January 7, 2014
15 b&w photos
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6.00 Inches (US)
1 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £25.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Embattled Past

Reflections on Military History

Internationally recognized for having reinvigorated and redefined his field, distinguished military historian Edward M. Coffman is a dedicated and much-admired teacher and mentor. In The Embattled Past, several of his most important essays have been assembled into a collection that serves as an essential reference to the discipline and an initiation to the study of military history for aspiring scholars.

Coffman's introduction to the volume charts his own professional journey and sets the book within the larger context of Americans' attitudes toward their military, both inside and outside of academia. The essays explore a range of critical issues in military historiography—such as strategies for conducting oral history and research methodologies—and examine questions at the heart of the field. Included are two seminal essays on World War I, which provide a fascinating overview of American war strategies and illuminate the reasons why so many historians have ignored this critical turning point in twentieth-century history. The volume concludes with an unpublished essay detailing Coffman's experience of interviewing General Douglas MacArthur in 1960.

This exciting new book offers readers insights into more than two hundred years of United States military history while also providing a comprehensive overview of Coffman's stellar contributions to the field. Important and engaging, The Embattled Past is a primer on the profession from one of the most honored scholars of our time.

About the Author

The author has a following and is well-known and highly respected
Features a never-before-published interview with General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
Coffman was a student of Forrest Pogue, has received multiple military and civilian honors, and has served on the History Book Club advisory committee since 1987
Should be marketed to AUSA audience


"No one who professes to work in this field, especially as it relates to the history of the Army in the 19th and 20th centuries, can go very far without consulting what Professor Coffman has written on his subject."—Roger Spiller, George C. Marshall Professor of Military History, emeritus, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

"In this collection—drawn from a professional lifetime of researching, writing, teaching and mentoring military history—Professor Coffman ably demonstrates the skill and passion that have made him a respected and beloved leader in the field over those many years."—Lewis Sorley, author of A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

"A legendary teacher at UW-Madison, Mac Coffman packed the classrooms. In his lectures and his writing, he brought life to the events he chronicled. In taking us down his path of memory, he pauses along the way to show us the art and industry that bring from the scraps of the past the human reality which captures our imagination."—General Montgomery C. Meigs, USA (Ret.)

"Professor Coffman's passion for getting it right and his skill in telling it right make him a distinguished historian. Current and future practitioners of the craft will benefit from studying his articles and ruminations found in The Embattled Past."—Henry G. Gole, author of Exposing the Third Reich: Colonel Truman Smith in Hitler's Germany

"For fifty years Mac Coffman set the highest standards for writing about America's armies. These essays show his skills as a historian and his empathy for soldiers of all ranks and experiences."—Allan R. Millett, Senior Military Advisor, National World War II Museum

"This collection makes evident Coffman's importance in defining the field of modern American military history. Lucid, astute, and immensely entertaining, it is a worthy tribute to history by one of the finest scholars, writers, and mentors the field has ever seen."—Brian Linn, Texas A&M University

"This collection . . . displays Coffman's years of scholarly expertise and personal experiences as a preeminent historian."—Quarterly Journal of Military History

"Edward Coffman...has played a seminal role in the development of the study of the field of military history over the last fifty years....The Embattled Past is an essential work for anyone in the field professionally and for anyone interested in military history."—The Past in Review

"The Embattled Past is a "must read" for anyone interested in American military history. One can only hope it reaches the widest audience possible."—On Point

"this is a wise, stimulating, and most interesting book It should be of absorbing interest to all interested in this subject; not least to all scholars old and young."—Brian Holder Reid, King's College London, The Review of Politics

University Press of Kentucky

9780813142661 : the-embattled-past-coffman
212 Pages
$45.00 USD

Other Titles by Edward M. Coffman

Exposing the Third Reich

Henry G. Gole, foreword by Edward M. Coffman
Aug 2013 - University Press of Kentucky
$60.00 USD - Hardback

The War to End All Wars

Edward M. Coffman
Jul 1998 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - book

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