Alex Roland, Professor Emeritus

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.

Office Location:  
Email Address: send me a message

Education:

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

  1. Roland, A, Making Jet Engines in World War II: Britain, Germany, and the United States, Technology and Culture, vol. 58 no. 3 (July, 2017), pp. 878-879 [doi]
  2. Roland, A, America Inc.? Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State, Technology and Culture, vol. 57 no. 3 (July, 2016), pp. 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, vol. 26 no. 3 (September, 2015), pp. 684-686 [doi]
  4. Roland, A, Arguments That Count: Physics, Computing, and Missile Defense, 1949-2012, Isis, vol. 105 no. 3 (September, 2014), pp. 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