Balancing past and present: Edward Mead Earle and Makers of Modern Strategy

The latest edition (1986) edited by Peter Paret, replaced Hitler with the Nuclear Age, but maintains the same vision and has similar power. Well worth the trouble.

Defence-In-Depth

BY DR MICHAEL FINCH

This post is based on my article which appears in the most recent issue of The Journal of Military History.

It might be considered that in producing a significant contribution to scholarship, a scholar ensures his or her own reputation. Yet this is not always the case. Edward Mead Earle, Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton for twenty years from 1934, has long languished in obscurity. This is despite the fact that his 1943 edited volume Makers of Modern Strategy: Military Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler proved to be a seminal text, read by a multitude of scholars – as well as soldiers – in the years following his premature death in 1954. Notable amongst this cohort was Sir Michael Howard, who recounts in his autobiography that when preparing to take a lectureship at the War Studies Department of King’s College London, UK…

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