Battles That Changed American History
100 of the Greatest Victories and Defeats
by Spencer C. Tucker
January 2014, 355pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-2861-4
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-2862-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A single battle’s outcome has often altered the course of American history.

A fascinating and informative analysis by a distinguished military historian of the 100 most influential battles in American history, presented in an accessible, ready-reference format.

The Battle of Okinawa (April–June 1945) resulted in more U.S. Navy casualties than all of the navy’s previous wars combined; these heavy casualties influenced the decision to employ the atomic bomb against Japan that August. This is just one of many instances in American military history when the outcome of a battle helped to establish the course of history—the focus of this latest encyclopedia from esteemed historian Spencer C. Tucker. The 100 battles spotlighted in this work—which include defeats as well as victories—are deemed to have had the greatest impact on American history. Spanning more than 500 years of military events, the book begins its coverage with the Battle of Mabila in 1540 during the Age of Discovery and ends with the Second Battle of Falluja during the Iraq War/Insurgency in 2004. Expertly written, informative, and thoughtful, this analysis will be insightful and interesting for all high school, undergraduate, and general readers.


  • Introductory overview essay helps create a conceptual framework for readers
  • A list of "further reading" selections with each entry and a full bibliography identify avenues to further study
  • Fact boxes throughout the text provide quick, essential information for each battle
Spencer C. Tucker, PhD, has been senior fellow in military history at ABC-CLIO since 2003. He is author or editor of 46 books and encyclopedias, many of which have won prestigious awards. He held the John Biggs Chair in Military History at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA, for 6 years before retiring from teaching in 2003; before that, he was professor of history at Texas Christian University for 30 years. His recently published works include The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812: A Political, Social, and Military History; American Civil War: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection; and Almanac of American Military History, all published by ABC-CLIO.


"Clear and concise one- to two-page entries begin with a box that includes the date, locations, opponents, commanders, forces, and a brief statement of significance. . . . Recommended."—Choice, September 1, 2014

"Venerated military historian Tucker, a retired professor and former U.S. Army colonel, has authored or edited nearly 50 works on military topics, and this is another good one. Overall, this is an accessible quick reference guide useful mainly as a starting point or only for brief overviews of the major battles in American history. Although suitable for any researcher on the topic, the volume will be most useful to high school students or the general user."—Booklist, May 1, 2014

"This reasonably priced single-volume reference is highly recommended for libraries that have not already invested in the titles that comprise ABC-CLIO’s ongoing encyclopedia series on the military history of the United States. Libraries that do own the multivolume sets may want to strongly consider adding a copy of this title to their circulating collection."—ARBA, May 1, 2014
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