Well, the more things change they appear to remain the same! Just when I thought I had thoroughly read on the nature of historiography I picked up The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. Written between 460 and 400 BCE, he chronicles the events surrounding the PPW. The following is an excerpt from book I.22. It explains the process Thucydides used in gathering information...
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: Guardian (UK) (8-30-12)
Stephen Bates is a staff writer at the Guardian.
SOURCE: Bloomberg View (8-27-12)
Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic, is a Bloomberg View columnist.
SOURCE: The Diplomat (8-28-12)
Stuart D. Goldman is a Russian specialist and a scholar in residence at the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. This article is based on his book, NOMONHAN, 1939: The Red Army’s Victory That Shaped World War II (U.S. Naval Institute Press).
SOURCE: NYT (8-27-12)
SOURCE: Mere Student (Blog) (8-25-12)
John Oliff is a professor of New Testament, Greek and Theology. He is married and has five wonderful daughters. He is employed at Biblical Theological Seminary and Eastern University. In additional to his professional career he is deeply involved in teaching and training biblical studies at his local church, The Well in Feasterville, PA.
SOURCE: Smithsonian Magazine (8-27-12)
Amy Henderson is the National Portrait Gallery's cultural historian.
Who do you trust?
In 1972, an Oliver Quayle Research survey reported that CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite was the “most trusted man in America”—more trusted than anyone else in public life, although, that’s not including such 1970s pop stars as Cher or Paul Newman.
Trust. Today, it is an eye-popping notion that a network newsperson would have that kind of status. How many of us even watch nightly network news? The Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism reports that between 1980 and 2011, the three commercial networks lost 28.4 million nightly news viewers, or 54.5 percent of their audience....
SOURCE: LA Times (8-23-12)
Rafael Medoff is director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies and the coauthor with Sonja Schoepf Wentling of the new book Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the 'Jewish Vote' and Bipartisan Support for Israel.
SOURCE: Independent (blog) (8-26-12)
Melissa Pawson is a student ambassador for the Holocaust Educational Trust.
SOURCE: Financial Times (UK) (8-22-12)
David Pilling is the Financial Times' Asia editor.
When the Democratic Party of Japan took power three years ago, it promised a radical overhaul of foreign policy. It wanted to rebalance relations with the US and China, by addressing its "over-dependence" on the former and its strained relations with the latter. In a world moving from US unipolarity to multipolarity, in the words of Yukio Hatoyama, then prime minister, Japan would rediscover Asia as its "basic sphere of being".
It was a grand vision. Today it lies in shreds. That became clearer this week with Tokyo’s replacement of its ambassador to Beijing after a flare-up in Sino-Japanese tension. Anti-Japanese protests erupted across Chinese cities at the weekend...
SOURCE: City Journal (8-22-12)
Pierre Manent is a French political scientist. His essay was translated by Alexis Cornel.
We have been modern for several centuries now. We are modern, and we want to be modern; it is a desire that guides the entire life of Western societies. That the will to be modern has been in force for centuries, though, suggests that we have not succeeded in being truly modern—that the end of the process that we thought we saw coming at various moments has always proved illusory, and that 1789, 1917, 1968, and 1989 were only disappointing steps along a road leading who knows where. The Israelites were lucky: they wandered for only 40 years in the desert. If the will to be modern has ceaselessly overturned the conditions of our common life and brought one revolution after another—without achieving satisfaction or reaching a point where we might rest and say, "Here at last is the end of our enterprise"—just what does that mean? How have we been able to will something...
SOURCE: National Interest (8-22-12)
Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
More than thirty years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power—and two decades after his passing—the Islamic Republic remains an outlier in international relations. Other non-Western, revolutionary regimes eventually eschewed a rigidly ideological foreign policy and accepted the fundamental legitimacy of the international system. But Iran’s leaders have remained committed to Khomeini’s worldview. The resilience of Iran’s Islamist ideology in the country’s foreign policy is striking. China’s present-day foreign policy isn’t structured according to Mao’s thought, nor is Ho Chi Minh the guiding light behind Vietnam’s efforts to integrate into the Asian community. But Iran’s leadership clings to policies derived largely from Khomeini’s ideological vision even when such policies are detrimental to the country’s other stated national interests and even when a sizable...
SOURCE: Huffington Post (8-20-12)
Rudolph Herzog is the author of Dead Funny: Humor in Hitler's Germany (Melville House Publishing), a groundbreaking look at the role of humor in Nazi Germany that Der Spiegel described as "a thrilling book."
Almost everyone has heard of classic films such as Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" and Mel Brooks' post-war satire "The Producers," both of which poke fun at the Nazis. What is less known is that hundreds of political jokes circulated within the Third Reich itself. I collected some of the most interesting ones in my book Dead Funny - Telling Jokes in Hitler's Germany [Melville House, $26.00]. They give a rare glimpse of what was going on in the Germans' hearts and minds during this darkest chapter of their history. Whereas other...
SOURCE: National Interest (8-22-12)
Sergey Markedonov is a visiting fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
This August marks the fourth anniversary of the five-day Russo-Georgian war of 2008. As usual, there has not been any lack of commentary on this event. There is still a dispute over who fired the first shot. And the issue of responsibility of Russian and Georgian leaders is still very much alive. This time, Vladimir Putin’s feelings about Russia’s preparations for the war have been the focus. Even without Putin's comments, it is clear that Moscow was reacting to Georgian attempts to violate the status quo established in the 1990s and that the responsibility for "unfreezing the conflict" can’t be "awarded" to only one side.
Meanwhile, the debates about the "bad guys" and "victims of aggression" create serious obstacles for adequate understanding of the broader political processes that led to the five-day war, an event which was not...
SOURCE: National Interest (8-20-12)
John R. Schindler is professor of national-security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and a former intelligence analyst and counterintelligence officer with the National Security Agency. He has written widely on Balkan affairs and blogs at The XX Committee.
Twenty years ago this August, there was no hotter story in the emerging global media than Bosnia and its terrible civil war, which was unfolding gorily in near real time. CNN in particular made great copy on the conflict, and worldwide its emerging star Christiane Amanpour became an icon with her "live from Sarajevo" pitch.
Just how accurate much of the reportage out of bloody Bosnia was that fateful summer remains an open question. The war’s position as the first extended conflict to take place in the context of 24/7 global TV coverage before the rise of Internet fact-checking seems historically important. Yet there can be no...
SOURCE: Foreign Policy (8-20-12)
Rémi Brulin is research fellow and adjunct associate professor at New York University.
In his rebuttal to Glenn Greenwald's critique of the "terrorism expert industry," Daniel Trombly profoundly mischaracterizes both my research and the specific points on which Greenwald's post quoted me verbatim. Trombly writes:
"[Greenwald] rejects 'terrorism' as a useful term altogether, arguing, along with scholar Remi Brulin, that the term terrorism is primarily 'propaganda' for 'justifying one's own state violence'-- especially of the American and Israeli variety -- rather than a possible subject of expertise."
SOURCE: History Today (UK) (08-21-12)
Emily Whitaker is completing a masters degree in Public History at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Since Josef Stalin’s death in 1953, and especially following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, historians and the public worldwide have been united in condemnation of the Soviet leader and his regime. His ruthlessness, the purges, gulags and famines that left millions of his own people dead have meant that at best he has been viewed as a necessary evil, in recognition of his drive to modernise and industrialise the USSR. Yet, in spite of the millions who suffered and died as a result of his policies, Stalin has long been revered in Russia for leading the country to victory against the Nazis in the ‘Great Patriotic War’, an achievement which was remembered during 60th anniversary celebrations in 2005.
Since then the movement in Russia for Stalin’s rehabilitation appears to be broadening and a more disturbing picture is emerging, one in which...
SOURCE: NYT (8-11-12)
Lien-Hang Nguyen is an associate professor of history at the University of Kentucky and the author of “Hanoi’s War: An International History of the War for Peace in Vietnam.”
AS the war in Afghanistan drags on with no definitive victory in sight for the United States and American troops begin to withdraw, comparisons to the Vietnam War are once again in the air, 50 years after both Washington and Hanoi decided to beef up their forces in South Vietnam. “Just take a run through the essential Vietnam War checklist,” wrote Tom Engelhardt in Mother Jones magazine, noting “there’s ‘quagmire’ ” and “the idea of winning ‘hearts and minds’ ” as well as “bomb-able, or in our era drone-able, ‘sanctuaries’ across the border” and even “a one-man version of My Lai.” Although these analogies are particularly attractive to critics — who see America’s battle in Afghanistan as even more futile than...
SOURCE: NYT (8-18-12)
Lawrence Downes is a member of the editorial board of The New York Times.
In October the Kennedy Center will throw a centennial party for Woody Guthrie, a star-studded concert with tickets topping out at $175. It will be America’s ultimate tribute to a beloved troubadour. “Through his unique music, words and style,” the Kennedy Center says, “Guthrie was able to bring attention and understanding to the critical issues of his day.”
Poor Woody. The life and music of America’s great hobo prophet, its Dust Bowl balladeer, boiled down to this: He brought attention to the critical issues of his day.
Maybe that’s what happens to dissidents who are dead long enough. They are reborn for folk tales and children’s books and PBS pledge drives. They become safe enough for the Postal Service. “For a man who fought all his life against being respectable, this comes as a stunning...
SOURCE: American Spectator (8-15-12)
Daniel Mandel is a Fellow in History at Melbourne University and author of H. V. Evatt and the Establishment of Israel: The Undercover Zionist (Routledge, London, 2004).
SOURCE: The Diplomat (8-15-12)
Neelam Deo is India's former ambassador to Denmark and Ivory Coast, and served in Washington and New York. She is the director and co-founder of Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations.