War for dummies

Last fall, Missouri S&T author John C. McManus released his sixth book on military history. The new book, which covers everything from the French and Indian War through Iraq, isn’t necessarily for scholars. In fact, the title is U.S. Military History for Dummies.


Books in the For Dummies series, published by John Wiley & Sons, are known for their promise of simplifying topics that are often viewed as confusing or intimidating. Topics range from health concerns and financial investments to travel and advanced computing.
According to McManus, U.S. Military History for Dummies is for anyone who has even the slightest interest in military history. “If you are completely new to the topic of U.S. military history, the book is a wonderful, engaging introduction to the subject,” he says. “On the other hand, if you know a lot about military history, you’ll still find plenty of new information.”
McManus, an associate professor of history and political science, believes the book would make a perfect textbook for an introductory history course.
“I structured the book, to some extent, the same way I structure my U.S. military history course (History 280),” explains McManus. “Believe it or not, there are very few good books that explain the whole story.”
The book includes special sections on the Revolutionary War, World War II and Vietnam that discuss how different groups of historians have, over time, interpreted the significance and meaning of those particular wars. The book also includes McManus’ top-10 lists of the best and worst generals in U.S. military history.

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