David Silbey

Adj. Associate Professor and Director of Teaching and Learning Cornell in Washington


I specialize in the industrialized total wars of the 20th century and the asymmetric responses (guerrilla warfare, insurgency, and terrorism) to those wars that evolved after 1945. I have written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, the Boxer Rebellion in China, and American military encounters with other cultures.

I'm the series editor for Cornell University Press' Battlegrounds: Cornell Studies in Military History

Research Focus

Military History and Policy


This year: 

From me:  David Silbey and Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, eds., Wars Civil and Great:  The American Experience in the Civil War and the Great War (Lawrence, KS:  Kansas University Press, 2023)

From Battlegrounds:  Marion Girard Dorsey, Holding Their Breath: How the Allies Confronted the Threat of Chemical Warfare in World War II (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2023).

Battlegrounds, awards:  The Yad Vashem Prize for Holocaust History to Edward B. Westermann, Drunk on Genocide: Alcohol and Mass Murder in Nazi Germany (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2021).


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