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Tuesday, 15 April - link

Military History Magazine

In Nebraska this weekend, at a gas station near Grand Island, I found a copy of Military History Magazine. Visiting the web site of the publisher, TheHistoryNet.com I found this list of all the magazines they publish: America's Civil War, American History, Aviation History, British Heritage, Civil War Times, Military History, MHQ, Vietnam, Wild West, World War II.

mh_cover.jpgI'm interested to see what Timothy Burke, Swarthmore college history and popular culture professor, had to say about these publications. I flip through the pages, settling on a piece "Viking History at Stamford Bridge": "In 1066 Englad's King Harold Godwinson faced two contenders for the throne. Duke William of Normandy threatened from the south, but first the Saxon king had to deal with his brother, Tostig, backed by the fearsome Norwegian army of Harald Hardraade." 1066 I haven't studied since I was in fifth grade doing a medieval unit.

It feels like pretty heady (or dusty?) stuff to read on the can. I would laud it as lay intellectualism - history for common folks, available at the gas station. And it would illustrate to me how folks everywhere like to learn. In the midwest, without access to some of what we call culture in California, they have drawn on the annals of human endeavor for lessons and entertainment.

Recounting old battles amidst advertisements for "Testosterall" and military commemorative art make me leery however - this is a publication for people who seem to revere controlled articulations of violence. You could argue that FiringSquad is also, as they are ecstatic for computer-rendered guns and shooting.

In times when violence towards people, and problems to be solved with force, captivate the news, I find my eyes drawn to something like Quakerism, non-violence idealism, and a little unsettled by the idea of a monthly visit to the world's bloodied grounds.

Posted on 15 April 2003 : 07:49 (TrackBack)
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Justin's Links, by Justin Hall.