Wisconsin hires military historian





When conservative critics look at the field of history, one much repeated charge is that departments have obliterated fields like military history in favor of multiculturalism. And for those who have questioned the academy's commitment to military history in recent years, no institution has been more of a target than the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Wisconsin has for several years been trying to fill an endowed chair in military history and the length of the search (extended in part to raise more money) left some suspicious. "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," said a 2006 article in National Review. The piece added that "for all intents and purposes, military history in Madison is dead. It’s dead at many other top colleges and universities as well. Where it isn’t dead and buried, it’s either dying or under siege."

As of Wednesday, military history is in fact alive and well at Madison -- with John W. Hall in place as the first Ambrose-Hesseltine Professor in U.S. Military History. And as to other fears expressed in that National Review article and elsewhere, such as that leading universities were keeping military history alive only by setting loose cultural studies scholars to analyze the military, Wisconsin landed itself an Army major with an impressive combination of military and academic credentials....

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