Military History

The Brave Silence of Harry Rée

Jonathan Rée— Back in May 2016 I was sitting in the garden of my little cottage outside Oxford when I got an email from someone whose name I didn’t know and a place I hadn’t heard of. He explained that he was a French soldier called Jean-Luc Fleutot, and he

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Military Strategy in the Manchu Dynasty

Jeremy Black— In the last iteration of dynastic change, the rise of the Manchu (or Qing) dynasty and its replacement of the Ming in 1644–52, a process in which campaigning, winning allies and legitimation were interlinked strategies of the takeover, encouraged interest in further Chinese expansionism and helped make it

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The Legacy of Anthony Wayne

Mary Stockwell— The statue of Anthony Wayne that looks out over the Maumee Rapids where he won his battle for America on the morning of August 20, 1794, is a beautiful one. It is a far more fitting tribute to him than the simple phrase that Captain Bissell pounded into

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The Siege of Acre

John D. Hosler— Richard the Lionheart lowered his lance and drove it into the shoulder of his jousting opponent, the celebrated Ayyubid sultan Salāh al-Dīn (Saladin), knocking him and his horse to the ground. The force of Richard’s charge was unstoppable. He pushed forward, swinging his battle-axe, to slay wave

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Hitler on History

Stephen G. Fritz— Life is normally characterized by irony, paradox, ambiguity, and ambivalence, but Adolf Hitler saw it with a startling (and frightening) clarity. Beginning early in his career as an orator and political rabble-rouser, he habitually used history as an explanation and justification for his actions. He had, indeed,

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How Ethnic Conflict Happens

Pascal Boyer— Nations are often based on ethnicity, but ethnicity itself is a mystery, or it should be. Ethnicity is the notion that a certain group of people share common interests and should unite toward the realization of common goals, by virtue of shared traditions, often language, and in most

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Lessons from the Civil War for America’s Fractured Present: Part Two

Timothy William Waters— Why Remembering the Civil War Matters: Talking about Belonging in America How we remember the Civil War matters for thinking about our increasingly fragile union today—how we talk about identity, belonging, and leaving. The war seems to offer an obvious moral model. But that solution dissolves when

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Lessons from the Civil War for America’s Fractured Present: Part One

Timothy William Waters— What We (Mis-)Remember about Our Reasons for Fighting America is now so polarized that serious people wonder if the country will hold together. The Atlantic devoted its December issue to “How to Stop a Civil War”—and the Atlantic, founded in 1857, covered the actual Civil War. As

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The Jubilee Year of the Six-Day War

Micah Goodman— On the eve of the Six-Day War, Israel formed a national unity government (a broad coalition of all major parties) for the first time in its history. Faced with an acute military threat from the United Arab Republic (a union of Egypt and Syria), not only was Israel’s

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Changing the Guard at Sea

Evan Mawdsley— For seventy-five years the United States has possessed what is, by a very considerable margin, the most powerful navy in the world. It has been an agent of global influence, in times of both war and peace. The US Navy replaced the British Royal Navy, which had held

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