James Wood

James Wood

Charles R. Keller Professor of History, Emeritus


Professor Wood has been at Williams since 1973. He was originally trained as a historian of Early Modern France. After two books and many articles in this area he began to develop the history of warfare and the study of specific wars and military operations. He currently offers five different courses in this area and his most recent book was on Japanese Military Strategy in World War II. He also continues long standing interests in the age of exploration and discovery, the expansion of Europe around the world, and general world history. His current research project is a military history of the Spanish Conquistadors in the new world.

Selected Publications

Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2007)

The King’s Army, Warfare, Soldiers and Society During the Early Wars of Religion in France, 1526-76 (Cambridge University Press, 1996). Winner of the 1998 Distinguished Book Award from the Society of Military History,
1998. Precis

The Nobility of the Election of Bayeaux, 1463-1666, Social Continuity and Change Among the Provincial Nobility in Early Modern France (Princeton University Press, 1980).

Research Interests

Early modern Europe, the expansion of Europe, the origins of modern warfare, World Wars I and II, American military history

Theses Advised

Peter Hick , ’11 Writing for Stalin: American Journalists in the USSR, 1928-1941

Kate Ireland , ’09 Ruin in the City of Palaces: The Fall of the Great Agency Houses of Calcutta, 1830-1834

Bucky Marshall, ’09 For These We Strive: The Philadelphia Light Horse and American Identity

Jim Clayton, ’08 (with Eric Goldberg) – Order Through Confrontation: Lanfranc of Bec’s Search for Religious Stability

Kate Geoghegan, ’07 Expanding the Scope of Executive Power:  Roosevelt’s Leadership in the Lend-Lease Debate

Peter Krause, ’02Stopping Them Cold: How Siege Warfare Prevented Germany Victory on the Eastern Front

Ian Tate, ’02Rising from the Ashes: Myth, Memory and the Blitz

Josh Burson, ’01The Court of Mary I

Martin West, ’98Survival Under Extreme Conditions: Japanese Civilian Internment Camps in the Philippines, 1941-1945

Laura Hunt, ’97The Limits of Power: Redefining the Terms of Military Success and Failure in a Comparative Historical Perspective, Tenotchitlán, 1519, Tet, 1968

Sarah Wood, ’97Repression and Obsession: Mythmaking the French War: A Historiographical Study of World War II France

Brad Naranch, ’96Building an Empire Builder: Carl Peters, German East, and the Will to Create Through Conquest. A Study in Self-Representation and Imperial Theory and Practice