Colleges Shouldn't Replace Military History With Women's Studies, Crocheting

Ignoring military history is like burning down the library at Alexandria.

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By Michael Barone, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

There's a fascinating disconnect between the history that literate people want to read and the history that academics (by no means all of them literate) want to teach. One example is the replacement of scholars of the colonial and founding period by those into more fashionable pursuits. Another is the replacement of military historians—whose subject matter is of such great interest to literate readers—with academics into women's studies, or crocheting or the like.

U.S. News reported last year on military historians' lack of academic respect and here is an excellent paper by John Miller of National Review on how universities are trying to (if I can borrow their lingo) deprivilege military history. Let me just add, for skeptical readers, that I don't mind people studying the history of the downtrodden masses, of minorities and women whose voices were not heard in the past, of the travails of ordinary people caught up in ineluctable conflicts. These all have a place in strengthening our understanding of the past. But to ignore military history is to destroy and obliterate important knowledge—or, as Pat Moynihan might have put it (and did, in my listening, on occasion), to burn the library at Alexandria.

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