UMass Dartmouth’s Brian Williams book on drones inspired alternative rock band’s #1 song

Historians in the News
tags: Brian Williams, Predators



Typically, a book like “Predators: The CIA’s Drone War on Al Qaeda” would attract the attention of academics and military experts, politicians and policy wonks. But probably not rock stars.

So it was quite a surprise when author Brian Glyn Williams (below), who teaches courses in terrorism and warfare at UMass Dartmouth, discovered that his book was the basis for the new album by the Grammy-winning English band Muse.

“I have a Google alert for ‘drone’ because I’m obsessed with them,” says Williams. “I saw there was a mention in a Rolling Stone story about Muse, and I couldn’t believe it when I read that my research inspired their new CD.”

In the story, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy said he got the idea for the band’s new concept album, “Drones,” after reading Williams’s book. 

“It was so cool,” says Williams. “I’m very focused on the implications of this new robotic form of warfare in Afghanistan and Pakistan and elsewhere, and to see Matt Bellamy attributing the idea for the album to my work was such an honor.” ...




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