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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, Is military technology deterministic?, Vulcan, vol. 7 no. 1 (January, 2020), pp. 19-33 [doi[abs]
  2. Roland, A, The lonely race to mars: The future of manned spaceflight, in Space Policy Alternatives (January, 2019), pp. 35-49, ISBN 9780367288488 [doi[abs]
  3. Roland, A, Secrecy, technology, and war: Greek fire and the defense of byzantium, 678-1204, in Warfare in the Dark Ages (May, 2017), pp. 419-443, ISBN 9780754625575
  4. 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]
  5. 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]

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