WHEN A GENERAL WRITES FOR THE GENERALIST (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes authors General Sir Rupert Smith and Ilana Bet-El to the virtual studio to talk about the ultimate goal of being understood as authors. Smith and Bet-El are co-authors of The Utility of Force now available in a second edition. They join our own Michael Neiberg to discuss their collaborative process and the different strengths and attributes they each bring to the effort. He is a retired British Army officer with a wealth of experience in matters of war and diplomacy culminating as Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. She is a strategic adviser, writer and historian with experience at the UN as well as advisory work around the world. Together they compliment each other’s strengths and weaknesses to produce a book that is readable by academic, specialist and generalist alike.

Editor’s Note: We apologize for the intermittent sound quality of our guests. We had technical difficulties with the equipment, but we feel the intent of the conversation remains intact and is well worth the distractions.

THE VALUE OF WRITTEN THOUGHT: STEPHEN VOGEL (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Pulitzer nominated journalist and author Stephen Vogel to the virtual studio to talk about his path to authorship and his love of history. Steve joins our own Michael Neiberg to discuss the differences between his role as a journalist versus his style as a narrative historical author and how that differs […]

TWO AUTHORS UNDER THE SAME ROOF
(ON WRITING)

It’s a two-for-one on A BETTER PEACE this week. Kara Dixon Vuic and Jason Vuic join Michael Neiberg in the studio for our ongoing ON WRITING series. Kara and Jason share their varied approaches to writing and discuss what literary collaboration looks like in their house. Two very different authors that write on different topics […]

THE MORE BEAUTIFUL QUESTION: ALEXANDRA RICHIE (ON WRITING)

A BETTER PEACE welcomes Alexandra Richie, internationally acclaimed and award-winning writer and historian, and one of the world’s foremost experts on World War II in Europe. Richie joined Michael Neiberg to discuss her studies and books on both German history as viewed from Berlin, and the Warsaw Uprising. Their conversation covered how she first started writing […]

FACT AND FICTION: THE RECOUNTING OF WWII WITH JAMES HOLLAND (ON WRITING)

Suddenly I was distracted by this amazing roar…and I turned to the umpire and I said ‘What is that?’ absolutely dumbstruck by this vision and sound and he said ‘That’s a Spitfire’ A BETTER PEACE welcomes James Holland, internationally acclaimed and award-winning historian, writer, and broadcaster. A familiar and trusted face appearing in numerous WWII documentaries, […]

THE U.S. ARMY IN THE 20TH CENTURY: AN INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN LINN (ON WRITING)

I think in a lot of ways our job…is to move the dialog out of the Pentagon and into the field. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Brian Linn, renowned student and historian of the U.S. Army as an institution. Linn joins Michael Neiberg in the studio to discuss how he began his work first looking at the […]

A NEW WASHINGTON NAVAL CONFERENCE FOR A POST-COVID WORLD?

International leaders might do well to look to an idea from a century ago, when the world was also trying to deal with the global effects of a pandemic and an age of great power competition. Updated as of 0830/31 Mar 2020 In the middle of confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone’s attention is focused squarely on public […]

LESSONS FROM 1918: GET A FLU SHOT, WASH YOUR HANDS

What we do know is that all of the movement of people and animals made this virus transmit much faster around the world than it would have otherwise. And you can directly associate it with the effects of the war. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Michael Neiberg to examine the misnamed Spanish Flu of 1918. Neiberg […]

LIBERATION FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE LIBERATED (ON WRITING)

If you go into reading history with an open mind what you’re looking for is to be surprised; you’re looking for things that tell you something you didn’t know. The liberation of an oppressed people is indeed a noble venture. But as the U.S. learned in Iraq, it’s a complicated relationship between the liberated and […]

PARIS 1919: A CONVERSATION WITH MARGARET MACMILLAN (ON WRITING)

And somebody hadn’t written a book on the whole [conference]…and so I thought well maybe I’ll try and then I thought that’s crazy. Who am I to try this massive subject.   A BETTER PEACE welcomes award winning and internationally renowned author Margaret MacMillan. Perhaps best known for her study and writings of the 1919 […]

THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING BIOGRAPHIES (ON WRITING)

I’m using Kennedy’s life to tell the story of America’s rise, first to great power status and then superpower status. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Pulitzer Prize winning author Fredrik Logevall to discuss his newest project, a two-volume biography of John F. Kennedy. Logevall joins Michael Neiberg in the studio as they discuss the complexity of […]

THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF WAR — THUCYDIDES (GREAT STRATEGISTS)

[Thucydides] is one of the very few primary resources we have. If he hadn’t done this, we probably wouldn’t know very much about this period at all We continue our Great Strategists series with an episode on the man whose works serve as a foundation of strategic thought about war. Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) was […]

FINDING “WOW” MOMENTS (AND OTHER WRITING TIPS FOR SENIOR LEADERS) (ON WRITING)

If you don’t end your essay with the ‘so what’ answered, you haven’t done your job Ah, writing … that elusive skill. For all the advice and helpful books on the market, there is little substitute for developing the skill through practice and experience. But not everyone has the time, and even experienced writers can […]

THE ART OF WRITING HISTORY (ON WRITING)

When military historians study battles or campaigns, what purpose does it serve? To immerse oneself deeply in the period and master the details, or to connect events of the past to the present? These and other questions are addressed in this conversation between two renowned military historians–Robert Citino of the World War II Museum and Michael Neiberg of the U.S. Army War College. They also address questions of what constitutes good historical writing and why it is especially important to develop such writing skills today.