This is a survey of modern American military history, but in the modern era it is more than that. Since 1900, war has reshaped the way America is governed. It has shaped industry and innovation. It has spawned a vast intelligence establishment with military capabilities of its own. The experience of war and narratives about it have colored popular culture in every generation for more than a hundred years.
The course will concentrate on the major episodes and, for each, address four basic questions. Why did the United States go to war? How did the United States choose to wage war? Why did the war turn out the way it did? What impact did the war have?
This course is also a kind of sequel to HIUS 2051, Gary Gallagher's fine course on "U.S. Military History, 1600 to 1900."
This is a lecture course with discussion sections. Class size will be limited to 60 students. There will be a midterm and a final exam.