What is Military History?, 2nd Edition
November 2012, Polity
The history of military history, showing how it has developed from ancient times to the present; The key ideas and concepts that shape analysis of military activity; it argues that military history is as methodologically and philosophically sophisticated as any field of history; The current controversies about which military historians argue, and why they are important; A survey of who does military history, where it is taught and published, and how it is practiced; A look at where military history is headed in the future.
The new edition of What is Military History? provides an up-to-date bibliography and cutting edge new case studies, including counterinsurgency, and as such continues to be ideal for classes in military history and in historiography generally, as well as for anyone interested in learning more about the dynamics of a rich and growing area of study.
1 An Introduction to Military History 1
Military History: Defi nitions, Topics, Scope 3
Who Studies Military History and Why? 5
Overview of this Book 9
2 Military Historiography 11
Classical Roots: Military History in Ancient Times 12
Military History in the Traditional World: Histories, Manuals, and War Tales 21
Science, Nationalism, and General Staffs: Military History in the Nineteenth and
Early Twentieth Centuries 30
New Military Histories: The Transformations of the Last 50 Years 37
3 Conceptual Frameworks 45
Military History and Philosophy of History 46
Military Art and Practice 55
War and Society: Interdisciplinary Infl uences 64
Global History and Comparative Methodology 70
4 Current Controversies 75
Military Revolutions 77
Counter-Insurgency: History and Policy 86
"The West": Exceptionalism and Dominance? 89
War, Society, and Culture: Other Controversies 96
Conclusion: Revisionism and Reading the Process of History 102
5 Doing Military History 105
Journals, Presses, and Associations 115
6 The Future of Military History 118
Trends in the Field 119
The Politics of Military History 122
Further Reading 139
MICHAEL PAVKOVIC is Professor of Strategy and Policy at the United States Naval War College.
- New edition of a successful introduction to the field of military history
- Provides students with a concise primer to the main themes, theories, and methods for studying military history
- Has been thoroughly updated to reflect the most recent developments in the field, including new case studies on naval warfare and counterinsurgency
- Written by two internationally renowned scholars
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