Wed, February 20, 2013
Conquered into Liberty: Two Centuries of Battles along the Great Warpath that Made the American Way of War
The lecture takes place in the Visitor and Education Center Multi-Purpose Room. The building opens at 6:45 p.m.; the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome! For further information, please call (717) 245-3972.
February 20, 2013 (Wednesday)
Dr. Eliot Cohen
Americans often think of the Civil War as the conflict that consolidated the United States, including its military values and practices. But there was another, earlier, and more protracted struggle between “North” and “South,” beginning in the 1600s and lasting for more than two centuries that shaped American geopolitics and military culture. The American way of war emerged from a lengthy struggle with an unlikely enemy: Canada. Five peoples—the British, French, Americans, Canadians, and Indians—fought over the key to the North American continent: the corridor running from Albany to Montreal dominated by the Champlain valley and known to Native Americans as the “Great Warpath.” The conflicts along these two hundred miles of lake, river, and woodland shaped the country’s military values, practices, and institutions. What emerged was a distinctively American approach to war developed along the Great Warpath. Cohen weaves together tactics and strategy, battle narratives, and statecraft, introducing the audience to such fascinating but little-known figures as Justus Sherwood, loyalist spy; Jeduthan Baldwin, self-taught engineer; and La Corne St. Luc, ruthless partisan leader. And he reintroduces characters we thought we knew—an admirable Benedict Arnold, a traitorous Ethan Allen, and a devious George Washington. A gripping read grounded in serious scholarship, Conquered into Liberty will enchant and inform readers for decades to come.
Eliot Cohen holds BA and a PhD in government from Harvard. From 1982 to 1985 he was Assistant Professor of Government at Harvard, and Assistant Dean of Harvard College. In 1985 he joined the Strategy Department of the Naval War College. In 1990 he joined the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Planning Staff, and later SAIS. In addition to directing the strategic studies program he is the founding Director of the Center for Strategic Education, a curriculum development and university teacher training program. From April 2007 through January 2009 he served as Counselor of the Department of State.
In addition to the book on which tonight’s lecture is based, Eliot Cohen is the author of Supreme Command: Soldiers, Statesmen, and Leadership in Wartime (2002) His other books are Commandos and Politicians (1978) and Citizens and Soldiers (1985). He is, also co-author of Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (1990), Revolution in Warfare? Air Power in the Persian Gulf (1995), and co-editor of Strategy in the Contemporary World (2002) and War over Kosovo (2001). From 1991-1993 he directed and edited the official study of air power in the 1991 war with Iraq. He has also authored numerous articles in a variety of journals.