The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost

950 Soldiers Drive,
Carlisle, PA 17013
(717) 245-3972
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The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center welcomes Dr. Cathal J. Nolan to present a lecture based on his 2017 Gilder Lehrman Prize-winning book The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost. This lecture is the third of four fall lectures for the theme “Historical Mindedness in a Near-Peer Competitive Environment,” on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m. EST at USAHEC, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013. The public is invited to attend the lecture in person or virtually via live stream through

This lecture will focus on Dr. Nolan’s “War on the Rocks Book of the Year,” The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost. In the lecture, Dr. Nolan will discuss the misconception that major battles determine clear-cut outcomes of wars, questioning the decisive power of even the most lopsided battles and debunking the concept of prodigies and geniuses of military strategy. The lecture will dissect the major campaigns of Great Powers from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century, describing them not as turning points but as reflections of the greater conflicts.

Along with his work in scholarly literature, Dr. Nolan is an Associate Professor of History and Executive Director of the International History Institute at Boston University. Dr. Nolan is also the author of “Principled Diplomacy: Security and Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy and Wars of the Age of Louis XIV” and several multi-volume encyclopedias on military and international history.

The USAHEC’s Perspectives Lecture Series is a graduate-level speaker program with two lecture seasons per year. The event is free and open to the public. The lecture will also be live streamed at, and online viewers can participate in the Q/A portion of the event by submitting questions via email at, or direct message the USAHEC Facebook Page at

For any last-minute changes, please check the red banner on the USAHEC’s home page,, or call the Information Desk at 717-245-3972.