Responses to "Sounding Taps," H-War Discussion Networks

H-War Discussion Networks

From : "Mike Yared" <mike_yared@hotmail.com>
List Editor : JS Russell <js_russell@HOTMAIL.COM>
Editor's Subject : COMMENT: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being retired"
Author's Subject : COMMENT: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being
Date Written : Fri, 29 Sep 2006 11:55:34 -0400
Date Posted : Fri, 29 Sep 2006 11:55:34 -0400

retired" Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2006 12:38:05 -0400 FROM THE EDITOR: Thanks to Mike Yared for forwarding this. The article below represents the perennial alarm sounded for the field of military history. Reading it earlier in the day -- as I wrap up my doctoral studies my friends/colleagues like to taunt me with materials like this -- made me wonder about our role in the trend. Is it really the fault of everyone around us? Are we doing everything right and yet still face a massive conspiracy to keep us down? Is "the man" really to blame? Or, is all of this just cyclical, that military history will return to a prominent place, and for the time being it just seems apocalyptic because we are in the midst of it? Therefore, rather than a free-for-all or an "all liberals are evil" blamefest, I would like to see a discussion that is more focused and self-reflective. I'll admit it's not the nicest way to put it, but bluntly speaking, why are we failing to make the case for our subject in the academy? Strategy is our bailiwick, and yet we seem to have none to maintain our standing as an important part of the historical establishment. I know I'm not a shrinking violet, and most of the military historians with whom I am acquainted are not of the timid variety themselves. So what is the problem? I have my own ideas for answers, but I'll wait a bit before imposing them upon you. I look forward to the discussion. V/R Jill S. Russell H-War List Editor http://nrd.nationalreview.com/article/?q=YTdiMDkzZDJjYTYwOWM4YmIyMmE4N2IwODFlNWU0MjE= Sounding Taps Why military history is being retired JOHN J. MILLER A decade ago, best-selling author Stephen Ambrose donated $250,000 to the University of Wisconsin, his alma mater, to endow a professorship in American military history. A few months later, he gave another $250,000. Until his death in 2002, he badgered friends and others to contribute additional funds. Today, more than $1 million sits in a special university account for the Ambrose-Heseltine Chair in American History, named after its main benefactor and the long-dead professor who trained him. The chair remains vacant, however, and Wisconsin is not currently trying to fill it. “We won't search for a candidate this school year,” says John Cooper, a history professor. “But we're committed to doing it eventually.” The ostensible reason for the delay is that the university wants to raise even more money, so that it can attract a top-notch senior scholar. There may be another factor as well: Wisconsin doesn't actually want a military historian on its faculty. It hasn't had one since 1992, when Edward M. Coffman retired. “His survey course on U.S. military history used to overflow with students,” says Richard Zeitlin, one of Coffman's former graduate teaching assistants. “It was one of the most popular courses on campus.” Since Coffman left, however, it has been taught only a couple of times, and never by a member of the permanent faculty.... [SNIP]


From : Jill Sargent Russell <js_russell@hotmail.com>
List Editor : JS Russell <js_russell@HOTMAIL.COM>
Editor's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being retired"
Author's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being
Date Written : Sun, 1 Oct 2006 19:18:53 -0400
Date Posted : Sun, 1 Oct 2006 19:18:53 -0400

retired" Date: 01 Oct 2006 There are 5 responses in this message * * * From: Robert Duvall Being a history teacher at a high school in California (I also teach part-time for a couple junior colleges.) I am not a professional military historian; however, I offer a few observations for those of you in higher academia trying to save the vital role military history plays in our discipline and in understanding the world around us today. 1. Military history must not abandon its traditional methods and focuses (operational, unit, war studies), but it needs to incorporate some of the new trends in historical method. This is not to say that postmodernism, relativism, or other isms need to be embraced, but attention should be paid to issues of race, gender, and culture. 2. Military historians and its proponents (such as myself) need to take the offensive at conferences and meetings, defending our field and diplomatically pointing out to our less enlightened colleagues why traditional areas like military, diplomatic, and intellectual history have much to offer. The biases against military history I see every year at the California Council for the Social Studies conference is both scary and disappointing. 3. Military historians need to connect with the arena where most Americans learn their history, in the high school history classroom. While there is an overabundance of curricular material on the social and racial history of World War Two (Japanese internment, Holocaust, decision to drop the A-bomb, Rosie the Riveter, etc.) there is practically no quality material that the lay-teacher can use to teach the Battle of Midway, D-Day, or Pearl Harbor. Even though both national and state standards call for students to understand the significant battles of World war Two, most teachers lack the background knowledge or curricular support to teach them so they are ignored. Just attend any high school level social studies conference and you will see what I mean. Maybe what is needed is a grassroots effort to promote military history. The History Channel does it all the time but it is absent from America's secondary and elementary classrooms. If anyone out there is interested in developing such curricular materials please shoot me (pardon the pun) an email. All Best, Robert W. Duvall Hanford West High School historyrob@comcast.net * * * From: Stephen Budianksky As a political liberal and a non-academic who writes about military history, I have a few observations to offer. First, it is undeniably the case that some of the left-wing political attitudes cited in the National Review article are in part responsible for the resistance on campuses to anything that includes “military” in its name. And there is certainly a tendency among academic historians today to equate their field of study with advocacy. I was astounded a couple of years ago while whiling away an hour waiting for my materials to be pulled at the National Archives, when I picked up the latest AHR in the library there and began browsing the articles. (This is something I don't usually do for the reasons mentioned in the NR piece, namely there is never anything in it of relevance to my work as a military and intelligence historian.) But one article in this issue of AHR was a lengthy and solipsistic defense of the historian who had fabricated data for his book arguing that gun ownership was rare in colonial America. The author of the AHR article insisted that (a) such fabrications were minor compared to the lies of the Bush administration and (b) isn't it the job of historians in their research and writing to raise issues of importance to crucial issues of our own times? I point this out because as someone outside of the academic world, I found it jaw-dropping that a professional historian could either excuse such conduct or argue that the job of the historian is to influence current political debates. I actually happen to be wholly sympathetic to the pro-gun control position as a political proposition, but it just boggled my mind to read someone saying in effect that fabricating data to support that position is no great sin. It struck me most of all as incredibly naïve, since anyone who has ever actually sat down and argued with a person of an opposing political view on such a topic (as I have) would know that he would get killed in a debate if he tried to suggest that phony data made for a good case. I cite this example specifically because it is what the lawyers call “an admission against interests,” but I guarantee there is no shortage of similar political slanting from conservatives. But I actually think there are other more important forces at work than simple politics in explaining the waning of operational military history as an academic discipline. There was an excellent article in I believe the Chronicle of Higher Education a few years ago from an academic who observed that in the old days the greatest compliment one could pay to a scholar was that he was “sound.” Today, by contrast, one is supposed to be “smart” or “daring” or “brilliant” or “provocative” or “edgy.” Operational military history suffers from the same flaw in the eyes of what I suppose one could call “mainstream” history today as does, say, political and diplomatic history and technological history in that it is “merely” about what happened and why, as opposed to providing a new and provocative theory. As a journalist who covered the lengthy Enola Gay saga at the National Air & Space Museum, I spent a lot of time talking to technological historians and then read a lot of their work while researching my book “Air Power,” and was again astounded at how difficult it was to find anyone simply doing solid (“sound”) research or offering any intelligible writing that just explained the people, ideas, institutions, and other factors that influenced the development of a technology. Everyone was doing theory or social impacts and many only half-jokingly called themselves “dark siders” who saw as their mission exposing the “dark side” of technology and “questioning” the “paradigm” of “progress.” Some of the stuff was just off the charts and into the realm of what can only be described as self-parody. My reaction, again as an outsider, was: really, have we so exhausted the entire field that all that is left is for us to come up with new “interpretations”? Aren't there a good many untold stories about technology that remain to be pieced together by people trained with the rigor and methodlogy of professional historians? Don't we still have as urgent a need as ever to understand what happened and why it happened? I thought Frederick Kagan's succinct formulation of operational military history as “why one side won and one side lost” was very nicely put. But I am arguing that there is a larger tendency on the part of academics these days to look down their noses at anyone who is “merely” telling what happened and explaining why. The good news in all of this is that military history (and presidential biographies) remain far and away the only area of history that the general public buys. And boy, do they buy it. All of the buffoonery about theory and societal impacts of war imagery on wig design in 1920s France and so on gets published by academic presses and sells about three copies. Then those same academic presses often publish real military histories that sell tens of thousands of copies. And I would argue that an awful lot of “popular” military history that gets published by both academic and trade publishers is quite solid work. It is usually better researched and almost always better written than a lot of academic history in other fields. So I would suggest we can all take encouragement from the fact that however much academic history departments may look down on operational military history, we've got a vibrant, dynamic, hugely productive field that is extremely well supported—supported directly by an interested public. Admittedly my perspective is warped by the fact that this is what I do for a living. But I'd rather have the money than the respect of academic social theorists whose prose I can't even decipher. Stephen Budiansky correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly _________________________________________ Stephen Budiansky Black Sheep Farm 14605 Chapel Lane Leesburg, VA 20176 703-777-7640 http://www.budiansky.com * * * From: Mark Vogl I recently ran into this very same problem when I attended a graduate military history course at a university in Texas. I failed the course; or rather, I dropped out. The title of the course was Early American Military History. The arrogance of the professor with respect to the actually subject matter of the course was astounding. I tell friends it was like taking a course on football, and you never study anything that occurs within the field. You study the stadiums, the news coverage of the sport, the financing, the use of steroids, the sexism of cheerleaders, etc., but you never move to the graduate level in terms of playing/coaching the sport. Our nation's extremely poor understanding of the need for the study of military history, the interrelationships between what happens on the field of the battle and domestic politics at home to sustain the national will may explain why the U.S. has such a hard time acting as a world player. Where do our policy makers study "On War", Sun Tzu, the Principles of War, etc. Not an intro course, a study to actually understand their application? I can understand liberal professors who see war making as man's great sin not wanting to teach the history and practical lessons of warfare. So hire some conservative ones, it would be a real breath of fresh air, and might spark an intellectual debate worthy of a university. Mark Vogl * * * From: Tom Snyder My personal bias is that, indeed, the people in academic decision-making positions are now largely from America's "Vietnam" generation. This is a generation who, as a group, either congenitally, or by upbringing, seem to have always mistrusted anything military. In that sense, i suppose, once these folks move on from senior positions to emeritus status, we may see a change in attitude. In this sense, the problem of the "retirement of military history" may be a cyclical phenomenon. My question: why is this so? Or, why must this be so? Morphing the discussion just a bit, I'm aware of a certain "discomfort" in the environment at Cal Berkeley when I attend the annual Nimitz Lectures there, sponsored by the department of Naval Science. The attendees of these lectures, given by noted visiting scholars, are mainly military science (ROTC) students from Cal and surrounding ROTC programs. Now I recognize that Cal has a certain "reputation", but I wonder if there ain't a similar discomfort on most campuses. I'd like to hear the opinions of some Military Science (ROTC) instructors on this matter, too. Tom Snyder, MD Captain, Medical Corps U S Navy, Retired Coordinator The Society for the History of Navy Medicine * * * From: R.J. Del Vecchio "Therefore, rather than a free-for-all or an ‘all liberals are evil' blamefest, I would like to see a discussion that is more focused and self-reflective." That is certainly a laudable goal for the discussion, and the way working military historians see this subject will be of great interest to me. However, while not believing that "Liberal = Evil/Stupid", I do think it worth noting some aspects of the social trends in the West do connect with a disinterest in military matters in general. Labels are often imprecise and misinformative, so let's be a bit more precise about the political/philosophical spectrum. The progression I see goes like this- Radical Left (e.g., dedicated communists) Ultra Liberals Liberals Moderates Conservatives Ultra Conservatives Radical Right (e.g, NeoNazis, extreme fundamentalists) Certainly those who might be called Ultra Libs very much tend to dislike/distrust the military and military culture, and some of that spills over to the larger community of fairly reasonable Liberals and even some Moderates. Western thought has evolved in the general direction of more understanding, close focus on humanitarian concerns, respect for other cultures, a strong distaste for any violent means of resolving problems, and the strong suspicion that the use of large scale violence to solve a problem is often a worse situation than the original problem was. None of this leads to any high regard for things military, since the military have existed primarily to fight wars, which is the largest scale violence possible, and most of which are more renowned for their level of horror and destruction rather than for having provided any solution to problems. The lack of enthusiasm for the teaching of Military History in many colleges can, I believe, be at least partially attributed to this shift in attitudes. Harvard's adoption of the policy of refusing to allow any ROTC classes on campus began decades ago as part of a protest against the Viet Nam war, but has been continued and even strengthened to the present time. This policy is clearly related to the general disaffection for the military of the institution and its directors. Harvard can be said to have led the way in anti-military attitudes, but that feeling seems to have spread widely in academia in general. How such bias may be overcome is an interesting and perhaps to some extent vital question. I look forward to hearing what those qualified as military historians and educators think. R J Del Vecchio


From : Jill Sargent Russell <js_russell@hotmail.com>
List Editor : JS Russell <js_russell@HOTMAIL.COM>
Editor's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being retired"
Author's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being
Date Written : Sun, 1 Oct 2006 19:24:39 -0400
Date Posted : Sun, 1 Oct 2006 19:24:39 -0400

retired" Date: 01 Oct 2006 The messages below represent the responses received that direct our attention to Mark Grimsley's blogged responses to the Miller article. If we only consider the implications regarding internet communications and the pace at which information moves around our community, these responses are fascinating. Of course, as we move forward with this thread, I think it would certainly be valuable to discuss Grimsley's responses as well as Miller's original article. V/R Jill S. Russell H-War List Editor * * * Everyone should be aware of Mark Grimsley's pointed multi-part rejoinder to Miller's piece in his excellent blog, "Blog Them Out Of The Stone Age." Check it out at URL: http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/index.php Best wishes, Don Shaffer Donald R. Shaffer History Program School of History, Philosophy, and Political Science Campus Box 116 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO 80639 Phone: (970) 351-2112 Fax: (970) 351-2199 Email: donald.shaffer@unco.edu Website URL: http://www.unco.edu/drshaff * * * It might be worthwhile to read some of the responses within the community to Miller's piece. They raise just the sort of questions, and address the issues, that Jill has posed. For example: http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/ vr, John John T. Kuehn Assistant Professor of Military History USA Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth, KS 913 684-3972 "...so far as they stand the test, my own lectures, form a desirable preparation for works such as those of Corbett..." A.T. Mahan 1909 * * * There has been some interesting reactions to Mr. Miller's article, including by Mark Grimsley, a military historian at OSU, at the weblog http://hnn.us/blogs/2.html cheers, David * * * For a counter-point to Miller's tirade against liberals refusing to seek out military history professors, see Ohio State military history Professor Mark Grimsley's "Blog Them Out of the Stone Age," http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/index.php Take care, Bob Judy and Bob Huddleston 10643 Sperry Street Northglenn, CO 80234-3612 303.451.6376 Huddleston.r@comcast.net


From : Jill Sargent Russell <js_russell@hotmail.com>
List Editor : JS Russell <js_russell@HOTMAIL.COM>
Editor's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being retired"
Author's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being
Date Written : Wed, 4 Oct 2006 00:30:28 -0400
Date Posted : Wed, 4 Oct 2006 00:30:28 -0400

retired" (Combined Response) Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2006 There are 3 messages in this post. Message 1, Dave Stone In this thread and in the responses to the article around the web, one thing I've noticed is a lack of perspective. These episodes of hand-wringing about the state of the field seem to me cyclical--I remember John Lynn unleashing a very similar one almost ten years ago in the _Journal of Military History_. Here's what I would like to see: objective data on the supposed decline of the field. The _American Historical Review_ doesn't publish operational military history: when did it? How much? Military history lines are disappearing: really? Compared to when? Who's done the counting? Where specifically have they disappeared? Certainly the sources for that research are easily at hand. JSTOR has close to full runs of all the major scholarly journals. The American Historical Association's guides to history departments list faculty by specialization. My guess is that the time spent complaining might easily be spent amassing some objective data and naming names, if there are names to be named. If we're limiting ourselves to anecdotal information, let me offer a positive one. Serving on the board of the University Press of Kansas' Modern War Studies, I am astounded by the quantity and quality of military history being produced. And that leaves aside other presses and the numerous high-quality journals. Judging by that standard, we are in a golden age. The need for perspective goes further. Which field of history manages to find places for all its graduate students and is awash in new lines and money? Reading _Perspectives_, I conclude that the Middle East (only recently) and maybe East Asia are about it. Other than that, the job market is not good and has not been good since perhaps 1970. It's certainly not a problem unique to military history. Is it worse in military history? Until I see some numbers, I'm unconvinced. Dave Stone Kansas State University * * * Message 2, Mark Grimsley At present, a dearth of ideas and strategies exists concerning the advancement of military history as an academic field. As the NRO article underlines, the tone among many senior scholars in the field -- including those who hold, or have held, leadership positions -- is strikingly defeatist. Along with their rank-and-file counterparts, they complain about the marginalization of the field, blaming it on a blind prejudice against miltary history among academics in other fields. That may be true. It is also irrelevant. I happen to think the thesis of an unreasoning hostility toward the field is overblown. But even if it is not, this does not relieve us of the responsibility for developing and executing plans to strengthen academic military history. Since others do not seem to be shouldering the burden, I've decided to embark on the work myself -- to educate myself in the ways that other fields have solidified their position in academe and to learn something of the art of fund-raising. Some measures are easy to implement. We can, for example, create a bigger tent for military history. That is to say, we can make a concerted effort to reach out to historians who do not self-identify as military historians but whose scholarship nevertheless examines the military dimension of human affairs, invite them to our conferences, and make it known that we value their work. We can become ambassadors for academic military history. Instead of ignoring or rejecting the conceptual frameworks of those in other fields, we can take an active interest in exploring those frameworks in a spirit of intellectual curiosity. Other measures are much more challenging. For example, in December 2004 I visited Prof. John A. Lynn , the incoming vice president of the Society for Military History, at his home in Champaign, Illinois, while en route to spend the holidays with friends. This is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote concerning my visit [ http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/?p=11 ] "We talked briefly about what might be done intellectually to advance the field but focused mainly on what the SMH could do to create more academic positions in military history. We knew that few history departments would do this of their own accord. Indeed, the record at Wisconsin, Michigan and elsewhere is that when existing military historians retire they are not replaced. The programs simply disappear. Nor, in John's experience, did departments seem receptive to the idea of accepting external funding to endow chairs in the field. In effect, departments wouldn't add a military history faculty line even if it cost them nothing. "But this impression turned out to be primarily an extrapolation from John's dealings with his own department, which by any measure is a department unusually taken with the new cultural history and unusually cool to everything else. It also turned out that the external funding was theoretical, not actual. I thought things would turn out differently if a department was confronted with, say, $2 million in cash. "John remained skeptical until I suggested that the SMH should employ a development officer of its own to go forth, locate, and cultivate Dick and Jane Q. Benefactor. You can't swing a cat in a country club without hitting some wealthy businessman with an interest in military history. Moreover, in a country dominated by what Robert Reich calls 'rad conservatives,' where university departmental budgets are increasingly based on student enrollment, and where administrators have adapted themselves to both realities, I figured if you could get the bucks, you could get more than enough leverage to cram a military history position down the throat of the most granola-besotted department in the country. And if you couldn't do it among the top tier of universities, you could assuredly do it in the second-tier. "If nothing else, John agreed, that approach might populate the field with enough military historians for it to reach critical mass: a big problem right now is that there simply aren't enough academic military historians to be in real conversation with one another, to have the debates and steady historiographical growth characteristic of other fields. But on the whole John thought you'd get the most advantage from seeding military history positions in the top departments, and the idea of an SMH development officer captured his imagination. He wants to corral some of the Society's senior leadership at the next annual meeting and explore this idea further. "Will it work? I don't know. I do know that it's high time we began thinking strategically about how to establish the field. That, contrary to a myth much cherished among the white males of my profession, is how fields such as women's history and African American history got established. Political, diplomatic, social, and intellectual historians didn't just welcome them in. They scrambled; they elbowed their way to a place at the table. We must do the same." At the annual meeting of the Society for Military History in February 2005, I again raised the idea of creating our own development operation with John Lynn and SMH trustee Jeffrey Grey [ http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/?p=442 ]. We refined the proposal a bit and took it to SMH president Carol Reardon for consideration. I think it would be fair to characterize Prof. Reardon's response as lukewarm. In any event, nearly two years have elapsed since I first broached the subject. With the exception of one or two recent emails, I know of nothing that has transpired with that initiative, nor to my knowledge has the SMH developed an alternative strategic plan. Instead, the recent _National Review Online_ article entitled "Sounding Taps" -- which argues that "tenured radicals" have all but driven military history from the academy -- includes a number of doleful quotations from military historians, most of them quite distinguished -- that substantially endorse the author's thesis. Put simply, this will not do. It gets us nowhere and indeed, may wind up harming the field by convincing would be benefactors that there is no point in investing in academic military history because, for all practical purposes, it is already dead. I would be very glad to hear, either through H-War or via private email, from people who would like to join in the constructive work of building the field. As for those who would like to continue their complaints about how them tenured radicals done us wrong -- I've heard that tune quite enough, thanks. ---- Mark Grimsley Tel. 614-292-1855 Department of History Fax 614-292-2282 Ohio State University grimsley.1@osu.edu 230 West 17th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210 Home Page: http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/grimsley1 Blog: http://warhistorian.org/wordpress/index.php * * * Message 3, Jim Dingeman Boo-whooing and wringing ones hands about this state of affairs reflected to _some extent_ in the articles by Miller and Kagan are not going to cut it; people have to always be bobbing and weaving and taking positive action. In saying this I speak as a board member of the New York Military Affairs Symposium in NYC, http://www.nymas.org and my comments reflect only my own opinions but we have grappled with this state of affairs for over thirty years. First, it is true that there is a in part a gleeful reaction from many currently in power who are politically on the left to what they see as the narrow minded approach of the "DRUMS AND TRUMPETS" schools in what I have observed here in NYC but it's more complicated than that. At CUNY we had support from some of the most politically conservative historians when we began operating there, but these same professors had been involved in supporting those against open admissions into CUNY -- a very bitter fight that left a nasty legacy in everything we did in NYC since 1984. In part, NYMAS had its roots in the anti-war movement, with a healthy strain of support from people active in VVAW throughout our entire existence, as well as people admittedly to the right of Atilla the Hun and proud of it. That is a circumstance perhaps unique in the military history field but I doubt it. When we set it up, we felt that all the silly tribal battles in the history field were to be risen above in the sense that we need to respect and honor each other and adopt an inter-disciplinary approach, with a healthy dose of let one hundred flowers bloom. The only way to deal with the more rigid PC elements is to be inclusive with them while doing one's thing unabashedly, and yes, operational military history has always and will remain a strong component of how military history should be understood and reflected upon, it just is all the other approaches that have broadened our minds like cultural and social history need to be honored and not trivialized by those feeling besieged with it. The issue of allocation of resources in what the battles over money in academic departments mean is immediate and where I have heard people for years complain bitterly about how they cannot get a gig, but then I have also heard that accompanied in some cases by how they cannot stand the race, class and gender bias. That lack of dialog with the evil other is where the military history field literally can often take a double barreled shotgun and shoot ones lower limbs away, it isn't going to work and has not worked. It is true that the public craves for popular military history and having myself participated in the media for 15 years I can also say that some of that is hagiographic and mythic producing in the extreme. I have had several experiences like that. I also find it amusing that thoughtful conservative commentators bring up the question of the problem of not having academia address operational military history and then do not reflect at all on how the equal absence of good operational military history on Third World conflicts may have reinforced the tendency of their ideological allies in the Executive Branch to think we would could draw our presence down to two divisions by the fall of 2003. More and more I feel that we are dealing with calculated racist ignorance and that speaks also to what I have felt for many decades was the Euro-centric bias of how we look at military history in general here in the US. My suggestion is act locally, create your own institutions and include your intellectual "foes" into your process, one would be surprised. Jim Dingeman


From : "Tom Verso" <tjverso@rochester.rr.com>
List Editor : JS Russell <js_russell@HOTMAIL.COM>
Editor's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being retired"
Author's Subject : REPLY: Article, "Sounding Taps: Why military history is being
Date Written : Thu, 5 Oct 2006 22:50:36 -0400
Date Posted : Thu, 5 Oct 2006 22:50:36 -0400

retired" Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2006 13:11:36 -0400 It is my subjective opinion that often military historians are not accorded due respect because they are perceived as "just telling war stories" that have no apparent relevance to today's events. To my mind, if more military historians engaged the social scientific method of aggregation and show, as Lind has, that military history is relevant to today's decision makers, then universities like Wisconsin will be encouraged to endow professorships of military history. For example, Lind originally developed the 'Fourth Generation' concept in a 1989 "Marine Corps Gazette" article. And, "Our troops found copies of it in the caves at Tora Bora, the al Quaeda hideout in Afghanistan." Now that's relevance! Tom Verso