The Embattled Past: Reflections on Military History


Product Details

University Press of Kentucky
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author

Edward M. Coffman served as an army infantry officer in the United States, Japan, and Korea from 1951 to 1953 and is professor emeritus of history at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. His works include The Regulars: The American Army, 1898--1941; The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784--1898; and The War to End All Wars: The American Military Experience in World War I.


"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

This is a fine introduction to one of our greatest military historians. Edward Coffman's writings are authoritative, and his clear prose style makes him a pleasure to read.Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Generals

"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