Russell F. Weigley

Weigley headshot
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Russell Frank Weigley (1930-2004) graduated from Albright College (1952) and received his PhD in history in 1956 from the University of Pennsylvania. His dissertation was published as Quartermaster General of the Union Army: A Biography of M.C. Meigs. Weigley then taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1956-1958) and at Drexel University (1958-1962) before joining Temple University as an associate professor; he became Distinguished University Professor in 1985 and remained at Temple University until his retirement in 1999. He co-founded Temple’s Center for the Study of Force and Diplomacy and was considered the heart and soul of Temple's History department: at one point he supervised 30 PhD candidates concurrently. Weigley was also a visiting professor at Dartmouth College and at the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

His research and teaching interests centered on American and world military history, World War II, and the American Civil War. One of Weigley’s major contributions to research is his hypothesis of a specifically American Way of War, i.e. an approach to strategy and military operations distinct to the United States because of cultural and historical constraints.

Weigley was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (1969-70), the Athenaeum Literary Award (1983) and the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize of the American Military Institute (1989). He served as President of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the American Military Institute. He was an elected member of the American Philosophical Society and the Society of American Historians. He was the eighth holder of the United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College Foundation Chair of Military Affairs.

His books include
The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo which won the Society for Military History’s Distinguished Book Award, A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861–1865 which received the Lincoln Prize, Eisenhower’s Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944-1945 which was nominated for the American Book Award in history in 1983, and The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy.


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