Soldiers and Scholars

The U.S. Army and the Uses of Military History, 1865-1920

Carol Reardon

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.

“Solidly researched and written with skill and sophistication, this valuable monograph on an interesting topic spans both military and intellectual history.

—Journal of American History

“An excellent description and analysis of the Army’s first real effort to include military history in the professional education of its officers. Solidly researched, well written and carefully balanced, it is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the intellectual heritage of the modern U.S. Army.

—Army
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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 Reardon 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.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series