Captain Professor The Memoirs of Sir Michael Howard Synopsis
Michael Howard's ancestry, part Quaker, part German Jew, made him unpromising material for a commission in the Brigade of Guards. The three years he spent with his regiment were equally inappropriate perparation for the university chairs that he went on to hold at London, Oxford and Yale. In this autobiography he describes how these varied strands in his life came together. First there was a childhood in a world of privilege almost as remote from today as is that of the Roman Antonines. Then there came war service in Italy, a mixture of terror, tedium and Lucullan enjoyment. Finally, he was to persue an academic career in which he would pioneer the study both of war as an aspect of 'total history' and of international relations in the nuclear age. In addition to holding the Regius Chair of Modern History at Oxford he was to play a leading role in founding both the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the world-famous Department of War Studies at King's College London. His works (some translated into sizxteen languages) have him the Duff Cooper Prize,the Wolfson History Prize and the Chesney Gold Medal of the Royal United Services Institute.He ended up as a Fellow of the British Academy, a Companion of Honour and a member of the Order of Merit. So the discordant elements in his background and experience eventually harmonized very well. Professor Sir Michael Howard was Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford and Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University. Amongst his most celebrated books are The Franco-Prussian War, War in European History and The Invention of Peace.
Captain Professor The Memoirs of Sir Michael Howard Press Reviews
As can be guaranteed from Howard's pen we are treated to plenty to think about and to appreciate, both in content and style. Reviewed by Alistair Irwin in The British Army Review Howard blends his personal history with world events to provide a delightfully informal and disarming account...In recalling his own past, Howard offers important lessons for the present. Reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn, November 2007 a fascinating memoir --Alan Jeffreys, The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society, November 2006 Review in British Scholar. [Howard]belongs to a long line of British military historians, such as JohnWheeler-Bennett, who have drawn on their deep historical knowledge to expoundupon contemporary politics in vivid and forceful prose that is almostimpossible to read without mounting excitement. In Captain Professor , Howard blends his personal history withworld events to provide a delightfully informal and disarming account. Hebegins with his privileged childhood before turning to his years in Britishboarding schools. His descriptions of the combat he experienced during theItalian campaign in the Second World War are seldom less than gripping. Scarcelyless robust than the real thing, his accounts of academic warfare are, moreoften than not, mordantly entertaining...In recalling his own past, Howard offersimportant lessons for the present. --National Interest Online a fascinating memoir --, [Howard] belongs to a long line of British military historians, such as John Wheeler-Bennett, who have drawn on their deep historical knowledge to expound upon contemporary politics in vivid and forceful prose that is almost impossible to read without mounting excitement. In Captain Professor , Howard blends his personal history with world events to provide a delightfully informal and disarming account. He begins with his privileged childhood before turning to his years in British boarding schools. His descriptions of the combat he experienced during the Italian campaign in the Second World War are seldom less than gripping. Scarcely less robust than the real thing, his accounts of academic warfare are, more often than not, mordantly entertaining...In recalling his own past, Howard offers important lessons for the present. National Interest Online Sir Michael Howard's vivid and most interesting memoirs will give pleasure to many. Well recommended. The Guards Magazine, 1 August 2008 Interview on Michael Howard. 'Captain Professor is an admirable slice of life: likeable, interesting and well written.' Jeremy Lewis, Sunday Times, 16 July 2006--Sanford Lakoff Sunday Times 'he [Michael Howard] is such a brilliant writer, succinct, exact, candid, without the least degree of conceit or artificiality, he commands the readers confidence and sympathy without ever embarrassing him. He never tells us too much or suppresses anything that night be held to discredit him. He is generous to others, but not indiscriminately, and, where he cares to, he is a skillful portraitist.... ...The book is a true product of the Age if Enlightenment and to be applauded for challenging the unreason and the violence to which feebler minds and a less-educated understanding of history so easily succumb. it is beautifully written, amusing and perceptive, perhaps from its unusual angle the best interpretation of our terrifying times.' Richard Ollard, 'Under the Influence of Mars', The Spectator, July 2006--Sanford Lakoff The Spectator a fascinating memoir --Sanford Lakoff Military Education is in a sad state, and Michael Howard's memoir, Captain Professor: A Life in War and Peace, stands as a reminder of how far it has fallen. No student of the military art should leave this book unread. Michael Howard is an excellent military historian. In one school or another, every Army officer has encountered his translation of Clausewitz's On War, his contribution on World War I in Peter Parot and Gordon Craig's classic Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (which includes an essay on Soviet strategy by a young scholar named Condoleezza Rice) or his seminal War in European History . There are few Michael Howards left, and it is not clear that there is a generation following the great scholars of the Cold War to replace them. Nor is it clear that civilian universities or the Pentagon are doing much to address this shortfall. Soldiers and students should read Howard's Captain Professor . They will do so wistfully, regretting that they may never have a mentor of his equal. --Sanford Lakoff All the qualities of powerful exposition, extraordinary insight and concision that adorn Howard's other books can be found in this, possibly his last book, as well as a haunting elegiac tone. But Michael Howard might still feel the urge to write. Let us hope so. --Sanford Lakoff Times Literary Supplement