September 14, 2007

Book Review - The American Way of War

The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy
Russell F. Weigley
UA 23 .W3695 1977

This textbook of American military policy divides the country's history into five phases. Chapters on the establishment and solidification of the nation look at the colonial and federal periods, 1775-1815. America's "childhood" is then examined. The period from 1815-1890 is seen by Weigley as the formative years of the establishment of American military strategy and priorities. From 1890-1941, the study focuses on America's transition from a local military power to a player in the world. World War II from 1941-1945 is seen as the successful culmination of military strategies developed in earlier periods. Weigley concludes his study by analyzing strategies and complications from World War II until the Vietnam War. Readers will want to supplement this text with additional materials that address United States military activities since the late 1970's when this book was published.