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Alex Roland, History

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Ph.D.Duke University1974
M.A.University of Hawaii, Manoa1970
B.S.United States Naval Academy1966
Research Interests:

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.

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.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Roland, A. "Making Jet Engines in World War II: Britain, Germany, and the United States by Hermione Giffard." Technology and Culture 58.3 (2017): 878-879. [doi]
  2. Roland, A. "America Inc.? Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State by Linda Weiss." Technology and Culture 57.3 (2016): 694-696. [doi]
  3. Roland, A. "A History of War in 100 Battles." Journal of Military History 79.2 (April, 2015): 475-475.
  4. Roland, A. "Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight by Michael G. Smith." Journal of World History 26.3 (2015): 684-686. [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 105.4 (December, 2014): 866-867. [doi]
Harold K. Johnson Professor of Military History, Military History Institute, U.S. Army War College, 1988-1989 Fellow, Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1994-1995 Dr. Leo Shifrin Professor of Naval-Military History, U.S. Naval Academy, 2001-2002