an uprising of its enslaved people. What started as a peaceful labor strike quickly turned into a full-blown revolt, leaving hundreds of plantation houses in smoking ruins. By the time British troops had put down the rebels, more than a thousand Jamaicans lay dead from summary executions and extrajudicial murder. While the rebels lost their military gamble, their sacrifice accelerated the larger struggle for freedom in the British Atlantic. The daring and suffering of the Jamaicans galvanized public opinion throughout the empire, triggering a decisive turn against slavery. For centuries bondage had fed Britain's appetite for sugar. Within two years of the Christmas rebellion, slavery was formally abolished. Island on Fire: The Revolt That Ended Slavery in the British Empire (Harvard University Press, 2020) is a dramatic day-by-day account of this transformative uprising. A skillful storyteller, Tom Zoellner goes back to the primary sources to tell the intimate story of the men and women who rose up and tasted liberty for a few brief weeks. He provides the first full portrait of the rebellion's enigmatic leader, Samuel Sharpe, and gives us a poignant glimpse of the struggles and dreams of the many Jamaicans who died for liberty. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Kristen A. Harkness, "When Soldiers Rebel: Ethnic Armies and Political Instability in Africa" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 53:39


Military coups are a constant threat in Africa and many former military leaders are now in control of 'civilian states', yet the military remains understudied, especially over the last decade. Drawing on extensive archival research, cross-national data, and four in-depth comparative case studies, When Soldiers Rebel: Ethnic Armies and Political Instability in Africa (Cambridge UP, 2022) examines the causes of military coups in post-independence Africa and looks at the relationship between ethnic armies and political instability in the region. Kristen A. Harkness argues that the processes of creating and dismantling ethnically exclusionary state institutions engenders organized and violent political resistance. Focusing on rebellions to protect rather than change the status quo, Harkness sheds light on a mechanism of ethnic violence that helps us understand both the motivations and timing of rebellion, and the rarity of group rebellion in the face of persistent political and economic inequalities along ethnic lines. Andrew Miller is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Naval Academy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Hans G. Myers, "The Lion of Round Top: The Life and Military Service of Brigadier General Strong Vincent in the American Civil War" (Casemate, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 12, 2022 47:15


Hans G. Myers' book The Lion of Round Top: The Life and Military Service of Brigadier General Strong Vincent in the American Civil War (Casemate, 2022) presents the story of the true savior of Little Round Top at Gettysburg―a 26-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer, who paid with his life to defend that hill. Citizen-soldier Strong Vincent was many things: Harvard graduate, lawyer, political speaker, descendent of pilgrims and religious refugees, husband, father, brother. But his greatest contribution to history is as the savior of the Federal left on the second day at Gettysburg, when he and his men held Little Round Top against overwhelming Confederate numbers. Forgotten by history in favor of his subordinate, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Vincent has faded into relative obscurity in the decades since his death. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Blake Whitaker, "Built on the Ruins of Empire: British Military Assistance and African Independence" (UP of Kansas, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 79:03


During the Cold War, the British government oversaw the transition to independence of dozens of colonies. Often the most challenging aspect of this transition was the creation of a national army from colonial forces. In Built on the Ruins of Empire: British Military Assistance and African Independence (University Press of Kansas, 2022), Dr. Blake Whitaker examines this process in Kenya and Zambia and how it set the course for the creation of the army in Zimbabwe. He also looks at three themes as they intersect in African military history: British decolonization, race relations, and the Cold War. While the transition to independence was a difficult process in places such as Ghana and Nigeria, it was compounded by the racial tensions in Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. All three were settler colonies home to a sizable community of white Europeans who controlled the levers of power and economic prosperity. Built on the Ruins of Empire focuses on the difficulties that arose in creating a cohesive and apolitical military force in these racially charged Cold War environments and demonstrates that the challenges faced by the British training missions in Kenya and Zambia taught London important lessons about the emerging postcolonial world. Dr. Whitaker uniquely analyzes the successes and failures of the British military assistance programs and their quest to solidify British influence while examining how Britain's position and influence in the wider world was fading just as Zimbabwe was achieving independence. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Andrew Bacevich and Daniel A. Sjursen, "Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America's Forever Wars" (Metropolitan Books, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 34:47


Compiled by New York Times bestselling author Andrew Bacevich and retired army officer Danny A. Sjursen, Paths of Dissent: Soldiers Speak Out Against America's Misguided Wars (Metropolitan Books, 2022) collects provocative essays from American military veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, offering firsthand testimony that illuminates why the Forever Wars lasted so long while producing so little of value. In the wake of 9/11, the United States embarked upon a Global War on Terrorism aimed at using American military power to transform the Greater Middle East.  Twenty years later, the ensuing forever wars have produced little tangible success while exacting enormous harm. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has sustained tens of thousands of casualties while expending trillions of dollars and inflicting massive suffering on populations that we sought to “liberate.” In Washington and across the nation at large, the inclination to forget these wars and move on is palpable. In fact, there is much to be learned and those who served and fought in these wars are best positioned to teach. The first book of its kind since the Vietnam era, Paths of Dissent gathers original essays from American veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, drawn from all services, ranks, and walks of life, who have come out in opposition to these conflicts. Selected for their honesty and eloquence by fellow veterans Andrew Bacevich and Danny A. Sjursen, these outspoken critics describe not only their motivations for serving, but also for taking the path of dissent—disappointment and disillusionment; the dehumanizing impact of combat; the loss of comrades to friendly fire; the persistence of xenophobia and racism—all of these together exposing the mendacity that has pervaded the Global War on Terrorism from its very outset. Combining diverse, critical perspectives with powerful personal testimony, Paths of Dissent sheds light on the myriad factors that have made America's post-9/11 wars costly and misguided exercises in futility. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Jonathan Leader Maynard, "Ideology and Mass Killing: Radical Security Politics and the Infrastructure of Deadly Atrocities" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 91:10


In research on 'mass killings' such as genocides and campaigns of state terror, the role of ideology is hotly debated. For some scholars, ideologies are crucial in providing the extremist goals and hatreds that motivate ideologically committed people to kill. But many other scholars are skeptical: contending that perpetrators of mass killing rarely seem ideologically committed, and that rational self-interest or powerful forms of social pressure are more important drivers of violence than ideology. In Ideology and Mass Killing: The Radicalized Security Politics of Genocides and Deadly Atrocities (Oxford University Press, 2022), Dr. Jonathan Leader Maynard challenges both these prevailing views, advancing an alternative 'neo-ideological' perspective which systematically retheorises the key ideological foundations of large-scale violence against civilians. Integrating cutting-edge research from multiple disciplines, including political science, political psychology, history and sociology, Ideology and Mass Killing demonstrates that ideological justifications vitally shape such violence in ways that go beyond deep ideological commitment. Most disturbingly of all, the key ideological foundations of mass killings are found to lie, not in extraordinary political goals or hatreds, but in radicalised versions of those conventional, widely accepted ideas that underpin the politics of security in ordinary societies across the world. This study then substantiates this account by a detailed examination of four contrasting cases of mass killing - Stalinist Repression in the Soviet Union between 1930 and 1938, the Allied Bombing Campaign against Germany and Japan in World War II from 1940 to 1945, mass atrocities in the Guatemalan Civil War between 1978 and 1983, and the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. This represents the first volume to offer a dedicated, comparative theory of ideology's role in mass killing, while also developing a powerful new account of how ideology affects violence and politics more generally. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Anastasia Shesterinina, "Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia" (Cornell UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 61:20


Anastasia Shesterinina begins Mobilizing in Uncertainty: Collective Identities and War in Abkhazia (Cornell University Press, 2021) with an account of Georgian troops crossing into eastern Abkhazia, in the Southern Caucasus region adjacent Russia, on August 14, 1992. Thus the war that is the book's subject began. Yet, people didn't know it at the time. In fact, the question on people's lips was: is this a war? The answer to the question was: yes. But the uncertainty to which the question gave voice led Shesterinina to the questions motivating this book, namely: how do ordinary people deal with uncertainty in civil war? How do they decide whether and in what way to mobilise, and for whom? On this episode of New Books in Interpretive Political and Social Science Anastasia Shesterinina discusses her answers to these questions. Along the way, she also reflects on the inadequacies of theories that underestimate or overlook the uncertainty that pervades wartime conditions, particularly in wars' earliest days; on the conduct and ethics of interview and ethnographic research in post-war settings; and, on the relevance of her research on Abkhazia for our understanding of the war in Ukraine today—and on why comparison of the two is, for her, not just an intellectually or politically interesting exercise. Mobilizing in Uncertainty is (with Mona El-Ghobashy's Bread and Freedom: Egypt's Revolutionary Situation, Stanford, 2021) joint winner of the 2022 Charles Taylor Book Award, awarded annually by the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association for the best book in political science that employs or develops interpretive methodologies and methods. Nick Cheesman is associate professor in the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University and in Fall 2022 a fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, University at Buffalo. He is a committee member of the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods group of the American Political Science Association and co-convenes the Interpretation, Method, Critique network at the ANU. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Sébastien Philippe and Tomas Statius, "Toxique: Enquête sur les essais nucléaires français en Polynésie" (Companyédition PUF/Disclose, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 8, 2022 63:35


What happens when you bring together an important collection of previously secret archival documents dealing with France's nuclear detonations in the Pacific from 1966 to 1996, a nuclear scientist, and an investigative journalist? Working together beginning in early 2020, Sébastien Philippe and Tomas Statius, the authors of Toxique: Enquête sur les essais nucléaires français en Polynésie (Presses universitaires de France and Disclose, 2021) have now shared with readers the meaningful and provocative results of just such a collaboration. Revisiting the history of France's nuclear weapons program over a period of three decades (following an initial set of atmospheric and underground detonations in the Algerian Sahara from 1960 to 1966), Toxique is a scientific and journalistic interrogation of the immediate and long-term health and environmental effects of the 193 bombs the French military exploded in the region, exposing civilians, as well as French military and other personnel to the fallout and radiation emitted by these explosions.  The significance of this interdisciplinary investigation cannot be overstated. As Toxique shows, these nuclear detonations continue to have harmful effects on the everyday lives of thousands of local residents, along with those veterans who served in the area. As Philippe and Statius have shown, the toxicity of these nuclear blasts has been consistently underestimated and misrepresented by the French military and state. Holding important implications for the victims of these detonations in terms of both recognition and financial compensation, the book and its accompanying online platform, Moruroa Files, have made a huge impact. I was thrilled to have the chance to speak with these remarkable researchers and writers and hope listeners will learn from and enjoy our conversation. The more people within and beyond the field of French Studies who are aware of this damaging past and present, the better. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

John Goodall, "The Castle: A History" (Yale UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2022 57:49


In The Castle: A History (Yale University Press, 2022) Dr. John Goodall presents a vibrant history of the castle in Britain, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The castle has long had a pivotal place in British life, associated with lordship, landholding, and military might, and today it remains a powerful symbol of history. But castles have never been merely impressive fortresses—they were hubs of life, activity, and imagination. Dr. John Goodall weaves together the history of the British castle across the span of a millennium, from the eleventh to the twenty-first century, through the voices of those who witnessed it. Drawing on chronicles, poems, letters, and novels, including the work of figures like Gawain Poet, Walter Scott, Evelyn Waugh, and P. G. Wodehouse, Dr. Goodall explores the importance of the castle in our culture and society. From the medieval period to Civil War engagements, right up to modern manifestations in Harry Potter, Dr. Goodall reveals that the castle has always been put to different uses, and to this day continues to serve as a source of inspiration. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Craig L. Symonds, "Nimitz at War: Command Leadership from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay" (Oxford UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 50:37


Only days after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt tapped Chester W. Nimitz to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. Nimitz was not the most senior candidate available, and some, including his new boss, U.S. Navy Admiral Ernest J. King, considered him a desk admiral, more suited to running a bureaucracy than a theater of war. Yet FDR's selection proved nothing less than inspired. From the precarious early months of the war after December 7th 1941 to the surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay nearly four years later, Nimitz transformed the devastated and dispirited Pacific fleet into the most powerful and commanding naval force in history.  From the start, the pressures on Nimitz were crushing. Facing demands from Washington to mount an early offensive, he had first to revive the depressed morale of the thousands of sailors, soldiers, and Marines who served under him. He had to corral independent-minded subordinates--including Admiral Bill Bull Halsey and General Holland Howlin' Mad Smith--and keep them focused on shared objectives. He had to maintain a sometimes-fraught relationship with his Army counterpart Douglas MacArthur, and cope with his superiors, including the formidably prickly King and the inscrutable FDR. He had to navigate the expectations of a nation impatient for revenge and eventual victory. And of course, he also confronted a formidable and implacable enemy in the Imperial Japanese Navy, which, until the Battle of Midway, had the run of the Pacific. Craig Symonds' Nimitz at War: Command Leadership from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay (Oxford UP, 2022) reveals how the quiet man from the Hill Country of Texas eventually surmounted all of these challenges. Using Nimitz's headquarters--the eye of the hurricane--as his vantage point, Symonds covers all the major campaigns in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. He captures Nimitz's composure, discipline, homespun wisdom, and most of all his uncanny sense of when to assert authority and when to pull back. In retrospect it is difficult to imagine anyone else accomplishing what Nimitz did. As Symonds' absorbing, dynamic, and authoritative portrait reveals, it required qualities of leadership exhibited by few other commanders in history, qualities that are enduringly and even poignantly relevant to our own moment. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Yaniv Voller, "Second-Generation Liberation Wars" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 55:41


The formation of post-colonial states in Africa, and the Middle East gave birth to prolonged separatist wars. Exploring the evolution of these separatist wars, In Second-Generation Liberation Wars Cambridge UP, 2022), Yaniv Voller examines the strategies that both governments and insurgents employed, how these strategies were shaped by the previous struggle against European colonialism and the practices and roles that emerged in the subsequent period, which moulded the identities, aims and strategies of post-colonial governments and separatist rebels. Based on a wealth of primary sources, Voller focuses on two post-colonial separatist wars; In Iraqi Kurdistan, between Kurdish separatists and the government in Baghdad, and Southern Sudan, between black African insurgents and the government in Khartoum. By providing an account of both conflicts, he offers a new understanding of colonialism, decolonisation and the international politics of the post-colonial world. Dilan Okcuoglu is post-doctoral fellow at American University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Amy E. Grubb and Elisabeth Hope Murray, "British Responses to Genocide: The British Foreign Office and Humanitarianism in the Ottoman Empire, 1918-1923" (Routledge, 2022)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2022 84:38


When I was an undergrad, the chronology of World War One was simple. The war began in August of 1914 and ended in November of 1918. Now, of course, we know it's not that simple. Perhaps (perhaps) it began in 1914. But the violence lingered on well after the armistices of 1918. So did the complicated questions of how to address that violence and the suffering that accompanied it. Amy E. Grubb and Elisabeth Hope Murray are interested precisely in that moment where the official violence had ended but the real life violence continued. Their book British Responses to Genocide: The British Foreign Office and Humanitarianism in the Ottoman Empire, 1918-1923 (Routledge, 2022) asks a simple question: How did diplomats in London and on the ground in the Ottoman Empire attempt to achieve British goals in the maelstrom of violence following the Armistice of Mudros. Their answer is not quite so simple. They argue that the British response consistently prioritized human rights and human suffering. But in an environment of decreasing resources, interallied tensions and increasingly fierce resistance from Kemalist nationalists, their ability to pursue these priorities steadily shrunk. Eventually in the memorable words of the authors, British policy makers in London decided to embrace ethnic cleansing as a means of stopping genocide--exactly the opposite vision possessed by most modern leaders. Grubb and Murray provide a thorough examination of the ways national leaders can fail to protect human rights despite their own desire to do so. Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Vanda Wilcox, "The Italian Empire and the Great War" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 82:03


The Italian Empire and the Great War (Oxford UP, 2021) by Vanda Wilcox brings an imperial and colonial perspective to the Italian experience of the First World War. Italy's decision for war in 1915 built directly on Italian imperial ambitions from the late nineteenth century onwards, and its conquest of Libya in 1911–12. The Italian empire was conceived both as a system of overseas colonies under Italian sovereignty, and as an informal global empire of emigrants; both were mobilized to support the war in 1915–18. The war was designed to bring about 'a greater Italy' both literally and metaphorically. In pursuit of global status, Italy fought a global war, sending troops to the Balkans, Russia, and the Middle East, though with limited results. Italy's newest colony, Libya, was also a theatre of the war effort, as the anti-colonial resistance there linked up with the Ottoman Empire, Germany, and Austria to undermine Italian rule. Italian race theories underpinned this expansionism: the book examines how Italian constructions of whiteness and racial superiority informed a colonial approach to military occupation in Europe as well as the conduct of its campaigns in Africa. After the war, Italy's failures at the Peace Conference meant that the 'mutilated victory' was an imperial as well as a national sentiment. Events in Paris are analysed alongside the military occupations in the Balkans and Asia Minor as well as efforts to resolve the conflicts in Libya, to assess the rhetoric and reality of Italian imperialism. Lastly, Vanda has answered a few questions about Italy in the war and General Cadorna. Roberto Mazza is visiting professor at Northwestern University. He is the host of the Jerusalem Unplugged Podcast and to discuss and propose a book for interview can be reached at robbymazza@gmail.com. Twitter and IG: @robbyref Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

Peter Kornicki, "Eavesdropping on the Emperor: Interrogators and Codebreakers in Britain's War With Japan" (Oxford UP, 2021)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 1, 2022 49:05


When Japanese signals were decoded at Bletchley Park, who translated them into English? When Japanese soldiers were taken as prisoners of war, who interrogated them? When Japanese maps and plans were captured on the battlefield, who deciphered them for Britain? When Great Britain found itself at war with Japan in December 1941, there was a linguistic battle to be fought--but Britain was hopelessly unprepared.  Eavesdropping on the Emperor: Interrogators and Codebreakers in Britain's War With Japan (Oxford UP, 2021) traces the men and women with a talent for languages who were put on crash courses in Japanese, and unfolds the history of their war. Some were sent with their new skills to India; others to Mauritius, where there was a secret radio intercept station; or to Australia, where they worked with Australian and American codebreakers. Translating the despatches of the Japanese ambassador in Berlin after his conversations with Hitler; retrieving filthy but valuable documents from the battlefield in Burma; monitoring Japanese airwaves to warn of air-raids--Britain depended on these forgotten 'war heroes'. The accuracy of their translations was a matter of life or death, and they rose to the challenge. Based on declassified archives and interviews with the few survivors, this fascinating, globe-trotting book tells their stories. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/military-history

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