Modern warfare history book – “Building Militaries in Fragile States” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017) – Mara Karlin interview – MHIO Episode 21

Dr. Mara Karlin started her career working in the Middle East. She then went to graduate school and interned in the Pentagon on strategic issues. Eventually she served as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for strategy & force development in the Department of Defense. She is now a professor at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches in the field of Strategic Studies. This is her first book.

1:54 – Dr. Karlin was a policymaker in the Pentagon in the aughts and she worked on building militaries in Pakistan and Lebanon. She had an early interest in Middle East issues and ended up getting an internship in the Pentagon while studying at Johns Hopkins.

3:55 – The book tries to answer the question of how the US can be successful when it builds militaries in fragile states. The US is adverse to sending in its own military into fragile states. The US tries to work with the militaries in these fragile states. Dr. Karlin looked at various case studies from history.

5:19 – She looked at Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The big failure example is the South Vietnam in the 1950s. If the US had succeeded in building the South Vietnam military then the war could have been avoided.

7:15 – Two other failures are Lebanon in the 1980s and in Iraq in recent years. The closest thing to success is US efforts in Greece after WWII.

9:06 – The US got deeply into Greece’s military affairs. That transformed the Greek military and enabled them to beat guerillas and the US didn’t have to send in troops.

15:13 – There were different levels of cooperation. Institutional and strategic versus operational and tactical. People think that the US only started developing foreign militaries after 9/11.

17:28 – More desperation in a government makes foreign countries more willing to listen to what the US has to say.

21:23 – The US goes through stages of increased and decreased support for foreign militaries. However, the US shows consistency in security goals since WWII. Only recently have security issues been inconsistent.

25:25 – Bipartisan agreement on security affairs has recently begun to diminish.

29:38 – The document she found that hit heard the hardest was finding a declassified CIA agency study of a gap in Beirut where attackers were sneaking through to attack their enemies. She also found information on a US official who wanted to stage a coup in Lebanon.

33:31 – She really enjoyed studying the development of the Lebanese military work she had done years before.

36:35 – Body count ideas developed in the Vietnam War has affected how the US has approached building foreign militaries. Recently, the US is shifting away from this quantitative approach to this issue.

39:00 – Dr. Karlin had to apply a paradigm shift to her initial hypothesis.

42:30 – Dr. Karlin discusses Reagan’s decision to have the USS New Jersey launch strikes in Lebanon.

45:35 – Dr. Karlin discusses why Lebanon and its military development is important to the US.

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Guests: Dr. Mara Karlin

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, United States, France, Lebanon, Vietnam, Greece, Iraq, Syria, stabilization, strategic studies

Modern warfare history book – “Military Cultures in Peace and Stability Operations” (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018) – Chiara Ruffa interview – MHIO Episode 20

Dr. Chiara Ruffa has recently published a book about military culture. It’s based on her research with French and Italian military units that had deployed to Lebanon and Afghanistan. I spoke to her about the book.

2:20 – In 2006, Chiara was working for the UN in the Central African Republic in support of the peacekeeping mission. This inspired her interest in the topic this book is about and in her graduate studies.

4:04 – While the book focuses on current events, it traces the military cultures of France and Italy from the 19th century. These cultures affects how militaries carry out their mandates.

8:00 – Peacekeeping operations are a very particular type of operation in that there is much more latitude in interpreting the mission and how to carry it out.   This is important because of the high volume of peacekeeping operations being carried out.

13:53 –Chiara would like multi-national forces to be more open in talking about cultural characteristics of units that are deployed.

17:00 – Military culture is most important at the service level.

25:00 – NATO has standardized much of the ways in which peacekeeping is done however cultures create variations.

26:05 – French military culture has revolved around assertiveness since the Revolution. But this was modified when de Gaulle in 1962 reaffirmed the idea of civilian control over the military.

30:18 – Italy had a shift in military culture that was affected by WWII and by the Cold War. Italian officers push for using the Italian military for peacekeeping. Italy has a change in the culture in the 1990s.

34:13 – Chiara’s first problem in the research was how she would collect data on these militaries. She didn’t have much access to begin with. She started by going to Lebanon and working with French and Italian troops.

46:50 – Chiara had to learn about military organizations from scratch when she started her research.

48:30 – Chiara still wonders how cultures shape Standard Operating Procedures.

1:01:00 – The book will hopefully cross the gap between security studies and peace studies in Europe.

1:05:45 – She’s on twitter at Ruffa.Chiara.

For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: Chiara Ruffa

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, France, Italy, Afghanistan, Lebanon, peacekeeping, stability, operations

World War I history book – “California at War” (University Press of Kansas, 2018) – Diane North interview – MHIO Episode 19

Dr. Diane North teaches history at the University of Maryland. She grew up in the Washington, DC area, fascinated by history. She earned her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Davis and has recently written “California at War” about California’s experience during WWI. I interviewed her about the book.

2:05 – Diane was enthralled by history from an early age and from growing up in Washington, DC. She would listen to debate in the House and Senate after her chores.

3:09 – The WWI centennial was approaching when she began her research so she focused on the war. She wanted to understand what happens to people when the nation goes to war. California had a huge economy and was a trendsetter so she wanted to write on it.

8:01 – She created a new course at the University of Maryland on WWI because of her interest in the war.

9:11 – The book starts on the 1916 parade bombing in San Francisco with 40 injured and ten killed. The first chapter talks about the US men who fought in WWI before the US entered the war. Many Californians served in Siberia from 1918 to 1920.

11:45 – Chapter 2 looks at the women who served overseas during the war.

13:20 – Chapter 3 looks at how the army and navy spend considerable money building facilities in California. Chapter 4 looks at the economy of war. The war accelerated the process of corporate organization and a dramatic rise in industrial employment. She then looks at what people did in the home front to support the war.

14:40 – She also looks at how minorities participated in supporting the war in the home front. Then she touches on how the state and military dealt with the influenza problem.

15:57 – Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the rise of the security state and the role of government. Private organizations were given the power to spy on citizens without government oversight.

18:00 – California also promoted scientific and agricultural development. But these groups also spied on fellow citizens. Colleges, staff and students were also required to sign oaths of loyalty. German language and literature also could not be studied.

20:46 – Efforts were made to keep the press from writing about the IWW and also to get members arrested. Later rights of fre speech, press and assembly were restricted.

22:49 – The navy split the feet after the war and put the pacific fleet in San Diego. This helped in California’s post war boom.

24:01 – One of California’s Senators was a pacifist and he was appalled by US entry into WWI. Berkley enacted an anti-free speech ordinance. California had a real connection with the war effort before the US entered the war because of its trade with Europe.

26:30 – California did have a strong peace movement that quickly got squashed by Federal efforts. The Post office began curtailing free speech and free press by restricting the delivery of certain newspapers.

28:45 – She started her research with the National Archives in DC, Maryland and California.

30:37 – Hollywood was considered vital for the war effort by the Federal government and this boosted the film industry.

33:39 – Diane came across paintings done by an Army officer while in France. Some US forces didn’t return until 1921 or 22 because they were occupying the Rhine.

35:00 – Californians pushed the Federal government to pass many anti-Asian laws and there were many anti-Asian films put out by Hollywood at this time. There were also may pacifist films. But many were also very patriotic. Many of these films were distributed internationally.

37:20 – Diane found interesting documents from Sydney Coe Howard. He was an airplane pilot and he won an Oscar for his screenplay of Gone With the Wind. His letters are amazing and include vivid descriptions of dogfights and the war. She unearthed many journals, letters, photos and drawings from the war.

41:40 – California women do not get the recognition they deserve for their efforts in WWI.

44:00 – Ship and boat building increased considerably in California during this time. The two major universities were the University of California and Stanford University. A committee was formed to examine and organize scientific research at the time to help the California economy.

47:30 – California’s efforts to organize and improve statewide scientific research was held up as an example by the Federal government for other states to follow.

51:42 – Californians were strongly patriotic and believed President Wilson when he said the war would be the war to end all wars.

52:36 – HG Wells wrote a series of lectures before the war that a good war will end all wars and many people including Wilson bought this idea. However the country was very racist and Wilson had re-segregated parts of the Federal government that had been integrated so the soundness of this idea was questionable.

56:00 – The book will be discounted during the month of July.

Links of interest

From the Publisher:

From your local Independent Bookstore:

From Amazon:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

From Target Books: 

For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: Diane North

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, California, WWI world war one, Wilson, Berkley, Stanford, San Francisco, San Diego, Hollywood, US Navy

US Civil War history book – “The Lost Indictment of Robert E. Lee” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018) – John Reeves interview – MHIO Episode 18

John Reeves has taught history and written about financial matters. He’s written a new US Civil War book on the indictment of Robert E. Lee after the war. I interviewed him about it.

1:38 – John Reeves taught history for 15 years. He also wrote on finance for some time.

3:15 – Robert E. Lee tried to bring North and South together after the war. But Northerners wanted to punish him for treason and bring charges against him.

5:36 – Lee applied for amnesty against the charges and studied ways to defend himself.

9:14 – Lee kept his letters privates because he didn’t want to seem to be playing politics.

12:38 – Lee and his fellow defendants weren’t jailed during the trial because of Grant’s insistence that he had made a deal for the Southern leaders to be free until the war was officially over. The war officially ended in August 1866. Jefferson Davis didn’t have this protection though.

16:35 – The defendants were indicted in Virginia because they were accused of making treasonous war in Virginia.

19:37 – Lee defended himself on the merits of the case. He also had to go to DC to testify before a Congressional committee about treason. He was advised by a lawyer, Senator Johnson from Maryland.

23:52 – Lee was called as a witness for the Davis trial.

27:32 – John’s first step was to find the indictment itself. They seemed to have been lost but John discovered they were in the state library of Virginia in Richmond.

33:32 – John found many documents at the Library of Congress including Lee’s papers. But people don’t have permission to look in one box of Lee’s papers. Andrew Johnson’s papers are there too.

38:37 – Lee was accused of treating his slaves brutally.

44:34 – The defense of Lee became entwined with the Lost Cause movement. Robert E. Lee was even in a stained glass window in the National Cathedral.

49:40 – The failure of the indictments provides an idea as to why Reconstruction failed.

56:19 – John is on twitter at reevesjw. His website is


For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: John Reeves

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, robert e. lee, civil war, confederates, union, lost cause, arlington, gettysburg, lincoln, andrew johnson, jefferson davis

US Naval history book – “The Free Sea” (Naval Institute Press, 2018) – James Kraska interview – MHIO Episode 17

James Kraska was a Judge Advocate General for the US Navy and has extensive experience on defense issues and Freedom of Navigation issues. He’s currently a visiting Professor of Law at the Naval War College. He has co-authored a book on the history of US enforcement of Freedom of Navigation and we spoke about the book.

1:56 – Professor. Kraska was a Navy Judge Advocate lawyer and in this capacity he learned and practiced the law regarding Freedom of Navigation. He taught at the Naval War College and completed a degree on the subject. Raul Pedroza, the other author, is also a retired Navy JAG and a professor of law.

3:55 – It has been imperative for the US to protect the sea for economic and security purposes. The book is a mix of history and law on Freedom of Navigation. The book starts with the Quasi-War with France and continues all the way through the current Chinese attempts to assert unlawful control of regional seas.

6:55 – The US defends Freedom of Navigation globally because no one else will do it. Many countries depend on the US to maintain order at sea. The Dutch enforced freedom of the seas in the 1500s and then the British took over enforcing these global rights.

8:57 – The US took over from the British around the 1880s. By 1945, the US had fully assumed the role of protecting freedom of the seas.

11:00 – Freedom of navigation is a continuous struggle to maintain these freedoms. The Gulf of Tonkin and Pueblo incidents are examples of violent conflict involving freedom of navigation.

12:37 – Political will and military capability are needed to maintain freedom of navigation. Territorial seas are part of the global commons. The US has operated on territorial seas and also on high seas to protect navigation freedoms. Surveillance aircraft are also used to maintain freedom of navigation on the seas.

17:31 – Using international airspace to protect the seas has been developing for the last hundred years. The International Civil Aviation organization also supports airspace use to protect Freedom of Navigation.

19:00 – The threat of piracy greatly declined by the 20th century as states have cohered into stronger entities. Piracy existed around Somalia because it was a failed state. Before the Treaty of Paris in 1856, many states used privateers to attack enemy shipping. After the treaty, states agreed to stop using privateers. Since then, threats to freedom of navigation come from nation states.

21:40 – Chinese actions now are the greatest threats to freedom of navigation since Germany’s U-boat wars. During the Cold War, the US and Soviet Union worked in tandem to preserve navigational freedoms.   The Soviet Union needed it more than the US due to the location of their bases. China wants to undo parts of the international agreements on freedom of navigation and keep others out of the waters close to their territory. They want to dominate the seas within the first island chain including the South China Sea and the East China Sea.

27:56 – During WWII, Japan wanted to control the seas around East Asia through war. China is trying to achieve the same goal but through a “Finlandization” of its neighbors. China has used fishing claims to try to assert control in these areas but that doesn’t work within the existing international agreements.

32:57 – The main focus of the book is that freedom of the seas is not a condition that [exists] can exist without promotion and protection. If the US stops exercising rights over global seas, then these rights will erode for all nations.

34:45 – Wilson called for a protection of freedom of navigation by all nations and for all nations. Roosevelt also insisted on maintaining these global rights. A group of united nations met during WWII to maintain rights and later they met after the war to form the United Nations.

37:27 – Both authors have extensive experience in this field especially for events over the last 15 years and beyond. They used CIA archives and presidential libraries to do some research.

39:00 – Washington saw the US as a liberal actor that supported all nations and conducted trade with all as well. But European politics continued to drag the US into conflict and affected trade.

42:50 – He was most moved by the sacrifices made to protect US interests. John Negroponte made an impassioned speech on freedom of the seas to remind people how much US security depended on freedom of the seas.

44:58 – His next writing project might be on the free seas from the British perspective. He’s also working on a project about Japan’s relationship with sea.

45:35 – Many of his articles are on the SSRN.


For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: James Kraska

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, freedom of the seas, freedom of navigation, China, US, Britain, Germany, Japan, East China Sea, South China Sea, Quasi-War, Pueblo incident, WWII

US Civil War history book – “Ambivalent Nation” (Louisiana State University Press, 2018) – Hugh Dubrulle interview – MHIO Episode 16

Dr. Hugh Dubrulle is a Professor in the Department of History at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. He has studied British history and US Civil War history extensively and has written a new book about British attitudes towards the US Civil War. I interviewed Dr. Dubrulle about the book and his findings.

2:00 – Dr. Dubrulle’s family grew up in France during WWII. The stories they told of that time inspired him to study history. When he grew up in the US, his family took trips including one to Vicksburg when he was a small child that inspired him. He then began studying British history and eventually became interested in studying British history alongside the American Civil War.

5:00 – He wrote a dissertation on this subject some time ago and that began to turn into the book.

7:17 – Past scholars have divided the British into two factions – pro-North and pro-South. Dr. Dubrulle wanted to write about the complexities of British attitudes towards Americans and the war. During the war, America was still heavily dependent on Britain economically and in other ways. The war was very disruptive to British trade.

10:47 – John Bright, pro-North, was one of the few British leaders who were whole-heartedly behind one side. But most leaders were of two minds during the war.

13:38 – Some British thought that middle-class Yankees would just pay Irish and Germans to do their fighting for them. They thought that the American middle class reflected their own middle class.

16:25 – Many British people thought New York was the financial and cultural capital of the US.

18:52 – The British were very concerned with Canadian security during the Civil War. They worried that if the North lost, they would turn north and attack Canada.

20:44 – Several British military missions traveled to the US during the war to observe. These were overwhelming Army officers and few Navy officers.

22:52 – The UK contemplated getting involved in the war on the side of the South at various times.

25:23 – After the war, the British were worried about what the US would do next. The US had raised an army larger than any that could be sent to protect Canada. But some British also worried the US would become a military dictatorship. They wondered if it would pay its debts and so on.

27:04 – Many British people were critical of Lincoln. But many lower class British people liked that a working man could become President. The British press liked Jefferson Davis. They saw a Northern middle class attacking a government of gentlemen in the South.

29:37 – British people were ambivalent about Sherman’s campaigns. They admired the military maneuvers but they were also appalled by the material destruction of the campaign. Sherman was liked more than Grant was.

31:32 – Dr. Dubrulle read many books and newspapers that were contemporary to that period. He also read personal correspondence. He found materials all over Britain for documents. The British Library has a huge collection of historic newspapers.

33:40 – The London Times was the most important newspaper at the time right before the war. But then paper became cheap and then a number of newspapers for the middle and working class rose up during the war. The Illustrated London News was the pioneer newspaper in the UK for illustrated news. Their artist worked in the North at first and then in the South afterwards. Emory University has a lot of his work.

38:48 – Dr. Dubrulle found a number of Southern newspapers and a diary of a British person who visited New York during the war.

40:49 – Dr. Dubrulle was surprised at how divergent British opinions were in public and in private.

42:31 – Frank Lolley was a very pro-South British person in public but in private he was very troubled about the Confederacy.

48:37 – The British had a problem with Northern nationalism. They didn’t believe there was a basis for American unity. They thought it was all based on the size of the country.

51:45 – He’s hoping that the discussion of British attitudes towards the US Civil War will focus more on the bigger picture than on who thought what.


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Guests: Dr. Hugh Dubrulle

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, US, Civil War, Grant, Lincoln, Sherman, Davis, North, South, London, New York, antebellum

WWII history book – “Advocating Overlord” (Potomac Books, 2018) – Phil Padgett interview – MHIO Episode 15

Phil Padgett has worked as a political scientist in the field of security studies for much of his career. He turned his skills to writing a book on the WWII Operation Overlord, the atomic bomb, and the relationship between the US and UK during the war.

2:21 – Phil Padgett is a political scientist and has long been fascinated by a meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt during WWII.

4:30 – Phil found a letter by a Naval officer who said big things were being discussed by Roosevelt on a small boat on a lake in Canada during WWII.

6:15 – The book goes over Overlord more than on the discussions for cooperation between the US and UK on the Manhattan Project.

8:10 – The crux of the book is about the UK and the US reestablishing trust during the war.

10:00 – The US Joint Chiefs of Staff had to deal with many military leaders turning against Overlord in favor of a Mediterranean strategy.

12:45 – The US wanted a quick war and a quick strike in order to then move against Japan.

14:48 – Phil talks about the secrecy and knowledge of all parties about atomic bomb research.

19:53 – Both the US and UK knew the atomic bomb was a very powerful weapon and both were concerned about who would control atomic bombs after the war. Nations also felt that strategic bombing could have strong political effect on warring nations.

22:42 – Churchill liked to feed information to Roosevelt before the US joined the war that British bombing was having an effect on Germany.

23:55 – Canada is involved heavily in Overlord. General thinking about the[n] war was that a major amphibious assault would not work.

29:49 – His quid pro quo idea is very controversial. He used primary records at the US National Archives and at the British National Archives.

31:54 – Phil found one of Churchill’s papers with a scorch mark from a cigar burn and it brought him to the moment when history was happening. He also enjoyed going to the war rooms, Hyde Park and being on the battleship Texas.

34:45 – Phil was surprised by the amount that WWI influenced WWII. Especially with air power and a fear of repeating trench warfare.

36:16 – There didn’t seem to be a contingency plan if D-Day didn’t go well. If it failed, they probably would only have been able to conduct a Mediterranean operation afterwards. In late 1943, there was a US threat of a railroad strike over wages and hours. If it occurred, D-Day would have been delayed six months.

39:33 – Roosevelt was pretty much his own Secretary of State on these issues. The Secretary of State ran day-to-day diplomatic operations.

43:33 – Transcripts of the phone calls between Churchill and Roosevelt would be useful to historians. The Germans had cracked the allied system from 1940 to 1943 and kept transcripts of the calls. The records were kept in Berlin and appear to have been destroyed during the bombing of Berlin.

46:42 – Phil is happy he’s started the conversation about the quid pro quo idea.

48:44 – Phil has a website at for the book. The website also has answers to frequently asked questions plus it has more photos.


For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: Phil Padgett

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, WWII, world war 2, D-Day, Normandy, Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin, US, UK, Soviet Union, Berlin, scientists, Joint Chiefs of Staff, war plans

WWII history book – “No Forgotten Fronts” (Naval Institute Press, 2018) – Lisa Shapiro interview


Professor Lisa Shapiro holds masters degrees in literature and management and teaches at San Diego Mesa College. She has previously taught creative writing. She’s written a book based on thousands of archived letters sent by San Diego State students who were in WWII to their professor Dr. Post. I interviewed Professor Shapiro about the book titled “No Forgotten Fronts.”
1:54 – Professor Shapiro talks about her first historical project. It dealt with European medieval historical fiction. Her interest in WWII came out of her work with community college students in San Diego.
3:57 – She began studying war literature and got a second degree in that subject. In the school archives she found letters written to a professor during WWII.
5:46 – Professor Shapiro explains the basis and details of the book. It’s a collection of student letters written to their professor, Dr. Post. He turned the letters into a regular newsletter. He did this through the entire war.
10:16 – Several hundred students participated in writing to Dr. Post. This includes men and women and many wrote repeatedly. People also provided funds to support him. The original documents are in the San Diego State college archives.
12:16 – Professor Shapiro discusses how the US military censors worked with Dr. Post. He took care to keep out sensitive information out of his newsletters.
16:35 – Sometimes students wrote things only for Dr. Post and not the newsletter.
17:16 – Dr. Post was also able to connect two brothers, one of whom was a prisoner of war during the war. Dr. Post even visited their mother to provide reassurance about her sons. One student who was at Anzio wrote that he had lost his marbles and Dr. Post knew he needed some mental comfort. Dr. Post notified a nearby chaplain in Europe from San Diego State to visit this soldier and also gave comfort to the student’s father.
22:54 – Professor Shapiro explains how Dr. Post got information on killed or injured students and how he dealt with that information. Dr. Post would also update information he had published.
27:57 – Dr. Post didn’t have any children. Professor Shapiro discusses how Dr. Post met his wife in college. But both were active in the lives of their students. He also did trick roping and performed for his students. His wife was a singer. Dr. Post did have a nephew in the Marines who would write to Dr. Post.
30:36 – There don’t seem to have been any other people who collected letters from specific groups during WWII. Others have created letter collections after wars.
34:43 – The students loved getting the newsletters.
36:07 – Professor Shapiro focused on the letters that captivated her. The emotion of the letters touched her. She was able to track the stories of specific individuals.
40:28 – Professor Shapiro reads a letter from Herman Adelson who nicknamed himself Little Geronimo since he was a paratrooper. He and the others really believed in what they were fighting for. For good, freedom and democracy.
43:22 – A letter arrived for Dr. Post saying that Herman had died during D-Day and included a eulogy for him. San Diego State lost three members of their championship basketball team during the war. But the community found comfort in knowing what their loved ones had been doing.
48:29 – Professor Shapiro did a lot of reading to brush up on her knowledge of WWII and current events at the time the letters were written. She used Anthony Deevers’ history. She also read a lot of San Diego history. San Diego had a lot of women participate in the war. A lot of San Diego State students became pilots.
53:40 – Professor Shapiro had few problems getting the book published. She had to shorten the book since it was very long at first.
55:02 – Grif Williams was one of the students and was famous for being on the Doolittle Raid. He was taken prisoner eventually and he was eventually a cellmate with another San Diego State student who had been captured in Germany.
59:26 – The website for the book is

For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: Lisa Shapiro
Host: Cris Alvarez
Tags: war, military, WWII, WWII history, san diego, san diego state, pacific war, d-day, north africa, europe, germany, doolittle raid, anzio

Cold War history book – “More Than A Doctrine” (Potomac Books, 2018) – Randall Fowler interview – MHIO Episode 14

Randall Fowler has studied rhetoric at the graduate level and has written a new book on the Eisenhower Doctrine. I interviewed him about the book.

1:27 – Randall started in religious history and then spent time teaching in English. There he became more interested in the Middle East and writing history.

2:53 – The book started as a study into the Suez crisis. But then he began to dig into Eisenhower’s feelings about Middle East issues.

3:53 – The book focuses on the rhetoric of the Eisenhower doctrine and what it meant for the Middle East region.

6:59 – Eisenhower had several speechwriters who helped him write 17 drafts of the doctrine and speech.

9:23 – US was most interested in the region for its oil and how that oil supported European security.

12:59 – The Soviet perspective was to resist the US and promote communism in the region.

16:14 – When the Egyptians made a major arms deal with the Soviets, Eisenhower became worried about the inroads they were making in the Middle East. He pushed religion though Arab nationalism at the time was somewhat secular.

19:53 – As a policy, the Eisenhower Doctrine failed. Arabs didn’t support it.

23:38 – Woodrow Wilson is the first President to really talk about the Middle East at all.

28:23 – Iran was the anchor for US defense of the Middle East during the Cold War until 1979. Arabian oil reserves weren’t exploited until the 60s and on and made Arabia more influential.

32:12 – Eisenhower understood that popular opinion mattered. But US maintained influence through the leaders and not so much the people.

39:59 – During this period, the US had nuclear missiles in Turkey which contributed to the Cuban Crisis. Domino theory also made the US worry about the Soviets taking Middle Eastern countries.

45:53 – Eisenhower tried to work to keep the US from having a large standing army. He saw it as wasteful and a threat to democracy.

51:51 – Randall was surprised at the number of foreigners he found in Middle Eastern countries.


For more “Military History Inside Out” please follow me on Facebook at warscholar, on twitter at Warscholar, on youtube at warscholar1945 and on Instagram @crisalvarezswarscholar

Guests: Randall Fowler

Host: Cris Alvarez

Tags: military, history, military history, conflict, war, interview, non-fiction book, Middle east, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Eisenhower, Suez canal, UK, Soviet Union