RUSI History Book Launch

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RUSI History BookBetween Peace and War: British Defence and the Royal United Services Institute, 1831-2010
By Damian P O’Connor

RUSI is proud to announce the launch of its latest book, Between Peace and War – a lively new history of the Institute and its role in British and imperial defence over the last 180 years.

The book will be launched in the RUSI Library of Military History, accompanied by a drinks and canapés reception, on the eve of the Institute’s 180th anniversary.

Professor Sir Michael Howard will start the evening by offering some personal reminiscences about the Institute and its place in British defence, before the author introduces his book and presents remarks on some of the themes running throughout the work. The book will be available for purchase at a special launch price and the author will be on hand to sign copies.

For 180 years, the Royal United Services Institute has been at the heart of British thinking on defence and security. Founded after an 1829 call for a scientific and professional approach to the study of military affairs, the Institute has, in its long history, borne witness to tumultuous international and technological change. Wooden ships gave way to ironclads, to dreadnoughts, to carriers; European empires rose, competed and fell; two total wars wracked the globe and culminated in new weapons that threatened to end civilisation itself; terrorism mutated from an isolated nuisance to a threat to the global way of life.

Throughout these revolutions, the Royal United Services Institute has served British defence at its very core. A history of the Institute is a history of British defence thinking and the many fierce – and sometimes surprising – debates that raged in public and behind the closed doors of government and military.

Between Peace and War offers a lively and insightful survey of this extraordinary period of British and international history, through the lens of an institution that both reflected and shaped the unfolding British approach to a changing, and often dangerous, world.

Dr Damian O’Connor began researching the Royal United Services Institute in 2003 as part of his PhD studies at the University of East Anglia into nineteenth-century British imperial defence policies. A history teacher by profession, he has travelled widely in Africa, North America and Asia in pursuit of his lifelong interest in imperial, naval and military history. He also served as a Territorial Army officer in the Royal Artillery (Volunteers) in the 1980s.

To attend this event, please register online using the "Book your place" button above. If you have any queries please contact Sharon Cliburn, Events Assistant, at or call +44 (0)20 7747 2648.

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