This page includes, in addition to news about historians, news about political scientists, economists, law professors, and others who write about history. For a comprehensive list of historians' obituaries, go here.
Anthony Trythall, writing in the London Independent (Jan. 23, 2004):
JOHN TERRAINE was one of the outstanding military historians of the 20th century. His intellect, scholarship and breadth and sharpness of vision marked him out amongst his peers as one to be listened to with great care and attention, and challenged with circumspection, although challenged he was.
The fundamental reason for the controversy he aroused, and the challenges his challenges met, was that his study of generalship in the First World War led him to criticise, indeed demolish, the argument that British generals in the period 1914-18 were all "donkeys", that their actions simply led to slaughter and disaster. What he could not abide was the "Oh! What a Lovely War" syndrome espoused by the historical, political and pacifist left and also to some extent by B.H. Liddell Hart. In his work he made a very strong case for the view that British generals were actually pretty good and, in the end, unlike their enemies, won the war with a great victory.
Terraine was right, but those who questioned his position did also have a point. A central characteristic of scholarship is that its conclusions always, and should always, lead to further questions. He would almost certainly, on a good day, have accepted that dialectic. In a book review in 1977 he pointed out that J.F.C. Fuller's "Plan 1919" for ending the war (the antithesis of attrition) was really only a variation of what actually took place in 1918: open warfare but without many tanks, which were not ready technologically or available in sufficient numbers - again a dialectical point. Perhaps one criticism of Terraine's work that carries some weight is that his judgements were primarily military; when millions die other considerations do have to be heard.
The books in which Terraine made his case included: Mons: the retreat to victory (1960), Douglas Haig: the educated soldier (1963), The Road to Passchendaele (1977), To Win a War: 1918, the year of victory (1978), The Smoke and the Fire: myths and anti-myths of war 1861-1945 (1980) and White Heat: the new warfare 1914-18 (1982). Perhaps the most succinct summary of his views is contained in a chapter, "British Military Leadership in the First World War", in Home Fires and Foreign Fields (1985). This contains the typically Terraine-like comment apropos of Alan Clark's "donkeys and lions" attribution to Luderdorff and Hoffman, "Curiously enough, when pressed, Mr Clark failed to offer any source for this reported conversation."
Terraine's historical writing was not, however, confined to the land campaigns of the First World War. He also wrote Business in Great Waters: the U-boat wars 1916-45 (1989) and a definitive work on the RAF, The Right of the Line: the Royal Air Force in the European war 1939-45 (1985), which won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year Award. A senior RAF officer was heard to say about this book in the Royal United Services Institute that he had learnt the last one and a half pages by heart.
John Alfred Terraine was born in 1921 and educated at Stamford School and Keble College, Oxford, of which he was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1986. Although he twice volunteered, poor health prevented him from undertaking military service and in 1944 he joined the BBC, where he remained until 1964, serving as Pacific and South African programme organiser from 1953 to 1963. He then became a freelance historian, and in 1964-65 acted as associate producer and chief scriptwriter of the BBC TV Great War series. Other television series followed, notably The Life and Times of Lord Mountbatten (1966-68) and European History in the 20th Century (1974-75).
John Burgess, writing in the Wash Post (Jan. 28, 2004):
Sallyann Sack recalls the rainy day in 2000 that she spent on the Hamburg waterfront, hoping to find clues to the voyage her grandmother had begun there a century earlier. The rooming houses where the 16-year-old Jewish girl might have stayed before traveling alone to America had disappeared; so had most of the administrative buildings of the time.
But then her guide said, "Sally, I cannot show you the boarding house where your grandmother stayed when she was waiting to board the ship, but I can promise you that she walked along this street."
With those words, the Bethesda woman said she felt suddenly and profoundly the presence of her forebear. The gift came courtesy of Juergen Sielemann, a courtly German who at his desk at the Hamburg State Archive has made it his business for more than 30 years to organize and publicize the historical record of Jews in Hamburg. On his own time, he helps people such as Sack who come to conduct searches on a more personal scale.
On Tuesday evening, Sielemann stood before the German Parliament in Berlin and accepted an Obermayer German Jewish History Award for his efforts. Back in Bethesda, Sack was particularly happy to hear the news because she was one of several people who had nominated him for the honor. The award is presented each year to five non-Jewish Germans who have made outstanding contributions to the reassembling of the German Jewish record, shattered more than half a century ago.
"I have been personally touched" by the history of Hamburg's Jews, Sielemann said Tuesday in an interview, explaining his dedication to a community that was all but wiped out by Nazi deportations. "It upsets me. I feel I have to do something, and I feel I'm not doing enough."
His thick glasses and calm manner fit the image of a profession based on the love of documents, and he seemed both amused by and uneasy with the attention his work has generated.
But Sielemann is something of a star in the world of Jewish genealogy. A regular at conferences in the United States, Britain and Israel, he is renowned for his encyclopedic knowledge -- he knows the street numbers of those lost boarding houses, for example. He founded Germany's only Jewish genealogical society. And he has helped put Hamburg's emigration records online so that people worldwide can search for information about forebears who might have set out from the North German port en route to the United States.
"He's one of those Germans who's devoted their professional lives to making sure that Jewish heritage and history isn't lost," Sack said. "He obviously feels as a German the burden of the Holocaust."
Frank Bajohr, a historian at the Research Institute for Contemporary History in Hamburg who has conducted research with Sielemann, said the man has remarkable energy. "He's highly engaged," said Bajohr, a specialist in Nazi confiscation of Jewish property.
The awards were given on the anniversary of the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, which Germany has adopted as an official day of remembrance of the victims of Nazism. In Parliament on Tuesday morning, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, his cabinet and legislators listened reverently to an address by Simone Veil, an Auschwitz survivor who became president of the European Parliament.
Through such events, Germans learn their country's history. Some prefer to forget it, others invest their own time and money in making sure that no one will. Tuesday's recipients of the prize, which is administered by the Massachusetts-based Obermayer Foundation, also included a doctor who has restored a Jewish cemetery, recovering old headstones that had been used for steps in nearby houses, and another doctor who helped save a former Jewish community center from demolition.
As Sielemann tells it, he pretty much stumbled into his life work. He was born in 1944, just south of Hamburg, and so has no personal memories of the prewar community or the war. As a 20-year-old with a general interest in history, he was hired by the Hamburg State Archive in 1966 and three years later took over the Jewish files.
There were quite a few. Hamburg's Jews had agreed in the 19th century to deposit their documents with the government for safekeeping, and many of those papers survived the Allied bombs -- birth, marriage and death certificates from local synagogues were there to examine. So were passenger lists from the ships that took immigrants from all over Central and Eastern Europe across the Atlantic.
As he made his way through the stacks of papers, Sielemann said, he became fascinated with the centuries-long Jewish presence in Hamburg. In 1933, the year Adolf Hitler took power, there were about 24,000 people in the city observing three strands of Judaism.
But for years, he felt as if he were laboring alone on an island. In Germany until the late 1970s, he said, "there was really no interest, there was no discussion, there was nothing on the subject of the Holocaust and Jewish history. Silence. . . . So that meant that the younger generation had to learn not from the elder generation but by themselves."
Gradually he began to make contacts with survivors from abroad, with relatives of the dead and with a small but reconstituting Jewish community in Hamburg itself.
Sack, a clinical psychologist who is active in genealogical groups, first came into contact with Sielemann in 1984, when he wrote to ask her if a gentile would be welcome at a conference the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington was organizing in Jerusalem. She recalls laughing and responding: Of course, as long as you pay the fee.
A string of initiatives followed from her friend in Hamburg: in 1996 the German Jewish genealogical society, in 1999 the online directory. Last year, he was the driving force behind an invitation that the Hamburg city government extended to the descendants of the one millionth immigrant who embarked at Hamburg.
On Wednesday, Sielemann planned to head back to his office in Hamburg. For her part, Sack said she felt embarrassed that she didn't nominate her friend for the prize earlier. The reason, she said, was that "he seems so much like one of us, even though he's not Jewish."
CNN interview with Douglas Brinkley on January 26, 2004, the night John Kerry won the Iowa caucus:
WOLF BLITZER: Joining us now to discuss electability and other issues, the presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley. He's joining us here in New Hampshire.
Let me see that book. You've got a new book that's out.
DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Sure.
BLITZER: A well-timed book, Douglas Brinkley is the author of this book. It's entitled, "Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War." Let's show that to our viewers. There, you see it, the book jacket right there. Congratulations on the new book. Good timing.
BRINKLEY: Thanks. Yes.
BLITZER: A few weeks ago, a few months ago probably, a lot of people were wondering why is Doug Brinkley writing a book about John Kerry, whose campaign wasn't apparently going anywhere?
BRINKLEY: Well, a couple years ago, Wolf, I decided to do a book on Vietnam, and John Kerry became the perfect subject for me. For one thing, when I interviewed him, I found out he kept these voluminous war diaries -- meaning, almost every day he was in the Mekong Delta, he was reflecting on what was happening with Operation Sea Lords.
So, I started interviewing all of the guys, and I wasn't betting on him for the presidency. I was betting on him as an historical figure. And because he protested the war with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, the combo of war/anti-war, I thought, would make a perfect book using a primary source material. My timing turned out to be perfect, but it didn't look that way in October or November.
BLITZER: I'm sure your publisher -- who is your publisher?
BRINKLEY: It's William Morrow (ph).
BLITZER: William Morrow (ph). I'm sure they're happy very about the timing.
Tina Brown, writing in the Washington Post (Dec. 4, 2003):
It's odd how fast grandeur becomes gloomy when the miasma of misfortune sets in. No one could have predicted that the book party for Conrad Black's monumental study of Franklin D. Roosevelt at New York's Four Seasons restaurant would coincide with his stepping down as CEO of the publishing company Hollinger International -- owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Jerusalem Post and, in the U.K., the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and the venerable conservative weekly the Spectator -- under a cloud of allegations of financial self-dealing and an SEC investigation.
Even with hosts as luminous as philanthropist Jayne Wrightsman and fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, acceptances shrank to a small band of loyalists like Henry Kissinger and Ronald Perelman. Unfortunately for Black, a packed, convivial book party for former treasury secretary Robert Rubin was coincidentally raging in the next room. "I'm just doing a fly-by," one society hostess said as she scurried through to the Rubin fiesta beyond.
The strangest moment was when the deposed chairman of Sotheby's, and ex-con, Alfred A. Taubman sidled in. In December 2000, when Lord Black celebrated his wife's 60th birthday with a luxe blowout at another swell New York restaurant, La Grenouille, he baffled the guests with a long, mellifluous toast to the honesty, sobriety, integrity etc., of Taubman -- the relevance of which became clear only months later when honest Al was indicted in a price-fixing scandal at the venerable auction house. Now Taubman was offering reciprocal loyalty.
The meager turnout was a bummer, since Black's 1,300-page biography has had stellar reviews. Historians from Alan Brinkley to Daniel Yergin have hailed it as the best single volume on the many perplexing aspects of FDR's political life. A belligerent neo-con before it was fashionable, Black has paradoxically contrived to write an admiring appraisal of Roosevelt's pre-Pearl Harbor reluctance to fight the Nazis and the economic interventionism of the New Deal for which neo-cons of the '30s bitterly reviled FDR as "that man."
What's interesting about Black is that he's a throwback to the era when media moguls were still called press lords. His eyes sparkle with self-regard but he is at logorrheic ease on any subject with a historical reference. His wife, Barbara Amiel, writes a sharply barbed, rousingly pro-Israel column in the Telegraph. She famously caused interesting trouble when she wrote up the anti-Semitic remarks made by the French ambassador at a dinner he thought was private. She gets away with it because she's not only Lady Black but a brainy, brunette femme fatale with spectacular cleavage. Once, at a dinner party at the publisher Lord Weidenfeld's Chelsea apartment (the party was for Al Taubman, as it happens), I appreciated the deftness with which at cocktail hour she reconnoitered the dining room to switch place cards and seat herself next to a less grand but more amusing man. It was a moment right out of Anthony Trollope.
Lara Marlowe, writing in the Irish Times (Dec. 3, 2003):
The theme is as old as the Romans and crops up through history with persistent regularity. A decade ago a book about "the fall of the American empire" was a huge success in the US. This autumn France was seized by its own bout of declinisme, thanks to the economist and historian Nicolas Baverez.
Mr Baverez's book, La France Qui Tombe (France is Falling), has remained on the best-seller list since early September. "I was surprised by the effect it had, and by the violence of some reactions," he said in an interview. "I've received piles of mail, all of it positive, but the reaction of the polticial and media establishment has been very negative." The decline of France, real or imagined, has been debated on virtually every radio and television programme. The Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, reportedly hates Mr Baverez's book. Yet when given the opportunity to debunk the careful accretion of facts and figures demonstrating two decades of diminishing economic and political influence, Mr Raffarin is silent....
Mr Baverez sees only one way to reverse France's decline: reform, reform, reform. "Europe cannot do it for us," he says. The US, Britain and now Germany have made the effort, he notes.
Reducing the highest taxation in Europe, abrogating the 35-hour working week (which translates into a 2 per cent annual reduction in the number of hours worked by French people) and tackling the health system's E30 billion deficit are "urgent measures" recommended by Mr Baverez.
Reform would thin the ranks of France's 5.1 million civil servants, he says, but that would be the result, not the beginning.
It was a sure sign of decline when French diplomats went on strike for the first time in history on Monday. Paris maintains the world's second-largest diplomatic service on a shoestring budget.
The Foreign Ministry's paper supplier stopped deliveries because of late payments. Staff were asked to use both sides of every sheet, and the European Affairs Minister had to buy her own notepads.
James Sobotka, writing in frontpagemag.com (Dec. 5, 2003):
When I first saw the flyer announcing Daniel Pipes' upcoming visit to the University of Illinois campus this week, my first thought was, "How long until The Daily Illini decides to smear him?"
Predictably, Wednesday's DI editorial (which, interestingly enough does not appear online) and recent published letters have spared no rhetoric to discredit him.
"Pipes is an extremist," declares the DI, and verifies this with an out-of-context quotation more than ten years old. This is not all. The Daily Illini has been running a campaign against Dr. Pipes for months.
"People like Daniel Pipes are dangerous and need to be identified for the bigots and warmongers they are," says a writer from Missouri.
"Pipes," writes another, "has been discriminatory against (anything) Muslim or Arab. He supported unrestricted' profiling for Muslims and Arabs," says another. Another asks if Pipes' views remind us of "what happened over 60 years ago in the middle of the civilized world, in Germany?"
What has been published is nothing short of slander. I expect better from a paper that has won an Associated College Press Award twice in a row. The DI editors have taken it upon themselves to ruin the reputation of Dr. Daniel Pipes. Consider this lengthy list of columns and letters:
· "Pipes against peace"
· "Pipes not an expert"
· "Pipes shouldn't be nominated"
· "Pipes: the wrong man"
· "Racism and Scholarship"
· "Say no to Pipes"
None of these letters are from Illinois and one is from as far away as California. The last one is particularly interesting. It is not a letter, but uses text that was directly lifted from a press release put out by the Council of American Islamic Relations, or CAIR, an organization that routinely defends Islamic violence.
How could The Daily Illini publish this? Both staff columnists writing on Dr. Pipes also quote sections verbatim from the CAIR website without any verification. This is particularly disturbing since CAIR's website is dangerously misleading and filled with fictional comments. And why would the editors not at least look at the other side of the argument? CAIR's entire position against Dr. Pipes is carefully and calmly refuted by Dr. Pipes himself on his own website, www.DanielPipes.org, should the truth be of any interest to the DI.
The Daily Illini stooped even lower after Dr. Pipes came to speak at the University. Before he had uttered a word, campus radicals already made their voice known, in the editorial today and two letters:
· "Expert spews hate"
· "Support speech that is not hateful"
These letters are incredibly disappointing. There is no need to compare Dr. Pipes to extremists. He is a distinguished academic. He boasts a Harvard Ph.D. in Islamic History, has taught at Harvard, University of Chicago and the Naval War College, studied and written on the Islamic world for thirty years and has written 12 books on the region, its culture and history.
It was Daniel Pipes who said, "militant Islam is the problem, and moderate Islam is the solution," and "the U.S. government should never fund a documentary whose obvious intent is to glorify a religion and proselytize for it. Doing so flies in the face of American tradition and law."
It was Daniel Pipes who argued that, "in brief, far from thinking the Palestinians a miserable people, I call attention to their dignity and talent, then propose how to liberate them from their demons so they can build a civil society and decent lives."
Rather than printing these statements, the DI chose to forward unsubstantiated propaganda of a political website as fact, and pair it with an insidious graphic of a Star of David drawn going up in flames.
What is Daniel Pipes' crime then? It is simply this: he recognizes that Islam is increasingly being hijacked by militants, or in his terms, Islamists. These Islamists stand against everything that The Daily Illini claims to defend: religious tolerance, equal rights, democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of assembly.
Daniel Pipes has never, in any way, called for blanket anti-Islamic action, but for an active assault against those elements of Islamic society that would install Taliban-like regimes around the world. He calls for America and its allies to defend themselves from this assault on freedom.
For those whose minds were not corrupted by CAIR propaganda, it is my hope that you might walk into his lecture with open minds. It is also my hope that the students of Illinois have not been corrupted by The Daily Illini, which claims to be an open forum, but performs as little more than as parrot for a grotesque political agenda.
Lucy Ward, writing in the Guardian (Dec. 9, 2003):
Students take heart. Lord Skidelsky, the internationally renowned historian and professor of political economy at Warwick University, has revealed how he failed an A-level paper this summer because of his "inability to develop a coherent argument".
Robert Skidelsky, 64, author of an award-winning biography of John Maynard Keynes, makes his disclosure in today's Guardian education supplement. He says his attempts to sit an A-level in Russian, the birth language of his parents and a late love in his life, were dented when the exam board Edexcel gave him 26 out of 90 marks for an analysis of Russian unemployment.
Despite being "confident about the topic" - through teaching economics and discussions with many of Russia's reformers - he failed the paper, and saw his overall exam grade fall from an A to a B as a result. Lord Skidelsky, whose Keynes biography won the Wolfson prize for history and Duff Cooper prize for biography, appealed for a re-mark. The result was a condemnation of his inability to think straight, together with a strong hint that he was too clever by half. A letter from the board stated: "I cannot accept . . . that the candidate's own as sessment of his performance is sufficient to cast doubt on the assessment of the principal examiner."
Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Edexcel said Lord Skidelsky had been given the right mark: "People who approach an examination with a greater knowledge than the level required will often over-answer a question. They put in lots of extra information that is actually not relevant to what they have been asked."
Lord Skidelsky, a crossbencher in the Lords, said plans to continue learning Russian, but not to enter any more public examinations.
John Crace, writing in the Guardian (Dec. 9, 2003):
It's a Monday morning in Cambridge and Richard Evans shuffles out of the porter's lodge at Gonville & Caius College trailing a large suitcase behind him. "Been somewhere nice for the weekend?" I ask. Evans looks confused for a moment. "I haven't been anywhere," he eventually replies. "I've got someone flying in from the US to research the Irving trial and these are some of the documents."
The emphasis here should be on the "some". In the five years between 1995 and 2000 the standard bibliography of works on the Nazis increased from 25,000 to 37,000: the figure has no doubt grown still further since then, and Evans himself has to take his fair share of the credit. Or blame.
As professor of modern history at Cambridge and one of the country's leading experts on the Nazi period, he's generated several shelves of archives on his own - most notably as the star defence witness for Penguin books in the David Irving Holocaust denial libel trial in 2000. Indeed, the story of the publication of his book about the trial, Telling Lies about Hitler, produced its only mini sub-archive as first Heinemann, then Granta and finally Profile declined to publish it for various legal reasons, before Verso stepped in. "You can read all about it in Private Eye," he adds, a little testily.
And this month sees yet another addition to the Nazi canon as Evans publishes The Coming of the Third Reich, the first in a projected trilogy on Nazi Germany. So what more can be said on the subject? "It's precisely because the literature is so enormous, that I felt there was a need for a major overview and synthesis of the material," he argues. "Research has gone in three phases: in the 50s and 60s West German historians tried to understand how fascism arose from the Weimar democracy, then in the 70s and 80s historians worked on the structures of the Reich between 1933-39, and since the 90s the main focus has been the war and the Holocaust."
Evans's books will dovetail nicely with these three periods. The Coming of the Third Reich steers a comfortable middle-ground between the determinists, such as AJP Taylor, who reckon that Nazism was a historical inevitability for Germany ever since Luther drew his first breath and the only real surprise is that it didn't happen earlier, and those who see it as an aberration with no deep roots in German culture.
"The trouble with history is that you study it in reverse, so everything can appear to have an immediate cause and effect," he points out. "So while the driving force of Nazism can be seen as far back as Bismarck with the marginalisation of the Catholics and socialists together with the emergence of a nationalism based on Social Darwinism and eugenics, you can never say it was an inevitability. If German unification had taken place in a less authoritarian way, if the first world war had not taken place, if the Weimar constitution had been worded differently, if the Depression had not put one-third of the workforce out of a job and had Hindenburg not written off the Nazis as politically naive and compliant, then German history of the 30s and 40s might have looked very different."
Evans also has an implicit pop at modern academics, such as Michael Burleigh, for what he sees as a new trend for overwriting history as a series of moral judgments. "Of course a historian cannot avoid expressing certain values," he says. "It's clear from my own work that I believe in a multicultural democracy, but to go from that position to say someone is morally good or bad is either unnecessary or simplistic. The principle task of history is to explain and interpret, not to issue moral judgments."...
Towards the end of the 90s he took on the postmodernists and post-structuralists who were predicting the end of history as an academic discipline in his book In Defence of History. In it, he fought off suggestions that all history was a matter of a reader's interpretation, by asserting the right of the author to define the text. You get the feeling he bit off a little more than expected, as the book was attacked on two fronts - by the conservatives for being too quiescent to the wishy-washy liberals and by the postmodernists for being too reactionary.
"It was all good-natured stuff, really," he laughs. "The really nasty spats died out when dons stopped living in college, as the disputes tended to be more marital than academic."
Still, as ever, he came out fighting, quickly adding a 50-page afterword, reiterating and refining his position, for the paperback edition and, though he admits he wasn't as clear as he might have been in the original, he reckons he more than won the argument. "The postmodernists rather proved my point by complaining I had misrepresented what they had written and, far from dying out, history has gone from strength to strength."
Not that Evans believes all is well within the discipline. "When I came to Oxford in the late 60s you had to have studied Latin and at least one other modern language," he says. "Now there is no language requirement, and I worry for the state of British history if none of our academics of the future is able to study foreign sources. Already my PhD students are predominantly German as they are bilingual."
As professor of modern history at Cambridge for the last six years, and at Birkbeck for nine years before that, Evans acknowledges it is a long time since he came into contact with any average undergraduates. But he does feel that with history no longer compulsory at GCSE and with the A-level syllabus - in many people's view - extremely limited, many students have huge knowledge gaps. "It doesn't work to my advantage at all," he smiles. "Most of those who come up to Cambridge are sick and tired of learning about the Nazis and want to start afresh. I've only got four undergraduate students at the moment."
Carol Schmidt, writing in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle (Dec. 24, 2003):
Joan Hoff has a great sense of history. That's why the accomplished writer, noted historian and former president and CEO for the Center for the Study of the Presidency is often called upon to serve as a commentator for such national programs as "The NewsHour." hosted by Jim Lehrer on PBS.
She also has a great sense of personal history. And that's why she's back in Montana, close to family and memories of the Butte childhood that helped forge her view of the world.
"Growing up in Butte instilled a great sense of history in me because there was so much history there," Hoff said. "Coming from Butte also taught me about religious and ethnic diversity."
Hoff is the daughter of a former miner who left the mines during the 1930s strikes and worked as a self-employed mechanic for the rest of his life. She is the granddaughter of two immigrant men, both of whom died and left their wives to raise large families under difficult circumstances. And she went to school with people such as MSU football great Sonny Holland and daredevil Evel Knievel.
She said growing up in Butte helped her develop a strong spine.
"They were hard lessons sometimes," she said. "The (lessons) probably helped make me who I am today."
And today, she is a steely, world-class historian and writer who lives in Big Sky and works as a research professor in the history and philosophy department at Montana State University. She also keeps an apartment in New York City, and travels frequently.
"I call it the Big Sky and Big Apple connection," Hoff said. "Having a place in both worlds is ideal."
She attended Butte schools and the University of Montana, where she received a Fulbright fellowship to study Eastern European history. She received her graduate degree in European and Slavic history from Cornell University and her doctorate in the history of U.S. foreign policy from the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book," American Business and Foreign Policy" (1971), won the national Bernath Prize.
Over the years, she has taught at numerous universities, including Arizona State, Dartmouth, Ohio and Indiana. She is an expert in several fields, including 20th century foreign policy and politics, women's studies and women's history. She wrote a biography of Herbert Hoover in 1975 and a book about Richard Nixon in 1994.
She also received a National Endowment of the Humanities grant that allowed her to research the impact the American Revolution had on women's status. And her book "Law Gender, and Injustice: A Legal History of U.S. Women" (1991) incorporated 10 years of legal research on women's issues.
"Professor Hoff has an international reputation as a historian of the American presidency and as a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy," said Robert Rydell, the head of Hoff's department. "Her forthcoming book on the history of American foreign policy will generate a much needed debate about the future of U.S. foreign relations."
At this point, Hoff's scholastic interests include the historical turning point that was caused by the terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. She's also writing a book, "Did the United States Sell Its Soul to Win the Cold War?" And when she appears on "The NewsHour," she does it from the KUSM studio at MSU.
Thomas Spencer, writing in the Birmingham News (Dec. 22, 2003):
It's been a good year for University of Alabama history professor George Rable.
His book, "Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!," won the triple crown of Civil War book awards, the Douglas Southall Freeman Book Award and both the Jefferson Davis Award, presented bythe Museum of the Confederacy, and the prestigious Lincoln Prize, awarded by Gettysburg College. Only once before has a book won both the David and Lincoln prizes.
On top of that, Rable won the University of Alabama's top professor's prize.
"Your eminent colleagues at other universities believe you are one of the finest historians of the Civil War era and that your work will be cited a century from now," UA President Robert E. Witt wrote when notifying Rable. "You are a most deserving winner of the Blackmon-Moody Outstanding Professor Award."
In a nomination letter, James M. McPherson, widely considered one of the great Civil War scholars, wrote of Rable, "George is without question one of the finest historians in my field in this generation."
His students describe him as humble and approachable, but even Rable has to admit a touch of pride in winning that last compliment: "That felt pretty good coming from somebody like James McPherson. He was probably being a bit generous."
A native of Lima, in northwest Ohio, Rable, 53, was the first in his family to go to college. His father worked in a steam shovel factory, his mother in a school cafeteria. He thought he'd study math, but he took a couple of history courses and got hooked.
After earning his bachelor's at Bluffton College, a small liberal arts college in Ohio, he came south to Baton Rouge, earning doctoral and master's degrees from Louisiana State University.
He went north again and taught from 1979 to 1998 at Anderson University outside Indianapolis. During that time, he wrote three books: "The Confederate Republic: A Revolution against Politics," "Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism" and "But There Was No Peace: The Role of Violence in the Politics of Reconstruction." He was well into writing "Fredericksburg" when he was recruited to the University of Alabama in 1998.
With the book, Rable wanted to do something that historians typically haven't done. He wanted to describe not only the battle, but also the larger universe in which it was fought.
"They do the battle histories and they do the homefront pieces," Rable said. "They haven't tried to put the things together."
Though it was considered a major engagement when fought, Fredericksburg hasn't received a lot of attention. It turned out to be a perfect battle for what Rable set out to do.
Michael A. Bellesiles is having his say again. A revised edition of Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture has been issued by Soft Skull Press, a small New York City imprint. The previous edition was withdrawn by Vintage Books in January 2003, after two scholarly committees found serious problems with Mr. Bellesiles's use of historical data. In the months before Vintage's cancellation, Mr. Bellesiles resigned from the faculty of Emory University, and Columbia University rescinded the 2001 Bancroft Prize in History, which had been awarded to the book.
Soft Skull has also released Weighed in an Even Balance, a 74-page pamphlet in which Mr. Bellesiles responds to his critics. ...
Not everyone is pleased with Mr. Bellesiles's choice of publishers."I think he made a very serious mistake in not turning to a university press, not going through peer review," says Saul Cornell, an associate professor of history at Ohio State University who is completing a book about the Second Amendment for Oxford University Press. Mr. Cornell shares Mr. Bellesiles's skepticism toward the National Rifle Association's view of guns in American history, but says that Mr. Bellesiles"should have taken time to think hard about the criticisms of his book. Not just about the charges of misconduct, but about the general criticisms of how he framed the issues."
"I thought that what happened to Arming America was the ugliest thing I've ever seen in my time in academia," says Richard B. Bernstein, the author of the new Thomas Jefferson and the Revolution of Ideas (Oxford), who has been a friend of Mr. Bellesiles's for several years."As far as I'm concerned, my faith in his integrity is unshaken. ... I am very glad that this book is going to get a second lease on life."...
Mr. Bellesiles writes that the pamphlet is"an effort to respond to every specific accusation against Arming America that has been brought to my attention." Only 7 of the pamphlet's 74 pages, however, directly deal with the probate-records dispute that led to his departure from Emory. An investigative committee appointed by Emory found, for example, that Mr. Bellesiles was guilty of"egregious misrepresentation" when he omitted data from 1774 to 1776 in a table describing gun ownership during the period 1765 to 1790. The pamphlet contains no explicit discussion of that quarrel. (The table in question, however, has been entirely revised in the book's new edition. It now includes data from only 2,633 probate inventories, as opposed to 11,170 in the previous version, but contains inventories from 1774 to 1776.)
On December 11, Al-Jazeera's program"From Washington" held a discussion on Middle Eastern studies in the United States. Chief guest: Professor Rashid Khalidi , the newly-seated incumbent of the Edward Said Chair in Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of that university's (government-subsidized) Middle East Institute. He said little that was original or surprising--until the end, when he blew a gasket and uttered the sort of thing he would only dare to say in Arabic.
It happened like this. At one point in the discussion, Khalidi criticized think tanks"that don't want true dialogue with people whose views differ from their own, but who want to force their opinions on American citizens and the world." He mentioned, by way of example, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy , which he labelled"the fiercest of the enemies of the Arabs and the Muslims."
The moderator, Hafiz al-Mirazi, played devil's advocate. Hadn't the Institute often hosted Arabs and others holding diverse views? It had provided a podium for Nabil Amr, Palestinian information minister, as well as Egyptian presidential adviser Osama al-Baz. Just recently, Washington Institute mainstay David Makovsky had written a joint op-ed with an Egyptian writer from Al-Ahram (the reference was to Dr. Hala Mustafa, a visiting fellow), on democracy promotion in the Arab world.
At this point, Khalidi boiled over:
This is the intimidating language of Arab boycott, aimed against an institution with entirely American credentials. The Washington Institute is directed by Ambassador Dennis Ross , who was the chief Middle East peace negotiator in the presidential administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He has always been a model of balance (unlike Khalidi, whose forays into politics have always been to advise Yasir Arafat). The Washington Institute is run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources. (Contrast with the donors of Khalidi's chair, whose precise identities Columbia still refuses to reveal.)
And it is outrageous for Khalidi to denounce the Arabs who have come to The Washington Institute as blundering dupes. I was there in the fall, when the Institute brought to Washington a group of Palestinian Fatah activists associated with the Tanzim (an invitation for which Ross took a lot of flak ). While in Washington, these Palestinians said things that could hardly be squared with"Zionist propaganda." Who is Khalidi to tell them they made a"huge error"? For its annual fall conference, the Institute flew in three members of Iraq's Governing Council, whose country would still be under Saddam's iron rule if Khalidi had had his way . Who is he to tell them they made a"huge error"? The year before last, my stay coincided with that of Ali Salem , the Egyptian playwright who has faced down Egypt's entire literary establishment, and who once was detained for his collaboration with democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim. Who in the world is Khalidi to tell him that he made a"huge error"? I doubt these steel-belted Arabs would ever allow themselves to be intimidated by a pampered prof enjoying the full Columbia treatment.
I note that Khalidi has never made a comparable statement in English, probably for this reason: it would damage his reputation as a bridge-building moderate. To maintain that image, he's even shared podiums with members of The Washington Institute (see his smiling mug, with David Makovsky). But Khalidi in Arabic, on Al-Jazeera, is someone else altogether. There he is the bridge-burner, the zealot who would warn other Arabs away from The Washington Institute because it is"Israeli," and a"Zionist propaganda tool." Behold, Arab-style McCarthyism.
Khalidi's crude outburst won't stop the caravan, but it does put yet another question mark alongside his name. I have never called him an apologist for terrorism, and I respect some of his historical scholarship. But I once heard him speak to a predominantly Arab audience, and it alarmed me. This latest statement confirms something I've suspected ever since: he isn't all he appears to be. Caveat emptor --buyer beware. (Too late for Columbia, but not for the rest of us.)
And speaking of Columbia, what has Khalidi done to promote what he calls"true dialogue" since his September enthronement in the Edward Said Chair? Two Israelis--academic post-Zionists-- spoke at his institute this past semester. He and they would have nodded in agreement over Israel's alleged misdeeds. I don't think that's good enough, and it leaves me wondering (again) why his institute gets what The Washington Institute doesn't get: a $400,000-a-year Title VI handout from the American taxpayer. It's a dubious mechanism that puts such a hefty subsidy at the disposal of an Arab boycotter. It really should be fixed.
The book was called “an indictment of the historical profession.” It was hailed as an “explosive expose” that would “send shock waves” through American history departments.
But four months after it was published, “In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage” hasn't generated much of a reaction in academia.
Far from igniting a firestorm of debate, John Earl Haynes's and Harvey Klehr 's 316-page condemnation of “revisionist” historians of American communism has fallen victim to silence.
The authors say they have received little response from the scholars they criticize in the book for glossing over communism's crimes and the American Communist Party's involvement in Soviet espionage.
Liberal mainstream publications largely ignored the book, with reviews mostly appearing in conservative newspapers and magazines, such as the Washington Times, Commentary Magazine, and the Weekly Standard.
“I anticipated there would be more reaction than there has been,” Mr. Klehr, a professor of history and politics at Emory University , said. “I thought we made some fairly serious charges against a large number of historians. We accused some of these people of being the equivalent of Holocaust deniers.”
The lack of reaction to “In Denial” is a reflection of the difficulty that anticommunist historians, such as Mr. Klehr and Mr.Haynes,have had in challenging the academic establishment on its assessment of American communism.
“Those who disagree with it are at the margins of the profession,” Mr. Haynes,a 20th-century political historian in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, said.
In recently written books, “The Secret World of American Communism” and “Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America,” Mr. Klehr and Mr. Haynes used information they collected from newly opened Soviet archives to show how the American Communist Party was heavily involved in Soviet espionage.“In Denial” takes aim at historians who “have failed to confront new evidence.”
A number of the historians targeted by Messrs. Klehr and Haynes say they haven't read the book.
Several said the authors misrepresented their views, but few have offered a rebuttal.
Some expressed surprise they were mentioned at all.
“It amazed me that anybody would devote that much attention to my work,” Ellen Schrecker, a professor of history at Yeshiva University , said.
The book quotes her stating that anti-communism “tap[ped] into something dark and nasty in the human soul” and that “whatever harm may have come to the country from Sovietsponsored spies is dwarfed by Mc-Carthy's wave of terror.”
In an interview with The New York Sun, Ms. Schrecker said the history of American communism was no longer a “live issue.”
“Where is communism today? Where is the contemporary relevance?” she said.
Ms. Schrecker said she is “as anti-Stalinist as the next person.”But she remains opposed to anti-communism, which she says has “tended to support a lot of political repression.”
The book accuses Paul Buhle, a senior lecturer at Brown University , of making up claims that American communists provided military assistance to Israel in 1948.
Mr. Buhle told the Sun he hasn't read the book. “I'm not fretting about it,” he said. “To be attacked by neoconservatives is a badge of honor.”
Mr. Klehr and Mr. Haynes also go after Victor Navasky,publisher and editorial director of The Nation and a professor of journalism at Columbia University , accusing him of justifying Soviet espionage and “excusing those who engaged in it.”
They quote Mr. Navasky stating that most those who spied for the Soviet Union were “patriots.”
Mr. Navasky called the book “wrong and just false. [The authors] were factually incorrect. Of course, I believe there was Soviet espionage.”
Mr. Haynes maintains his book's accuracy.
Another target, Eric Foner, a historian of the Civil War and Reconstruction at Columbia University who has written about American communism, says he hasn't read “In Denial.”
“I don't even know why they are picking on me,” he said.
Peter Maass writing in the NYT (Jan. 1, 2004):
Maj. John Nagl approaches war pragmatically and philosophically, as a soldier and a scholar. He graduated close to the top of his West Point class in 1988 and was selected as a Rhodes scholar. He studied international relations at Oxford for two years, then returned to military duty just in time to take command of a tank platoon during the 1991 Persian Gulf war, earning a Bronze Star for his efforts. After the war, he went back to England and earned his Ph.D. from St. Antony's College, the leading school of foreign affairs at Oxford . While many military scholars were focusing on peacekeeping or the impact of high-tech weaponry, Nagl was drawn to a topic much less discussed in the 1990's: counterinsurgency.
At Oxford , he immersed himself in the classic texts of guerrilla warfare. There are different schools of thought, but almost every work in the canon imparts the message that counterinsurgency is one of the hardest types of warfare to wage. Nagl read "Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice," by Col. C.E. Callwell, a British officer who in 1896 warned of "protracted, thankless, invertebrate war" in guerrilla terrain. Nagl also read "Small Wars Manual," published in 1940 by the United States Marine Corps, which cautions: "Every detachment representing a tempting target will be harassed or attacked. The population will be honeycombed with hostile sympathizers."
The more Nagl read, the more he understood the historical challenge of insurgency. Julius Caesar complained that his legions had trouble subduing the roving Britons because his men "were little suited to this kind of enemy." In the early 1800's, Carl von Clausewitz wrote of "people's wars" in which "the element of resistance will exist everywhere and nowhere." The book that most forcefully captured Nagl's imagination was written by T.E. Lawrence, popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia, the British officer who, during World War I, led Arab fighters against the Turkish rulers in the Middle East and described the campaign (taking liberties with the facts) in his counterinsurgency classic, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom."
Lawrence 's is one of the few books in the canon written from the point of view of the insurgent. (Another is Mao Zedong's "On Guerrilla Warfare.") In a near-hallucinatory state, suffering from dysentery and lying in a tent, Lawrence realized the key to defeating the Turkish Army. "Armies were like plants, immobile, firm-rooted, nourished through long stems to the head," he wrote. Lawrence 's guerrillas, by contrast, "might be a vapour." For the Turks, he concluded, "war upon rebellion was messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife."
In his own research, Nagl focused on two modern insurgencies in Asia . In Malaya in the 1950's, the British successfully suppressed a Communist revolt (comprised mostly of ethnic Chinese) by generally steering clear of excessive force and instituting a "hearts and minds" campaign to strip the insurgents of public sympathy. In Vietnam in the 1960's and 1970's, the United States military took a different approach and failed. The Americans resorted to indiscriminate firepower and showed little concern for its effect on the civilian population. Comparing the two efforts, Nagl demonstrated that a key issue for a counterinsurgent army is to calibrate correctly the amount of lethal force necessary to do the job with the minimum amount of nasty, counterproductive side effects. Even if using force with restraint meant the mission would take more time or reduce the level of force protection, it was still an indispensable step: a successful counterinsurgency took care and patience. When Nagl's doctoral thesis, "Counterinsurgency Lessons From Malaya and Vietnam ," was published in 2002, it carried the subtitle "Learning to Eat Soup With a Knife."
Nagl's scholarship helped earn him a post as a professor at West Point . But when I met him last month, he was testing his theories far from the classroom. Nagl is now the third in command of a tank battalion in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle, which extends north and west of Baghdad . The counterinsurgency expert is, for the first time in his life, practicing counterinsurgency. ...
Writing more than a hundred years ago, C.E. Callwell, the British military historian , predicted in his classic text "Small Wars" a dilemma that would face every counterinsurgent force of the 20th century. "In a guerrilla situation," he warned, "the guerrilla is the professional, the newcomer the amateur." Callwell offered this remedy: "It cannot be insisted upon too strongly that in a small war the only possible attitude to assume is, speaking strategically, the offensive. The regular army must force its way into the enemy's country and seek him out. . . . It must play to win and not for safety. . . . It is not a question of merely maintaining the initiative, but of compelling the enemy to see at every turn that he has lost it and to recognize that the forces of civilization are dominant and not to be denied."
Callwell's solution tends to create a new problem, however. What is the right amount of offensive force to use? At the outset of the Vietnam War, Col. John Paul Vann, who would emerge as one of the most thoughtful and ultimately tragic officers in the war, recognized the paradox and realized his firepower-loving commanders had not. In 1962, he warned David Halberstam, then a young reporter for The New York Times, that the wrong strategy had been adopted. "This is a political war, and it calls for the utmost discrimination in killing," he told Halberstam, as recounted in William Prochnau's "Once Upon a Distant War." "The best weapon for killing is a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The next best is a rifle. The worst is an airplane, and after that the worst is artillery. You have to know who you are killing."
Nagl, in his book, portrays Colonel Vann -- the protagonist of Neil Sheehan's Pulitzer-Prize-winning book "A Bright Shining Lie" -- as a clear-eyed officer who saw what was wrong and had the courage to say it out loud. Nagl understands the message Vann imparted to Halberstam and tried to impart to the generals he served under: counterinsurgency requires an excruciatingly fine calibration of lethal force. Not enough of it means you will cede the offensive to your enemy, yet too much means you will alienate the noncombatants whose support you need.
His latest book is, Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001.
Benny Morris, in the month ahead the new version of your book on the birth of the Palestinian refugee problem is due to be published. Who will be less pleased with the book - the Israelis or the Palestinians?
"The revised book is a double-edged sword. It is based on many documents that were not available to me when I wrote the original book, most of them from the Israel Defense Forces Archives. What the new material shows is that there were far more Israeli acts of massacre than I had previously thought. To my surprise, there were also many cases of rape. In the months of April-May 1948, units of the Haganah [the pre-state defense force that was the precursor of the IDF] were given operational orders that stated explicitly that they were to uproot the villagers, expel them and destroy the villages themselves.
"At the same time, it turns out that there was a series of orders issued by the Arab Higher Committee and by the Palestinian intermediate levels to remove children, women and the elderly from the villages. So that on the one hand, the book reinforces the accusation against the Zionist side, but on the other hand it also proves that many of those who left the villages did so with the encouragement of the Palestinian leadership itself."...
Are you saying that Ben-Gurion was personally responsible for a deliberate and systematic policy of mass expulsion?
"From April 1948, Ben-Gurion is projecting a message of transfer. There is no explicit order of his in writing, there is no orderly comprehensive policy, but there is an atmosphere of [population] transfer. The transfer idea is in the air. The entire leadership understands that this is the idea. The officer corps understands what is required of them. Under Ben-Gurion, a consensus of transfer is created."
Ben-Gurion was a"transferist"?
"Of course. Ben-Gurion was a transferist. He understood that there could be no Jewish state with a large and hostile Arab minority in its midst. There would be no such state. It would not be able to exist."
I don't hear you condemning him.
"Ben-Gurion was right. If he had not done what he did, a state would not have come into being. That has to be clear. It is impossible to evade it. Without the uprooting of the Palestinians, a Jewish state would not have arisen here."
Benny Morris, for decades you have been researching the dark side of Zionism. You are an expert on the atrocities of 1948. In the end, do you in effect justify all this? Are you an advocate of the transfer of 1948?
"There is no justification for acts of rape. There is no justification for acts of massacre. Those are war crimes. But in certain conditions, expulsion is not a war crime. I don't think that the expulsions of 1948 were war crimes. You can't make an omelet without breaking eggs. You have to dirty your hands."
We are talking about the killing of thousands of people, the destruction of an entire society.
"A society that aims to kill you forces you to destroy it. When the choice is between destroying or being destroyed, it's better to destroy."
Michael P. Tremoglie, a free-lance journalist, writing in frontpagemag.com (Jan. 13, 2004):
Flyboys by James Bradley is supposedly about eight pilots who were captured and killed by the Japanese during WWII while trying to destroy the Japanese radio stations on the island of Chichi Jima. However, the book is actually an indictment of American culture, history, and foreign policy along the lines of Howard Zinn. Rife with the usual politically correct canards about American history, Flyboys mentions the"ethnic cleansing" of the Native Americans, the extermination of Filipino civilians from 1899-1902 and the annexation of Hawaii by"bayonet.” In addition, it claims that our policies towards Japan were actually responsible for Pearl Harbor. Bradley's book is not so much an account of events that took place during World War II as it is a forum for the author's views on the historical and cultural circumstances that caused them.
For example, Bradley recounts the atrocities of American troops in the Philippines but only tells part of the truth. He lists a cartoon about General Jacob Smith—who ordered Filipino civilians executed—forgetting to mention that Smith was court-martialed as a result. Tellingly, Bradley primarily uses only one book about the Philippine War for his source: Benevolent Assimilation: The American Conquest of the Philippines by Stuart Creighton Miller. This book condemned U.S. policies in the Philippines as despotic imperialism and suggested that the U.S. was a ruthless, imperialistic nation, no different from the Japanese who destroyed Nanking.
As a reference about the history of American involvement in the Philippines, Bradley could have used The Philippine War by Brian McAllister Linn. Publisher's Weekly wrote of Linn's book:
"Without justifying the annexation itself, Linn demonstrates that the Filipino nationalists enjoyed at best limited popular support and did as much as the U.S. commanders in the islands to provoke a shooting war as an alternative to negotiation…As Linn shows, however, military success was only half of the war. Civic action was the other element…The Americans built hospitals, opened schools and restored order. When necessary, they sustained that order with punitive measures…If the U.S. annexation of the Philippines was an exercise in imperialism, Linn makes a convincing case that by 1902, the U.S. government of the island was nevertheless legitimate both de jure and de facto. For an increasing majority of Filipinos, the Americans had become preferable to the insurgents."
But then this is the antipodes of Bradley's thesis. The truth is that while we inherited an empire after the Spanish–American War, it was a controversial inheritance to say the least. Indeed, Williams Jennings Bryan used anti-imperialism as a plank in his platform during the 1900 election. We were reluctant imperialists, who made every effort to dissolve the empire we inherited – that is, if you call paying $20 million of taxpayers' money to Spain for territory we captured from them an inheritance.
About the Native Americans, Bradley writes that we engaged in"ethnic cleansing." Has Bradley ever read the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Supreme Court case of Worcester v. Georgia, or the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 whereby we established pensions, native control of lands, and funding of education, medical care, etc. for Native Americans? This is what Bradley calls ethnic cleansing?
Bradley also repeats the oxymoronic, liberal prevarication that we stole the Western United States from Mexico after the Mexican-American War. This claim is specious for two reasons.
First, the United States paid Mexico $15,000,000 cash and assumed some $3,250,000 more in claims of American citizens on the Mexican government. When one considers that Great Britain, France, or Russia might have taken California at any moment; and that the American troops were in possession of the Mexican capital, the terms offered Mexico were very generous. Indeed, then-President James Polk was urged by many to annex the whole country of Mexico to the United States. 
The second reason this claim is specious is the same reason that it is oxymoronic. If we stole California, New Mexico and Texas from the Mexicans, did not the Mexicans steal this land from the Native Americans? It certainly was not their land. They annexed it after declaring independence from Spain. However, Spain stole it from the Native Americans. So how could Mexico claim it was their land to annex?
As for Hawaii, The United States did not foment a revolution there. In fact, according to one source," in 1893; there were simply subjects of the kingdom who objected strongly to the willful ways of their queen — she announced she was going to install a new constitution, take away the voting rights of certain taxpayers and appoint all the members of one of the two houses of government. They said no way and removed her from office in a virtually bloodless coup. The U.S. played a minimal role, pointing no guns, firing no bullets. And even that role was denounced very quickly by President Cleveland, making clear the U.S. itself was not interested in taking over the kingdom"  Yes, there was a Bayonet Constitution in 1887. However, the U.S. was not involved, and that government was replaced by a royal Hawaiian government and a new constitution.
When writing about World War II, Bradley is equally hypercritical of America, citing the usual liberal history. About the embargo of the Japanese, Bradley states that it was America's fault—ignoring completely the atrocity of Nan King and the invasion of China. He says that America committed imperialist acts; therefore, we should not have condemned Japan. Bradley also cites the usual canard of racism. But he contradicts himself on that count, because he then says we helped China.
Bradley loves to mention atrocities or barbarities by our military against the Japanese. He uses the standard liberal canard that this was unique to the Pacific theater because of American racism. In Bradley's view, the European theater did not have the atrocities committed by Americans because Germans were more like us. Bradley mentions on page 138 how American soldiers killed Japanese more enthusiastically then they killed Germans and Italians. He cites on the same page how one Marine was instructed at Peleliu that no prisoners were to be taken.
Apparently, he did not research such action in Europe, where there was the Biscari massacre of Italian soldiers and the Canicatti slaughter of Italian civilians.  There have been books written how 700 SS POW's were killed by American troops and at Dachau 300 German soldiers were summarily executed.
Bradley also claims Americans applauded Japanese internment (p. 137). He cites testimony of general who said that Italians and Germans could be trusted, but “a Jap is a Jap.” This was from the book Lewis and Steele Hell in the Pacific , which was written in 1992, when it was not commonly known that Germans and Italians were also interned. This point renders Bradley once again subject to his own liberal revisionist history. Germans and Italians were interned during WWII, and Germans and Austro-Hungarians during WWI. Therefore, Bradley's premise that there was a special or unique hatred of Japanese as evidenced by internment or not taking prisoners is bogus.
But in Bradley's world, the Doolittle Raid was a war crime. He claims schools and hospitals were bombed and innocent civilians were killed. He cites the elementary schools destroyed and the students killed. Pearl Harbor was a military installation, Bradley says, Tokyo was not.
As Japan's capital, there were military installations in Tokyo–not to mention military industries. As far as innocent civilians are concerned, there were many killed at Pearl Harbor. Among the innocent civilians were Nancy Masako Arakaki, age 8 and Robert Yoshito Hirasaki, age 3. They were by no means the only such casualties.
Our military did not conduct anymore ruthless, barbarous or deadly a war against Japan than it did against Germany. German cities, like Dresden, were bombed and incinerated. In fact, more civilians were killed in Dresden (135, 000)  than in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. In addition, 2,000 Italian civilians were killed in the first air raid of Rome in July 1943.
All this was done for a purpose–to end the war.
Flyboys is the second book by James Bradley, whose first book, Flags of Our Fathers , about the Marines who planted the flag at Iwo Jima, was a bestseller. Bradley is the son of one of the flag-planters.
Originally from Wisconsin, Bradley holds a degree in East Asian History from the University of Wisconsin. During his college days, he lived in Japan with an 18-year-old Japanese woman. Bradley is also president of an eponymous nonprofit peace foundation,"which fosters understanding between America and Asia. The foundation sends American students to Japan and China to study."
One can understand Bradley's sympathy towards Japanese culture because of his experiences. And this is not to say that our country is not without sin. However, Bradley's version of history is tendentious and fallacious. The fact that the United States Navy awarded Bradley its civilian medal because of his book, and that Flyboys was endorsed by W.E.B. Griffin, who is not a “Blame America First” liberal, is rather odd.
Could it be that my perspective is skewed? Possibly, my experiences with public schools and colleges have made me aware of the liberal bias among educators–especially historians. As a result, I may sometimes perceive bias where there is none.
My wife, however, is apolitical. During those rare occasions that she does comment on a subject of a political nature, her Mount Holyoke/University of Pennsylvania education is apparent by the liberalism of her opinions. However, she read several pages of this book, and even she was appalled by its unwarranted and specious criticism of America.
When Bradley finally writes about the events on Chichi Jima and the pilots, the book is a good one. Unfortunately, his partisan perspective of history detracts from the book itself. Consequently it is neither enlightening nor entertaining, and does not accomplish what Bradley said he wanted to: tell why the execution of the Chichi Jima pilots occurred and why no mention was ever made to the men's families.
 http://www.angelfire.com/hi2/hawaiiansovereignty/annexation.html ret fm w/s 1-4-03
 http://www.ausa.org/www/armymag.nsf/(reviews)/200212?OpenDocument ret f/m w/s 1-4-03
 http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=832 ret fm w/s 1-4-03