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University Press of Kentucky
The Embattled Past: Reflections on Military History

The Embattled Past: Reflections on Military History

by Edward M. Coffman
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Internationally recognized for having reinvigorated and redefined his field, distinguished military historian Edward M. Coffman is a dedicated and much-admired teacher and mentor. In The Embattled Past, several of his most important essays have been assembled into a collection that serves as an essential reference to the discipline and an initiation to the study of military history for aspiring scholars.

Coffman's introduction to the volume charts his own professional journey and sets the book within the larger context of Americans' attitudes toward their military, both inside and outside of academia. The essays explore a range of critical issues in military historiography—such as strategies for conducting oral history and research methodologies—and examine questions at the heart of the field. Included are two seminal essays on World War I, which provide a fascinating overview of American war strategies and illuminate the reasons why so many historians have ignored this critical turning point in twentieth-century history. The volume concludes with an unpublished essay detailing Coffman's experience of interviewing General Douglas MacArthur in 1960.

This exciting new book offers readers insights into more than two hundred years of United States military history while also providing a comprehensive overview of Coffman's stellar contributions to the field. Important and engaging, The Embattled Past is a primer on the profession from one of the most honored scholars of our time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813142661
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 12/17/2013
Pages: 201
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Edward M. Coffman served as an army infantry officer in the United States, Japan, and Korea from 1951 to 1953 and is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. His works include The Regulars: The American Army, 1898—1941; The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784—1898; and The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Fragments of History 1

The American Army in Peacetime 13

The Duality of the American Military Tradition: A Commentary 25

The American 15th Infantry Regiment in China, 1912-1938: A Vignette in Social History 43

The Philippine Scouts, 1899-1942: A Historical Vignette 67

The American Military and Strategic Policy in World War I 79

Why We Are Not Interested in World War I and Should Be 99

The Course of Military History in the United States Since World War II 107

Talking about War: Reflections on Doing Oral History and Military History 125

The Shadows of Time: Experience in Research 139

Memories of Forrest C. Pogue, Oral History Pioneer and One of Kentucky's Greatest Historians 153

"My room mate … is Dwight Eisenhower …" 163

Mentor 171

Interviewing General of the Army Douglas MacArthur 183

Acknowledgments 193

Index 195

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From the Publisher

"No one who professes to work in this field, especially as it relates to the history of the Army in the 19th and 20th centuries, can go very far without consulting what Professor Coffman has written on his subject." — Roger Spiller, George C. Marshall Professor of Military History, emeritus, US Army Command and General Staff College

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