T. E. Lawrence and the revolution in British military thought

John Keegan wrote in The Face of Battle about the paradoxical preference of military historians for the study of armed forces in peacetime: “War…is the institutional military historian’s irritant. It forces him, whose urge is to generalize and dissect, to qualify and particularize and above all to combine analysis with narrative – the most difficult of all the historian’s arts.” My research this summer will not focus on war – but it will also not focus on institutions in the conventional sense. My research falls into the rather foggy field of military intellectual history, which is the history of military concepts and ideas.

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