Tag Archives: military history

A Glimpse into History: From World War One to the First Gulf War

For all the history buffs out there, UPK is proud to claim many great military history books in its arsenal. From ones soon to be published to some of our older reads, there is something for everyone.

DESERT REDLEG by L. Scott Lingamfelter

One of our newest books about military history is DESERT REDLEG by L. Scott Lingamfelter, who was a frontline artilleryman during Operation Desert Storm. DESERT REDLEG chronicles a soldier’s experiences during the First Gulf War. When Sadam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, it triggered the First Gulf War and the coalition headed by the United States to retaliate with Operation Desert Storm. Lingamfelter tries to answer the question of whether or not the United States “got the job done” with Operation Desert Storm. Drawing on battle maps, official reports, and his comrades’ personal journals, he recounts the decisions made that led to victory.

“Scott Lingamfelter’s Desert Redleg is an excellent account of the prominent role and devasting power of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery during Desert Storm. His intriguing narrative of the numerous challenges, both logistically and in the synchronization of artillery support for the Big Red One, reveals the perseverance of American soldiers. Lingamfelter’s assessment of the doctrinal, tactical, strategic, and geo-political lessons the US Army learned during the Gulf War provides thought-provoking observations for our Army today and in the future. As a field artillery battalion commander during the Gulf War, Desert Redleg brings back personal and vivid memories of the gallant efforts we made in driving the Iraqis from Kuwait.”

Maj. Gen. Lynn Hartsell, US Army (Ret.)
AMERICAN DATU by Ronald K. Edgerton and THOUGHTS ON WAR by Phillip S. Meilinger

AMERICAN DATU and THOUGHTS ON WAR offer more of an analytical side to military history. AMERICAN DATU traces John J. Pershing’s military campaigns in the Philippines and examines how the Progressive Counterinsurgency doctrine was developed. THOUGHTS ON WAR confronts the shortcomings of US military dogma in search of a new strategic doctrine. Unlike when modern military doctrine was forged, the United States no longer mobilizes massive land forces for direct political gain.

KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR by David J. Bettez and THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE by Douglas V. Mastriano

The last two books to offer up are KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR and THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE. KENTUCKY AND THE GREAT WAR shows how Kentuckians banded together in a time of despair during the First World War. Bettez provides the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of the Great War on Bluegrass society, politics, economy, and culture, contextualizing the state’s involvement within the national experience.  THUNDER IN THE ARGONNE is about General John J. Pershing, the same man in AMERICAN DATU, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Douglas. V. Mastriano offers the most comprehensive account of this legendary campaign to date. Not only does he provide American, French, and British perspectives on the offensive, but he also offers — for the first time in English — the German view. 

In times like this, it might be refreshing to take a glimpse into history and see how we prevailed in hard times. We’re in uncharted territory, but so were many of the people these books focus on. Take the time to sit down and learn their stories.

Recent Awards & Accolades

As 2020 begins, we’d like to start the year off right by thanking all of our authors, and by acknowledging those who have recently received awards and accolades. Take a look below for more information on individual awards, and join us in congratulating our talented authors on their incredible work!


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Winner of the 2019 Arab American Book Award for Fiction: Amreekiya by Lena Mahmoud

The Arab American Book Award honors books that are written, edited, or illustrated by Arab Americans or address the Arab American experience. Amreekiya, winner of the 2019 award for fiction, evocatively explores love and identity in a Palestinian-American community through the eyes of twenty-one-year-old Isra Shadi.

 

 

 


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Finalist for the 2019 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry and Finalist for the Housatonic Book Award in Poetry: Mend by Kwoya Fagin Maples

Mend is a collection of poetry written in the voices of enslaved women who were unwillingly experimented on by Dr. J. Marion Sims, the “father of modern gynecology,” between 1845 and 1849. It was selected as a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, which honors the best in Black literature in the US and around the globe, and as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award for Poetry, which honors works of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction and is presented by Western Connecticut State University.

 


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Winner of the Barondess/Lincoln Award: Lincoln, Seward, and US Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era by Joseph A. Fry

The Barondess/Lincoln Award is presented yearly by the Civil War Round Table of New York to an author who has made a significant contribution to the understanding of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, Seward, and US Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era examines the legacy of foreign policy decisions that resulted from the partnership between Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Henry Seward, and analyzes the Civil War from an international perspective.

 


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Winner of the EQUUS Film Festival Winnie Award for Racehorse Non-Fiction: Taking Shergar by Milton C. Toby

Awarded yearly at the EQUUS Film Festival, the literary Winnie Awards are given to titles that best capture the elements or essence of the horse, the horse industry at large, and/or all that surrounds the horse. Taking Shergar, winner of the 2019 award for racehorse non-fiction, is a riveting account of the most notorious unsolved crime in the history of horse racing—the stealing of Shergar, one of the Thoroughbred industry’s most renowned stallions.

 


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Finalist for the Best Book Award for Biography from American Book Fest: Boy on the Bridge by Andrew Marble

Sponsored by the American Book Fest, the Best Book Awards honor books of all genres and mediums in over 90 categories, published within the past two years. Boy on the Bridge, a finalist, is the first-ever biography of General John Shalikashvili, detailing his riches-to-rags-and-back-to-riches story and how he became one of America’s greatest military leaders.

 


Jim Klotter June 19Winner of the 2019 Kentucky Historical Society’s Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award: James C. Klotter

Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society, the Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award is bestowed to an individual who has demonstrated a consistent, long-term commitment to Kentucky history through their work, writings, activities, or support of historical organizations in Kentucky. Dr. James C. Klotter, Kentucky’s state historian and author of UPK titles such as A New History of Kentucky (2nd ed.), was the 2019 recipient.

 


Finalists for the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award: Lessons in Leadership (by John R. Deane Jr., edited by Jack C. Mason) and Thunder in the Argonne (by Douglas V. Mastriano)

Each year, the Army Historical Foundation recognizes outstanding achievements in writing on US Army history with the Distinguished Writing Awards, presented at the Annual Members’ Meeting. Lessons in Leadership, chosen as a finalist for the award, is a memoir of John R. Deane Jr. (1919-2013), and gives insight to a commander’s perspective on some of the most important strategic meetings and missions of the Cold War. Thunder in the Argonne, also chosen as a finalist, details the most comprehensive account to date of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive during World War I, which is widely regarded as one of America’s finest hours and the battle that forged the modern US Army.


Winners of the 2019 Kentucky Historical Society Publication Award: Elkhorn (by Richard Taylor) and Boonesborough Unearthed (by Nancy O’Malley)

The Kentucky Historical Society Publication Awards recognize exemplary publications that pertain to some aspect of Kentucky state or local history. Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape, selected as one of the 2019 winners, is an evocative and creative look at the economic, social, and cultural transformation of Kentucky from wilderness to early settlement by examining the regional primary watershed of Elkhorn Creek. Boonesborough Unearthed, also chosen as a 2019 winner, is a groundbreaking book that presents new information and fresh insights about Fort Boonesborough and life in frontier Kentucky.

A Look at the Kentucky Book Fair on November 17

KBF_2018_UPK_ProgramAd.jpgNow in its thirty-seventh year, the Kentucky Book Fair is expanding to become the signature piece of a larger event, the Kentucky Book Festival. Organized by Kentucky Humanities, the Kentucky Book Festival will span from November 12 to 17 and involve six days full of literary events around Lexington, culminating in Kentucky Book Fair on November 17 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park. The fair will feature more than 180 authors, including over twenty-five who have been published by University Press of Kentucky (UPK):

 

 

In addition to authors who will be signing their books on the main arena floor on November 17, the Kentucky Book Fair will host a series of panel discussions and presentations for authors and readers alike on the main stage and in breakout rooms that day. Several panels include UPK authors eager to share their work:

The Kentucky Book Festival will be holding a series of events throughout the week at several different locations around Lexington. The events include readings, cocktail parties, trivia, and more:

  • Monday, November 12, 6:30 to 8:00 pm—The Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning will host “New Kentucky Poetry & Prose” with readings by Willie Davis, UPK author Jeremy Paden, Robert Gipe, and Maureen Morehead. Free and open to the public; no tickets required.
  • Tuesday, November 13, 12:00 to 2:00 pm—ArtsPlace will host “A Literary Luncheon with Silas House” featuring him reading from his new novel Southernmost. Tickets are required and available for $40 at kyhumanities.org; seating is limited.
  • Friday, November 16—Jonathan S. Cullick, author of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion, will teach a KBF Master Class on the basic rhetoric principles of persuasion and how to use them to more than 300 students. This event is for preregistered students and not open to the public.

Dedicated to honoring the profession of writing and to providing a format for authors to meet their reading public, the Kentucky Book Fair attracts thousands of avid readers and patrons nationwide. Featuring a broad range of titles including children’s books, military history, mystery, nature, fiction, and nonfiction, the fair attracts promotes reading across genres and age levels. Founded in 1981, the Kentucky Book Fair is the state’s leading literary event.

A full list of Kentucky Book Festival activities can be found on the Kentucky Humanities website.

Spotlight on the 2018 AUSA Annual Meeting

From October 8–10, over 30,000 attendees and over 700 exhibitors met in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to take part in the largest land warfare trade show in the United States and North America—the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition.

The University Press of Kentucky is beyond proud of our authors who were represented in the authors’ panel on Monday for the AUSA Book Program, and we wanted to showcase their explosive new releases.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.00 PM.pngAfter the United States declared war against Germany in April 1917, the US Army established the Tank Corps to help break the deadlock of trench warfare in France during World War I. The army envisioned having a large tank force by 1919, but when the war ended in November 1918, only three tank battalions had participated in combat operations. Shortly after, Brigadier General Samuel D. Rockenbach, Chief of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) Tank Corps under General John J. Pershing, issued a memorandum to many of his officers to write brief accounts of their experiences that would supplement official records. Their narratives varied in size, scope, and depth and covered a range of topics, including the organizing, training, and equipping of the tank corps.

For the first time since these reports were submitted, Pershing’s Tankers: Personal Accounts of the AEF Tank Corps in World War I presents an unprecedented look into the experiences of soldiers in the US Army Tank Corps. The book provides fresh insight into the establishment and combat operations of the tank corps, including six personal letters written by Colonel George S. Patton Jr., who commanded a tank brigade in World War I. Congressional testimony, letters, and a variety of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles in this collection provide additional context to the officers’ revealing accounts.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.18 PM.pngTo remember and honor the memory of the American soldiers who fought and died in foreign wars during the past hundred years, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) was established. Since the agency was founded in 1923, its sole purpose has been to commemorate the soldiers’ service and the causes for which their lives were given. The twenty-five overseas cemeteries honoring 139,000 combat dead and the memorials honoring the 60,314 fallen soldiers with no known graves are among the most beautiful and meticulously maintained shrines in the world.

In the first comprehensive study of the ABMC, Thomas H. Conner traces how the agency came to be created by Congress in the aftermath of World War I, how the cemeteries and monuments the agency built were designed and their locations chosen, and how the commemorative sites have become important “outposts of remembrance” on foreign soil. War and Remembrance: The Story of the American Battle Monuments Commission powerfully demonstrates that these monuments—living sites that embody the role Americans played in the defense of freedom far from their own shores—assist in understanding the interconnections of memory and history and serve as an inspiration to later generations.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.05.39 PM.pngJohn R. Deane Jr. (1919–2013) was born with all the advantages a man needs to succeed in a career in the US Army, and he capitalized on his many opportunities in spectacular fashion. The son of one of George C. Marshall’s closest assistants, Deane graduated from West Point with the first class of World War II and served in combat under the dynamic General Terry de la Mesa Allen Sr. After the war, he led a German espionage unit in operations against the Soviets, personally led the first foot patrol following the course of the Berlin Wall as it was being constructed, participated in the 1965 Dominican Republic intervention, and saw combat in Vietnam. In 1975, he received his fourth star and became commander of the US Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command.

In Lessons in Leadership: My Life in the US Army from World War II to Vietnam, this exceptional soldier not only discusses working with some of the army’s most influential and colorful leaders—including James M. Gavin, William E. DePuy, William Westmoreland, and Creighton Abrams Jr.—but also the many junior officers who helped him develop the leadership skills for which he became well known. Throughout, he offers eyewitness accounts of key Cold War–era events as well as wise observations concerning the leadership and management challenges facing the Department of Defense. Ably edited and annotated by Jack C. Mason, Deane’s illuminating memoir also features interviews with several of Deane’s contemporaries, whose comments and recollections are interspersed to provide depth and context to the narrative.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.06.06 PM.pngAlthough much has been written about the Western Front in World War I, little attention has been given to developments in the east, especially during the crucial period of 1914–1915. Not only did these events have a significant impact on the fighting and outcome of the battles in the west, but all the major combatants in the east ultimately suffered collapses of their political systems with enormous consequences for the future events.

Available for the first time in English, The Forgotten Front: The Eastern Theater of World War I, 1914-1915 features contributions from established and rising scholars from eight countries who argue German, central, and eastern European perspectives. Together, they illuminate diverse aspects of the Great War’s Eastern Theater, including military strategy and combat, issues of national identity formation, perceptions of the enemy, and links to World War II. They also explore the experiences of POWs and the representation of the Eastern Front in museums, memorials, and the modern media.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.03.17 PM.pngGeneral Jacob L. “Jake” Devers (1897–1979) was one of only two officers—the other was Omar C. Bradley—to command an army group during the decisive campaigns of 1944–1945 that liberated Europe and ended the war with Nazi Germany. After the war, Devers led the Army Ground Forces in the United States and eventually retired in 1949 after forty years of service. Despite incredible successes on the battlefield, General George C. Marshall’s “dependable man” remains one of the most underrated and overlooked figures of his generation.

In Jacob L. Devers: A General’s Life, James Scott Wheeler delivers a groundbreaking reassessment of the American commander whose contributions to victory in Europe are topped only by General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s. Wheeler’s exhaustively researched chronicle of Devers’s life and career reveals a leader who demonstrated an extraordinary ability to cut through red tape and solve complex problems. Nevertheless, Eisenhower disliked Devers—a fact laid bare when he ordered Devers’s Sixth Army Group to halt at the Rhine. After the war, Eisenhower’s and Bradley’s accounts of the generals’ disagreements over strategy and tactics became received wisdom, to the detriment of Devers’s reputation.


Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 1.04.01 PM.pngIn the winter of 1944–1945, Hitler sought to divide Allied forces in the heavily forested Ardennes region of Luxembourg and Belgium. He deployed more than 400,000 troops in one of the last major German offensives of the war, which became known as the Battle of the Bulge, in a desperate attempt to regain the strategic initiative in the West. Hitler’s effort failed for a variety of reasons, but many historians assert that Lieutenant General George S. Patton Jr.’s Third Army was ultimately responsible for securing Allied victory. Although Patton has assumed a larger-than-life reputation for his leadership in the years since World War II, scholars have paid little attention to his generalship in the Ardennes following the relief of Bastogne.

In Advance and Destroy: Patton as Commander in the Bulge, Captain John Nelson Rickard explores the commander’s operational performance during the entire Ardennes campaign, through his “estimate of the situation,” the US Army’s doctrinal approach to problem-solving. Patton’s day-by-day situational understanding of the Battle of the Bulge, as revealed through ULTRA intelligence and the influence of the other Allied generals on his decision-making, gives readers an in-depth, critical analysis of Patton’s overall effectiveness, measured in terms of mission accomplishment, his ability to gain and hold ground, and a cost-benefit analysis of his operations relative to the lives of his soldiers. The work not only debunks myths about one of America’s most controversial generals but provides new insights into his renowned military skill and colorful personality.

Featured Titles in Military History

This weekend is the 84th annual meeting of the Society for Military History. If you’re lucky enough to be in Jacksonville, Florida, come say hello and meet a few of our authors!

But even if you can’t make it to the conference, you can still check out the military history titles and series we’ll be featuring at the event:


Ranger: A Soldier’s Liferanger.final.indd

by Colonel Ralph Puckett, USA (Ret.) with D. K. R. Crosswell and afterword by General David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.)

Ranger arrived just in time. Just in time to remind us of the essence of what it means to be an American. Just in time to remind us that our liberty and the fate of all humanity depends on Soldiers who possess the courage, toughness, and determination to fight those who seek to extinguish freedom. Soldiers like Ralph Puckett—a man whose humility, commitment to selfless service, and willingness to sacrifice impels him to reject the label hero. Call him Soldier. Call him Ranger. Read this book to restore your faith in America and bolster your confidence in the future of this great nation. And ask your children to read this book so they might be inspired and understand better the intangible rewards of service and the sacred covenant that binds Soldiers to each other and the citizens in whose name they fight.”

H.R. McMaster, National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump and author of Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam

On November 25, 1950, during one of the toughest battles of the Korean War, the US Eighth Army Ranger Company seized and held the strategically important Hill 205 overlooking the Chongchon River. Separated by more than a mile from the nearest friendly unit, fifty-one soldiers fought several hundred Chinese attackers. Their commander, Lieutenant Ralph Puckett, was wounded three times before he was evacuated. For his actions, he received the country’s second-highest award for courage on the battlefield—the Distinguished Service Cross—and resumed active duty later that year as a living legend.

In this inspiring autobiography, Colonel Ralph Puckett recounts his extraordinary experiences on and off the battlefield. Puckett’s story is critical reading for soldiers, leaders, military historians, and others interested in the impact of conflict on individual soldiers as well as the military as a whole.

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army American Warriors Series


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Sabers Through the Reich: World War II Corps Cavalry from Normandy to the Elbe

by William Stuart Nance, foreword by Robert M. Citino

In Sabers through the Reich, William Stuart Nance provides the first comprehensive operational history of American corps cavalry in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during World War II. The corps cavalry had a substantive and direct impact on Allied success in almost every campaign, serving as offensive guards for armies across Europe and conducting reconnaissance, economy of force, and security missions, as well as prisoner of war rescues. From D-Day and Operation Cobra to the Battle of the Bulge and the drive to the Rhine, these groups had the mobility, flexibility, and firepower to move quickly across the battlefield, enabling them to aid communications and intelligence gathering and reducing the Clausewitzian friction of war.

Robert Citino will be the roundtable commentator at the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting for the panel, “Does Military Theory Make A Difference?” 

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army Battles and Campaigns Series


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The Longest Rescue: The Life and Legacy of Vietnam POW William A. Robinson

by Glenn Robins foreword by Colonel Bud Day

While serving as a crew chief aboard a U.S. Air Force Rescue helicopter, Airman First Class William A. Robinson was shot down and captured in Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam, on September 20, 1965. After a brief stint at the “Hanoi Hilton,” Robinson endured 2,703 days in multiple North Vietnamese prison camps, including the notorious Briarpatch and various compounds at Cu Loc, known by the inmates as the Zoo. No enlisted man in American military history has been held as a prisoner of war longer than Robinson. For seven and a half years, he faced daily privations and endured the full range of North Vietnam’s torture program.

In The Longest Rescue, Glenn Robins tells Robinson’s story using an array of sources, including declassified U.S. military documents, translated Vietnamese documents, and interviews from the National Prisoner of War Museum. Unlike many other POW accounts, this comprehensive biography explores Robinson’s life before and after his capture, particularly his estranged relationship with his father, enabling a better understanding of the difficult transition POWs face upon returning home and the toll exacted on their families. Robins’s powerful narrative not only demonstrates how Robinson and his fellow prisoners embodied the dedication and sacrifice of America’s enlisted men but also explores their place in history and memory.


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Generals of the Army: Marshall, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Arnold, Bradley

edited by James H. Willbanks foreword by General Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.)

Formally titled “General of the Army,” the five-star general is the highest possible rank awarded in the U.S. Army in modern times and has been awarded to only five men in the nation’s history: George C. Marshall, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Henry H. Arnold, and Omar N. Bradley. In addition to their rank, these distinguished soldiers all shared the experience of serving or studying at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where they gained the knowledge that would prepare them for command during World War II and the Korean War.

In Generals of the Army, James H. Willbanks assembles top military historians to examine the connection between the institution and the success of these exceptional men. Historically known as the “intellectual center of the Army,” Fort Leavenworth is the oldest active Army post west of Washington, D.C., and one of the most important military installations in the United States. Though there are many biographies of the five-star generals, this innovative study offers a fresh perspective by illuminating the ways in which these legendary figures influenced and were influenced by Leavenworth. Coinciding with the U.S. Mint’s release of a series of special commemorative coins honoring these soldiers and the fort where they were based, this concise volume offers an intriguing look at the lives of these remarkable men and the contributions they made to the defense of the nation.

James H. Willbanks will chair the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting panel, “After Vietnam: Competing Memories of America’s War in Vietnam”


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The Air Force Way of War: U.S. Tactics and Training after Vietnam

by Brian D. Laslie

Between 1972 and 1991, the Air Force dramatically changed its doctrines and began to overhaul the way it trained pilots through the introduction of a groundbreaking new training program called “Red Flag.”

In The Air Force Way of War, Brian D. Laslie examines the revolution in pilot instruction that Red Flag brought about after Vietnam. The program’s new instruction methods were dubbed “realistic” because they prepared pilots for real-life situations better than the simple cockpit simulations of the past, and students gained proficiency on primary and secondary missions instead of superficially training for numerous possible scenarios. In addition to discussing the program’s methods, Laslie analyzes the way its graduates actually functioned in combat during the 1980s and ’90s in places such as Grenada, Panama, Libya, and Iraq. Military historians have traditionally emphasized the primacy of technological developments during this period and have overlooked the vital importance of advances in training, but Laslie’s unprecedented study of Red Flag addresses this oversight through its examination of the seminal program.

Brian D. Laslie is the editor for the new series Aviation and Air Power from the University Press of Kentucky.


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Architect of Air Power: General Laurence S. Kuter and the Birth of the US Air Force

by Brian D. Laslie

Drawing on diaries, letters, and scrapbooks, Laslie offers a complete portrait of this important but unsung pioneer whose influence can be found in every stage of the development of an independent US Air Force. From his early years at West Point to his days at the Air Corps Tactical School to his leadership role at NORAD, Kuter made his mark with quiet efficiency. He was an early advocate of strategic bombardment rather than pursuit or fighter aviation—fundamentally changing the way air power was used—and later helped implement the Berlin airlift in 1948. In what would become a significant moment in military history, he wrote Field Manual 100-20, which is considered the Air Force’s “declaration of independence” from the Army. Architect of Air Power illuminates Kuter’s pivotal contributions and offers new insights into critical military policy and decision-making during the Second World War and the Cold War.

Brian D. Laslie is the editor for the new series  Aviation and Air Power from the University Press of Kentucky.


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Hitler’s Wehrmacht, 1935–1945

by Rolf-Dieter Müller translated by Janice W. Ancker

Since the end of World War II, Germans have struggled with the legacy of the Wehrmacht—the unified armed forces mobilized by Adolf Hitler in 1935 to ensure the domination of the Third Reich in perpetuity. Historians have vigorously debated whether the Wehrmacht’s atrocities represented a break with the past or a continuation of Germany’s military traditions. Now available for the first time in English, this meticulously researched yet accessible overview by eminent historian Rolf-Dieter Müller provides the most comprehensive analysis of the organization to date, illuminating its role in a complex, horrific era.

Müller examines the Wehrmacht’s leadership principles, organization, equipment, and training, as well as the front-line experiences of soldiers, airmen, Waffen SS, foreign legionnaires, and volunteers. He skillfully demonstrates how state-directed propaganda and terror influenced the extent to which the militarized Volksgemeinschaft (national community) was transformed under the pressure of total mobilization. Finally, he evaluates the army’s conduct of the war, from blitzkrieg to the final surrender and charges of war crimes. Brief acts of resistance, such as an officers’ “rebellion of conscience” in July 1944, embody the repressed, principled humanity of Germany’s soldiers, but ultimately, Müller concludes, the Wehrmacht became the “steel guarantor” of the criminal Nazi regime.

Explore more titles: Association of the United States Army Foreign Military Studies Series


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The Myth and Reality of German Warfare: Operational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger

by Gerhard P. Gross edited by David T. Zabecki foreword by Robert M. Citino

Surrounded by potential adversaries, nineteenth-century Prussia and twentieth-century Germany faced the formidable prospect of multifront wars and wars of attrition. To counteract these threats, generations of general staff officers were educated in operational thinking, the main tenets of which were extremely influential on military planning across the globe and were adopted by American and Soviet armies. In the twentieth century, Germany’s art of warfare dominated military theory and practice, creating a myth of German operational brilliance that lingers today, despite the nation’s crushing defeats in two world wars.

In this seminal study, Gerhard P. Gross provides a comprehensive examination of the development and failure of German operational thinking over a period of more than a century. He analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of five different armies, from the mid–nineteenth century through the early days of NATO. He also offers fresh interpretations of towering figures of German military history, including Moltke the Elder, Alfred von Schlieffen, and Erich Ludendorff. Essential reading for military historians and strategists, this innovative work dismantles cherished myths and offers new insights into Germany’s failed attempts to become a global power through military means.

Robert Citino will be the roundtable commentator at the 2017 SMH Annual Meeting for the panel, “Does Military Theory Make A Difference?” 


Explore all of our Military History titles at KentuckyPress.com

The Battle of Jutland 100 Years Later: Two Commanders

100 years ago on May 31, 1916,  the German and British fleets clashed in the North Sea in the only major naval engagement of World War I: The Battle of Jutland. A British loss would have been disastrous—the Royal Navy had long been a point of pride, and with almost twice the number of ships (Britain’s twenty-eight dreadnoughts against Germany’s sixteen), total victory should have been assured. But, on June 2, 1916, as the remaining ships returned to their bases, both sides claimed victory.

Britain lost more than twice the number of men and more than twice the amount of ships’ tonnage than Germany did, but retained control over the seas (though Germany’s blockade continued). What should have been a decisive battle, ended with a whimper, as both fleets took a few, last desultory shots around 3:30 am the morning of June 1.

Today, we’ll take a look at the two commanders who sought victory on the high seas: Admiral Sir John R. Jellicoe of the British Grand Fleet and Admiral Reinhard Scheer of the  German Kaiserliche Marine.

Sir John R. Jellicoe, 1859-1935

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Jellicoe was, in the words of Winston Churchill, the only man on either side of the conflict who could have lost the war in an afternoon. He commanded the British Grand Fleet for the first two years of the war. He was aboard his flagship, Iron Duke, at the Battle of Jutland when the two great dreadnought fleets met in their only engagement, and a British loss would have spelled disaster. Jellicoe was born of a seafaring family in Southampton and joined the Royal Navy at a typically early age: thirteen. His career was in the Mediterranean and in the Far East (he was badly wounded during the Boxer Rebellion). However, he was most talented as a planner and builder of the navy. He became a protege of Sir John Fisher, serving in the admiralty as director of naval ordnance and successively as third and second sea lord. Jellicoe had much of the responsibility for developing the new class of super battleships—including the original dreadnought—that came to dominate the balance of naval power before World War I. By August 1914, he was a vice admiral and commander in chief of the Grand Fleet. Jellicoe was therefore in control of a huge naval force that was in theory counterbalanced by a weaker but still potent German High Seas Fleet.

The long history of British naval power led to the expectation that the nation’s sailors would once again triumph at the first opportunity. However, the opportunity was long denied since the Germans (particularly the kaiser) so feared losing their hideously expensive dreadnought fleet that they refused to leave port.

Jellicoe and the Grand Fleet settled into a position of distant blockade, guarding the approaches to the North Sea from bases at Scapa Flow, Rosyth, and Cromarty. Only the respective battle-cruiser squadrons roamed the waters for the first year and a half of the war. At the end of May 1916, the German command finally decided to bring its fleet out, and Admiral Hipper was sent ahead with the battle cruisers to bait a trap for the British light squadron. Ironically, Jellicoe had the same plan, and the Grand Fleet was on the water with Admiral Beatty sent on to draw the Germans into the maw of the British dreadnoughts. The two fleets met off Jutland on 31 May. Jellicoe had a greater weight of firepower and ships, but he lacked the Germans’ better fire control systems and their speed of maneuver and communication. Despite twice approaching the line of German ships in an advantageous position, Jellicoe could not deliver a heavy enough blow, for the most part frustrated by swift German maneuvers. At the end of the day, the High Seas Fleet had escaped, leaving several British ships sunk or disabled—an inconclusive result from the British point of view, although one Jellicoe could d scarcely have prevented given the German unwillingness to fight it out. Six months later, Jellicoe was removed from fleet command and made first lord of the admiralty (Fisher had resigned over the Dardanelles debacle). In his new position, 1ellicoe ran into trouble over the issue of convoys—he was slow to accept this solution to the German U-boat menace—and he was turned out of office at the end of 1917. He was elevated to the peerage and in 1919 went to New Zealand where he became governor general the following year.

excerpted from Almanac of World War I by David F. Burg and L. Edward Purcell

Reinhard Scheer, 1863-1928

Scheer

Admiral Reinhard Scheer, 1910/1916 ca. (Bundesarchiv. Bild 134-B2752)

On 18 January 1916, Vice Adm. Reinhard Scheer replaced [Admiral Hugo von] Pohl as commander of the High Seas Fleet. Pohl had fallen seriously ill and would die only a short time afterward, on 22 February 1916. Prior to replacing Pohl as commander in chief, Scheer had commanded the Third Squadron, a unit consisting of the eight most modern battleships in the navy. During that time, Scheer had not taken a stand against Pohl in any disputes concerning the deployment of the fleet and had not been inclined to pressure for a quick victory. But when Scheer took command of the fleet, two other personnel changes also took place: there was a new chief of staff, Capt. Adolf von Trotha (previously commander of the battleship Kaiser), and a new chief of the Operations Division, Capt. Magnus von Levetzow (previously commander of the battlecruiser Moltke). Thus two naval officers who had belonged to the sharpest critics of Pohl’s conduct of the war at sea gained a great amount of influence upon naval warfare. Their aim was to deploy the fleet in a more vigorous naval battle in the North Sea. By the end of January, the first draft of the new Leitgedanken für die Seekriegführung in der Nordsee (Guidelines for the Conduct of Naval War in the North Sea) was published, which was based on the assumption that the existing strength ratio precluded seeking ‘the decisive battle against the assembled English fleet.” The High Seas Fleet, it held, would have to put constant pressure upon the enemy until the latter was compelled to come “out of its present waiting stance” and advance “certain forces of theirs against us, which will present us with opportunities to attack.” The enemy must be prevented from having “such a sense of superiority . . . that he is no longer afraid to engage us in combat as he wishes.” In terms of “practical approaches” to this more offensive conduct of the naval war, the first choice was a commerce war with U-boats, followed by a mine war, a commerce war in the north, and an air war. With their airships, the navy not only had the means for an extensive reconnaissance (with radio contact to the home support bases), but also an offensive weapon that could reach the British homeland with its bombs, as was proven by the airship attacks that had begun in early 1915. In last place on this list stood “the vigorous actions by the High Seas Fleet.”

After the Battle of Jutland

The Battle of Jutland contributed to the fateful decision in favor of an unlimited U-boat war. After that, the High Seas Fleet functioned only as an assistance weapon for the conducting of the U-boat war. Its activity was limited primarily to the monotonous task of securing minesweepers on the entrance and exit paths of U-boats. On the balance, it must be stated that the operations of the High Seas Fleet reached their high point in the Battle of Jutland, yet the battle itself brought no change in the conduct of naval battles.

The High Seas Fleet remained what it had been since the outbreak of war—“a fleet in being”—which had a strategic effect just because of its very existence. Its strong presence tied up the British Grand Fleet and, along with it, the light warships that were needed in the Atlantic for security escort tasks. The fleet provided security for its own coastal area, blockaded the Baltic Sea from relief shipments to Russia, and offered the U-boat war a certain amount of support in the securing of entrance and exit routes. Thus, contrary to popular opinion of historians, who deny that it had any strategic significance, the fleet did have its military value for the German conduct of the war. Still, a sober cost-effectiveness analysis inevitably leads to the conclusion that ultimately it did not accomplish what was expected of it, or could have been expected.

In later years, the Battle of Jutland had a long-term influence on the building of tradition of the German navy that followed. It was interpreted as the defining battle experience of the years 1914–1918 and was cited as proof of validity for the German naval buildup. In the early postwar years, the official historical writing by the navy concentrated on the depiction of the battle. The semiofficial work Der Krieg zur See 1914–1918 (The Naval War 1914–1918) came to the conclusion “that the German right to claim victory in the Battle of Jutland also stands up under the most rigorous historical research.” As proof for this thesis, the German side repeatedly quoted the greater number of losses on the enemy side, without taking into account the fact that on 1 June 1916 the Germans had declined further participation in the battle with good reason. In this respect, the strategic analysis of the leadership of the North Sea battle fell short. Even after the negative war experience, leading officers of the Reichsmarine and Kriegsmarine tended to hold the opinion that one fully fought naval battle in the North Sea could have brought a strategic, decisive victory. Within the closed circle of the naval officer corps, it was considered to be a given that not even the slightest criticism was permitted against either Tirpitz or the successful fleet commanders, Scheer and [Vice Admiral] Hipper.

excerpted from Jutland: World War I’s Greatest Naval Battleedited by Michael Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann, and Frank Nägler

Resources:

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World War I 100 Years Later: Reassessing the Battle of Jutland

With commemorations of the World War I centennial in full-swing, names of historic battles like Verdun, Ypres, and the Somme have been recognized and remembered along with the soldiers who fought there. Images of men in the trenches dominate our memories of World War I, but of equal importance are the naval skirmishes that were waged in the European seas. No naval engagement was more important or had such an impact as the Battle of Jutland 100 years ago today, in which the German navy—under Admiral  Reinhard Scheer—attempted to break the British blockade of German shipping lines. Outnumbered against the renowned and dominant Royal navy—commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe—sixteen German dreadnoughts engaged twenty-eight British warships in World War I’s largest naval battle and the only full-scale clash of battleships.

untitledThe Battle of Jutland marks a significant turning point in modern warfare—when new technology such as the submarine, the torpedo, and mines made major fleet combat between battleships irrelevant. Outdated strategies of war limited the leadership and tactics of both commanders. Traditional surface battles were quickly becoming a thing of the past as new, smaller battle cruisers could outmaneuver and outrun larger ships of the fleet, and the increasing use of submarines to disrupt and attack merchant vessels was seen as a more effective strategy.

After two days of bloody combat, both sides claimed victory. Britain retained control of the North Sea and forced the Germans to withdraw their fleet, but the British lost more ships and many more men than the German dreadnoughts.

The following excerpt comes from Jutland: World War I’s Greatest Naval Battle. Editors Michael Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann, and Frank Nägler have collected an international group of scholars to investigate the iconic battle from both the British and German perspectives and reassess the leadership, strategies, and tactics of what would become the most formidable battle in modern Royal Navy history.

Reflections on the Battle of Jutland

by Michael Salewski [Excerpted from Jutland: World War I’s Greatest Naval Battle]

Somewhere a steamship idles in the waters. It is wartime, and steamships have to be inspected—as the Admiralty Staff book expressed it, a “minor event.” Thus the small cruiser Elbing and the torpedo boats B-109 and B-110 set off. The English have sighted the steamship as well, and so they send Galathea and Phaeton out in order to ensure fairness. N. J. Fjord is a harmless Danish commercial ship. But behind the German and British inspectors, at a proper distance, the High Seas Fleet and the Grand Fleet were on the move, their battlecruisers out front in operational positions. “Smoke possibly from fleet,” radioed Elbing and at 1532h set off the first shot of the battle.

The steamship functioned as a semaphore point. Before the development of radio telegraphy, flags were mounted on church towers. With the speed of light and vision, this kind of signal could be sent and received from beyond the horizon. But the two fleets now approaching one another are modern ones, even though they include one or more less modern squadron. No, as Scheer will argue, out of solicitude toward the crews, it would have been impossible to justify leaving the Second Squadron in Wilhelmshaven. It came back rather disheveled, and the Pommern was missing, along with its 844 men—the entire crew.

Only Franz Hipper and Sir David Beatty confronted one another at eye level, with commensurate weapons—this very thing brought forth the mystique of the cruiser battle. “It was a powerful moment,” reads the work by the Admiralty Staff, “and no one who experienced it could withdraw, when, after the breathtaking haste of the deployment, the German and British battlecruisers, the most beautiful and powerful ships of each fleet, swung into the battle line in majestic confidence, as if they were ‘fate itself,’ and the seconds of the utmost calm and marshaling of all strength gave way to the first thundering of the guns.” It was the ultimate duel, an industrial-scientific heroic deed worthy of the beginning of the heroic and brutal twentieth century.
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The Civil War Origins of Memorial Day

Three years after the Civil War ended, the head of an organization of Union veterans—the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—established “Decoration Day” as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead. It is believed that the last Monday in May was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

However, springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places as early as 1866. On April 25 of that year, a group of women in Columbus, Mississippi visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in the battle of Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed by the sight of these bare graves, the women placed flowers on them as well.

MacEnany.inddIn 1966, Congress and President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, New York the “birthplace” of Memorial Day. There, a ceremony on May 5, 1866, honored local veterans who had fought in the Civil War. Businesses closed and residents flew flags at half-staff.

150 years later, in honor of the Civil War origins of Memorial Day, we present an illuminating conversation with Brian McEnany, author of For Brotherhood and Duty: The Civil War History of the West Point Class of 1862:

Why did you feel particularly drawn to the West Point Class of 1862?
I was initially drawn to this class because it graduated 100 years before my own. While researching old musty cadet records and books at the archives at West Point for a reunion project, I became interested in Civil War politics and the cadet life of this class. I found stories and records of an extraordinary group of young men. Not finding much written about West Point classes after the start of the Civil War, I decided to write a book to fill that gap in history.

What was the most surprising thing you uncovered about this unique group of soldiers?
That is a hard question to answer. Regular army promotions were very slow during the war. There were questions raised in my mind about why this class did not have more transfers into volunteers to increase their chances for promotion. Secondly, the reputation of the Military Academy suffered greatly because of the large number of resignations of southern cadets—not a lot of people know that.

Can you talk a bit about why so many cadets from this class felt they had to resign from West Point before graduation?
Lincoln’s election followed by multiple changes in the superintendent and the commandant, resignations of officer instructors, as well as cadets led half this class to resign by the end of the summer of 1861. Their reasons were rooted in very strong state allegiances, colored mostly by friends, family, and politicians who appointed them as well as other cadets from the same state. It left little room for independent thought on the matter. Their letters were particularly poignant. One cadet from another class wrote to his mother that he resigned because he couldn’t sign his name to the oath of allegiance to the Union—he felt no one from the South could.

How did resignation like that affect the remaining cadets?
While they continued to focus on academics in preparation for graduation, their class motto, “Joined in a Common Cause,” shows they were strongly committed to the restoration of the Union.

Do you think the confusion and desolation of war may have led to their stories being overlooked?
I’ve found that most books and articles about the Civil War at West Point only focus on members of the May and June classes of 1861. Books about the other classes (1862–65) have not been written. My book is the first one published about another class that graduated during the war.

Can you talk a bit about the service records of the various cadets throughout the war?
The hardest task was to track the actual units they were assigned to—something that is not carried in their personnel records. I researched microfilm files of old newspaper articles and unit muster reports and found cadet, mid-career, and obituary pictures before I could write a biography for each member of the class. Promotions were very slow. Only the engineers and ordnance officers made captain during the war. The rest remained first lieutenants with the exception of four that went into volunteer service. One rose to Major General (Ranald Mackenzie), one was awarded the Medal of Honor (George Gillespie) many years later, one ex-member (Henry Farley) fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, and one classmate (William Bartlett) at the end of the war took the surrender of the last Confederate units in the eastern theater.

Who do you think was the standout from the class and why?
Ranald Mackenzie for sure. He graduated first in the class and rose to the rank of Major General US Volunteers during the war. He was in the right place at the right time; picked to lead an infantry regiment, he made a name for himself. Even Grant called him “a most promising officer.” Stern disciplinarian, an able tactical leader, brave to the point of recklessness; he was wounded six times during the war. He became a brigade commander, then commander of a cavalry division in the Army of the James. That division became part of Sheridan’s command during the Shenandoah Campaign and Lee’s Retreat. Mackenzie became more renowned after the Civil War. This was the Mackenzie that chased the Apaches into Mexico, and a 1950s TV show called Mackenzie’s Raiders even touted his exploits. He likely would have outshone Custer in history if he had lived long enough, but he died early. Others in the class were equally brave; 24 of the 28 were brevetted for gallantry, and one was awarded the Medal of Honor.

From these accounts, were you able to tell if any of these classmates felt remorse for attacking their fellow cadets during the war? Or was their dedication to their cause more important?
There were several incidents where classmates faced classmates on the battlefield. Sometimes, they were unaware of the other’s presence. At other times, they knew. Virginian James Dearing, an artillery man who commanded the guns in Pickett’s division, fired at Tully McCrea and John Egan at Gettysburg. At the end of the war, Mackenzie found Dearing lying, mortally wounded, in a hospital in Lynchburg just after Lee surrendered and made sure he was well taken care of. Morris Schaff ran into others after the war and wrote that there was no animosity shown. The bottom line is that I do not think they carried any bad feelings with them—the brotherhood endured.

What is the biggest thing you hope people take away from For Brotherhood and Duty?
For Brotherhood and Duty is all about memories, personal relationships and experiences.  What I hope is that people will remember those stories so that the next time they visit a battlefield they recall a real person and his story about that particular campaign or battle.

The Sale is on!

2015_HOLIDAY

We hope you enjoyed our Halloween ghost stories all week, but now that the ghoulish night is over, we can move on to more exciting things like The Holidays! Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. When else can you get amazing food, spend much-needed quality time with loved ones, and find the best shopping deals? We know you guys can take care of the first two things in that list, but if you find yourself asking, “What awesome shopping deals?”, you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve got you covered there!

Every year, UPK hosts their annual Holiday Sale where we discount books left and right for your holiday reading and gift-giving pleasures. This year, we’re featuring over 1500 books in our sale! We know that number can be a bit overwhelming and you may not know where to begin, so we’ve created a “Best of the Books on Sale” list that features the highlights from multiple categories of book genres. Whether you’re shopping for a history buff, local foodie, or poetry fanatic, this guide will help you find the perfect gift.

The way the holiday sale works is when you order from our website, you will enter a code (either “FHOL” or “FSNO”) at the time of check out and you will receive either 20% or 80% off your purchase depending on the title. In order to ensure that your package arrives before Christmas, all books should be ordered before December 4, 2015.

BEST OF THE BOOKS ON SALE:

Military History: Kentucky Maverick: The Life and Adventures of Colonel George M. Chinn
20% off
Colonel George M. Chinn’s (1902–1987) life story reads more like fiction than the biography of a Kentucky soldier. A smart and fun-loving character,Chinn attended Centre College and played on the famous “Praying Colonels” football team that won the 1921 national championship. After graduation, he returned to his home in Mercer County and partnered with munitions expert “Tunnel” Smith to dynamite a cliff. The resulting hole became Chinn’s Cave House—a diner that also functioned as an underground gambling operation during Prohibition. He even served as Governor A. B. “Happy” Chandler’s bodyguard before joining the Marine Corps in 1943.

Biographies: My Life as a Mankiewicz: An Insider’s Journey through Hollywood80% off
The son of famed director and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve [1950], Guys and Dolls [1955], Cleopatra [1963]) and the nephew of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz, Tom Mankiewicz was genuine Hollywood royalty. He grew up in Beverly Hills and New York, spent summers on his dad’s film sets, had his first drink with Humphrey Bogart, dined with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, went to the theater with Ava Gardner, and traveled the world writing for Brando, Sinatra, and Connery. Although his family connections led him to show business, Tom “Mank” Mankiewicz forged a career of his own, becoming a renowned screenwriter, director, and producer of acclaimed films and television shows. He wrote screenplays for three James Bond films—Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Live and Let Die (1973), and The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)—and made his directorial debut with the hit TV series Hart to Hart (1979–1984). My Life as a Mankiewicz is a fascinating look at the life of an individual whose creativity and work ethic established him as a member of the Hollywood writing elite.

Classic Film: Rex Ingram: Visionary Director of the Silent Screen
20% off
In Rex Ingram, Ruth Barton explores the life and legacy of the pioneering filmmaker, following him from his childhood in Dublin to his life at the top of early Hollywood’s A-list and his eventual self-imposed exile on the French Riviera. Ingram excelled in bringing visions of adventure and fantasy to eager audiences, and his films made stars of actors like Rudolph Valentino, Ramón Novarro, and Alice Terry—his second wife and leading lady. With his name a virtual guarantee of box office success, Ingram’s career flourished in the 1920s despite the constraints of an increasingly regulated industry and the hostility of Louis B. Mayer, who regarded him as a dangerous maverick.

Civil Rights: The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky
80% off
As one of only two states in the nation to still allow slavery by the time of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, Kentucky’s history of slavery runs deep. Based on extensive research, The Antislavery Movement in Kentucky focuses on two main antislavery movements that emerged in Kentucky during the early years of opposition. By 1820, Kentuckians such as Cassius Clay called for the emancipation of slaves—a gradual end to slavery with compensation to owners. Others, such as Delia Webster, who smuggled three fugitive slaves across the Kentucky border to freedom in Ohio, advocated for abolition—an immediate and uncompensated end to the institution. Neither movement was successful, yet the tenacious spirit of those who fought for what they believed contributes a proud chapter to Kentucky history.

Bourbon: The Birth of Bourbon: A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries
20% off
More than two hundred commercial distilleries were operating in Kentucky before Prohibition, but only sixty-one reopened after its repeal in 1933. As the popularity of America’s native spirit increases worldwide, many historic distilleries are being renovated, refurbished, and brought back into operation. Unfortunately, these spaces, with their antique tools and aging architecture, are being dismantled to make way for modern structures and machinery. In The Birth of Bourbon, award-winning photographer Carol Peachee takes readers on an unforgettable tour of lost distilleries as well as facilities undergoing renewal, such as the famous Old Taylor and James E. Pepper distilleries in Lexington, Kentucky. This beautiful book also includes spaces that well-known brands, including Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace, have preserved as a homage to their rich histories.

Politics: Writing Southern Politics: Contemporary Interpretations and Future Directions
80%
In Writing Southern Politics, leading scholars review the key research and writing on southern politics since World War II. This essential volume covers topical areas such as civil rights, public opinion, political behavior, party development, population movement, governors, legislatures, and women in politics.
“Provides the most comprehensive overview of the southern politics literature. The subfield has been crying out for a volume such as this … it will likely become required reading for both students and scholars of southern politics.” — Jonathan Knuckey, University of Central Florida

Cultural Studies: Virtual Afterlives: Grieving the Dead in the Twenty-First Century
20%
Virtual Afterlives investigates emerging popular bereavement traditions. Author Candi K. Cann examines new forms of grieving and evaluates how religion and the funeral industry have both contributed to mourning rituals despite their limited ability to remedy grief. As grieving traditions and locations shift, people are discovering new ways to memorialize their loved ones. Bodiless and spontaneous memorials like those at the sites of the shootings in Aurora and Newtown and the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as roadside memorials, car decals, and tattoos are contributing to a new bereavement language that crosses national boundaries and culture-specific perceptions of death.

Food: Eating as I Go: Scenes from America and Abroad
80%
What do we learn from eating? About ourselves? Others? In this unique memoir, Doris Friedensohn takes eating as an occasion for inquiry. Munching on quesadillas and kimchi in her suburban New Jersey neighborhood, she reflects on the meanings of cultural inclusion and what it means to our diverse nation. Enjoying couscous in Tunisia and khatchapuri (cheese bread) in the Republic of Georgia, she explores the ways strangers maintain their differences and come together. Friedensohn’s subjects range from Thanksgiving at a Middle Eastern restaurant to fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca. Her wry dramas of the dining room, restaurant, market, and kitchen ripple with geopolitical, economic, psychological, and spiritual tensions. Eating as I Go is Friedensohn’s distinctive combination of memoir, traveler’s tale, and cultural commentary.

Poetry: Many-Storied House
20%
Collectively, the poems tell the sixty-eight-year-long story of the house, beginning with its construction by Lyon’s grandfather and culminating with the poet’s memories of bidding farewell to it after her mother’s death. Moving, provocative, and heartfelt, Lyon’s poetic excavations evoke more than just stock and stone; they explore the nature of memory and relationships, as well as the innermost architecture of love, family, and community. A poignant memoir in poems, Many-Storied House is a personal and revealing addition to George Ella Lyon’s body of work.

Nature Books: Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky
80%
Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky provides an introduction to Kentucky’s signature rare plants with 220 full-color photographs by naturalist and award winning photographer Thomas G. Barnes. The book draws attention to the beauty of Kentucky’s old-growth forests, prairies, wetlands, and other habitats while focusing on the state’s endangered flora. The authors note that as of this year, 275 plant species in Kentucky are considered endangered or threatened, with more than 50 potential additions to the list. The book includes an overview of ecological communities and the ways in which they are threatened, an explanation of how various plants have become endangered, and suggestions for conservation and preservation. The Bluegrass State’s rare wildflowers take center stage with gorgeous color photography and descriptions, organized by habitat. Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky will appeal to any nature lover, and the inclusion of references, a complete list of scientific and common species names, and a list of each plant’s endangered status makes the book especially useful to gardeners and to botanists and horticultural professionals.

General John R. Galvin Fighting the Cold War

General John R. Galvin, 1929–2015

We were saddened to learn this week that General John R. Galvin, USA (Ret.), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and winner of the Legion of Merit and Army Distinguished Service Medals, passed away at his home in Jonesboro, Georgia.

General Galvin’s recently released memoir, Fighting the Cold War: A Soldier’s Memoir, is a record of not only his uncommon leadership on the battlefield and in affairs of state, but also his service as an historian, mentor, and teacher.

As the Washington Post noted in an obituary posted today, “his leadership ability and scholarship earned him friends in high places, which aided in his rise. He contributed to writing the Pentagon Papers, the Defense Department’s secret multi-volume history of the Vietnam War, and played roles in reshaping the Army after the post-Vietnam era.

“Thinking beyond large-scale, conventional warfare with the Soviet Union and other nation-states, he wrote influential reports and articles on counterinsurgency strategy and guerrilla warfare that would define conflicts in the Middle East after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.”

The New York Times also praised his contributions to US military historiography and the major role he played in bringing about the end of the Cold War as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe.

In Fighting the Cold War, General Galvin recounts fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes about his interactions with world leaders, describing encounters such as his experience of watching President José Napoleón Duarte argue eloquently against US intervention in El Salvador; a private conversation with Pope John Paul II in which the pontiff spoke to him about what it means to be a man of peace; and his discussion with General William Westmoreland about soldiers’ conduct in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia. He also recalls his complex negotiations with a number of often difficult foreign heads of state, including Manuel Noriega, Augusto Pinochet, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Ratko Mladić.

General Galvin was also the author of The Minute Men: The First Fight: Myths and Realities of the American RevolutionAir Assault: The Development of Airmobile Warfare, and Three Men of Boston: Leadership and Conflict at the Start of the American Revolution.