David Leslie Hoggan, author of The Forced War and other works, was born in Portland, Oregon, on March 23, 1923. After study at Reed College in Portland, he went to Harvard University, where in 1948 he earned a Ph.D. in history for his dissertation on German-Polish relations in 1938-1939.
After Harvard Hoggan taught and studied at the Amerika Institut of the University of Munich (1949-1952), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State College, and Carthage Lutheran College in Illinois.
In 1955 he came into contact with Harry Elmer Barnes, who encouraged Hoggan to expand his Harvard dissertation into The Forced War, and obtained the financial assistance necessary for this undertaking. However, disagreement between Barnes and Hoggan about some citations in the work resulted in a decision by the scheduled publisher, Devin-Adair, to withdraw from the project. It was finally published in 1989 by the IHR under the title The Forced War: Why Peaceful Revision Failed.
Despite his objections on minor points, Barnes characterized The Forced War in these words: "In its present form, it not only constitutes the first thorough study of the responsibility for the causes of the Second World War in any language, but is likely to remain the definitive revisionist work on this subject for many years."
The Forced War compliments The Origins of The Second World War, the best-selling non-conformist examination of the conflict by the brilliant British historian A. J. P. Taylor. But in contrast to virtually every other work on this subject, Hoggan's study made extensive use of Polish sources. Also in contrast to Taylor and others, Hoggan closely examined the oppression of Poland's ethnic German minority, which was an important factor in Hitler's decision to go to war against the Polish state.
Hoggan's detailed study was published in Germany in 1961 by Grabert Verlag (Tübingen) under the title Der Erzwungene Krieg. It generated prompt and wide attention. The well-known conservative writer Armin Mohler declared that the work had brought World War II revisionism "out of the ghetto" in Germany. The work was predictably attacked by West Germany's historical establishment, for example in a lengthy 1964 front-cover article in the influential weekly Der Spiegel. Over the years Der Erzwungene Krieg has gone through at least 13 printings, and sold more than 50,000 copies.
Several of Dr. Hoggan's historical writings have appeared only in German, including Frankreichs Widerstand gegen den Zweiten Weltkrieg ("France's Resistance Against the Second World War"), published by Grabert in 1963, Der unnötige Krieg ("The Unnecessary War"), published in 1976, and the two-part book, Das blinde Jahrhundert ("The Blind Century"), consisting of Amerika -- das messianische Unheil ("America: The Messianic Disaster"), which appeared in 1979, and Europa -- Die verlorene Weltmitte ("Europe: The Lost World Center"), published in 1984. Meine Anmerkungen zu Deutschland: Der Anglo-amerikanische Kreuzzugsgedanke im 20. Jahrhundert ("My Thoughts on Germany: The Anglo-American Crusade Mentality in the 20th Century") appeared posthumously in 1990.
Hoggan's English-language study, The Myth of the New History, (1965 and 1985), earned praise from Revilo Oliver as "an important and very valuable book ... ably written ... admirably short and to the point ..."
Hoggan's lecture at the IHR's Sixth Conference in 1985, "Plato's Dialectic v. Hegel and Marx," appeared in the spring 1986 issue of The Journal of Historical Review. The Ninth IHR Conference, 1989, was dedicated to his memory.
During his final years David Hoggan lived with his wife in Menlo Park, northern California. He died there of a heart attack on August 7, 1988.