Bringing together government professionals, academics, consultants, students, and citizens interested in understanding federal history work and the historical development of the federal government.


Recent Publications

New England Federalists: Widening the Sectional Divide in Jeffersonian America
By Dinah Mayo-Bobee
Madison, NJ:  Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2017; pp. 254
Hardback, $95; eBook $90New England Federalists

Beginning with controversies related to British and French attacks on U.S. neutral trade in 1805, this book looks at crucial developments in national politics, public policy, and foreign relations from the perspective of New England Federalists. Through its focus on the partisan climate in Congress that appeared to influence federal statutes, New England Federalists: Widening the Sectional Divide in Jeffersonian America sets out to explain, in their own words, why Federalists, especially those often deemed extreme or radical by contemporaries and historians alike, escalated a campaign to repeal the Constitution’s three-fifths clause (which included slaves in the calculation for congressional representation and votes in the Electoral College) while encouraging violations of federal law and advocating northern secession from the Union. Unlike traditional interpretations of early 19th-century politics that focus on Jeffersonian political economy, this study brings the impetus for Federalist obstructionism and sectionalism into sharp relief. Federalists, who became the sole defenders of New England’s economic independence and free labor force, later issued calls for northerners to unite against the spread of slavery and southern control of the central government. Along with controversies that placed sectional harmony in jeopardy, this work links themes in Federalist opposition rhetoric to the important antislavery arguments that would flourish in antebellum culture and politics.

Joining the Great War, April 1917–April 1918
By Eric B. Setzekorn
Domestic Publication Date: 15 March 2017
GPO S/N: 008-029-00620-1 (Paper); CMH Pub 77–3
Pp. 76; illustrations, maps, further readings
$8Joining the Great War

Joining the Great War, April 1917–April 1918, by Eric B. Setzekorn, is the next installment in the U.S. Army Campaigns of World War I series, chronicling the first year of the American involvement in World War I. It briefly summarizes the prewar U.S. Army, the initial American reaction to the outbreak of war in Europe in 1914, and the factors that led to the U.S. declaration of war in April 1917. The narrative then examines how the U.S. Army transformed itself from a small constabulary force into a mass, industrialized army capable of engaging in modern warfare. The author covers stateside mobilization and training, the formation of the American Expeditionary Forces, and the slow buildup of American forces in France and concludes with U.S. soldiers helping to blunt the first phase of the 1918 German Spring Offensive.

The Surge, 2007–2008
By Nicholas J. SchlosserThe Surge
Domestic Publication Date: 15 March 2017
GPO S/N: 008-029-00613-8 (Paper); CMH Pub 78–1
Pp. 96; illustrations, maps, further readings

The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) recently released The Surge, 2007–2008 by Nicholas J. Schlosser. This brochure is the first in the new series The U.S. Army Campaigns in Iraq. To set the stage, Schlosser provides an overview of the region and the situation that led to the increase in insurgent activities as well as the command structure of U.S. forces. He provides discussion of key operations during the surge including FARDH AL-QANOON, PHANTOM THUNDER, ARROWHEAD RIPPER, MARNE TORCH, and PHANTOM STRIKE. The brochure concludes with the status of forces agreement between the United States and Iraq drafted at the end of 2008. The publication, issued as CMH Pub 71-8, includes nine maps and fifteen photographs

taking-the-offensiveTaking the Offensive, October 1966–September 1967
By Glenn F. Williams
Domestic Publication Date: 30 November 2016
GPO S/N: 008-029-00615-4 (Paper); CMH Pub 76-4
Pp. 88; illustrations, maps, further readings

The U.S. Army Center of Military History is pleased to present a new pamphlet in the U.S. Army Campaigns of the Vietnam War series. Taking the Offensive, October 1966–September 1967, by Glenn F. Williams, begins with a discussion of Operation ATTLEBORO in Tay Ninh Province. The largest allied operation to date in the war, ATTLEBORO forced the 9th PLAF Division to abandon its attack on Suoi Da Special Forces camp and cost over 1,000 enemy lives. Additional action in War Zone C, including Operations CEDAR FALLS, JUNCTION CITY, and JUNCTION CITY II, highlight the U.S. Army effort to disrupt the network of camps and supply stores of the North Vietnamese main force units through ground and air assault. Operations in Binh Dinh Province—THAYER I, THAYER II, PERSHING, and LEJUNE—continued to inflict heavy losses on the enemy. The efforts of the U.S. Army throughout Vietnam during this time allowed for growing political stability in South Vietnam leading up to the 3 September 1967 election. This pamphlet contains 12 maps and 15 illustrations.

virginia-campaignThe Virginia Campaigns, March–August 1862
by Christopher Kolakowski
Wash., DC: Center of Military History, 2016
GPO S/N: 008-029-00602-2 (Paper); CMH Pub 75-5
Pp. 68; illustrations, maps, further readings

The Virginia Campaigns, March–August 1862, by Christopher Kolakowski, covers key battles in the Commonwealth of Virginia including Malvern Hill, Glendale, Gaines’ Mill, Mechanicsville, and Second Bull Run. It also discusses the changes made in leadership of the Union command as President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton assumed direction of the war.

National Park Roads 4772National Park Roads:  A Legacy in the American Landscape
By Timothy Davis

Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2016
Pp. 352: 11 x 12, 249 b&w and color illustrations, cloth ISBN 978-0-8139-3776-2

Millions of visitors tour America’s national parks, but few understand the extent to which roads shape their experience or pause to consider when, why, or how the routes they travel on were built. This exhaustively researched and attractively illustrated book highlights the unique qualities of park roads, details the factors influencing their design and development, and examines their role in shaping the national park experience. Not only do park roads determine what most visitors see and how they see it, but decisions about when, where, and how to build roads epitomize the central challenge of national park management: balancing preservation and access in America’s most treasured landscapes. National Park Roads:  A Legacy in the American Landscape tells this story in a manner that is accessible to general readers yet rich with insights for engineers, landscape architects, historic preservationists, and others concerned with park transportation and the stewardship of America’s natural and cultural resources.

National Duties: Custom Houses and the Making of the American State
By Gautham RaoNational Duties 9780226367071

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016
Pp. 272; Tables, bibliography, index

“Left millions of dollars of debt by the war, the nascent federal government created a system of taxes on imported goods and installed custom houses at the nation’s ports, which were charged with collecting these fees. Gradually, the houses amassed enough revenue from import merchants to stabilize the new government. But, as the fragile United States was dependent on this same revenue, the merchants at the same time gained outsized influence over the daily affairs of the custom houses. As the United States tried to police this commerce in the early nineteenth century, the merchants’ stranglehold on custom house governance proved to be formidable. . . . In National Duties, Gautham Rao makes the case that the origins of the federal government and the modern American state lie in these conflicts at government custom houses between the American Revolution and the presidency of Andrew Jackson. He argues that the contours of the government emerged from the push-and-pull between these groups, with commercial interests gradually losing power to the administrative state, which only continued to grow and lives on today.”

cs_web_WitSWar in the Shallows: U.S. Navy Coastal and Riverine Warfare in Vietnam, 1965–1968

By John Darrell Sherwood

Wash., DC: Naval History and Heritage Command, Department of the Navy, 2015
Pp. 425; illustrations, maps, bibliography, index; ISBN 978-0-945274-76-6 (hardcover)

At the height of the U.S. Navy’s involvement in the Vietnam War, the Navy’s coastal and riverine forces included more than 30,000 Sailors and over 350 patrol vessels ranging in size from riverboats to destroyers. These forces developed the most extensive maritime block­ade in modern naval history and fought pitched battles against Viet Cong units in the Mekong Delta and elsewhere. War in the Shallows explores the operations of the Navy’s three inshore task forces from 1965 to 1968. It also delves into other themes such as basing, technology, tactics, and command and control. Finally, using oral history inter­views, it reconstructs deckplate life in South Vietnam, focusing in particular on combat waged by ordinary Sailors. Available at

USMC Greene PapersThe Greene Papers: General Wallace M. Greene Jr. and the Escalation of the Vietnam War, January 196 –March 1965

Edited by Nicholas J. Schlosser

Quantico, Virginia: History Division, United States Marine Corps, 2015
Pp. 416; illustrations, bibliography, index

The Greene Papers is an edited volume of the personal papers of Gen. Wallace M. Greene, Jr., who served on the Joints Chief of Staff during the height of the Vietnam War. “The Vietnam War was the first major American war in which the Commandant of the Marine Corps served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the critical years leading up to the conflict and for the entire duration of the conflict. For the first time, a Marine Corps Commandant was tasked with making strategic decisions on the same level as the Chiefs of the Air Force, Army, and Navy. As a result, a volume examining the Marine Corps’ leadership before and during the war strengthens our understanding of how the Commandant approached and balanced his traditional duties as a Service chief with the new responsibility of serving as a military advisor to the commander in chief, President Johnson.” The volume can be accessed online at or you can email the press and request a free copy at

HS_COVERHistorical Studies in the Societal Impact of Spaceflight

Edited by Steven J. Dick

Wash., DC: NASA History Program Office, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2015
Pp. 664; illustrations, bibliography, index

This volume presents a series of in-depth studies on the mutual interaction of space exploration and society—part of a larger need to understand the relationships between science, technology, and society. After beginning with a study of public attitudes toward space over time, it then moves on to specific case studies of potential “spinoffs” from NASA’s space program in the areas of medical technology, integrated circuits, and the multibillion-dollar industry today known as MEMS (microelectromechanical systems). These studies explicitly raise the difficult questions of what can be considered spinoff and how much of any particular claimed spinoff can be attributed to NASA. Beyond spinoffs, the final part of the volume considers broader issues of space and society, including the controversy over the use of nuclear components in spacecraft, the relationship between NASA and the environment, the impact of applications satellites, and the impact of the Apollo program. Space exploration has also spawned entirely new disciplines, including astrogeology, astrochemis­try, and even astrotheology. The final chapter explores the budding discipline of astrosociology. Download the e-Book for free at copies can be purchased from the NASA  Headquarters Information Center. Prices, ordering information, and other details are available online at

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