Humanities on Campus- The Current State of Affairs

I wrote the following email to Victor Davis Hanson, one of my favorite historians, bloggers and columnists in response to this article on the current state of the humanities on college campuses.

I read your article with great interest and not a little regret about how spot on target is your assessment of the situation. I was very fortunate to attend the U.S. Naval Academy and major in history. Although we had a diverse faculty with our own "Closet Communist" and "Closet Nazi" as we called our Russian and German history professors, I did not have to endure any of the gender, ethnic, sexual, and other 'isms' that seem to have taken over many liberal arts programs on college campuses.

I did receive the unvarnished truth about American history, although it was balanced by the genuine patriotism and appreciation of America I felt my instructors had, and was fortunate to learn about military history from some really outstanding professors like Craig Symonds, who was also my advisor, and Col. John Ripley, who was head of the English and History department my 1st class year.

Fortunately, my son is attending Franciscan University in Stubenville, Ohio, so I feel he will be pretty safe from the P.C. police as well as he studies Thucydides and Homer in his Great Books Honors program.

My point is I feel you are less than enthusiastic about distance learning schools such as American Military University and how they operate. I am taking my 5th class in their Military Studies program and I have been extremely satisfied with the program. I searched for military history programs in Virginia and found none, the closest similar program was George Washington, which I could not afford, or George Mason, which seemed a little wishy-washy for my taste. Unfortunately, there are virtually no traditional brick and mortar Masters or Doctoral programs left that specialize in military history outside of a few mid-western universities, so I feel AMU has been an excellent alternative. When, and if, AMU gets a Doctoral program going in Military History, I plan on being one of their first students. I realize that distance learning is not for everyone and does take a great deal of independence and self-discipline, but there are few alternatives if you want to study Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, and Jomini.

The Humanities and Classics are thriving via distance learning, and although it does not have the traditional give-and-take of a lecture environment, it is the only alternative I see to gender, racial and other anti-American, anti-white male, anti-military offerings in "traditional" universities for Masters and Doctoral programs in History.

Thanks for your efforts to bring the issues to light. I hope one day that military history will regain its place on traditional university campuses.

Grouchy Historian (not my real name, but my attitude most of the time!)
USNA '87