Williamson Murray

Williamson Murray

Biography: 

Williamson Murray serves as a Minerva Fellow at the Naval War College. He graduated from Yale University in 1963 with honors in history. He then served five years as an officer in the US Air Force, including a tour in Southeast Asia with the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing (C-130s). He returned to Yale University, where he received his PhD in military-diplomatic history under advisers Hans Gatzke and Donald Kagan. He taught two years in the Yale history department before moving on to Ohio State University in fall 1977 as a military and diplomatic historian; in 1987 he received the Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award. He retired from Ohio State in 1995 as a professor emeritus of history.

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Autobiography & Memoir

The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant, by Ulysses S. Grant (1994 [orig. published 1885-1886])

by Williamson Murrayvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mark Twain once described Grant’s memoirs as the finest piece of literature written in the English literature in the nineteenth century. It was an apt description. In the last years of his life in an extraordinary piece of courage, because he was dying of throat cancer at the time, Grant wrote his memoirs.

Military FictionAnalysis and Commentary

The Iliad, by Homer (various translations and editions)

by Williamson Murrayvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The first great literary work in the Western literary canon, the Illiad, has gradually declined in its use in American university and college courses, undoubtedly because it is about the murderous sharp end of war and makes no bones about the fact that it regards its heroes as representing the height in human achievement. 

Period Military History

Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, by Fred Anderson (2000)

by Williamson Murrayvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Professor Anderson’s study of the Seven Years’ War (known to Americans as the French and Indian Wars) examines the great war that determined the fate of North America and eventually led to the creation of the United States. 

Biography

Marlborough: His Life and Times [six vols.], by Winston S. Churchill (1933-38)

by Williamson Murrayvia Classics of Military History
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

During his wilderness years in the early and mid-thirties, Churchill wrote his masterful history of Britain’s greatest general, his ancestor the Duke of Marlborough. It is probably Churchill’s finest piece of historical writing, which is saying a great deal. 

Autobiography & Memoir

Storm of Steel (In Stahlgewittern), by Ernst Jünger (2004)

by Williamson Murrayvia Classics of Military History
Monday, March 7, 2016

In a new, and far better translation by Michael Hofmann, Ernst Jünger’s account of his three years of service on the Western Front in World War I represents one of the great pieces of literature from that conflict.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Technology And War: The Revolution That Never Arrived

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Friday, October 30, 2015

In the 1990s, as a result of the overwhelming victory that U.S. military forces and those of their allies achieved over Saddam’s army in the war over Kuwait, a number of military pundits argued that a revolution in military affairs had occurred.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

The Ignorance Of Intelligence Agencies

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

At the start of the Second World War, Great Britain’s intelligence agencies were anything but impressive. Their analytic capabilities overestimated the Third Reich’s military potential through 1938. And then in 1939, they changed views and failed to see that the Germans were actually making effective preparations to that would enable them to wreck the European balance of power.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

History As Farce: From Napoleon To Maliki

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Wednesday, October 21, 2015

In describing France’s descent from the great Napoleon Bonaparte to his nephew, who had overthrown the Second Republic and replaced it with a totted up empire, Karl Marx commented that history repeats itself, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”In describing France’s descent from the great Napoleon Bonaparte to his nephew, who had overthrown the Second Republic and replaced it with a totted up empire, Karl Marx commented that history repeats itself...

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Past And Present Come Together

by Williamson Murrayvia Military History in the News
Friday, October 16, 2015

Mark Twain is said to have remarked that “history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.” Perhaps its most consistent rhyme is the failure of politicians and statesmen to recognize real, palpable dangers despite obvious indications that there are states in the external world that have every intention of inflicting harm.

Poster Collection, US 06031, Hoover Institution Archives.
Background EssayAnalysis and Commentary

Political Correctness And The American Military

by Williamson Murrayvia Strategika
Monday, July 27, 2015

One of the major worries that confronts those who study the American military at present is the question as to whether the accommodation of its units to the social and political agendas of a portion of America’s elite might not in the long run damage what has been for the past thirty years the most competent combat organization in the world.

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