Is There Too Much Military History?

It is among the most commercial as well as maligned fields of history. Four distinguished scholars consider its value – and its future. 

‘Les Poilus’, by Louis Abel Truchet (born Versailles, France 1857-died Auxerre, France 1918). Smithsonian American Art Museum.

‘With all that has been written, there are still many questions worth addressing’

Beatrice Heuser, Professor of International Relations, University of Glasgow

Any visitor to a British airport bookshop will come away with the impression that business management and military history are the most important genres of factual literature around today, with biographies a close runner up. The two World Wars, the Napoleonic Wars and espionage top the lists, but individual works covering recent kinetic conflicts can also rank prominently. Much research has gone into most of these works and, annually, when my colleagues and I select just one winner for the Duke of Wellington Medal for the best military history written that year, we have considerable difficulties doing so.

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