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Grant number like: FZ-256497-17

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John A. Lynn
Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$46,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018

The Other Side of Victory: A History of Surrender from Medieval Combat to Modern Terrorism

The writing of a book-length narrative on the history and concept of military surrender, examining how wars end.

In the grim history of war, some victories have been won by the annihilation of the adversary. But surrender has always been much more common, and complicated, than unmitigated destruction. The history of surrender encompasses not only yielding by the vanquished but also the victors’ acceptance of this submission. It is ultimately a history of restraint in war, and it is inseparable from the question of conflict resolution and the development of our existing humanitarian laws of war. Speculation on how the current terrorist threat might be contained or ended permeates the popular and scholarly literature. However, such discussions rarely reference the historical record of surrender or grossly misuse the past when they do. My book describes, compares, and analyzes the experience of surrender in different historical and cultural settings. It will sharpen our understanding of contemporary issues of war and peace by providing a rich and relevant historical perspective.