I have just finished reading William Germano, From Dissertation to Book (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), which I can recommend to any scholar, not just those writing their first books. In my case, it offers food for thought about editing and writing in general. More importantly, it has helped encourage me to take up my research again, even if that probably won’t lead to a book.
That has meant picking up the old dissertation—”Wilhelm Groener, Officering, and the Schlieffen Plan” (Georgetown University, 2006)—and rereading it with an eye to developing article ideas and a modest research agenda for the next couple years. Since I plan to reflect on this work here, let me begin by referring to some old blog posts originally published on Clio and Me that offer essential context:
- “Wilhelm Groener (1867-1939)” (August 25, 2007) introduces who I wrote about.
- “Stumbling Upon a Dissertation Topic” (September 9, 2007) explains why I wrote about him.
- “Paradoxes” (July 21, 2007) reflects on how I came to study war.
Finally, my dissertation abstract and table of contents provide a useful starting point. And if you find you must read the whole dissertation, that is now available at the Internet Archive.
I updated this post on November 24, 2014 to update the blog links, now that Clio and Me is closed.