Dr. David Ulbrich Coauthors Military History Textbook

A new textbook coauthored by Rogers State University Assistant Professor David Ulbrich traces the history of American warfare from colonial times through the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ulbrich, now a professor at Rogers State University in Oklahoma, said that he wrote “Ways of War” with coauthor Matthew S. Muelbauer to fill a niche in military-history education. A medium-length U.S. military history textbook, “Ways of War” is a survey-level account of American warfare and military leaders in their cultural, technological, diplomatic and political context. “Our book tells compelling stories and gleans important lessons from the past, but we do not glorify violence. That is why we chose the photograph on the cover. The empty helmet on the Normandy beach on D-Day calls to mind the sacrifices during wars,” Ulbrich said.

The book is available in both hardback and paperback editions from Routledge.

“Warfare and the military have played central roles in many areas of American history,” Ulbrich said. “Yet, there are surprisingly few textbooks like ‘Ways of War’ written for college students and their instructors. It could also appeal to anyone interested in the American military.”

In addition to recounting the evolution of warfare and the military, the textbook also includes more than 100 maps, pictures and chapter timelines identifying key dates and events. Additional resources for students and instructors can be found on a companion website that offers: an interactive timeline, chapter summaries, annotated further reading, annotated web links, additional book content, flashcards and an extensive glossary of key terms.

Ulbrich’s seven-chapter contribution to the 537-page book focuses on the period from 1910 to 2012.

“Ways of War” is Ulbrich’s second book. The first, “Preparing for Victory,” was published in 2011 by the U.S. Naval Institute Press. It recounts how Thomas Holcomb, as commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, resuscitated a branch of the armed forces that had dwindled to a shadow of its former glory during the years after World War I. Ulbrich credits Holcomb with transforming the Marine Corps into a modern amphibious force that helped win the America’s battle for the Pacific in World War II.

In 2012, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation awarded Ulbrich the organization’s Gen. Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award for excellence in nonfiction writing.

Due in part to his work on “Preparing for Victory,” the Australian Army invited Ulbrich to speak at this fall’s annual Chief of Army History Conference in Canberra in fall 2013. At the conference, theme “Armies and Pacific Strategies,” Ulbrich presented a paper called “Marine Corps Doctrine and the War with Japan.” Organizers will publish his paper and others in a collection of conference proceedings due out in 2014.