Mark Moyar: Brilliant historian, academic pariah

Historian Mark Moyar has published the first volume of Triumph Forsaken, a work that I believe will prove to be the indispensable history of the Vietnam war. Today’s New York Sun reports on Professor Moyar’s unbelievable difficulty landing an academic position:

Mark Moyar doesn’t exactly fit the stereotype of a disappointed job seeker. He is an Eagle Scout who earned a summa cum laude degree from Harvard, graduating first in the history department before earning a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England. Before he had even begun graduate school, he had published his first book and landed a contract for his second book. Distinguished professors at Harvard and Cambridge wrote stellar letters of recommendation for him.
Yet over five years, this conservative military and diplomatic historian applied for more than 150 tenure-track academic jobs, and most declined him a preliminary interview. During a search at University of Texas at El Paso in 2005, Mr. Moyar did not receive an interview for a job in American diplomatic history, but one scholar who did wrote her dissertation on “The American Film Industry and the Spanish-Speaking Market During the Transition to Sound, 1929-1936.” At Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004, Mr. Moyar lost out to a candidate who had given a presentation on “promiscuous bathing” and “attire, hygiene and discourses of civilization in Early American-Japanese Relations.”
It’s an example, some say, of the difficulties faced by academics who are seen as bucking the liberal ethos on campus and perhaps the reason that history departments at places like Duke had 32 Democrats and zero Republicans, according to statistics published by the Duke Conservative Union around the time Mr. Moyar tried to get an interview there.

The Sun’s devastating, detailed story is a blockbuster that breaks a scandal hiding in plain sight.
JOHN adds: We interviewed Dr. Moyar on our Northern Alliance radio show a few months ago. He was a wonderful guest, both brilliant and gracious. I highly recommend his book. You can listen to our interview of Moyar here.
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