Soldiers and Scholars: The U. S. Army and the Uses of Military History, 1865-1920 / Edition 1

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The use and abuse of military history is the theme of this book. Historian Carol Reardon scrutinizes the Army's relationship to its own history and traces the Army's attempts, from the end of the Civil War through the Progressive Era, to lay claim to the discipline of military history.

"Owning" military history was important to the Army, Reardon maintains. Not only was military history a cornerstone in the Army's emerging education system, but it carried with it a professional image and social respectability as well.

As a result, the Army tenaciously defended the discipline from the incursions of civilian academics, arguing that military professionals should set the standards for the study of military history. The American Historical Association, on the other hand, countered that military history should not be left to amateurs.

In this well-researched study Rearson argues that the lengthy, unresolved debate over proprietorship of military history was largely responsible for its demise as a discipline during the half century following World War I.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A sophisticated work that addresses problems in military education that are far from being resolved today. It is at once an intellectual history of the U.S. Army at a most interesting time in its evolution and an illuminating commentary on the ways that an army can utilize history. Civil War buffs will be especially pleased by Reardon's analysis of the Army's study of the Civil War during this period."—Jay Luvaas, Army War College, author of The Military Legacy of the Civil War.

"An original and important study that breaks new ground in the fields of military history and historiography."—George C. Herring, author of America's Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975.

"An excellent and original study of the development of American military thought and literature in the era before World War I."—Timothy K. Nenninger, National Archives, author of The Leavenworth Schools and the Old Army.

On the use and abuse of military history. Reardon history, U. of Georgia traces the army's struggle, from the end of the Civil War through the Progressive Era, to claim intellectual authority over the study of war. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700611126
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 12/28/1990
  • Series: Modern War Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Sales rank: 500,843
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Military History: "The Foundation of Our Art, the Basis of Our Profession"

Part 1. Military History and Officer Education

3. Military History and the School of "Safe Leadership"

4. Civil War Battlefields: Open-Air Classrooms for Military History

5. A Model and a Muddle: Two Historical Research Programs, 1908-1917

Part 2. Military History and An American Literature on the Art of War

6. The Pen Rivals the Sword: Writing about the American Way of War

7. American Campaigns: The U.S. Army's First Military History Textbook

8. A First Attempt at Official History

Part 3. The Soldiers Versus the Scholars

9. The Roots of Interprofessional Tensions

10. Exercises in Frustration: Two AHA Committees for Military and Naval History

11. A Pyrrhic Victory: The U.S. Army's Historical Section, 1914-1920

12. Epilogue: "Thank God for Leavenworth"


Selected Bibliography


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