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Foley, Robert T. 1969–

Foley, Robert T. 1969–

(Robert Thomas Foley)

PERSONAL:

Born December 2, 1969. Education: New York University, B.A., M.A.; King's College London, Ph.D.; attended George Washington University and Charles University.

ADDRESSES:

OfficeUniversity of Liverpool, School of History, 9 Abercromby Sq., Liverpool L69 7WZ, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER:

Academic and historian. King's College London, London, England, senior lecturer in defense studies; Defense Academy of the United Kingdom, Wiltshire, England, lecturer; University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, senior lecturer in modern military history, chair of the School of History Board of Studies.

MEMBER:

Society for Military History, Royal Historical Society, British Commission for Military History.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Gladstone prize, Royal Historical Society, 2005, for best book on a non-British subject.

WRITINGS:

Link Attrition: Its Theory and Application in German Strategy, 1880-1916, University of London (London, England), 1999.

(Editor) Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, Frank Cass (Portland, OR), 2003.

German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich Von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including the Historian, Journal of Intelligence History, War and Society, Royal United Services Institute Journal, and War in History.

SIDELIGHTS:

Robert T. Foley is an academic and historian. He was born on December 2, 1969. Foley earned a bachelor of arts degree in history and a master of arts degree in modern European history from New York University. He later earned a Ph.D. in war studies from King's College London. He undertook additional studies at George Washington University and Charles University in Prague, in the Czech Republic.

Foley began his career in academia as a lecturer at King's College London, becoming a senior lecturer in defense studies; in addition, he worked at the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom as a lecturer. Foley later settled at the University of Liverpool as a senior lecturer in modern military history and was also named chair of the School of History Board of Studies. Foley is a member of a number of scholarly organizations, including the Society for Military History, the Royal Historical Society, and the British Commission for Military History. His primary academic research interests include German military history from 1871 to 1918, German war planning and strategic thought, the Imperial German Army, and the First World War.

Foley contributes to a number of academic journals and periodicals, including the Historian, Journal of Intelligence History, War and Society, Royal United Services Institute Journal, and War in History. Foley published his first book, Link Attrition: Its Theory and Application in German Strategy, 1880-1916, in 1999. He edited Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, which was published in 2003.

In 2005, Foley published German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich Von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916. The book received the Gladstone prize from the Royal Historical Society, awarded to the best book on a non-British subject in 2005. The account incorporates documents, previously kept secret by the Soviet Union, from German and Prussian military files. In addition, the book focuses on the strategic ideas expressed during the Franco-Prussian War which, according to Michael J. Zeps in History: Review of New Books, was described as the "people's war." Foley also looks into the Schlieffen Plan's "strategy of annihilation," and Hans Delbruck's proposed concept of a "strategy of attrition." The account also examines the strategies of Erich von Falkenhayn, placing them in the realm of military tactics. Foley argues that the Franco-Prussian war marked the true beginning of the foundation of modern German military planning and strategy.

Zeps, again writing in History: Review of New Books, opened by saying that "the intense faces on the dust-jacket of this superb scholarly work portray well the professionalism of German officers watching a military operation." Zeps concluded that "Foley's style is readable, although copious details without enough maps will make its appeal academic rather than popular." Neil M. Heyman, writing in the Historian, found that Foley "presents a richly documented and convincing case. His account will be of particular interest to specialists in World War I, but general readers will find it highly accessible." Heyman appended that "Foley writes intelligently about the Battle of Verdun itself, but only after devoting two-thirds of his work to the background of the epic struggle."

Douglas V. Johnson II, reviewing the book in Parameters, observed that "there are a number of weaknesses in this work." Johnson pointed out that "the use of numbers and factors for one side are next to meaningless without some comparable figures for the other. Comparative figures do emerge in the final chapter, but they are derived from a single source. It is this reviewer's experience that nothing is more contentious about World War I than casualty figures, especially for the French." Johnson continued, saying: "All that said, except for the issue of cost versus a useful map, these criticisms are really mere irritants. The book is truly a fascinating effort well worth reading."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, December, 2005, Roger Chickering, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich Von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916, p. 1618.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, July 1, 2003, R.S. Levy, review of Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, p. 1979; January, 2006, K. Eubank, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 922.

English Historical Review, June, 2006, Terence M. Holmes, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 872.

German Studies Review, October, 2006, Arden Bucholz, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 701.

Historian, spring, 2006, Neil M. Heyman, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 182.

History: Review of New Books, summer, 2005, Michael J. Zeps, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 153.

International History Review, September, 2003, Hew Strachan, review of Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, p. 690; March, 2006, Holger H. Herwig, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 187.

Journal of Military History, January, 2004, Antulio J. Echevarria II, review of Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, p. 262; January, 2006, Michael B. Barrett, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 254.

Journal of Modern History, March, 2005, Arden Bucholz, review of Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings, p. 220; March, 2007, Eric Dorn Brose, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 211.

Parameters, winter, 2005, Douglas V. Johnson II, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun, p. 141.

ONLINE

BBC.co.uk,http://www.bbc.co.uk/ (March 26, 2008), author profile.

H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (January, 2006), Bryan Ganaway, review of German Strategy and the Path to Verdun.

King's College Department of Defense Studies Web site,http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/ (March 26, 2008), author profile.

University of Liverpool Web site,http://www.liv.ac.uk/ (March 26, 2008), author profile.

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