"History departments are dominated by a post-Vietnam generation of professors for whom bottom-up “social history” is paramount, and the only areas of interest are race, sex, and class. History focusing on great events and the “great men” central to them is retrograde — let alone military history that ipso facto smacks of militarism. Hence, the rout of military history in the academy that Miller catalogs.
Edward Coffman, a former military historian at the University of Wisconsin, studied the 25 best history departments according to U.S. News & World Report rankings and found that a mere 21 professors out of more than 1,000 listed war as their specialty. A Notre Dame student complained recently: “We have more than 30 full-time history faculty members, but not one is a military historian. Even in their self-described interests, not a single professor lists ‘war’ of any era, although half list religious, gender and race relations.”
Even professors who supposedly specialize in military history do it through the prism of trendy academic obsessions. Miller notes a professor at West Virginia University who lists World War I as one of his “teaching fields,” but his latest work is on “the French hairdressing professions” and the “evolving practices and sensibilities of cleanliness in 20th century France.”
The gatekeepers of the profession practically proscribe traditional military history. John A. Lynn recently looked back at the past 30 years of the prestigious academic journal The American Historical Review. He found no articles on the conduct of World War II, the American Revolution, or the Napoleonic Wars. There were articles that discussed atrocities in the English Civil War and in the American Civil War and an article on World War I — on women soldiers in the Russian army."