New Books Network

Beth Bailey, “America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force” (Harvard UP, 2009)
The United States Army is a product of our society and its values (for better and for worse), but it also makes claims to shape our society – and of course to defend it. What is the relationship between military service and citizenship? How do we as Americans balance the... Read More
David Day, “Conquest: How Societies Overwhelm Others” (Oxford UP, 2008)
People will often say that “this land”–wherever this land happens to be–is theirs because their ancestors “have always lived there.” But you can be pretty sure that’s not true. It’s probably the case that somebody else’s ancestors once lived on “this land,” and somebody else’s before that. From the very... Read More
Mark Bradley, “Vietnam at War” (Oxford UP, 2009)
My uncle fought in Vietnam. He flew F-105 Thundercheifs, or “Thuds.” He bombed the heck out of an area north of Hanoi called “Thud Ridge.” He’d come home on leave and tell us that it was okay “over there” and not to worry. I didn’t because I was sure “we”... Read More
Mark Bradley and Marilyn Young, “Making Sense of the Vietnam Wars” (Oxford UP, 2008)
What to think about the Vietnam War? A righteous struggle against global Communist tyranny? An episode in American imperialism? A civil war into which the United States blindly stumbled? And what of the Vietnamese perspective? How did they–both North and South–understand the war? Mark Bradley and Marilyn Young have assembled... Read More
Gregory J. W. Urwin, “Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity” (Naval Institute Press, 2010)
Gregory J. W. Urwin’s Victory in Defeat: The Wake Island Defenders in Captivity (Naval Institute Press, 2010) tells the story of the Americans captured on Wake Island in December 1945. The Wake Island garrison’s defeat of the initial Japanese landing attempt was one of the few bright spots for Americans... Read More
J. E. Lendon, “Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins” (Basic, 2010)
Reading J. E. Lendon’s writerly Song of Wrath: The Peloponnesian War Begins (Basic Books, 2010) took me back to the eventful days of my youth at Price Elementary School, or rather to the large yardon which we had recess. We called it a “playground.” But we did not play on... Read More
Thomas Weber, “Hitler’s First War: Adolf Hitler, the Men of the List Regiment, and the First World War” (Oxford UP, 2010)
Here’s something interesting. If you search Google Books for “Hitler,” you’ll get 3,090,000 results. What’s that mean? Well, it means that more scholarly attention has probably been paid to Hitler than any other figure in modern history. Napoleon, Lincoln, Lenin and a few others might give him a run for... Read More