Posted April 16, 2008

Conference to celebrate Temple’s intellectual tradition in military history

Beyond Combat: Essays in Honor of Russell F. Weigley.


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To the late Russell F. Weigley, military history was never just about battles and campaigns. Weigley, a Distinguished University Professor of History at Temple and one of the world’s leading military historians, explored the causes and consequences of war and how military conflict has shaped modern societies as thoroughly as he did battlefield tactics and grand strategy. In doing so, he helped elevate military history from the domain of armchair generals into something much more mature, intellectually rigorous and academically respectable.

Several of Weigley’s most important books – The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (1973), Eisenhower’s Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany 1944-1945 (1981), and The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo (1991) – became must reading for anyone seriously interested in the field and influenced many non-military historians.

“In more than 40 years of teaching, Weigley turned Temple University into a premier center for studying military history.


A long line of his students have shaped the field in both the academic world and the historical programs maintained by America’s armed forces,” said Gregory W. Urwin, professor of history at Temple University.

Following Weigley’s death in 2004, two of his former doctoral candidates, Edward G. Longacre and Theodore J. Zeman, asked the late professor’s most accomplished students to contribute to an essay collection in honor of their departed mentor. The result is Beyond Combat: Essays in Military History in Honor of Russell F. Weigley.

On April 26, the Temple History Department will join the Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy (CENFAD), in sponsoring a conference entitled “Beyond Combat: A Conference Honoring the Temple Tradition in Military History.” The conference will feature papers from the essay collection.

In an additional tribute to Weigley, Longacre and Zeman are donating the royalties earned by this book to CENFAD, which Weigley co-founded in the 1990s. Copies of Beyond Combat will be available at the conference for sale and signing by the editors and attending contributors.

The conference is being co-sponsored by the Society for Military History, the American Philosophical Society, Roxanne and John R. Satterfield, and the Boeing Company.

What: Beyond Combat: A Conference Honoring the Temple Tradition in Military History
When: Saturday, April 26, 2008, 9:30-5:00
Where: Russell F. Weigley Room on the 9th Floor of Gladelter Hall
Registration: Free. Anyone wishing to reserve a ticket to a free box lunch should RSVP by e-mailing Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin at