World at War

Understanding Conflict and Society (Academic)

by Lee W. Eysturlid, Spencer C. Tucker, and James H. Willbanks, Editors

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ABC-CLIO Solutions

Topics Military History/Conflict and Wars
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Only one online academic resource features the expertise of accomplished military historians and devotes itself entirely to the causes and consequences of history's most significant conflicts: World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society.

World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society is an essential source of reference material on the military conflicts that have defined global history from antiquity to today. Through absorbing investigations of how the World War I peace settlement led to World War II, or insightful comparisons of U.S. past involvement in Southeast Asia with the Afghanistan War, this database encourages study and research that goes beyond isolated events to identify causal relationships, chart historical developments, and analyze the role conflict itself plays in society. Content quality is maintained by an expert advisory board, comprised of educators and historians including Dr. Spencer Tucker (the award-winning author of titles such as The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars and American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection).This advisory board also serves to vet the database's original journal articles, which expose researchers to scholarly argumentation on controversial topics in global military history.


  • Complete overviews of roughly 50 wars, with timelines, causes and consequences, portraits of opponents, and links to supporting facts, figures, primary sources, and audiovisual content
  • More than 180 journal articles from leading academics such as Gar Alperovitz, Michael S. Neiberg, and Peter H. Wilson that address complex questions like "Did the Paris Peace Settlement that officially ended World War I make World War II inevitable?" and "Was the United States justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?"
  • Roughly 10,000 authoritative reference entries, including biographies and discussions of important places, events, movements, ideas, artifacts, and organizations
  • More than 10,000 primary sources, including photos, maps, personal accounts, and video and audio clips for analysis or enhancing lectures
Suite Features

ABC-CLIO Solutions Academic Editions

The ABC-CLIO Solutions Academic Edition suite supplies the digital reference collections and full-text scholarship integral to undergraduate research in the humanities. In each of the suite's 14 dynamic and discipline-specific databases, student researchers are empowered to broaden their understandings, analyze historical and societal complexities, and develop innovative and informed perspectives.

Contributions from more than 3,000 field scholars and real-time updates ensure researchers are always accessing relevant and credible material. Across all 14 databases, investigations into critical topics yield three integrated but distinct content components to support thesis-driven research:

Original journal articles, authored by leading academics and vetted by advisory boards of credentialed experts, that offer varied viewpoints on the complexities and nuances inherent in the discipline to serve as both sources and exemplars of evidence-based scholarly thought,

A robust reference library that draws from 200,000+ primary and secondary sources, including media and data,

And a course companion, comprised of both text and video lectures, designed to reinforce coursework or drive independent study.


  • Coverage spans the humanities, from core disciplines like American history to emergent fields of study, including modern genocide and popular culture.
  • All material is authored by accomplished academics and vetted by database-specific advisory boards, while daily updates across the suite ensure that database content evolves to reflect changing understandings and developments in the field.
  • Both browsing and linear learning are supported by the databases' topic center structure, with each topic center housing a variety of relevant content including primary sources, reference material, and journal articles.
  • Targeted research is served by the federated search engine, which pulls content from across multiple databases to connect students with any and all applicable material. Researchers can then apply advanced search filters to locate the precise resources they seek.
  • Built-in tools are available to support and streamline the research process, including the cite tool for instant citation generation and the CLIOview feature for comparative data analysis.
Advisory Board

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.

Topic Centers


Ancient Greece, 2000–30 BCE
• Peloponnesian War
• Wars of Alexander the Great
The World Beyond Europe, 1500–1776
• Aztec-Spanish War
• Inca-Spanish War
• North American Colonial Conflicts to 1775
The World at War, 1914–1945
• World War I
• 1917 Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War
• Spanish Civil War
• World War II
Ancient Rome, 1000 BCE–500 CE
• Gallic Wars
• Caesarian-Pompeian Civil War
The Emergence of Modern Europe, 1500–1800
• Thirty Years' War
• English Civil War
• War of the Spanish Succession
The Cold War, 1945–1991
• Chinese Civil War and Communist Revolution
• Cold War
• Arab-Israeli Wars
• India-Pakistan Wars
• Korean War
• Vietnam War
• Soviet-Afghan War
The Islamic World, 600–1700
• Wars of Muslim Expansion
• Wars of Ottoman Expansion
A Time of Revolutions, 1776–1825
• American Revolution
• French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
• War of 1812
• Revolutions in Latin America
A New Millennium, 1991–Present
• Persian Gulf War
• Yugoslav Wars
• Afghanistan War and War on Terror
• Iraq War
Central and East Asia, 500–1500
• Japanese Civil War
Spheres of Influence, 1776–1914
• British Conquest of India
• Opium Wars
• Mexican-American War
• Crimean War
• Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars
• Boxer Rebellion
Medieval Europe, 500–1500
• Crusades in the Holy Land and Egypt
• Baltic Crusades
• Hundred Years' War
The Rise of Nationalism, 1815–1914
• American Civil War
• American Indian Wars 1492–1890
• Wars of Italian Unification
• Taiping Rebellion
• Wars of German Unification
• Sino-Japanese War
• Russo-Japanese War
• Mexican Revolution
• Balkan Wars



"Students will need to look no further than World at War when beginning their research on conflict over the past 2,000 years. Ease of use, authoritative content, and well-balanced writing are just some of its defining characteristics. . . sensible and straightforward, with a thoughtful design that makes searching quick and effortless. Equally important, users will discover hundreds and sometimes thousands of additional primary source materials for their research and writing."Library Journal

"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 Idea Exchange feature takes readers to material on topical questions such as 'Why Did Mao Zedong's Communists Persevere over the Nationalists in the Chinese Civil War?' and 'What Was the Primary Cause of World War I?' The answers, provided by well-known historians in signed, peer-reviewed essays, offer contrasting views of historical events and would be a good resource for pro/con papers. This database's low cost makes it a good source for beginning research on war-related topics. Summing Up: Recommended."Choice


2019 Silver Award — Modern Library Awards



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