Freedman is a figure of significant distinction; who has had real world influence, yet whose theoretical depth and development has been largely overlooked. Is there anything distinctive in Freedman’s approach, or even the roots of a school of thought? How can we make sense of the extensive and diverse record, and can we bring coherence to it? Is there a common thread running through it? How far does it have theoretical weight? Is there something more than chance and personality involved? How can we make sense of this record of conducting and supporting research that makes a difference in a way that also suggests coherence and a scholarly identity? Has a distinctive working method – a school of thought – emerged around ‘war studies’, without actually being given a name, under the leading influence of Freedman for thirty years? This is the challenge outlined in this chapter and the volume it introduces.
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