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What is Military History Paperback – November 5, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0745659794 ISBN-10: 0745659799 Edition: 2nd

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What is Military History + A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Eighth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) + The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Polity; 2 edition (November 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745659799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745659794
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,505,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A fast-paced, authoritative introduction to what is possibly the oldest and still the most popular form of historical writing. The innovations of the past 50 years that reinvigorated military history and transformed it into one of the strongest sub-fields in the historical discipline are skillfully highlighted. Snooty academics who dismiss military history as a simple narrative concerning battles and generals need to read this book to discover the rich scholarship they have been missing. Serious military historians seeking new arguments to justify their specialty will also benefit from this informative and witty survey."
Gregory J. W. Urwin, Temple University

"A clear and thoughtful account of military history that is particularly valuable because of its chronological and geographical range. Interesting, well-written, and wide ranging, it can be highly recommended."
Jeremy Black, University of Exeter

"The thoughtful, overdue answer to a question that has needed answering since the profound transformation of the field in the years after Vietnam. Nowadays military history is so much more than drums and trumpets; it is the study of societies, economies, and political systems wracked by the human and material demands of war. Morillo and Pavkovic never lose sight of the centrality of battle to all of this, but lucidly fill in the strategic and social environment with a cogent review of the best, most recent literature."
Geoffrey Wawro, University of North Texas

"An indispensable aid for anyone who is interested in the study of warfare. World-wide in its scope, sophisticated in its analysis, and eminently readable, this remarkable work walks readers through the past, present, and potential future of one of the most complex fields of historical endeavor."
Andrew Wiest, University of Southern Mississippi

"Although military history is often accused of having a static and traditionalist approach, Morillo and Pavkovic show the opposite here. Their study of the influence of social, cultural, gender and global history on the field of military history enriches not only the content but also extends the methodological toolbox."

About the Author

STEPHEN MORILLO is the Jane and Frederic M. Hadley Chair in History at Wabash College. His many publications in military history include the book, War in World History.

MICHAEL PAVKOVIC is Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Scott Manning on June 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many programs in military history will start students off with A Guide to the Study and Use of Military History or a survey work such as Men in Arms. The problem is the former is dated, missing roughly 30 years of advancements in an ever-changing field. The latter is merely a survey work, leaving out any analysis of the field of military history.

Luckily, Stephen Morillo has produced What is Military History?, a short (164 pages, 124 pages of content), to the point overview of the historiography of military history, including its origins, evolution, and controversies. This is the first book every aspiring military historian should read, as Morillo addresses practical questions such as who reads military history and why.

After the introduction, Morillo provides a short overview of how military history started in ancient times and evolved through the ages. Here, he covers the Greeks, Romans, China, Islam, Byzantium, others. He transforms his narrative into a period focus with the Enlightenment, and nineteenth- and early twentieth-century. Finally, he dedicates the rest of the overview to the last 50 years of military history. This chapter is especially useful, as budding historians need to understand that the style of history that drew them to the field may be as old as three centuries, and possibly outmoded.

The third chapter breaks down the conceptual frameworks of how people write about military history, focusing on causation and military minds, the latter of which is "the most common and often historiographically dominant approach...
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