Dr. Ridler is an expert on unconventional warfare, Cold War strategy and policy, and the history of science and technology. He earned his doctorate in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada with his biography of Dr. Omond Solandt, an early atomic weapons expert, which became his monograph, Maestro of Science: Omond Solandt and Government Science in War and Hostile Peace, published in 2015 by the University of Toronto Press. He has written Mavericks of War: The Unconventional, Unorthodox Innovators and Thinkers, Scholars, and Outsiders Who Mastered the Art of War published by Stackpole Books in 2018.
His writings on war, science, and unconventional conflicts have appeared in an array of journals including Diplomacy and Statecraft, Small Wars and Insurgencies, and Defense and Security Analysis. He has published works on the war novels and memoirs by veterans for War, Art, and Literature, and is a former contributing editor to the Journal of Military Experience (now Military Experience and the Arts). He is also a former Visiting Scholar with UC Berkeley’s Office for the History of Science and Technology.
In 2014, Dr. Ridler won the Smith Richardson Foundation Fellowship for International Security and Foreign Policy, for his research project on the role of unconventional experts involved in military affairs, from archeologist T. E. Lawrence in Arabia to civic rights activist Sarah Chayes in Afghanistan. A popular version of this project is forthcoming from Stackpole Books. He is an active contributor to professional and popular venues, including War on the Rocks, Clarkeworld, and the James Jones Literary Society Journal. He is an adjunct professor for the online Master of Arts in History program at Norwich University, and teaching fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Advanced Academic Programs, where he teaches classes on military history, world history, and innovations studies.
Dr. Ridler is also a novelist, with his debut series The Brimstone Filesset for publication by Nightshade Books in August 2017, and he has published over sixty short stories. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Dr. Ridler lives in Berkeley, CA, and performs improv at theaters in Oakland, San Francisco, and throughout the East Bay.