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Research Interests for Alex Roland

Research Interests:

I study military history and the history of technology. My focus has ranged over all of Western experience, and I have recently converted my undergraduate course in military history to a comparative world military history course. I have written about chariots in the second millennium B.C., Greek fire in medieval Byzantium, and computers and aerospace technology in the twentieth century. While I study the history of technology in general, I also focus on the ways in which technology has shaped war and war has altered technology.

Current projects:
Separate from my scholarship and teaching, I am a student and critic of the United States civilian space program. I spent eight stimulating and rewarding years (1973-1981) as a historian with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, but I have come to believe that the agency lost its way after the Apollo program. I have written extensively on this topic. My other extracurricular activities include running, tennis, mystery and historical novels, and occasional sailing when I can find my way to the sea.
Recent Publications
  1. Roland, A, Making Jet Engines in World War II: Britain, Germany, and the United States by Hermione Giffard, Technology and Culture, vol. 58 no. 3 (2017), pp. 878-879, Project Muse [doi]
  2. Roland, A, America Inc.? Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State by Linda Weiss, Technology and Culture, vol. 57 no. 3 (2016), pp. 694-696, Project Muse [doi]
  3. Roland, A, A History of War in 100 Battles, vol. 79 no. 2 (April, 2015), pp. 475-475
  4. Roland, A, Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight by Michael G. Smith, Journal of World History, vol. 26 no. 3 (2015), pp. 684-686, Project Muse [doi]
  5. Roland, A, Robert G. Ferguson. NASA's First A: Aeronautics from 1958 to 2008. viii + 293 pp., illus., apps., bibl., index. Washington, D.C.: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2013. $20 (cloth)., Isis, vol. 105 no. 4 (December, 2014), pp. 866-867, University of Chicago Press [doi]

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