A Student of History

August 31, 2007

Kid Culture

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 2:53 pm

Check out Thomas Reeve’s column at HNN, called “The Kid Culture,” from 8/21/2007.  The quote from the kid at the end of the full piece is all too sad:

For decades, perhaps since the Elvis craze began, it has been obvious that much of our culture is designed for children and teenagers. Today’s movies, television programs, popular music, video games, and gadgetry, for example, are aimed primarily at young audiences. Millions of adults spend millions of dollars trying to dress and look as though they had just graduated from junior high. Many newspapers and magazines race to dumb down their publications in order to appeal to those who routinely print and type “u r” for “you are.” Politicians and businessmen stumble over each other in the race to win the allegiance of those who think “cool” is one of humanity’s highest accolades. Two important new books discuss this general issue: Edward Jay Epstein’s The Big Picture: The New Logic of Money and Power in Hollywood; and Andrew Ferguson’s Land Of Lincoln: Adventures in Abe’s America. Both volumes provide evidence that will help grownups make sense out of our Kid Culture.

August 27, 2007


Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 9:34 pm

Yesterday I was awarded my Ph.D. in history by the Ohio State University.  Amen.

August 24, 2007


Filed under: The Academy — John Maass @ 11:38 am



The George C. Marshall/Baruch Fellowship offers maximum grants of $7,500 for doctoral or postdoctoral research in 20th century U. S. Military or diplomatic history and related fields. The application deadline is October 29, 2007.  Grants will be decided by December  21, 2007 and must be used within the twelve-month period following the distribution of award funds. For additional information and an application, visit the George C. Marshall Foundation website at www.marshallfoundation.org (Scholarships and Fellowships) or you may write:


The George C. Marshall Research Library

Attention:  Joanne D. Hartog

P. O. Drawer 1600

Lexington, VA  24450


August 22, 2007

1 in 4 Don’t Read

Filed under: Great books,The world today — John Maass @ 7:07 am

Sad but not surprising:  http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/08/21/reading.ap/index.html

August 21, 2007

One more thing….

Filed under: Uncategorized,Wars — John Maass @ 6:38 am

Just wanted to direct interested readers to VDH’s article at the City Journal page on military history:  http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_3_military_history.html

It is called “Why Study War?”  Here is the beginning:

Try explaining to a college student that Tet was an American military victory. You’ll provoke not a counterargument—let alone an assent—but a blank stare: Who or what was Tet? Doing interviews about the recent hit movie 300, I encountered similar bewilderment from listeners and hosts. Not only did most of them not know who the 300 were or what Thermopylae was; they seemed clueless about the Persian Wars altogether.

It’s no surprise that civilian Americans tend to lack a basic understanding of military matters. Even when I was a graduate student, 30-some years ago, military history—understood broadly as the investigation of why one side wins and another loses a war, and encompassing reflections on magisterial or foolish generalship, technological stagnation or breakthrough, and the roles of discipline, bravery, national will, and culture in determining a conflict’s outcome and its consequences—had already become unfashionable on campus. Today, universities are even less receptive to the subject.

This state of affairs is profoundly troubling, for democratic citizenship requires knowledge of war—and now, in the age of weapons of mass annihilation, more than ever.

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