Michael Howard and the Historian’s Craft: An Introduction to the Michael Howard Special Issue


  • James E Kitchen Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK
  • Stuart Mitchell Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK




This introduction to the Michael Howard Special Issue offers a short background to his life, contextualises the themes found across the contributions to this issue, and then provides a more detailed analysis of Howard and his two ‘careers’ as a Captain and a Professor. Howard’s life as a soldier is too often compartmentalised from his work as a historian; this introduction examines where and how Howard’s military experiences shaped his later intellectual interests, academic career, and historiographical ideas. It then moves on to look at Howard’s landmark lecture and article ‘The Use and Abuse of Military History’, the influences on his methodology, and two prominent lectures he gave at Oxford as Regius Professor of History. The picture that emerges of Howard is one of a life dedicated to understanding the past and nurturing through good faith the generations that would follow him.