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Title: Possessed by our time : the genesis of Thucydides as strategist in the US professional military education system
Author: Stradis, Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0004 5917 0725
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This dissertation examines the adoption of Thucydides' history within the Professional Military Education (PME) system, with particular focus on the US Naval War College, where the text was first introduced as part of a new Strategy & Policy Course by Admiral Stansfield Turner in 1972. Despite the long history of the reception of Thucydides in English, the military's appropriation of the text appears late, especially given the increased recourse to the Peloponnesian War in International Relations theory during the Cold War. The long road to the emergence of an environment permissive to the liberal arts is described from the highly technical origins of PME. Yet the Thucydides that emerged at the Naval War College was distinct. Integral to this approach to reading Thucydides was the fundamentally distinctive feature of the military academe, its normative impulse, as is apparent from a close reading of the Strategy & Policy Course Syllabus. Subtle shifts in Thucydides' authority occurred down to the present day, but his unique appeal still remained rooted in the educational philosophy laid down during the Turner years, one that prized Thucydides' balancing of pure narrative with the experiential, his structural complexity, and above all his commitment to providing a prototype as an everlasting possession for future generations. The Thucydides of the Naval War College today is contextualised as part of a broader canon of strategic literature, but nevertheless remains the fundamental part of its branding, drawing on the deeper cultural appreciation of antiquity as well as Thucydides' specific strategic value.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available