Is Diplomatic History Dying?

Glenn Ricketts

That’s a question posed at the Oxford University Press blog by Timothy J. Lynch, historian at the University of Melbourne.  

I’d have to say no – “dead” would be more apt, based on the evidence presented in our recent reports The Vanishing West, Recasting History, and What Does Bowdoin Teach

Consistent with our findings, Lynch notes that the study of history is dominated almost everywhere by themes of race, gender, class, ethnicity and “social justice,” a methodology that necessarily compels certain conclusions while other possibilities go wholly unexamined. He also takes stock of the steep ideological imbalance among professional historians, the books they select for their courses and the trade journals in which most of them write and review those same books.  

The only thing I’d add to what Lynch  says is that military history, western civilization, US Constitutional history and foreign policy have all but disappeared as well. Is there a worldview beyond “social justice?” Most undergraduates probably couldn’t imagine it.

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