I might have come over last week as being a little harsh when it comes to academia in the United States of America. My disillusion stems from disappointment. I used to look forward to reading what Americans had to say about British military operations. After all, most British military history is written by men from a very narrow section of British society. But unbelievably, most American material proved to be even more flawed. Most of the books were poorly researched and their conclusions so far wide of the mark that if they had any humour in them they could be safely relegated to a joke pile. And should American troops be involved, all objectivity is thrown aside and what is produced takes blinkered chauvinism to new heights. Way too many of these pathetic tomes were written by US history professors. I pity their students. The notable exceptions are those books written by former American military personnel who have turned themselves into academics. Most of their work is both meticulous and insightful. The American military has a policy of encouraging its officer corps to venture into academia to widen their horizons and some don't come back. By the time they enter the world of academia they are mature and confident enough to take what their professors have to say with the requisite dose of salt.