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Alex Roland, History

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Ph.D.Duke University1974
M.A.University of Hawaii at 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." Technology and Culture 58.3 (July, 2017): 878-879. [doi]
  2. Roland, A. "America Inc.? Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State." Technology and Culture 57.3 (July, 2016): 694-696. [doi]
  3. Roland, A. "Rockets and Revolution: A Cultural History of Early Spaceflight." Journal of world history : official journal of the World History Association 26.3 (September, 2015): 684-686. [doi]
  4. Roland, A. "Arguments That Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012." Isis 105.3 (September, 2014): 671-672. [doi]
  5. with Raymond Ashley, Jeffrey Bolster, Alexander Keyssar, and David Sicilia. "A Maritime History of the United States."  2003
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