Professor of History; Director, International History Institute

Military history, history of international relations, history of American foreign policy, international human rights history

Cathal J. Nolan is Director of the International History Institute at the Pardee School of Global Studies and Professor of History at Boston University. In 2022 he was appointed a Non-Resident Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a Progress History Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and a Pardee Research Fellow at Boston University’s Pardee Center for the Study of the Long-Range Future. He is the author of 14 books of diplomatic and military history. The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars are Won and Lost (Oxford UP), received the Gilder Lehrman Prize in Military History in 2017, and was the first recipient of the Distinguished Book Award from War on the Rocks. His study of ethics and mercy toward in combat and counterinsurgency, Mercy: Humanity in War, will be published by Oxford in 2022. Nolan has given guest lectures at various universities across the United States and internationally. Additionally, he spoke to the Chautauqua Institute, Marine Corps University, National World War II Museum, New York Historical Society, New York Military Affairs Symposium, Smithsonian Journeys (Normandy), U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, U.S. Army War College, National Intelligence University Alumni Association, World Affairs Forum, Center for Military and Diplomatic History, and run a training course for young diplomats at the MoFA in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2011. He has been interviewed on CBS Radio, PBS, Radio Free Europe, Newstalk (Ireland), BBC Mundo, C-Span, New Books Network, The East-West Institute, The Dead Prussian, Dangerous History and History as it Happens. He consults on military history to the PBS science series NOVA, and is principal military history adviser to the American Heritage Museum. His teaching has won multiple awards, at different universities. His overseas community service started as a volunteer teacher for two years in rural northern Nigeria, with the Canadian University Service Overseas. He returned to development work as faculty adviser to BU Global Water Brigade and Public Health Brigade, leading five student groups to Honduras to build potable water pipeline and infrastructure in underserved, isolated mountain villages. He is currently writing two books, War Myths for Oxford UP and War: What is it Good For?

Curriculum Vitae