Help me Brainstorm History Paper

Discussion in 'Community' started by Kwyjibo, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    #1
    I've got a paper due at the end of february on any military subject since 1815. MY goal is to start the book this weekend. I would rather not do it on a current topic (since 1995), we also have to read a full book on the topic, I'm sure theres a few history buffs around here that could recommend a topic and book combo for me to look into.

    I'm really open and I love US History but the question is pretty open ended.
     
  2. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    PDX
    #2
    well, there are certainly no shortage of military subjects to chose from, although that is a little vague...a specific engagement? A conflict/war? An evolution of military tactics/theory/infrastructure?

    Possible topics include:

    The Indian war(s)
    The Civil War
    Battle of Vicksburg (considered the most pivotal of the CW by many)
    Establishment and evolution of Fort Leavenworth
    Bay of Pigs
    Vietnam (some say there is increased relevance for this subject)

    As far as books go, I cannot recommend many specific texts, although for the Civil War/Battle of Vicksburg, Ulysses S Grant's Personal Memoirs is a good start and an excellent read.

    Also recommend Thucydides The Peloponnesian War or many modern books adapting his timeless wisdom about matters of War and Politics.

    Hopefully, that is a start...perhaps someone else will chime in.
     
  3. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #3
    its about 4 or 5 pages long, so I don't want to tackle something too big like the civil war, vicksburg is interesting i'll take a look at that. Its a pretty open thing, thats how the prof wants it.
     
  4. jadam macrumors 6502a

    jadam

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  5. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #5
    In that case, you might want to check out The Beleagured City: The Vicksburg Campaign by Shelby Foote

    If your subject doesn't have to involve the US, I suggest the War in the Sudan/mahdi uprising between the British and an Islamic rebellion in part pricipatated by the former's propping-up of an unpopular Egyptian ruler.

    A young Winston Churchill fought in it, and wrote an excellent book about it: The River War: An Historical Account of the re-conquest of the Soudan. Within this war, there were two incidents of paricular note:
    The encirclement of the British garrison at Khartoum by Mahdi forces, the former of whom, led by war-hero Gen. Gordon, withstood months of siege only to have a belated rescue team arrive two days too late. This precipitated the collapse of the Liberal government in Britain and the subsequent long period of Conservative rule.

    The other event, was the battle of Omdurman, where Gen. Kitchener defeated the Mahdist army in 1898. It was one of the last battles of it's kind before the industrial-age war: successions of sweeping calvary charges in place of heavy-weaponry/machinery. Great stuff. Gen. Gordon is,, like Grant, a very interesting character.
     
  6. iBook macrumors regular

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    #6
    The Cuban Missile Crisis in the early 1960s makes for a great story and would be a solid foundation for a paper. Strong personalities involved (i.e., JFK and Khrushchev) and plenty of dramatic tension -- all played out on TV and the global stage.

    I remember the day my father -- a naval-trained engineer -- told me the story when I was a teen-ager. Fascinating 13-day period in our history, especially when you factor in the diplomacy and behind-the-scenes activities that have since come to light.
     
  7. iLikeMyiMac macrumors 6502a

    iLikeMyiMac

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    St. Louis
    #7
    I'm actually doing that topic right now for a paper for my AP US Hist. class. I have a stack of a half-dozen books sitting next to me right now. It's a pretty interesting topic.
    Another pretty interesting topic would be Mogadishu/ Somalia and the Black Hawk Down stuff though it might almost be too recent for you. It happened in October 1993. I remember seeing some pretty cool specials on the History Channel about it. :cool:
     
  8. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #8
    Thanks! I'll look into the sudan / mahdi thing, it does not have to be US at all, it was just an interest of mine ( i'm an american what can I say it always seems so natural).
     
  9. busasa macrumors member

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    Feb 2, 2004
    #10
    I think it would be better if you keep your area of interest on American warfare after 1930's, as US was pretty much an isolationist before that. There were way more interesting stuffs after the US finally participated in IR affair aggresively, with so many satellite wars that occured because of the Cold War period. Like someone stated before, US' position with Cuban is a very interesting one, as there were lots of love and hates going on between these two countries. Try to write the essay from the perspective of political ideology. While I don't know if that's what the prof. really wants, I feel it's a good start.
     
  10. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #11
    I think studying the Spanish-American war at the turn of the century would make for an interesting topic. Teddy Roosevelt was just itching for a fight, and he got one. I think he may have been Secretary of the Navy at the time. Trounced the Spaniards, re-enforced manifest destiny, severely weakened colonialism in the Americas...could be fun.
     
  11. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    Chi Town
    #12
    You might feel it's overplayed, but I think there's an interesting (and little known) story to tell about the history of the US's engagement in the Middle East. The fall of the British Empire plays a key role, as does our rivalry with the Soviet Union. Political ideologies about foreign relations make a frequent appearance and inconsistency, if you ask me, is a theme.

    If you did tell the story, or some of the story, in four or five pages, I would love to read it...And if you're actually interested in History as a major, I think this sort of research would develop into a beautiful, and very relevant, undergraduate thesis.
     
  12. TrenchMouth macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    #13
    Think Different

    Want to do something very different?

    Read This

    Type your paper on militarizing images. You can read this and still do it about American images...

    I just felt like i would give you something different to think about. I liked that book very much, though it was repetative at times.
     
  13. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #14
    I have another paper to do for this class. I did pretty good on the last one, thanks for all the help.

    This time I'm thinking of doing something a bit more modern but I need probably 5 books for this paper instead fo the three I used last time. I"m leaning towards something like the TET offensive but I don't have any books about that yet.

    I will also take suggestions for different Ideas but I want to keep it modern this time, WWII and on.
     
  14. Sox macrumors regular

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    Feb 9, 2005
    #15
    As long as this paper doesn't have to involve the US either, I'd suggest doing something on Stalingrad. Absolutely the turning point of the war on the Russian Front, the first time the Nazi war machine met defeat. Riveting stuff, if you like that sort of thing.

    If you take this on, Antony Beevor's account is indispensable:

    Amazon
     
  15. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #16
    Then you ought to throw this one in as well:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/A...2/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/104-8615707-4085523

    But perhaps that's all a bit much for a 4 page paper, he he...

    anyways, here's a very famous quote from Clausewitz : "War is nothing but a continuation of politics by other means"

    A
     
  16. Kwyjibo thread starter macrumors 68040

    Kwyjibo

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    Nov 5, 2002
    #17
    we did clausewitz, i wrote a whole essay on my midterm about him and Jomini
     
  17. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    #18
    Siege of Mafeking during the Boer War
    Compare and Contrast Isankandra(sp?) with Little Big Horn

    I was going to say the history of submarines in warfare but that goes back to the 1700s!
     
  18. SFVCyclone macrumors 6502a

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    Pasadena, Ca
    #19
    I bet the bloods Vs. Crypts street warfare in america would be perfect.
     
  19. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #20
    Listen to Billy Joel - we didn't start the fire, that will give u some suggestions. My us history teacher said that we should listen to that song before taking the regents exam ( a statewide exam)
     
  20. mcadam macrumors 6502a

    mcadam

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    #21
    How about doing something on Bosnia - civil war in the backyard of the west. I was there in septemper and society is still, literally, in ruins. But this might be quite a big subject. Which could be narrowed down though to fx the siege of Sarajevo or Srbrenica and the role of the UN/the west.

    Haven't any book titles at hand for that, but will ask someone tomorrow if I remember.

    A
     

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