The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession

The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession

Williamson Murray / Feb 19, 2020

The Past as Prologue The Importance of History to the Military Profession Exploring the usefulness of the study of history for contemporary military strategists this volume illustrates the great importance of military history while simultaneously revealing the challenges o

  • Title: The Past as Prologue: The Importance of History to the Military Profession
  • Author: Williamson Murray
  • ISBN: 9780521619639
  • Page: 459
  • Format: Paperback
  • Exploring the usefulness of the study of history for contemporary military strategists, this volume illustrates the great importance of military history while simultaneously revealing the challenges of applying the past to the present Essays from authors of diverse backgrounds British and American, Civilian and Military present an overwhelming argument for the necessityExploring the usefulness of the study of history for contemporary military strategists, this volume illustrates the great importance of military history while simultaneously revealing the challenges of applying the past to the present Essays from authors of diverse backgrounds British and American, Civilian and Military present an overwhelming argument for the necessity of the study of the past by today s military leaders in spite of these challenges Part I examines the relationship between history and the military profession Part II explores specific historical cases that reveal the repetitiveness of certain military problems.

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      Posted by:Williamson Murray
      Published :2019-05-08T14:28:45+00:00

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      • Williamson Murray

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    969 Comments

    1. American strategic thought is cyclic. Ever since the end of the Civil War the study of military history has fallen in and out of style, even within U.S. Military War Colleges and Command and Staff Colleges. During the 1960s, the organizational and business accounting theories of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and his "whiz kid" advisors stated that war could be reduced to number crunching and statistical analysis. As a result military history suffered. By the 1980s, military history was re [...]


    2. Good primer for someone interested in studying history. The book provides a collection of essay arguing why both civilian and military leaders should study history, specifically to prepare them for future decision-making. Several essays give examples of military leaders in different domains of war using history to inform their decisions and anticipation of future operating environments. A couple of the essays are very specific, particularly Gray's essay about Clausewitz's continued relevancy tod [...]


    3. I think this is a great book to introduce officers to the importance of the study of history. Because this title is a collection of essays, leaders don't have to read the entire book from cover to cover as part of a reading program. I would highlight the essays by Sir Michael Howard and Paul Van Riper as the two that made the greatest impression on me.



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