Military History

The Life of Louis Barthas

Louis Barthas kept vivid journals of his service as a French corporal in World War I. In honor of his birthday today, July 14th (which is also Bastille Day!), the following is an excerpt from the 1978 introduction to Poilu, his collected notebooks. Rémy Cazals— Louis Barthas was born on

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Winston Churchill’s Beach Reading: His Top Ten Books

Jonathan Rose— More than most politicians, Winston Churchill was an insatiable reader. He loved to schmooze with authors, and what he read profoundly shaped his political worldview. He never actually published a “Top Ten” list of his favorite books—but if he had, it might have been something like this: The

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Browned Off and Bloody Minded: The British Soldier in WWII

More than three-and-a-half million men served in the British Army during the Second World War, the vast majority of them civilians who had never expected to become soldiers and had little idea what military life, with all its strange rituals, discomforts and dangers, might entail. Alan Allport, author of Browned Off and

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Lessons Not Learned: Covert Operations since the Cold War

Karen M. Paget— While writing Patriotic Betrayal, which chronicles a major Cold War covert operation with the U.S. National Student Association, I began a file in which I collected evidence of renewed covert activities in the late 1990s. The newspaper clips came from different parts of the globe in little

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Albert Einstein: Scientist, Pacifist, Zionist

Steven Gimbel— When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint meeting of the US Congress, one could almost see the ghost of Albert Einstein in the room. Netanyahu was urging a tough stance in negotiations with Iran over their nuclear program, citing its existence as an existential threat

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The Siege of Bastogne Up Close and Personal

In the harsh winter of 1944-45, the month-long battle for Bastogne, a town with a peacetime population of 4,000 and seven roads, claimed 23,000 American and 25,000 German lives. To commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the siege, which was part of the larger Battle of the Bulge, historian Peter Schrijvers, author of

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Poilu: The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker

A “Must-Read” pick for the New York Post and a Daily Beast “Hot Reads” title!   As discussed in our March”WAR!” theme, it remains of the utmost importance to consider the individual experiences of soldiers. Those on the front lines provide a personal narrative – one that is often separate

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March Theme: War!

Although it may be an uneasy topic, the discussion of war, military studies, and the related political and governmental histories and current events are a vital part of the cultural conversation to which Yale University Press authors contribute. Now out in paperback, Wall Street Journal  Supreme Court correspondent Jess Bravin’s

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Q&A With Kristie Macrakis, Author of Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies

Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies: The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to al-Qaeda is a book about concealing and revealing secret communications. It is the first history of invisible writing, uncovered through stories about scoundrels and heroes. Spies were imprisoned or murdered, adultery unmasked, and battles lost because of faulty or

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In Memoriam: Tennent Bagley

Tennent Harrington Bagley, author and former C.I.A. officer, passed away on Feb. 20 in Brussels at the age of 88. While working for the C.I.A., Bagley assisted a Soviet spy, Yuri Nosenko, turn against Russia, only to believe this spy was a double-agent. Bagley spent many years trying to prove

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