Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link World History Group RSS feed World History Group Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Letter From MHQ, Summer 2013

By MHQ Editors 
Originally published on Published Online: May 07, 2013 
Print Friendly
0 comments FONT +  FONT -

War Powers

WARS DO VERY LITTLE to influence history. At least that is the claim of a growing army of scholars and pundits, according to James Lacey and Williamson Murray. In their new book, Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World, the two respected military historians brood over a new school of thought in which "battles, wars, generals, and statesmen are…colorful but materially insignificant blips on the radar screen" of history.

Allen Guelzo—director of the Civil War Era Studies Program at Gettysburg College and author of a new book on the Battle of Gettysburg (see review, page 89)—raises a similar alarm. Many of his colleagues, he writes, are drawn to the Civil War but see the study of its battles as "close to pornography."

For these three historians, the bottom line is this: War does matter. Guelzo writes that much as anyone would like to argue that the social and political goings-on around war trump the conflict itself, "we cannot talk about the American 19th century without talking about the Civil War, and we cannot talk about the Civil War without acknowledging, even grudgingly, the Civil War era's singular event was a war."

Perhaps MHQ should adopt "War Matters" as its motto. For nearly 25 years, we've been writing about battles, wars, and generals exactly because they often determine history. Through the ages, armed conflict has settled questions of who is in power, what ideas prevail, and which nations rise and fall. In almost every instance, war leaves behind a legacy that continues to push and pull at events for decades, if not centuries.

In this issue, you'll find stories about George Washington and Alexander the Great. You'll also read contributing editor Thomas Fleming's picks for the most notable graduating classes at West Point—including the class of 1915, which boasted Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley, and a host of others who cut their teeth on World War I and then led the Allies to victory in World War II. These men are "insignificant blips" in history?

—The Editors

Click For More From MHQ!
Click For More From MHQ!

Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Related Articles

History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet? is brought to you by World History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
World History Group

World History Group Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer!
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2015 World History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy