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Why Don't More Colleges Teach Military History?

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  • Why Don't More Colleges Teach Military History?

    Why Don't More Colleges Teach Military History? - US News & World Report

    Despite its enduring public appeal, and a country at war, the subject gets little respect on campus
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  • #2
    On my campus you can take Imperial Russian History, but they don't offer Military History.

    I think they might be commies....
    "This life..., you know, "the life." You’re not gonna get any medals, kid. This is not a hero business; you don’t shoot people from a mile a way. You gotta stand right next to them... blow their heads off."



    • #3
      Originally posted by Paul Mann III View Post
      On my campus you can take Imperial Russian History, but they don't offer Military History.

      I think they might be commies....

      My college teaches "Wars and Warfare" "American Naval History" and "American Military History".
      "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
      -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

      Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues


      • #4
        I've only taken two history courses at university. History of Psychology, and Introduction to Western Civ. That was way back on my first degree in the 80s. They only offer two courses specific to military history, both are WWII, 300 level. If they offered a history degree with more military history (and more corespondence classes) I would change my current major.

        But... my university has the option for directed studies. You can pretty much make up your own course in a 400 level honours program. Or when you get to graduate school you need to specialise anyhow. There is oportunity but the studen needs to take responsibility for their own direction of study.

        In the end... history degrees are of limited value in the job market. If you are pursuing it for your own interest you don't need a university for that.
        AHIKS - Play by (E)mail board wargaming since 1965.
        The Blitz - Play by Email computer wargaming.


        • #5
          Academia has been left wing (for the most part) and anti war in this country since the Vietnam war. I was lucky the school I went to (in the late 1970's) had several older professors who had served in WWII and Korea and three younger guys who had served in Vietnam. One of them, a history professor (he flew the RB-50 for the Air Force in the 1950's and very early 1960's) taught several senior and grad level courses on topics such as the politics of WWII (including some stuff on military coalition building), history of military air power and couple others that I just can't recall. We also had a history professor that taught "current" history. You chose a current event and followed it for the duration of the class as well as doing background research on the subject. You could take the course twice if you wanted to and in sequence IF the subject was still going on and the professor OK'ed the continuation of the same subject. I chose the fight then going on in Rhodesia for the first course and the proxy wars between the US/USSR going on in the various African national wars/civil wars of the 1970's.
          Those that forget history are condemed to repeat it.
          If you're going to be one you might as well be a BIG RED ONE


          • #6
            I do wonder if there had been greater scholarship of military history if the "War on Terror" might have been planned and fought better. More knowledge of Military history would certainly help politic ans use Military more effectively.

            However, I did find this quote awful elitist

            "Someone's going to be writing books about war—there's a huge demand for it," says Citino of Eastern Michigan University. "I personally would rather it be written by a scholar, instead of a re-enactor or your friendly neighborhood war buff."
            FoxNEWS "The World is unfair and we are running scared"


            • #7
              My first thought is, the universities and colleges across America, don't have the professors qualified or interested enough to teach military history.
              When I was a history major, I found that military history was taught through the ROTC program on campus.
              I took two pretty cool classes as electives, between semesters on breaks.
              "Advances in technology tend to overwhelm me."


              • #8
                My alma mater, Missouri State University, in Springfield has courses on Military History and Civil War. The ROTC Cadets are required to take the Military History course.

                Semper fi


                • #9
                  These places also advertise being gun free. The anti-gun people are also the anti-war people, so they aren't gonna teach the history, or if they they'll probably portray all militaries as evil.


                  • #10
                    As far as I know; no college or university in the SUNY system (about 70 different colleges and universities) offers a military history course. Not even the more highly regarded ones like SUNY Stony Brook.

                    The college I attend (SUNY Suffolk) offers 4 main history courses; Western Civilization I (ancient - 1700s), Western Civilization II (1700s - present), Foundations of American History, and Modern American History. From time to time a professor may opt to offer a special class just for that particular semester; this semester there was a class on World History since 1945 and one on Genocide in History. None of these go any further into military history other then the names of a few battles and maybe the names of a few generals/admirals.

                    Its a shame though, it really is. I know its not a pretty subject but warfare is what determines the course of civilization and of nations and its such a little studied topic academically.


                    • #11
                      I wish there were more places that i could go to to learn about military history ,for me only way of learning that i know of is a military school and ACG. I am surprised that media isn't trying to destroy all of the publicity war novels are getting, instead of making headlines the ones you now see like "Brittany Spears eats at a Restraunt, does this mean she is drug addict?" and this criteria which i think is boring and pointless. I just wish that more information on past war history was more open.
                      God didn’t create evil. Evil is the result of when man does not have God's love in his heart.It's the cold when there is no heat.The darkness that comes when there is no light


                      • #12
                        Considering how dynamic hitory is and how relatively unimportant the military aspects of history are, I can understand why Military History is poo-pooed to some degree. Battles, campaigns and wars are often decided long before the first shots are fired or the first soldier marches. The more history I've read the less weight I ascribe to the fighting, with more emphasis falling on the economic, social and political aspects that truly influence the outcome.

                        Battles are often the anti-climax to the unfolding saga and it was the events leading up to the battles that were more decisive.
                        The Purist

                        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jay217
                          I just wish that more information on past war history was more open.
                          Try the library

                          Inter-library loans are a wonderful thing if you cannot buy the books yourself.
                          The Purist

                          Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.


                          • #14
                            Probably because a) not that many people are interested, b) it doesn't lead to high-paying job, c) there aren't that many qualified instructors, and d) colleges are notoriously anti-war.
                            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?


                            • #15
                              a. A lot of people are actually interested, why else do the classes fill out so fast?
                              b. That depends completely on what you want to do with it.
                              c. Maybe.
                              d. True. Probably the biggest reason for US colleges and universities.

                              This is a good article:


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