Roundup: Talking About History
This is where we excerpt articles about history that appear in the media. Among the subjects included on this page are: anniversaries of historical events, legacies of presidents, cutting-edge research, and historical disputes.
SOURCE: Slate (3-29-06)
Phillips' faults are on full, gaseous display in his latest jeremiad, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. The book was No. 1 on Amazon before being released and has already been widely praised by liberals...
SOURCE: Guardian (3-28-06)
James, now 90, said the 1963 movie The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson and Richard Attenborough, bore little resemblance to what actually took place during and after the escape from the maximum-security camp in Sagan, Poland.
He played a starring role in one of the most famous episodes of the second world war. But yesterday BA "Jimmy" James - one of the last survivors of the mass break-out by Allied prisoners from a Nazi prisoner of war camp - described the celebrated film version of his story as "a load of rubbish".
James, now 90, said the 1963 movie The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, Charles...
SOURCE: New Republic (3-24-06)
Liberal modernity exasperates traditional religion. It fosters a pluralism that denies any one faith the power to organize the whole of social life. It teaches that public authorities must submit to the consent of those over whom they aspire to rule, thereby undermining the legitimacy of all forms of absolutism. It employs the systematic skepticism of the scientific method to settle important questions of public policy. It encourages the growth of the capitalist marketplace, which unleashes human appetites and gives individuals the freedom to choose among an ever-expanding range of ways to satisfy them.
None of this means that modernity necessarily produces "secularization": the persistence of piety in America is a massive stumbling block to anyone wishing to maintain that the modern age is just a long march toward atheism. But if...
SOURCE: WSJ (3-25-06)
2. "With the Old Breed" by E.B. Sledge (Presidio, 1981
3. "The Face of Battle" by John Keegan (Viking, 1976).
4. "Stalingrad" by Antony Beevor (Penguin, 1998).
5. "The Fall of Fortresses" by Elmer Bendiner (Putnam, 1980).
SOURCE: paulbogdanor.com (3-26-06)
The neo-Marxist approach, as epitomized by Frank Andre Gundar, Henrique Cardozo and Samir Amin, among others, provided a comprehensive critique of market democracy, leading to the birth in the 1970 s of the popular...
SOURCE: frontpagemag.com (3-24-06)
Today we gather at Frontpage Symposium to scrutinize the meaning and purpose of Black History Month. And we focus on two basic questions: (1) What exactly is the objective and meaning of this month? (2) Has it outlived its purpose?
To discuss these themes with us today, we are joined by three distinguished guests:
Ron Christie, the former Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director (eventually Acting Director) for USA Freedom Corps. He also served as Vice President Cheney's Deputy Domestic Policy advisor. He is the author of the new book Black in the White House.
John McWhorter, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He is the author of the new book...
SOURCE: WSJ (3-24-06)
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings." Culture too, like our stars, is often blamed for our failures. Attempts to build a better world capsize, it is alleged, in the high sea of cultural resistance. The determinism of culture is increasingly used in contemporary global discussions to generate pessimism about the feasibility of a democratic state, or of a flourishing economy, or of a tolerant society, wherever these conditions do not already obtain.
Indeed, cultural stereotyping can have great effectiveness in fixing our way of thinking. When there is an accidental correlation between cultural prejudice and social observation (no matter how casual), a theory is born, and it may refuse to die even after the chance correlation has vanished without...
SOURCE: Seattle Times (3-9-06)
Small schools are not always the best answer to low achievement. Sometimes they are, sometimes not. Poor academic results can be found in large schools and in small schools. Great academic results can be found in schools of any size. Success is the result of a solid curriculum, dedicated teachers, a strong principal and students who arrive in high school with the skills and motivation to succeed.
There is another investment that you could make that would be far more effective in raising student achievement than churning out another thousand or so small...
SOURCE: New Republic (3-18-06)
But the world should not be fooled. I served on the prosecution team that built a case against Milosevic at The Hague. During that time, my colleagues and I heard from hundreds of witnesses. All had stories that they carried with them from every corner of the former Yugoslavia to share with the tribunal. Many risked their lives to testify against Milosevic. Needless to say, their stories will not be told during his funeral.
No one will speak of Witness B-1701, a kind and elderly man who traveled from his small village of Glogova, Bosnia. B-1701 described a peaceful town,...
SOURCE: Timesonline (UK) (3-17-06)
But, hey, why pick on those two? Pretty much everyone in the museum world is at it these days and has been for some time: the exhibition at the Horniman, which proudly claimed - though with no supporting evidence, that voodoo was one of Africa's "great contributions to world culture"; the Gainsborough exhibition whose curator presumed to judge the mores of 18th century...
SOURCE: WSJ (3-21-06)
The Black Fives typically refers to leagues that first thrived in the African-American communities of New York, Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago in the teens and '20s but soon spread to the South and Los Angeles. "The Black Fives era was a particularly important and unique era in basketball," explained Matt Zeysing, a historian and archivist at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. "Not unlike today, the early game of basketball had a far-reaching impact on everyone involved: those who played, those who watched, and those individuals or organizations that profited from it," he continued. "During the Black Fives era, the stakes...
SOURCE: Butterfliesandwheels.com (3-20-06)
Towards the end of 2005 my attention was drawn to the fact that the claims had gained a new lease of life through the production of an Australian documentary “Einstein’s Wife”, which was broadcast in the United States in 2003 by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and is available on DVD. At the same time PBS produced a website devoted to the subject, complete with comprehensive lesson plans for teachers of high school students. It was at this point that I decided to investigate the claims more closely....
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (3-17-06)
What distinctions among people in the United States really matter? The U.S. Census Bureau provides the official answer: Americans are white, black, Asian-American, American Indian, or Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, unless they are Hispanic, in which case they can also be any of the above. The census forms include dozens of questions about age, gender, household income, and a host of other aspects of an individual's life, but the survey leads off by asking respondents to locate themselves in this "racial" system. The tabulated results for that single question on race are by far the most widely noted of the multitudinous findings of the census.
Does the census make the...
SOURCE: Columbia College Today (3-1-06)
If people were surprised by Rudy Giuliani’s steadying performance on September 11, 2001, I was not among them. As a Newsday reporter in the City Hall press room for more than four years, I had observed and chronicled the restive and driven politician who was comfortable with conflict and ill at ease in periods of relative calm.
Peaceful times, of course, can invite scrutiny and debate, two things the former mayor seemed to deplore, for reasons tactical as well as temperamental (though it was sometimes difficult to tell which). I and other reporters knew that if a Thursday rolled around and the media were not sufficiently occupied by a mayor-generated story, he usually could be counted on to throw a verbal headline-making punch or announce a “major initiative” to stay in control of the discourse.
On the day the towers fell, when so much seemed beyond control and the President and Vice...
SOURCE: frontpagemag.com (3-15-06)
Glazov: Chuck Morse, welcome to Frontpage Interview.
Professor David Beito is a libertarian, Professor K.C. Johnson a conservative whose job I defended when it was under attack, and Professor Ralph Luker a liberal who is obssessive in his hatred for myself and this website. The three put up a resolution at the rececent convention of the American Historical Association which would have simultaneously condemned my Academic Bill of Rights and speech codes. The leftwingers who run the AHA of course support speech codes because they are totalitarians. The resolution they passed condemned the Academic Bill of Rights and was silent about speech codes.
Beito, Johnson and Luker turned a blind eye to the fact that the AHA leadership is an enemy of academic freedom because it is professionally easier to attack an academic...
SOURCE: AHA Perspectives (March 2006) (3-1-06)
Has the AHA turned its back on academic freedom? In January, members present at its business meeting rejected a resolution to condemn attacks on academic freedom, whether from the right or from the left. Instead, they passed a weaker resolution that selectively condemned only threats coming from the right.
We weighed into this controversy as part of a three person "left/right" coalition for academic freedom. Our chances were slim and we knew it. Only in December did we learn that the AHA business meeting would consider a resolution to oppose David Horowitz's Academic Bill of Rights (ABOR). A leftist in the 1960s, Horowitz is now a militant activist for conservative causes. He founded the Center for the Study of Popular Culture in Los Angeles and publishes Front Page Magazine. Many of the provisions of Horowitz's ABOR seem laudable, at least on first...
SOURCE: NYT (3-12-06)
A separate explanation for such long-lasting character traits may be emerging from the human genome. Humans have continued to evolve throughout prehistory and perhaps to the present day, according to a new analysis of the genome reported last week by Jonathan Pritchard, a population geneticist at the University of Chicago. So human nature may have evolved as well.
If so, scientists and historians say, a fresh look at history may be in order. Evolutionary changes in the genome could help explain cultural traits that last over many generations as societies adapted to different...
SOURCE: Japan Focus (3-9-06)
SOURCE: Wa Po (2-26-06)
At some point in the next few months, President Bush is expected to announce his choice for the location of his presidential library. Once it's open, most of the media attention is likely to focus on the public exhibits, which will no doubt extol the president's compassionate conservatism, his leadership immediately after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and his impressive selections of John Roberts and Sam Alito for the Supreme Court.
More important to history, however, are the documents that the National Archives will store in the Bush library. These records tell the real story of an administration. Some reveal heartfelt empathy and honest division about a hard decision facing a president at a given moment in time; others may prove embarrassing and show nothing but the basest of political...