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: Sloan Work and Family Research Network (1-1-09)
Casey: When did you first become involved with the work-family or work-life field? At that time, what was the work-family landscape? How about the predominant work-family issues?
Seitel: I started back in 1990 tracking work-life on paper every month for our Work-Life Newsbrief. We’ve saved online every article I’ve ever written, so to get ready for this interview, I went back into our archives to check out a little history. The review reminded me that in the beginning, there was only one work-family issue then, and that was child care. The country was in shock that so many women were going to work, and people were just starting to wake up to what that meant: Mothers were working, and there was no one home to care for the kids. And if workplaces...
SOURCE: http://www.thadcarhart.com/ (9-18-09)
SOURCE: The New Republic (9-14-09)
In 1949, a year after the state of Israel was created, its Chief Rabbi visited President Harry Truman in Washington. Isaac Halevi Herzog told Truman that his role in helping the Jewish state achieve its independence was not just a matter of politics and diplomacy; it was a divine mission. "When the President was still in his mother’s womb," Herzog said, "the Lord had bestowed upon him the mission of helping his Chosen People at a time of despair and aiding in the fulfillment of His promise of Return to the Holy Land." Truman was a 20th-century version of King Cyrus of Persia, who had permitted the Israelites to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem in the 6th century B.C.E.: "he had been given the task once fulfilled by the mighty king of Persia, and that he too, like Cyrus, would occupy a place of honor in the annals of the Jewish people."
To Truman--a former haberdasher turned...
SOURCE: Scott Horton in Harper's (9-1-09)
1. You open your first chapter with a portrait of R.J. Rushdoony, the son of survivors of the Armenian genocide, who devoted his life to a socially conservative vision of Calvinism that sees the United States as a political extension of that religion. What led you to pick a fairly exotic figure like Rushdoony as a starting point for your account, when most...
SOURCE: AHA's magazine: Perspectives on History (9-1-09)
It begins with a seemingly simple argument: “the essence of history is the memory of things said and done,” and since the memory of things said and done is “essential to the performance of the simplest acts of daily life,” history is not some esoteric science. It is an extension of social memory. To illustrate his argument, Becker told a story about a character he called Mr. Everyman.
Mr. Everyman is a dutiful, if somewhat colorless, figure who works in an office, enjoys playing golf, and on a certain day wakes up with a nagging sense that there is something he has forgotten. So, says Becker, he “does what any historian would do; he does a bit of historical...
SOURCE: The Middle East Quarterly (9-14-09)
Editors' preface: Who has rights to the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River? Zionists cite biblical passages in which God awarded them Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel, in perpetuity in his covenant with the children of Israel. Muslims make a counter-claim based in part on verses of the Qur'an that describe the Jews in terms of contempt and in part on rulings in Muslim law that reject Muslims relinquishing rule over a territory under Muslim rule to nonbelievers. But other Muslims cite different Qur'anic verses in support of the Jewish claim. The conflict has a religious quality that makes it the more difficult to resolve.
The Middle East Quarterly commissioned two essays presenting different views of...
SOURCE: Worldmeets.us (translated from Izvestia, Russia) (9-10-09)
Translated By Yekaterina Blinova
What a remarkable thing: the more time passes since the Second World War, the more we [Russians] have to explain ourselves. The years have washed away historical memory, substituting it with versions more favorable to others. Now it is said that the USSR unleashed the war and acted as Hitler’s ally, and it's no longer clear who won it. And why is there this idea that September of 1939 was the beginning of the war? Because that's when Britain and France formally joined in? Are we to understand that everything that happened before that date wasn't part of the war because Western democracies don't count it as such?
[Editor's Note: Under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August, 1939, between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Poland was to be split between Germany and the USSR....
SOURCE: Nicholas Thompson, in Wired (9-14-09)
"Mr. Thompson also turned up evidence that suggested that Henry A. Kissinger had an agent follow the daughter of a political rival, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt Jr., known as Bud, and had told the Soviet ambassador that he would like to see Zumwalt have 'an accident.' Mr. Kissinger described the accusations, Mr. Thompson writes, as paranoid bunk."
The story dates to a memo that I found in the papers of my grandfather, Paul Nitze. He was very close friends with Zumwalt when the latter man served as Chief of Naval Operations under Richard Nixon.
Zumwalt clashed with Kissinger from the very beginning of his tenure and, in November...
SOURCE: WaPo (12-31-69)
American public life is saturated with them. Kennedys. Bushes. Clintons. Powerful individuals connected to one another by blood or by marriage who, deservedly or not, take on that most paradoxical of American labels: dynasty.
The passing in August of Sen. Ted Kennedy -- and his nephew Joseph Kennedy's decision last week not to run for the vacant seat -- set off debates over whether the "Kennedy dynasty" was over, and whether the family embodied the last and greatest dynasty in American politics.
But just glance at today's Senate and count those whose parents were once members of Congress, or governors, or in a presidential...
SOURCE: LA Times (9-13-09)
Twenty years ago, on Sept. 11, 1989, the plug was pulled on the bathtub of Soviet empire.
At the stroke of midnight, tiny communist Hungary threw open the gates to freedom and the West. Tens of thousands of people surged across the suddenly unguarded border. Scenes of jubilation, of families reunited after decades of captivity in Eastern Europe, flashed around the world. Newsweek's cover dubbed it the "Great Escape." From one day to the next, Americans awoke to a startling new reality. Suddenly, it was possible to imagine the unimaginable: the fall of the Iron Curtain and an end to the Cold War.
The coming months will see a crescendo of 20th anniversary commemorations of communism's final days, culminating on Nov. 9, the night the Berlin Wall came down. For many, Americans especially, the fall of...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-14-09)
You know what, I doubt whether he'd even get a column in today's newspapers. No one would dare hire him. If Dr Johnson were writing in modern Fleet Street, his views would be denounced as utterly outrageous. Foreign ambassadors would be constantly on the Today programme, demanding apologies for the insult done to their country.
Polly Toynbee would be in a state of permanent apoplexy. Any newspaper that dared to print his views would face the wrath of the Equalities Commission. It must be admitted – 300 years after the birth of one of the greatest figures of English literature – that some of his stuff can seem outré to the point of unacceptability.
He is not just sexist. He is not just xenophobic. He is a free-market, monarchy-loving advocate of the necessity of human inequality.
Listen to him bashing the Americans. "Sir, they are a race of convicts, and ought to be thankful for anything we allow...
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (9-13-09)
"We do not want a united Germany," Margaret Thatcher told President Gorbachev at a lunch meeting in the Kremlin in September 1989, two months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. "This would lead to a change to postwar borders, and we cannot allow that because such a development would undermine the whole international situation and could endanger our security."
Among the 1,000 transcripts of Politburo and other high-level papers smuggled out of Russia by Pavel Stroilov, a researcher in the Gorbachev Foundation, and published for the first time last week – in what The Times described as a "bombshell" – was Thatcher's admission to Gorbachev that although she supported German reunification in public, in private and off-the-record she felt "deep concern" about the "big changes" afoot.
SOURCE: The American Prospect (9-11-09)
The story isn't part of the official Wal-Mart creation epic, but it tells us almost all we need to know about the company's approach to the interests of its employees and the laws of the nation. Around the time that the young Sam Walton opened his first stores, John Kennedy redeemed a presidential campaign promise by persuading Congress to extend the minimum wage to retail workers, who had until then not been covered by the law. Congress granted an exclusion, however, to small businesses with annual sales beneath $1 million -- a figure that in 1965 it lowered to $250,000.
Walton was furious. The mechanization of agriculture had finally reached the backwaters of the Ozark Plateau, where he was opening one store after another. The men and women who had formerly worked on small farms suddenly found themselves redundant, and he could scoop them up for a song,...
SOURCE: guardian.uk.co (9-8-09)
Two years into the war, in September 1941, German arms seemed to be carrying all before them. Western Europe had been decisively conquered, and there were few signs of any serious resistance to German rule. The failure of the Italians to establish Mussolini's much-vaunted new Roman empire in the Mediterranean had been made good by German intervention. German forces had overrun Greece, and subjugated Yugoslavia. In north Africa, Rommel's brilliant generalship was pushing the British and allied forces eastwards towards Egypt and threatening the Suez canal. Above all, the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 had reaped stunning rewards, with Leningrad (the present-day St Petersburg) besieged by German and Finnish troops, Smolensk and Kiev taken, and millions of Red Army troops killed or captured in a series of vast encircling operations that brought the German armed forces within reach of...
SOURCE: WorldMeets.us (via La Prensa) (9-25-05)
We know that the filibuster, William Walker, was a foreigner who trampled upon our sacred homeland, and who came accompanied by mercenary soldiers to conquer this badly-beaten country. It is also known and historically documented that the filibuster William Walker was financed by foreign interests, and that in addition to providing funds for provisioning and transporting them across the ocean to our Central American coast, he counted on support from politicians from the nation that gave rise to these adventures [the United States], to recruit, organize, arm and to let these demonic troops loose on foreign soil.
[Editor's Note: President of Lower California, Emperor of Nicaragua, doctor, lawyer, writer - these were some of the titles claimed by William Walker, the greatest American filibuster. In the mid-nineteenth century, adventurers known as 'filibusters' participated in military actions to take control of...
SOURCE: Worlsmeets.us (7-31-09)
Translated By Yekaterina Blinova
Everyone knows why on August 6, the bells toll in Japan. This day marks the anniversary of the American atomic bombing of Hiroshima. According to conservative estimates, it killed nearly 150,000 people - civilians. But why do the bells toll in Germany every year - on February 13, at exactly 10:10am?
In the victorious spring of '45, British and American aircraft carried out not atomic - but more than tragic air strikes on German cities. Their symbol was the tragedy of Dresden. The bells toll for the Germans who perished in the attack.
The British Air Force radioman who participated in the raid on the city recalls: "We flew for hours over a sea of fire raging below - from above it looked like an ominous red luminescence with a thin layer of haze above it." (By the way, the city itself was bombed...
SOURCE: http://www.algerhiss.com (date uncertain) (9-1-09)
Like several previous Haynes and Klehr books, "Spies" is published by the Yale University Press. It lists...
SOURCE: New York Jewish Week (9-12-09)
SOURCE: The Atlantic (9-11-09)
Not to be faux-populist about it, but although such matters as the electoral turmoil in Iran, the Bernanke/Lewis he said/he said, and the bloating of the list of Oscar finalists (to take the week of June 21) constitute what Charlie Rose and his knowing ilk like to think of as the national discussion, I suspect that an altogether different set of concerns haunts the commuter driving home, is fumbled over on the AYSO sidelines, and is the chief subject across kitchen tables after the kids are put to bed. As Americans confront what has been dubbed the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression, they may be forgiven for failing to linger over soon-to-be-old current events, because they recognize that for the first time in their lives they’re in the grip of history. They’re anxious, even terrified, about what that may mean for their daily lives and dreams and—really the same question—for their...
SOURCE: Truthout (9-11-09)
It was eight years ago when four commercial airplanes penetrated the most formidable electronic and military defenses in the history of the world, despite a presidential memo...