This course explores American historical fiction from its foundations to the present. We focus on historical novels written by Americans with an American setting, examine the uses of history within them, and compare them to contemporaneous history, literature, historiography, and criticism. The emphasis is on fiction and history as rival and complementary narrative forms, and on constructions of national identities and ideologies.
The novel in many respects reflected these social conditions. The distinguishing feature of the novel, according to Ian Watt, is its "formal realism": that is, the emphasis on the everyday, on the colloquial, rather than on traditional forms such as the epic or tragedy. In the five years or so after the end of the Vietnam War, the U. Army Center of Military History sponsored a project in which half a dozen senior former South Vietnamese generals wrote lengthy monographs on various aspects of the war as seen from their perspective.
There were seventeen such monographs in all, some by individual authors, others by two or more of the group collaborating. Topics included tactics, logistics, advisors, pacification, leadership, intelligence, and all the major battles Tet , Cambodian Incursion, Lam Son , Easter In the aggregate this was very valuable material, but the CMH publication of it left something to be desired and distribution was limited.
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Lewis Sorley has annotated a compendium of excerpts from the monographs to produce a valuable contribution to the now under-represented South Vietnamese retrospective view of the war and as such will be useful both to scholars of the war and to those who served in it or have an interest in its history. Many histories of the Vietnam War suffer from a one-sided perspective due to lack of access to Vietnamese source materials.
Lewis Sorley corrects that problem with his edited volume of interviews with some of the senior South Vietnamese generals. Conducted in the s, these interviews received limited publication and then languished in obscurity.
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Sorley re-discovered them and has annotated them to provide additional context. This interview, conducted by the U. Army Military History Institute's Dr. Conrad Crane, reveals some of Sorley's journey of discovery of these documents leading to eventual publication. It provides insights into the historian's craft, as well as additional information not contained in the accompanying lecture. WWII in the words of B pilot Ralph Lee Minker, his parents and sisters, captured in an extraordinary collection of over letters written between February and September, Spread over the landscape of the war years, the Minker family letters tell a unique story of courage in the air and resolve on the homefront.
When Lieutenant Matt Gallagher first arrived in Iraq in , it was all too surreal.
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In the midst of a shift in U. Friends were enemies, reconciliation was war, roads were bombs, and silence was deadly. But it was all too real, and there was nothing left to do except learn to "embrace the suck" -- and write about it. Matt Gallagher started a blog that quickly became a popular hit. Read by thousands of soldiers who found in it their war, the real war, the blog covered everything from grim stories about Bon Jovi cassettes mistaken for IEDs to the daily experiences of the Gravediggers - the code name for members of Gallagher's platoon.
When the blog was shut down in June by the U. Army, questions were raised in the halls of Congress, and a few eyebrows were raised at the Pentagon. Professor for National Security Affairs, U. The German Chief of the General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn, decided to commit a new army in an offensive to counter this threat. The offensive was steadily extended until both the fortress of Przemysl and the capital of Austrian Galicia, Lemberg, were back in the hands of the Central Powers.
Dinardo argues that the Germans were able to accomplish this by a combination of normal infantry tactics combined with the judicious use of heavy artillery, aided by aerial reconnaissance and improved means of communication. Breakthrough is the first full English language study of one of the most remarkable campaigns of World War I. Richard L. DiNardo has a B. His first book was Mechanised Juggernaut or Military Anachronism?
The Vietnam war continues to be the focus of intense controversy. While most people—liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, historians, pundits, and citizens alike—agree that the United States did not win the war, a vocal minority argue the opposite or debate why victory never came, attributing the quagmire to everything from domestic politics to the press. The military never lost a battle; how then did it not win the war? Stepping back from this overheated fray and drawing upon several decades of research John Prados takes a fresh look at both the war and the debates about it to produce a reassessment of one of our nation's most tragic episodes.
He weaves together multiple perspectives across an epic-sized canvas where domestic politics, ideologies, nations, and militaries all collide. Prados patiently pieces back together the events and moments, from the end of World War II until our dispiriting departure from Vietnam in , that reveal a war that now appears to have been truly unwinnable—due to opportunities lost, missed, ignored, or refused. He shows how—from the Truman through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations—American leaders consistently ignored or misunderstood the realities in Southeast Asia and passed up every opportunity to avoid war in the first place or avoid becoming ever more mired in it after it began.
Highlighting especially Ike's seminal and long-lasting influence on our Vietnam policy, Prados demonstrates how and why our range of choices narrowed with each passing year, while our decision-making continued to be distorted by Cold War politics and fundamental misperceptions about the culture, psychology, goals, and abilities of both our enemies and our allies in Vietnam. Why is this so? Why has further reduction not occurred? What does treatment of the issue in the past suggest about the future U. Highlighting the devastating the airliner crash, the efforts of building occupants to save one another, the emergency response of firefighters, police and medical staffs, and the building operations personnel, the book concludes with a description of the work of the Pentagon Family Assistance Center.
Papadopoulos, a principal co-author of this work, will present the main themes of the book illustrated with pictures derived from its research, and employ some of the more vivid segments to illustrate what transpired at that momentous time. Before he became a politician Winston Churchill was first a soldier who had a lifelong obsession with all things military that not only shaped the man and war leader he later became but played a major role in the Allied victory in World War II. Carlo D'Este examines Winston Churchill through the prism of his military service as both a soldier and a warlord: a descendant of Marlborough who, despite never having risen above the rank of lieutenant colonel, came eventually at age sixty-five to direct Britain's military campaigns as prime minister and defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito for the democracies.
Warlord is the definitive chronicle of Churchill's crucial role as one of the world's most renowned military leaders, from his early adventures on the North-West Frontier of colonial India and the Boer War through his extraordinary service in both World Wars. D'Este paints a masterful, unsparing portrait of one of history's most fascinating and influential leaders during what was arguably the most crucial event in human history.
On September 26, , more than one million American soldiers prepared to assault the German-held Meuse-Argonne region of France. Their commander, General John J. Pershing, believed in the superiority of American "guts" over barbed wire, machine guns, massed artillery, and poison gas. In thirty-six hours, he said, the Doughboys would crack the German defenses and open the road to Berlin.
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Six weeks later, after savage fighting across swamps, forests, towns, and rugged hills, the battle finally ended with the signing of the armistice that concluded the First World War. The Meuse-Argonne had fallen, at the cost of more than , American casualties, including 26, dead. In the bloodiest battle the country had ever seen, an entire generation of young Americans had been transformed forever. To Conquer Hell is gripping in its accounts of combat, studded with portraits of remarkable soldiers like Pershing, Harry Truman, George Patton, and Alvin York, and authoritative in presenting the big picture.
It is military history of the first rank and, incredibly, the first in-depth account of this fascinating and important battle. In the months before the elections, advocates for overseas military voters claimed that the obtaining a ballot was such a cumbersome process as to effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of soldiers. In some ways, despite a revolution in electronic communications, it might seem that little has changed for the voting soldier since the wartime elections of , when a sponsor of a military voting bill claimed, "They just can't vote.
A fellow down in Florida can hardly vote as an absentee voter," much less from overseas. Yet despite the importance of this effort, the training and operation of II Corps have received scant attention from historians.
Mitchell A. Yockelson delivers a comprehensive study of the first time American and British soldiers fought together as a coalition force-more than twenty years before D-Day. He follows the two divisions that comprised II Corps, the 27th and 30th, from the training camps of South Carolina to the bloody battlefields of Europe. Despite cultural differences, General Pershing's misgivings, and the contrast between American eagerness and British exhaustion, the untested Yanks benefited from the experience of battle-toughened Tommies. Their combined forces contributed much to the Allied victory.
Though now a global power, the early United States regular Army found itself in much different circumstances.
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Mac Coffman, himself a former infantry officer and professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examines how the regular Army has experienced significant change over the course of a century and continues to adapt to new challenges. Even the best of friends have arguments and nothing was truer of the United States and Britain during their joint effort to defeat the Axis powers during World War II.
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Though the countries maintained a united front, both diplomatically and militarily, the relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt was not always as congenial as it appeared. Mark Stoler examines the diplomatic and military history of these two countries during the second great World War.
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Alexander Jefferson was one of 32 Tuskegee Airmen from the nd Fighter Group to be shot down defending a country that considered them to be second-class citizens. A Detroit native, Jefferson enlisted in , trained at Tuskegee Institute, Alabama, became a second lieutenant in , and joined one of the most decorated fighting units in the War, flying P51s with their legendary--and feared--"red tails. Captured, he spent the rest of the war in Luftwaffe prison camps in Sagan and Moosberg, Germany. An unvarnished look at life behind barbed wire--and what it meant to be an African-American pilot in enemy hands.
It is also a look at race and democracy in America through the eyes of a patriot who fought to protect the promise of freedom. On the night of August 4, , two American warships clashed with torpedo boats in the dark waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The "attack" rapidly pushed President Lyndon Johnson to escalate the tensions between the United States and the communist government of North Vietnam.
Moise will discuss the fateful events of August 4, by reviewing the extensive primary sources and personal interviews he used, thus concluding no attack on the American ships actually took place. By August of , the United States government had already sent over 23, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors to Vietnam as advisors and security for the South Vietnamese armed forces.
On August 4th, the rising tensions came to a head when American Naval forces were allegedly attacked by marauding North Vietnamese torpedo boats. On the 5th, American forces retaliated with airstrikes against military targets in North Vietnam, leading to a rapid escalation of tensions.
Related Mythological Deliberations (Jordan Lectures 1992)
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