The nineteenth-century German political theorist, Heinrich von Treitschke, concluded that it was war 'which turns a people into a nation.' His opinion has been reiterated by scholars over the years, many of whom concur with Michael Howard's assertion that from 'the very beginning, the principle of nationalism was almost indissolubly linked, both in t
Back at the end of the 1980s, when I was a lowly teaching assistant at the Pennsylvania State University, I had the good fortune to work on an undergraduate course on the Vietnam War directed by the great Vietnam scholar William Duiker. Duiker’s course was very popular.
In 1990, immediately after UN Security Council Resolution 678 provided authorisation for the use of force to expel the Iraqi military from Kuwait President George H. W. Bush said in a news conference:
The Will to Believe examines Woodrow Wilson’s national security strategy from the beginning of the First World War in 1914 to the end of his presidency, contrasting his ideas with alternative policies offered by his political rivals.
How a country deals with enemy nationals within its territory during times of war is as much an issue today as it has ever been. In the western world these days such enemy nationals are most likely to be involved in the ‘war on terror’, and can be found masked behind a multiplicity of nationalities.
The massacres of Indians in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by the Paxton Boys in December 1763, have long been a notorious event in that part of the globe. A glance at Kevin Kenny’s bibliography provides a sense of the continuous interest in the killings since the 19th century.
Confederate Reckoning is a ‘political history of the unfranchised’ (p. 7). It joins a significant body of scholarship that has sought to expand the category of ‘the political’ by taking into account the behaviour and ideas of those who, in formal terms, were excluded from politics.
The War of 1812 has the unfortunate fate of being wedged between two of the most greatly studied events of modern world history, the American Revolution and Civil War. Indeed, the looming bicentennial of the 1812 conflict promises to be overshadowed by year two of the Civil War sesquicentennial.
James Dickerson should be commended for tracing the theme of American concentration camps through from the 17th to the 21st century. It is all too easy to slip into the comfortable approach of examining events in isolation, when they are in fact but one more example of how a nation has failed to learn from the mistakes of its past.
Compared with the Civil War centennial of 1961–5, the sesquicentennial celebration of the American Civil War has been a muted affair. President Barack Obama, mindful of the political trouble the Centennial Commission caused another Democrat, President John F. Kennedy, has steadfastly refused to appoint a successor to preside over the 150th anniversary.