A Student of History

September 28, 2006

The Decline of Military History?

Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 12:18 pm


John Miller has a recent opinion piece in the National Review about the state of military history today, in the academy that is.  One of his main arguments is that colleges and universities are not filling positions in military history vacated by retiring military history professors, and in the case of the Univ. of Wisconsin, are not even filling a chair previously endowed.  Miller writes of military history that

“Where it isn’t dead and buried, it’s either dying or under siege. Although military history remains incredibly popular among students who fill lecture halls to learn about Saratoga and Iwo Jima and among readers who buy piles of books on Gettysburg and D-Day, on campus it’s making a last stand against the shock troops of political correctness.”

Miller’s piece is actually deceptively titled. He does very little to explain the “why” of his thesis, other to give an unsubstantiated claim of political correctness.  The article is for the most part a number of examples of how the academy shuns military history, etc.  But for an article that has as its subtitle “why military history is being retired,” there ain’t a whole lot of “why” in the piece.

Readers may want to check out the response to this piece by Mark Grimsley, at his blog, here.

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