Lohr secondary source

Michael Lohr
Citino, Robert M. "Military Histories Old and New: A Reintroduction." American
Historical Review 112, no. 4: 1070-1090.
Military historians are split into three major groups which differ in methods; “war and
society” or new military historians, operational military historians, and “war and memory”
historians. Operational military history is the analysis of wartime strategy and specific battles,
new military history is the study of the relationship between society and war, and “war and
memory” history is a complete combination of the two former groups. While operational and
new military historians’ concepts have their certain values, Robert M. Citino holds that
“war and memory” historians provide the most comprehensive interpretation of military
history. The sources that he uses to demonstrate this notion employ the “war and memory”
method of study, and they aid in proving that military history is better served by this concept
than the other two.
The field of military history is popular among the general American public, but it is
not held in high regard where professional academics are concerned. Citino believes that this
is because of the deep seated belief among historians that military history is of little value
concerning serious education. The structure of Citino’s essay consists of a small amount of
argument-stating, followed by a lengthy interpretation of which sources he used and what
reasons he had for including these sources. The sources seem to begin with early American
history leading up to the World Wars, then widening his scope to Europe, Citino works
backwards to the time of Frederick the Great and then forward again through the World Wars
and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. He then closes with a few statements defending the value of his
field, and the importance of increasing interest in the area of military history.
Michael Lohr
Citino purposefully uses as sources a series of detailed accounts of specific events in
military history in order to show how detailed and educational the “war and memory”
aspect of military history can be when used correctly. He talks about Fred Anderson’s
Crucible of War, which is not only a detailed account of the progression of the 7 Years War, but
is also a description of the political and social environments in Europe, the American colonies,
and native American-populated areas. Fred Anderson and Andrew Cayton’s The Dominion of
War: Empire and Liberty in North America, 1500-2000 further blur the line between operational
military history and new military history by not only delving into both subjects, but almost
creating a story out of the conflict ridden history of North America and the countries that
populated it over the course of history. It is also important to note that the majority of Citino’s
sources came after the year 2000, marking them as solid secondary sources full of a multitude of
reliable information from the past five centuries.
Being a career operational military historian, Citino undoubtedly sees the differences
between the three methods of thought, and is able to point out advantages and disadvantages of
all three. The use of sources that differ in Citino’s personal opinions was useful for his main
point because it showed that even an established operational military historian could be swayed
in his opinions about what he thought was right. He closes by conceding that military historians
have problems amongst themselves, but these issues should not discourage other professionals in
the historical field from paying attention to this particular area of study. Citino is looking to
interest people in his field, and in an attempt to accomplish this he challenges historians to look
at military history in a slightly different way, one that portrays the field as not only battles and
social conflict, but the causes and effects of war on society and the manner in which these things
are remembered.
Michael Lohr
On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this
assignment. Also, I attended a session at the writing center on Friday February 7 th at 2 o’clock