Not since A.L. Rowse published his memoir On Historians has such a witty and perceptive memoir been published by a celebrated historian.
Captain Professor constitutes the memoir of one of the most distinguised British historians of the post war years, Professor Sir Michael Howard. Award the Military Cross in the Second World War, Howard recounts how between battles he befriended the young film director Franco Zefirelli, and fought the Germans in Italy with (the future Bishop) Simon Phipps and the (future) ballet critic Richard Buckle. In Oxford after the war, he gives delicious insights into academic life, including perceptive portraits of Hugh Trevor-Roper, Keith Thomas and A.L. Rowse.
Howard had a major influence on the strategic and defence policy of the country and made his name as a military historian. His influence on the study of history in schools and universities has been considerable, and he has been substantially responsible for the burgeoning of First World War studies, its history and its literature. He claims, however, that he eventually pipped many more obvious candidates to the post to become the royally-appointed Regius Professor of History because he was the only candidate that the Queen of England had heard of.