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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, America Inc.? Innovation and Enterprise in the National Security State, Technology and Culture, vol. 57 no. 3 (July, 2016), pp. 694-696
  2. 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]
  3. with Raymond Ashley, Jeffrey Bolster, Alexander Keyssar, and David Sicilia, A Maritime History of the United States (2003)
  4. with Philip Shiman, Strategic Computing: DARPA and the Quest for Machine Intelligence, 1983-1993 (2002), Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
  5. Understanding War, edited by Richard H. Kohn and Alex Roland (2002) (includes introduction co-authored with Kohn, and chapter entitled "Technology and War".)

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