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military history



  • Susan Carruthers on The Myths and History of the "Dear John" Letter

    The "Dear John" letter represents a convergence of the social history of the military and the culture of family, love and relationships. Historian Susan L. Carruthers explains how the term was coined and what she learned about romantic breakups in military history.



  • Why Smedley Butler Turned Against US Empire

    by Patrick Iber

    After leading Marines to secure the American empire in the wake of the Spanish-American War, Major Smedley Butler by 1935 repented and called himself "a racketeer for capitalism." 



  • History Helps Discern Putin's Ukraine Agenda

    by Kathryn David

    Russia today uses the ideological work of Soviet-era historians that claims a fundamental unity between Russian and Ukrainian people to justify its expansionist aims. 



  • New Website to Offer View of Uncensored GI Opinion about World War 2

    "So much of what we know about the everyday experiences of Americans who served in the war comes from such sources as letters that were censored, memories recorded later, or films,” says historian Edward Gitre of the American Soldier in World War II Project. 



  • Has the Myth of the "Good War" Done America Harm?

    Remembrance of the second world war obscures the ambivalence many Americans felt about the conflict and the frequent divergence of military strategy and propaganda from the noble ideals of freedom and democracy. Elizabeth Samet's book asks if the myth of the good war has encouraged war since.


  • DNA Testing Rescued Pearl Harbor's Dead from Patriotic Mythmaking

    by John Bodnar

    "When family members were asked for DNA samples and learned that long-lost loved ones might be coming home, they began to disclose to reporters aspects of the war’s legacy that had remained outside the glare of large public memorials and celebrations."



  • Al Levy's Court Martial: An American Dreyfus Affair

    by Jeannette Gabriel

    Al Levy's court martial exposed the discrimination embedded in American military culture during World War II, and the way that antisemitism informed the way his accusers questioned his loyalty. 



  • Black Veterans of the First World War are Often Overlooked

    by Michelle Moyd

    Nearly 638,000 African men fought in Africa and Europe. Some were conscripted by colonial powers and forced to fight or labor, and others hoped through service to stake claims to political rights. More global attention to their service and its relationship to colonialism is needed.


  • Remember the Army's Role in the Pacific War: Important Then, Influential Afterward

    by John C. McManus

    During the second World War and after, the Marine Corps has received admiration and attention for its role in the Pacific, but the Army carried out a huge number of invasions and performed the logistics other services depended on. The Army's experiences in WWII also were foundational, for good and ill, for the next half-century of American war. 


  • The Women Who Won the Vietnam War

    by Sherry Buchanan

    Fifty years on, the history of the women who defeated a superpower, while celebrated in Vietnam, remains largely unrecognized and undocumented in our history of the war.



  • Never Having to Say You're Sorry

    by Karen J. Greenberg

    Numerous players with large and small roles in creating the expansive War on Terror have issued mea culpas; the major architects and the interests who profit from war have not.