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Howard, Michael (Eliot) 1922-

HOWARD, Michael (Eliot) 1922-

PERSONAL: Born November 29, 1922, in London, England; son of Geoffrey Eliot and Edith (Edinger) Howard. Education: Attended Wellington College, 1936-40; Christ Church, Oxford, B.A., 1946, M.A., 1948. Religion: Anglican. Hobbies and other interests: Music, weeding.

ADDRESSES: Home—The Old Farm, Eastbury, Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 7JN, England.

CAREER: King's College, University of London, London, England, assistant lecturer, 1947-50, lecturer in history, 1950-53, lecturer in war studies, 1953-61, reader, 1961-63, professor of war studies, 1963-68; Oxford University, Oxford, England, fellow of All Souls College, 1968—, Ford's Lecturer in English History, 1971, Chichele Professor of the History of War, 1977-80, Regius Professor of Modern History, 1980-89, professor emeritus of modern history, beginning 1993; Yale University, New Haven, CT, Robert A. Lovett Professor of Naval and Military History, 1989-93. Visiting professor of European history, Stanford University, 1967; Radcliffe lecturer, University of Warwick, 1975; Trevelyan lecturer, Cambridge University, 1977; Leverhulme lecturer, 1996; Lee Kuan Yew Distinguished Visiting professor, National University of Singapore, 1996. President and cofounder, International Institute for Strategic Studies; vice president, Council on Christian Approaches to Defence and Disarmament; chairman of army educational advisory board, 1966-71; chairman of academic advisory council, Royal Military Academy, 1969-75. Trustee of Imperial War Museum and British National Army Museum. Governor, Wellington College. Military service: British Army, Coldstream Guards, 1942-45; became captain; received Military Cross, 1943.

MEMBER: British Academy (fellow), Royal Historical Society (fellow), Institute for Strategic Studies (life president), American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Athenaeum Club, Garrick Club, Pratts Club.

AWARDS, HONORS: Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, 1962, for The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871; Wolfson Foundation History Award, 1972, for Grand Strategy, Volume 4; Memorial Gold Medal, Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies, 1973; Commander of the Order of the British Empire, 1977; NATO Atlantic Award, 1989; Companion of Honor, 2002; Friedrich Ebert Prize, 2002, for the Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order,; honorary degrees from Leeds University, University of London, and Lehigh University.


(With John Sparrow) The Coldstream Guards, 1920-1946, Oxford University Press (London, England), 1951.

Proud Heritage: A Portrait of Greatness, edited by Richard Livingstone, Bernard Paget, and H. Imrie Swainston, J. Dron, 1951.

(Editor) Soldiers and Governments: Nine Studies in Civil-Military Relations, Eyre & Spottiswoode (London, England), 1957, Indiana University Press, 1959, reprinted, Greenwood Press, 1978.

Disengagement in Europe, Penguin (London, England), 1958.

(Editor) Wellingtonian Studies: Essays on the First Duke of Wellington by Five Old Wellingtonian Historians, Gale & Polden, 1959.

The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France, 1870-1871, Macmillan, 1961, revised edition, Methuen (London, England), 1981.

(Editor) The Theory and Practice of War: Essays Presented to Captain B. H. Liddell Hart on His Seventieth Birthday, Cassell (London, England), 1965, Praeger, 1966.

Lord Haldane and the Territorial Army (monograph), Birkbeck College, 1967.

(With Robert Hunter) Israel and the Arab World: The Crisis of 1967, Institute for Strategic Studies, 1967.

Strategy and Policy in Twentieth-Century Warfare (monograph), United States Air Force Academy, 1967.

The Mediterranean Strategy in the Second World War, Praeger, 1968.

The Central Organisation of Defence, Royal United Service Institute, 1970.

Studies in War and Peace, Maurice Temple Smith, 1970, Viking (New York, NY), 1971.

The Continental Commitment: The Dilemma of British Defence Policy in the Era of the Two World Wars, Maurice Temple Smith, 1972.

Grand Strategy, Volume 4: August 1942-September 1943, H.M.S.O., 1972.

The British Way in Warfare: A Reappraisal, J. Cape (London, England), 1975.

War in European History, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1976.

(Editor and translator, with Peter Paret) Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1976, reprinted, Library of Congress (Washington, DC), 1998.

War and the Nation State, Clarendon Press (Oxford, England), 1978.

War and the Liberal Conscience, Rutgers University Press (Rutgers, NJ), 1978.

(Editor) Restraints on War: Studies in the Limitation of Armed Conflict, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1979.

The Lessons of History: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered before the Vice Chancellor and Fellows of the University of Oxford on Friday, 6 March 1981, Clarendon Press (New York, NY), 1981.

Clausewitz, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1983.

The Causes of Wars and Other Essays, 2nd edition, enlarged, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1983.

The Lessons of History, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1991.

(Editor, with R. Ahmann and A. M. Birke) The Quest for Stability: Problems of West European Security, 1918-1957, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor, with George J. Andreopoulos and Mark R. Shulman) The Laws of War: Constraints on Warfare in the Western World, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 1994.

(With John F. Guilmartin, Jr.) Two Historians in Technology and War, Strategic Studies Institute (Carlisle Barracks, PA), 1994.

(Editor, with William Roger Louis) The Oxford History of the Twentieth Century, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998.

The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2001.

The First World War, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Author of foreword, The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History, by Philip Bobbitt, Knopf, 2002. Contributor to periodicals, including Encounter, Journal of the Royal United Service Institute, and English History Review.

SIDELIGHTS: As an academic specializing in military and naval history, Michael Howard has focused much of his writing on interpreting the events of the early twentieth century as they relate to war. In The Invention of Peace: Reflections on War and International Order, Howard won praise from critics for his concise explanation of how the twentieth century ushered in a new era in human history—one in which peace, rather than constant war, is an actual possibility. The roots of this sea change reached back to the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, and its feasibility strengthened by two world wars. Even though the book, which is an expanded essay based on one of Howard's lectures, sounds encouraging, critic Robert F. Drinan noted in the National Catholic Reporter that, in fact, it is "unsettling," mostly because Howard understands "the mentality of extremists who are determined to impose their views on others," as the new century dawns.

Writing in the English Historical Review, Brian Bond noted that Howard explains how the formation of an international community and increasing globalization makes peace an option, but that religious fundamentalism and terrorism, conjoined with the apathy of citizens in democratic states, may quite possibly undermine any chance for peace in the coming years. John Dear of America called The Invention of Peace a "brief but sweeping survey of the past 2,000 years of European-based warmaking" that, despite its title, makes clear "that there is little hope that we will ever be free of war." Rather than peace, wrote Dear, Howard focuses on the "re-invention of war" as it evolves with ever new weapons of mass destruction and greater possibility for annihilation. Gilbert Taylor of Booklist echoed Dear's sentiment, saying that "Howard's analytically sharp discourse is ultimately pessimistic," especially when he outlines growing anti-American sentiment in other parts of the world. A writer for Publishers Weekly credited Howard's ability to distill information, concluding that "for all its brevity, this book is extraordinarily ambitious in scope."

In The First World War Howard summarizes the defining moment of the twentieth century in only 154 pages. Critics gave Howard high marks for his brevity in explaining the causes and complications of World War I in a way that makes the events sound inevitable. Starting with the geopolitical situation on the eve of the war in 1914, Howard outlines the reasons each country had for entering into the conflict. He also explains how countries formed alliances with one another, a new concept at the time but one that has characterized most global conflicts since. Trench warfare and modern machinery, which lengthened the war and transformed it into one of attrition, are also explained in Howard's book. Finally, the war ended with a major migration of refugees, an unbearable number of casualties, and the Versailles Treaty, which, Howard claims, laid the groundwork for the rise of Adolf Hitler. With each new development, says Howard, generals were sure the war would end, but the reverse happened. Taylor, writing in Booklist, called The First World War "succinctly expressive," a sentiment shared by other reviewers. Ian McGibbon wrote in the New Zealand International Review that The First World War is "written with great clarity and authority" and "focuses unabashedly on the events on the battlefield, which, Howard explains, ultimately transformed the social and political structures of Europe." A writer for Kirkus Reviews said that Howard "engages and educates . . . with clarity, craft, and precision."



Freedman, Lawrence, Paul Hayes, and Robert O'Neill, War, Strategy, and International Politics: Essays in Honour of Sir Michael Howard, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1992.


America, April 9, 2001, John Dear, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 40.

Booklist, March 1, 2001, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 1211; September 15, 2002, Gilbert Taylor, review of The First World War, p. 198.

English Historical Review, April, 1997, Brian Bond, review of The Laws of War, p. 550; November, 2000, Brian Bond, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 1349.

Journal of Modern History, September, 1997, Mathias Schmoeckel, review of The Laws of War, p. 570.

Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2001, a review of The Invention of Peace, p. 235; August 1, 2002, review of The First World War, p. 1096.

Los Angeles Times Book Review, June 3, 2001, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 3.

National Catholic Reporter, August 24, 2001, Robert F. Drinan, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 18.

New York Times Book Review, September 6, 1981, review of The Franco-Prussian War, p. 19; January 29, 1984, Linda Robinson, review of The Causes of Wars and Other Essays, p. 23.

New Zealand International Review, September-October, 2002, Ian McGibbon, review of The First World War, p. 29.

Orbis, winter, 1996, Eugene V. Rostow, review of The Laws of War, p. 145.

Publishers Weekly, February 26, 2001, review of The Invention of Peace, p. 69.

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