• John Whiteclay Chambers II
  • John Whiteclay Chambers II
  • Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
  • Degree: Ph.D. Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers from 1982-2017
  • Specialty: 19th and 20th Century American History, American History





  • Ph.D. Columbia University, New York, NY
  • M.A. San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
  • B.A. Temple University, Philadelphia, PA


  • History of War, Peace, and the Military in U.S. history: Especially the way the nation has raised its armies in the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.
  • History and Film: The way that feature and documentary films from 1890s to the present have represented and interpreted the past.
  • Oral History: The use of oral history interviews to establish a fuller version and better understanding of the past.


  • The "Youngest General" and the Privates: Intertwined Life and Death in the Forgotten Civil War. A study of Galusha Pennypacker and the Union Army's 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, along the Coast of South and North Carolina, and also during Grant's 1864 Campaign in Virginia.
  • "All Quiet on the Western Front," the 1930 Film and the Image of the First World War. An examination of the iconic anti-war film, its production in the United States, its reception in numerous countries, and its relationship to politics and the public image and memory of World War I.
  • After the Oval Office: The Transformation of the Ex-Presidency. An examination of the rise and transformation since the 1950s of the quasi-public "Office of the Former President" and an evaluation of the causes and significance of this institutional process as well various roles of ex-presidents of the United States and changing public and congressional attitudes towards them.



  • 512:347 War, Peace, and the Military from 1607-1865
  • 512:348 War, Peace, and the Military from 1866 to the present
  • 512:335 History on Film
  • 506:402 "Oral History of the American Experience in World War II" and "Film and History"


  • Problems and Directed Readings in American History
  • Colloquium on Film and History
  • Research in History


  • Editor-in-chief, The Oxford Companion to American Military History (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1999)
  • editor (with Kurt Piehler), Major Problems in American Military History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998)
  • editor with David Culbert), World War II, Film, and History (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • editor (with Arlene Gardner), Conflict Resolution and United States History: The Colonial Period through the Twentieth Century, 2 vols. (New Brunswick/Piscataway: New Jersey Center for Civic and Law-Related Education, 2007)
  • editor (with Charles C. Moskos), The New Conscientious Objection: From Sacred to Secular Resistance (N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 1993)
  • editor, The Eagle and the Dove: The American Peace Movement and U.S. Foreign Policy, 1900-1922 (N.Y.: Garland Pub. Inc., 1976), 575 pp.; 2nd edition, revised, updated (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1991).
  • editor, Draftees or Volunteers: A Documentary History of the Debate over Military Conscription in the United States, 1787-1973 (N.Y.: Garland Pub. Inc., 1975)
  • author, To Raise an Army: The Draft Comes to Modern America (N.Y.: The Free Press of Macmillan, 1987)
  • author, The Tyranny of Change: America in the Progressive Era, 1890-1920 (N.Y.: St. Martin's Press, 1980; 2nd ed. 1992; 3rd updated ed., New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ. Press, 2000)
  • author, Cranbury: A New Jersey Town from the Colonial Era to the Present (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2012)
    author, The North Atlantic Engineers: A History of the North Atlantic Division and Its Predecessors in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1775-1975. (N.Y: Corps of Engineers, 1980)
    author, Bang-Bang Boys, Jedburghs, and the House of Horrors: A History of OSS Training and Operations in World War II (Lexington, Ky.: Uncommon Valor Press, 2016), published version of his study for the National Park Service of “OSS Training in the National Parks and Service Abroad in World War II.” (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 2008)


  • 2017 Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award, from the Rutgers Living History Society
  • 2013 Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar Fellowship, University of Rome
  • 2013 Outstanding Local History Award, for Cranbury: A New Jersey Town from the American Association for State and Local History
  • 2005 Outstanding Teacher Award, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • 2001 Distinguished Reference Book Award for The Oxford Companion to American Military History from the Society for Military History.
  • 1997 First recipient, Scholar-in-Residence, University of Tokyo, Organization of American Historians and the Japanese Association for American Studies.
  • 1995-96 Visiting Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ
  • 1995 Ernest McMahon Award for Educational Outreach, Rutgers University
  • Distinguished Book Award for To Raise an Army from the Society for Military History, 1988
  • Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship, 1981-82
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, Barnard College, Columbia University, 1975
  • First man elected to Executive Board of the Barnard College Women's Center, 1974


  • Peace History Society, President, 1975-77
  • Society for Military History: Presidential nominee, 2001
  • Rutgers Oral History, Chair of Advisory Board, 1994-
  • Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, Project Director, 1993-95
  • American Historical Association: Chair, John O'Connor Film and TV Prize Committee, 2005-2006
  • Organization of American Historians: Chair, Japan Committee, 2000-2003; and Chair, Binkley-Stephensen Prize Committee, 1998-99
  • Historial de la grande guerre, centre de recherché, Peronne, France, Advisory Committee, 1997-
  • International Association for Media and History (IAMHIST), Executive Council, 1997-2005
  • Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society (IUSAFS)
  • Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)
  • Oral History Association (OHA)