World at War

Understanding Conflict and Society


From ancient Greek warfare to the United States's military involvement in the Middle East in recent decades, violent conflict is interwoven throughout our history. While the justifications for war are highly debatable, there is no disagreement about the value of studying past conflicts to better understand our nature—and to hopefully avoid future wars.

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ABC-CLIO Solutions

Topics Military History/General
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Recently revised, improved, and expanded, this user-friendly database is an invaluable online resource that presents comprehensive information and unique insights into the military conflicts that have defined our world from antiquity to today.

Wars create important turning points in human history, defining our leaders as well as changing the lives of ordinary families and citizens. Whether fighting for independence, forging alliances, making a play for dominance, or battling a global threat, history is shaped when nations go to war. And because of the political and economic power of great nations, the effects of their wars ripple throughout the world.

Through absorbing investigations of how the peace settlement of World War I led to World War II, or insightful essays on whether the United States was justified in dropping atomic bombs on Japan, World at War helps students and researchers develop a deeper, critical appreciation of both the history of the world and the human costs of war.

This freshly updated online database provides users with the most current, accurate, and enlightening information on the conflicts that have shaped our world—and provides the ability to truly understand the past to help determine the future.


  • Features Perspectives sections that support student inquiry into historical dilemmas by asking questions such as, "Was the French Revolution a direct result of the Enlightenment?" and "Was Ronald Reagan responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War?"
  • Presents complete overviews of more than 40 wars, with timelines, causes and consequences, portraits of opponents, and links to supporting facts, figures, primary sources, and audiovisual content
  • Provides more than 9,000 authoritative reference entries, including biographies and discussions of important places, events, movements, ideas, artifacts, and organizations
  • Offers more than 10,000 primary sources, including images, maps, personal accounts, and video and audio clips for analyses or enhancing lectures


  • The only online resource focused on the causes and consequences of wars fought around the world, elucidating the global impact of these conflicts
  • Developed by accomplished military historians, including Dr. Spencer Tucker (editor of award-winning titles including American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection; The Encyclopedia of the Cold War: A Political, Social, and Military History; and The Encyclopedia of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Political, Social, and Military History) with input from librarians and educators
  • Expands and completes any library collection, meeting both reference and curriculum needs
Advisory Board

A veteran editor and former journalist, Padraic (Pat) Carlin leads ABC-CLIO's print and electronic program in military history and security issues. Carlin and his military history team have developed and published many award-winning reference projects in military history, including Spencer C. Tucker's American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection. He also oversees ABC-CLIO's World at War and Modern Genocide databases. Carlin grew up in New York City, attended Stuyvesant High School, and has a degree in journalism from Rutgers University.

Dr. Lee W. Eysturlid is a history instructor at Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora, Illinois. He also serves as an adjunct for Northwestern University's School of Continuing Studies program. Dr. Eysturlid earned his PhD in history from Purdue University, where he specialized in Intellectual Military History and the Habsburg and Ottoman empires. He is a member of the Citadel Historical Association and is an ABC-CLIO History Fellow. His published works include Philosophers of War: The Evolution of History's Greatest Military Thinkers (Praeger, 2013) and The Formative Influences, Theories, and Campaigns of the Archduke Carl of Austria (Praeger, 2000).

Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, has been senior fellow in military history at ABC-CLIO since 2003. He is the author or editor of more than 50 books and encyclopedias, many of which have won prestigious awards. Tucker's last academic position before his retirement from teaching was the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a visiting research associate at the Smithsonian Institution, and, as a U.S. Army captain, an intelligence analyst in the Pentagon. His recently published works include American Civil War: A State-by-State Encyclopedia, Wars That Changed History: 50 of the World's Greatest Conflicts, and U.S. Conflict in the 21st Century: Afghanistan War, Iraq War, and the War on Terror, all published by ABC-CLIO.

Dr. James H. Willbanks is the General of the Army George C. Marshall Chair of Military History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Dr. Willbanks is a retired army officer and Vietnam veteran who has been on the CGSC faculty since retiring from the service. Prior to assuming the Marshall Chair, he served as Director of the CGSC Department of Military History for 11 years. Dr. Willbanks holds a BA in history from Texas A&M University, and an MA and PhD in history from the University of Kansas. He is the author or editor of 14 books, including A Raid Too Far (Texas A&M Press, 2014), Abandoning Vietnam (University Press of Kansas, 2004), The Battle of An Loc (Indiana University Press, 2005), The Tet Offensive: A Concise History (Columbia University Press, 2006), Vietnam War Almanac (Facts on file, 2009), and the editor of America's Heroes: Medal of Honor Recipients from the Civil War to Afghanistan (ABC-CLIO, 2011) and Generals of the Army (University of Kentucky Press, 2013). He and his work have been highlighted in media such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, Army Times, and PBS. He is currently serving as a consultant to Ken Burns in the production of an 8-part documentary on the Vietnam War for PBS. Dr. Willbanks' military awards and decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with "V" and Oak Leaf Cluster, two Purple Hearts, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with two Silver Stars.



"World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society combines a solid foundation of reference-type factual content with a rich collection of primary source material, valuable in itself for students doing basic library research. ABC-CLIO doesn’t stop there, however. It turns World at War into an academic showcase by incorporating a number of authoritative essays—unique to this resource—demonstrating how scholars debate complex historical questions."—Library Journal Online

"The articles are well-written, informative, and engaging...It is very easy to explore a variety of topics and to navigate the database....Recommended."—Library Media Connection

"In content, design, and presentation, this product is a resounding ten. Highly recommended for public, school, and academic libraries, USW is the kind of wiz-bang resource of substance a user hopes for in the marketplace and on virtual library shelves."—Library Journal

"This is an excellent site for students to research 14 wars involving the United States from colonial times to the present."—ARBA

"This already outstanding resource has been improved with a crisp, easy-to-use interface that few students should have difficulty mastering. Highly recommended for school and public libraries."—Booklist

"A timely addition to ABC-CLIO's comprehensive web-based subscription databases."—tech learning

"Although it could be helpful in providing detailed background information to scholars and upper-division college students, this comprehensive and multifaceted database is also appropriate for the undergraduate or advanced high-school student who needs to go beyond the standard commercial Internet search. Recommended for academic and public libraries."—Booklist

"ABC-CLIO has designed an outstanding subscription-based website where students can learn and understand aspects of each of 14 wars in which the United States has been engaged. By organizing concepts into categories—Overview, Causes, Timeline, Consequences, Opponents, Facts & Figures, and CLIOview (which allows easy statistical comparison of countries—complex issues can be more easily understood. There are links to maps, flags, documents, images, individual, audio and video, dictionary, and help. Another useful feature of United States at War is the ability to search by Research, Wars, or Themes. Numerous Quicktime videos enhance learning, and add a valuable dimension to the website."—ComputEd Gazette


2006 Best Software in High School (BESSIE) - Social Studies Website — ComputEd Gazette

2006 Distinguished Achievement Award - Educational Website — American Reference Books Annual

2006 Education Software Review Award (EDDIE) - US History Website — ComputEd Gazette

2006 Award of Excellence — Technology & Learning

2007 Best Education Reference — SIIA CODiE Award

2007 Best Social Studies Instruction Solution — SIIA CODiE Award

2008 Best Educational Software Award (BESSIE)—Social Studies Web Site — ComputEd Gazette

2008 Education Software Review Award (EDDIE) — ComputEd Gazette

2008 Award of Excellence — Tech and Learning

Series Description

ABC-CLIO Solutions School Editions

Offering effective technology for your library and created specifically for middle and high school students, ABC-CLIO Solutions Schools Edition provides authoritative coverage of essential topics in U.S. history and government, world history, geography, and a range of multicultural and popular culture subjects.

Each online ABC-CLIO Solution includes four innovative components:

A COMPREHENSIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY with content from more than 230,000 primary sources and entries encompassing audio, video, photographs, illustrations, maps, and rich media.

A STANDARDS-BASED CURRICULUM updated daily by a team of subject-specific editorial experts and supported by an extensive range of instructional material.

A DEEP COLLECTION OF MODEL COMMENTARIES from noted scholars that have been specially commissioned to foster critical thinking stimulated by exposure to varying points of view.

AN EDUCATOR SUPPORT CENTER containing valuable professional development tools as well as relevant resources such as discussion points, activities, lesson plans, and research lists.


  • Updated daily with vetted, authoritative content, ABC-CLIO Solutions are always current, making outdated textbooks a thing of the past
  • Each Solutions database include a subject-specific library, a curriculum, unique model commentaries, and a full-featured educator support center
  • They’re online and available for students and educators to access anywhere, anytime
  • More affordable than resources with far less content and fewer advanced features, Solutions databases represent an outstanding value

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American History cover imageModern Genocide cover imageWorld History cover image
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