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Dale Center for the Study of War and Society

War & Society PhD Graduate Reading List

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   “The Dale Center Top 40”

The Essential Works

World War One Books Wanted Poster

The following—required—works offer students a firm understanding of current issues in the field of war and society, covering both historiographic and topical subject matter.  In addition to these essential books, students will supplement and customize their individual list from the supplemental list on the full list in consultation with their main adviser and committee members. 

CLICK HERE for the full printable list (including supplemental books) in pdf format.  (Effective January 1, 2016)


Anderson, Fred. A People’s Army: Massachusetts Soldiers and Society in the Seven Years’ War. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984.

Appy, Christian. Working-Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

Bacevich, Andrew. The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Bailey, Beth. America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2009.

Bartov, Omer. Hitler’s Army: Soldiers, Nazis, and War in the Third Reich. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Beringer, Richard. Why the South Lost the Civil War. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1986.

Black, Jeremy. Rethinking Military History. New York: Routledge, 2004.

Browning, Christopher. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. New York: Harper Perennial, 1993. 

Citino, Robert M. The German Way of War. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005.

Di Cosmo, Nicola, ed., Military Culture in Imperial China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Dower, John W. War without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986.

Drea, Edward.  Japan’s Imperial Amy: Its Rise and Fall,1853-1945. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2009.

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Gordon, Lesley.  A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut’s Civil War.  Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2014. 

Howard, Michael. War in European History. Rev. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Hughes, Matthew, and William J. Philpott.  Palgrave Advances in Modern Military History.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Keegan, John. The Face of Battle. New York: Penguin Books, 1978.

Lee, Wayne E.  Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Lee, Wayne E.  Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Linn, Brian. The Echo of Battle: The Army’s Way of War. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007.

Lorge, Peter A. The Asian Military Revolution: From Gunpowder to the Bomb. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.

Lynn, John A. Battle: A History of Combat and Culture. Boulder: Westview Press, 2003.

McPherson, James. For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Morillo, Stephen, and Michael K. Pavkovic. What is Military History? 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2012.

Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Parker, Geoffrey. The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500-1800. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Peattie, Mark, Edward Drea, and Hans Van de Ven, eds. The Battle For China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011.

Rogers, Clifford J. The Military Revolution Debate. Boulder: Westview, 1995.

Rose, Sonya. Which People’s War: National Identity and Citizenship in Britain, 1939-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Royster, Charles. A Revolutionary People at War: The Continental Army and American Character, 1775-1783. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1979.

Sheffield, Gary. The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army. London: Aurum Press, 2011.

Silver, Peter. Our Savage Neighbors: How Indian War Transformed Early America. New York: Norton, 2008.

Shy, John and David J. Fitzpatrick. “American Military History.” In A Century of American Historiography, edited by James M. Banner, Jr., 66-77. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010.

Stur, Heather.  Beyond Combat: Women and Gender in the Vietnam War Era. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Swope, Kenneth. “Introduction.” In Warfare in China Since 1600, edited by Kenneth Swope, xi-xxxv. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005.

Swope, Kenneth M. A Dragon’s Head and a Serpent’s Tail: Ming China and the First Great East Asian War, 1592-1598.  Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009.

Ural, Susannah (Bruce). The Harp and the Eagle: Irish-American Volunteers and the Union Army, 1861-1865. New York: New York University Press, 2006.

Weigley, Russell. The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977.

Wiest, Andrew. Vietnam’s Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN. New York: New York University Press, 2008.

Zelner, Kyle F. A Rabble in Arms: Massachusetts Towns and Militiamen during King Philip's War. New York: New York University Press, 2009.

CLICK HERE for the old reading list (2010-2016) for students who entered the program before 2016.