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.
Cathy Young, in the Boston Globe (2-21-05):
CONSERVATIVES often complain, with good cause, about America-hating left-wing radicals in academia. Yet in recent weeks, a college professor who co-founded an organization that refers to the United States as an "alien occupier" in its manifesto and whose 2001 essay blaming the "barbarism" of American policies for Sept. 11 was picked up by Pravda, the Russian communist newspaper has received gushing praise on the conservative media circuit.
Meet Thomas E. Woods Jr., assistant professor of history at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History." A main selection of the Conservative Book Club, it has been propelled to the New York Times best-seller list with help from talk shows such as Fox News's "Hannity & Colmes."
The book's back cover promises a refutation of "myths" written into textbooks and popular history books by left-wing academics. But don't expect a book that celebrates American heroes and American accomplishments as an antidote to hand-wringing over the sins of dead white males.
If there are any American heroes in Woods's book, apart from the Founding Fathers, it's the Southerners who fought for the Confederacy. Abraham Lincoln is on the villain side of the ledger.
Woods makes the disclaimer that "no one, of course, mourns the passing of the slave system." However, he apparently thinks the Southern states should have been allowed to abolish slavery in due time without federal intervention. In any case, to hear Woods, the "War Between the States" had hardly anything to do with slavery: The South really fought for self-determination, the North for its economic interests. (Ironically, on the latter point Woods is in agreement with most left-wing historians. The book's obvious sympathy for the Southerners and their suffering is matched by a lack of any acknowledgment of the horror of slavery or any moral revulsion at the fact that some Americans owned, and defended the "right" to own, other human beings....
If you want to talk about America-hating professors, here's someone who hates nearly everything about the last 140 years of US history. Yet only a handful of right-of-center commentators Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com, Max Boot in The Weekly Standard have spoken out against the book. Where's the outrage? Is this the kind of ideology conservatives want to be associated with? Does anything labeled "politically incorrect" get a pass?
The Palestinian intifada against Israel may have been a blessing in disguise for Jews, according to a Columbia University assistant professor, Joseph Massad.
Mr. Massad, who teaches in the university's Middle East studies department, argues in a recently published essay that Palestinian Arab "resistance" against Israelis is not anti-Semitic but an expression of goodwill toward Jews living in the Jewish state.
Mr. Massad in his writings and teaching has articulated the view that Zionists have adopted the identity of the anti-Semite and Palestinians have taken on a Jewish identity. In one of his latest essays, in the Winter 2005 issue of the scholarly journal Cultural Critique, Mr. Massad argues that Palestinian resistance is a struggle against anti-Semitism and that Israel as a Jewish state represents the most vicious form of anti-Semitism.
"The irony of an anti-Semitic Zionism depicting the Palestinians as the real anti-Semites is not a simply rhetorical move, but instead is crucial to Zionism's fashioning of Jewish public opinion, both in Israel and on a global scale," Mr. Massad writes in the essay, "The Persistence of the Palestinian Question."
Palestinian terrorists have killed more than 700 Israeli civilians since the outbreak of the second Palestinian intifada in the fall of 2000, according to the Web site of the Israel Defense Force.
Some critics of the Palestinian Authority, particularly under the leadership of Yasser Arafat, attribute much of the violence to the government-sponsored spread of anti-Semitic propaganda in schools and in the press. The Palestinian group Hamas, a major perpetrator of terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens, posts on its Web site the "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion," the notorious forgery created by tsarist Russian secret police at the turn of the 20th century.
Further into his piece, Mr. Massad writes: "What Palestinian resistance demands is the de-Europeanization of the Jew; it calls for Zionism's abandonment of European anti-Semitism as its inspirational source."
A fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Martin Kramer, called Mr. Massad's essay "a string of hallucinogenic fantasies about the Jews, driven by his obsessive crank theory that Zionism is the height of anti-Semitism."
Mr. Kramer, who is also a research associate at the Dayan Center of Tel Aviv University, continued: "In Ramallah, Massad might pass for a great expert on Jewish history. That Columbia University allows him to pose as such in New York City is a travesty."
In the essay, Mr. Massad also compares Israel's treatment of Palestinians to Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews. After Israel's founding, he writes, Zionism "transformed those who remained inside Israel into foreigners in their own land and, from 1948 until 1966, subjected them to life under a military, racialist system of rule that was reminiscent of the life of European Jews under the worst types of anti-Semitic rule." The Nazis, he argues, serve as "pedagogical model" for the Israeli army.
Mr. Massad, who is undergoing a fifth-year departmental review and is teaching two courses this spring semester, is among at least five Columbia professors in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures who have been accused of mistreating students in the classroom.
A special faculty committee appointed by Columbia's president, Lee Bollinger, is investigating at least two incidents involving Mr. Massad. Students said Mr. Massad threatened to expel a Jewish student from his classroom after she defended Israel's military action in the West Bank. They also said Mr. Massad refused to answer a question posed by an Israeli until the student divulged how many Palestinians he killed while serving in the Israel Defense Force.
Some students have questioned what they said is Mr. Massad's tendency to denounce Zionism in his courses, including a course he taught in the fall about the history of the Middle East.
Columbia undergraduate Daniel Harlow, a student in Mr. Massad's fall semester course on Middle Eastern history, said Mr. Massad was "very factual in his lectures, and he was very respectful of students."
A professor in Columbia's anthropology department, Mahmood Mamdani, who participated last night in a panel discussion about academic freedom at Columbia, told the audience at the university's law school: "You don't register for Joseph Massad's course to get a Zionist view of the Middle East. Anyone who does needs to get their head examined."
Mr. Mamdani and two other members of the panel - Ellen Schrecker of Yeshiva University and the Nation magazine's publisher, Victor Navasky, who teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism - drew parallels between the climate of the McCarthy-era pursuit of Communist Party members and the current atmosphere surrounding Columbia scholars.
Mr. Massad, who refuses to speak to The New York Sun, has denied treating any student inappropriately.
I am aghast at news that comes from a fellow historian in the west. At Blog and Mablog, the Aryan supremacist minister in Idaho, Douglas Wilson, says that he is publishing a revised version of his book, Southern Slavery As It Was, under a new title, Black and Tan. Used in some private academies in the South, the former was then dropped because of its unreasonably benign interpretation of the Old South's"peculiar institution." William Ramsey at the University of Idaho and my colleague, Jonathan Reynolds, told that story. Then, it was withdrawn from publication because the work plagiarized from Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman's Time on the Cross (1974).
Wilson tells us that he, then, sought the assistance of Eugene Genovese. Gene is, of course, best known as the author of Roll, Jordan, Roll (1976), which won the Bancroft Prize and is still, to my mind, the best single volume on slavery in the Old South. Genovese, says Wilson,"was kind enough to read through the manuscript and provided helpful criticisms that he described as ‘nitpicking,' but which really were genuinely helpful. In addition, he also provided us with the following blurb for the cover, for which I am very grateful."
The Reverend Douglas Wilson may not be a professional historian, as his detractors say, but he has a strong grasp of the essentials of the history of slavery and its relation to Christian doctrine. Indeed, sad to say, his grasp is a great deal stronger than that of most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms. And the Reverend Mr. Wilson is a fighter, especially effective in defense of Christianity against those who try to turn Jesus' way of salvation into pseudo-moralistic drivel.Gene, Gene, say it ain't so! I would have asked him for a confirmation of this, but Gene stopped speaking to me a couple of years ago, probably because my soft-headed and warm-hearted Methodism amounts to"pseudo-moralistic drivel" or maybe because I belong to the"Secularist Crimson Jihad" to which Wilson refers.
But I'm afraid that Wilson is correct about Gene having lent his good name to this book. It is sad if Genovese's blurb will grace its covers, but also that it includes an attack on"most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms." He might have taken those words right from Clayton Cramer's blog. Not that I'm accusing Gene of plagiarizing Cramer, you understand. But, in fact, Cramer gave us a hypothetical:"Imagine if a historian published a book–Happy Slaves--that claimed that slaves were generally quite happy with their station in antebellum America." Well, if one of us hasn't yet written that book, at least one of us has apparently endorsed it.
Let's be clear. I do not believe that Eugene Genovese is a racist, but he is both consorting with a racist and giving aid to those who want ammunition in their a broadscale attack on academic historians.
AUTHOR Gavin Menzies is out to prove a point. A former submarine commander in Britain's Royal Navy, Menzies has declared that the Chinese - in the 1400s travelling on a fleet of ships led by the famed Admiral Zheng He - reached America 70 years before the great European explorer Columbus.
The Chinese, argued Menzies, had also charted various parts of the world, including Australia, more than 300 years before famed explorer Captain Cook. "They even charted the Magellan Straits 60 years before Magellan was born."
The amateur historian also touched on the little known voyages made by Chinese ships during that era, and the speculation goes far beyond what most experts in and outside of China are willing to assert. This has inevitably set tongues wagging.
This and more fascinating revelations are what 1421: The Year China Discovered the World, the book Menzies wrote two years ago, has to offer.
The controversial book has also spawned a documentary of the same title, which examines and uncovers the mystery surrounding Zheng He's incredible and intrepid fleet.
The documentary employs re-enactment, extensive locations and innovative computer-generated images (CGI) models of the fleet, bringing to life a 15th-century China as an emerging super nation.
The two-hour special will be aired on Discovery Channel (Astro's Channel 50) tomorrow at 9am.
In a recent phone interview, Menzies was charming, with a tale to tell and he refused to be hurried.
"I stumbled upon this strange story entirely by accident. My wife and I went to China to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely cold morning on the Great Wall. The adrenaline surges through your blood as you stand up there," he said on what inspired him to write 1421: The Year China Discovered the World.
"It was then that we learnt about Zheng He and the huge fleet that had brought rulers from around the world for the inauguration of the Forbidden City on New Year's Day in 1421."
His fruitful visit to China led him to write the book....
... While Columbia has attracted international attention in the last several months for allegations by Jewish and Israeli students that they were intimidated by several Middle East studies professors, N.Y.U. with rather less limelight hired Professor [Ronald] Zweig to hold a newly endowed chair in Israel studies....
Professor Zweig happened to take a sabbatical from his usual post at Tel Aviv University in the spring term of 2003. In coming to N.Y.U., he had no designs on competing for the Israel studies chairs; rather, he wanted to be close to a son in graduate school in the United States, near several archives valuable to his research and available for speeches on his recent book, "The Gold Train: The Destruction of the Jews and the Looting of Hungary."
Still, his N.Y.U. students revered him. In confidential evaluations of his class on "Israel and American Jewry," they rated him 4.22 on a 1-to-5 scale. "Ron Zweig is the MAN!" one undergraduate wrote. "I don't know why he is still teaching. He ought to run for prime minister."
Without holding that office, Professor Zweig had, in fact, experienced Israel's tumultuous political life. As the editor in the mid-1980's of a scholarly journal on Zionism, he published the first papers by the historian Benny Morris, whose accounts of Palestinian refugees during the 1948 war shattered the Israeli myth that all had left their homes willingly. So controversial was the Morris thesis that a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, once cornered Professor Zweig to harangue him for, essentially, letting facts get in the way of ideology.
So when N.Y.U. offered Professor Zweig the chair in the late spring of 2004, he had a condition of his own. "I insisted that this job is not advocacy," he recalled. "It's about scholarship. I will not justify Israel's policy as part of my job. Neither will I criticize it as part of my job. I have made it a matter of principle to keep my personal politics out of the classroom."
INDEED, Professor Zweig assigns readings from Arab and Arab-American scholars like Rashid Khalidi, as well as dissident Israelis including Avi Shlaim, in his courses. His offerings in this academic year have ranged from an undergraduate class in Zionism to a graduate seminar on the Jewish community in Palestine before statehood to an independent study on educational policy by Jewish agencies in displaced-persons camps. Part of the purpose, he said, is to show Israel studies involves more than the conflict with the Palestinians.
When he met the other morning with the 20 students in the Israel and American Jewry class, Professor Zweig lectured without sentimentality about the illegal immigration of Holocaust survivors to British-ruled Palestine. Bribery, the black market, American friction with Britain over refugee policy - this was not exactly the romantic epic of "Exodus." Neither, though, was it the familiar narrative in Middle East studies of Western colonialism and Jewish racism.
"My goal is to make the students think, not tell them what to think," Professor Zweig said. "I'm glad when students walk away from my class feeling that I've had respect for their views. That's an obligation of professors. We have a mantle of authority and it is scandalous for us to exploit this position in order to propagate our own views."
I try not to spend too much time--that is, any--thinking about David Horowitz, the 60s radical turned Reagnite rightwinger. I used to find him amusing, even though wrongheaded. We emailed on occasion, and I (almost) enjoyed debating him on television. But in January 2003, we were booked together on C-SPAN for an hour. For much of that time, he ranted and railed, accusing anyone opposed to the invasion of Iraq as a self-hating and treasonous American. (General Anthony Zinni? Brent Scowcroft? Who knew?) At one point, he became enraged over the fact that The Nation magazine had dared to use French words on the cover of one issue. After ignoring his madness for much of the time, I finally told him that if he was going to continuing using the time to exorcise (or exercise) his psychological demons, I would have to charge him $110 an hour. Following the show, several C-SPANers greeted me and apologized for having submitted me to Horowitz. Since then, I have kept my distance from Horowitz. Who could tell when his head might explode?
But the other night--while doing the dishes--I was listening to C-SPAN radio.
(Yes, go ahead and laugh.) And after the network aired a tape of Ward Churchill's recent defiant speech at University of Colorado, it cued up what it billed as "another speech about academic freedom." This was a tape of Horowitz addressing a sparsely attended meeting of College Republicans in July 2003. In a talk purportedly on ideological diversity on campuses, Horowitz referred to Howard Zinn, a progressive historian, as a "lunatic." And he opened by blasting the Democratic Party:
Today we do not have a two party system we can trust. The Democratic Party--the party of opposition--has showed itself to be a party of appeasement in the months that led up to this war [in Iraq]."
He went on:
Ever since our victory in Iraq, not a day has gone by when the Democratic Party has not been on the attack, sabotaging the commander-in-chief as he tries to secure a peace.
Horowitz noted that this "sniping attack" on the commander-in-chief
is unprecedented in the history of democracies....That in the middle of a war the opposition party would not join forces with the party in power and form a unity coalition in defense of the homeland
Now let's remember that Horowitz's number-one gripe is that academia is ridden with professors who push a political agenda not noble, truth-above-all scholarship. These evil academicians, in Horowitz's view, poison the young minds of America by peddling propaganda not facts.
With that in mind, let's review Horowitz's rendering of history. First, before the war in Iraq, a majority of Senate Democrats voted to grant George W.
Bush the authorization to invade Iraq. About four out of 10 House Democrats did the same. Can the entire Democratic Party thus be dubbed the "party of appeasement"?
As for Horowitz's claim that it is "unprecedented" for an opposition party not to join with a president during a war, that, too, is bunk. During the Nixon presidency, many Democrats opposed the Vietnam War. (The war had been started by one Democrat, John Kennedy, and expanded by another, Lyndon Johnson; at this time it belonged to Richard Nixon.) But there is a better example: the Republicans and FDR in 1944. During the presidential election that year, Republicans and their presidential nominee showed no reluctance to snipe at and undermine Commander-in-Chief Franklin Roosevelt. As I've previously noted,
[In 1944], when this country was engaged in World War II, a battle for freedom and security, when American troops were sacrificing their lives for the folks back home, the Republicans had no problem running a candidate against the commander-in-chief, Franklin Roosevelt, nor did the GOP nominee, Thomas Dewey, shrink from criticizing FDR.
He accused FDR of being responsible for the death of American soldiers because Roosevelt had not adequately prepared the country for the war, and he maintained that if FDR were reelected, America would be at risk of a communist takeover. (That sounds overheated now, but it's how Republicans used to campaign against Democrats.) Moreover, Dewey assailed Democrats who argued the debate over the communist threat should be suppressed because it undermined the war effort. (The United States and the Soviet Union were allies at the time.) Dewey claimed the war should not prevent discussion of vital matters.
By questioning the United States-Soviet alliance and FDR's commitment to freedom and liberty while war was raging and the final outcome uncertain, did Dewey and the Republican Party undermine FDR's management of the war? Republicans at the time were spreading gossip that FDR had sent a Navy destroyer to fetch Fala, his Scottish terrier, after the dog supposedly was left behind during a trip to Alaska. Was this attempt to weaken the national standing of a wartime president an action that could have hindered the war? In any event, FDR beat Dewey, 54 to 46 percent. The Republican Party did not believe Dewey had engaged in improper activity, for he went on to win his party's presidential nomination in 1948.
Yes, Dewey claimed--in a manner that today's Horowitz would probably applaud--that communists under Roosevelt communists were "seizing control of the New Deal...to control the Government of the United States."
So partisan opposition to a commander-in-chief during wartime is not "unprecedented." Give Horowitz an F. Moreover, with the Iraq war, there was a question as to whether it was essential for the protection of the United States. The Republicans, though, ripped into Roosevelt when he was overseeing a war that was much less controversial. After all, the Japanese--one of FDR's main targets at the time--had attacked the United States.
What a surprise. Horowitz committed the same sin that he claims to despise.
He distorted an academic matter--American history!--to score a political point and to prevent an honest and truth-based debate over a rather important issue.
Does this mean that he, too, is a "lunatic"?
Juan Cole claims to be a major scholar. He is a tenured professor at the University of Michigan and the president-elect of the Middle East Studies Association. You wouldn't expect such a guy to be so thin-skinned and intellectually insecure. But that's the only conclusion I can draw from his tantrum this weekend. He insists that I'm a nobody, a"maroon," and, of course, an extreme right-wing warmonger. Yawn. All of this sturm and drang was the result of a one-paragraph substantive criticism of his position. I quoted him fairly and accurately, which he does not deny and which is a courtesy he does not return. His response contained a great deal of name-calling and chest-puffing about his C.V. He didn't have the courtesy or courage to even link to my answer to his screed.
Cole seems particularly keen on reminding people that he speaks Arabic (although he doesn't speak Arabic well enough to, well, speak it). Indeed, he seems generally keen on"proving" how smart he is. What's striking about this is that most serious scholars are more interested in showing, not telling. And the irony that I'm taking the higher road in our exchanges has not been lost on some people.
The Iraqi Threat
Professor Cole did call attention to comments I made on CNN from prior to the war in which I gave credence to the idea that Saddam might one day get nuclear weapons. Guilty as charged, though his interpretation of my meaning is wildly tendentious as I noted. Of course, I was hardly alone on this point. As Kenneth Pollack wrote in the January 2004 Atlantic:
U.S. government analysts were not alone in these views. In the late spring of 2002 I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: Did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes).
Other nations' intelligence services were similarly aligned with U.S. views. Somewhat remarkably, given how adamantly Germany would oppose the war, the German Federal Intelligence Service held the bleakest view of all, arguing that Iraq might be able to build a nuclear weapon within three years. Israel, Russia, Britain, China, and even France held positions similar to that of the United States; France's President Jacques Chirac told Time magazine last February,"There is a problem — the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The international community is right...in having decided Iraq should be disarmed." In sum, no one doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Cole then writes,"Iraq never has been as close as two decades from having nuclear weapons." As I understand it, this is just not true. After the first Gulf War U.N. inspectors were dismayed to discover how advanced Saddam's program was. Pollack again:
Prior to 1991 the intelligence communities in the United States and elsewhere believed that Iraq was at least five, and probably closer to ten, years away from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Of course, after the war we learned that in 1991 Iraq had been only six to twenty-four months away from having a workable nuclear weapon.
Juan Cole, Warmonger
Of course, even if Cole is right, it's not as relevant as he thinks, since the salient issue was not what the reality was, but whether the U.S. could take the chance that people like Cole were wrong. Cole is very comfortable, it seems, relying on the goodwill of America's enemies. I am grateful George W. Bush isn't.
Oh, and by the way, for all of Cole's insistence that I'm a warmonger and his claims that he is on record in January of 2003 saying Iraq wasn't a threat, you might get the impression he was against the war.
Not so much.
The next month he wrote:"I am an Arabist and happen to know something serious about Baathist Iraq, which paralyzes me from opposing a war for regime change in that country (Milosevic did not kill nearly as many people). If it is true that Chirac thinks the Baath party can be reformed from without, he is simply wrong." And the month after that:"I remain convinced that, for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides." And so on.
Those Iranian Elections
But, again, all of this is a sideshow. On the substance of my criticism of him, Cole cherry-picked a single issue to respond to — the democratic nature of the Iranian elections — and then distorted it. In my original column, I had criticized Cole for saying that the Iranian elections in 1997 were"much more democratic" than the Iraqi elections last week. I did not write that they were not democratic at all. Cole either deliberately ignored this point or was not a careful enough reader to catch it. Regardless, after a long and hysterically un-scholarly tirade, he made a fairly cogent case for the democratic nature of the elections in Iran. In the spirit of good faith and intellectual honesty, I responded that he made a"pretty good case" on that point though it smelled fishy to me. But I didn't agree that the Iranian elections were"much more democratic" as he had insisted.
In a follow-up, Cole selectively quoted me so as to make it seem that I admitted I was wrong, in effect pocketing a good-faith concession and then deliberately misrepresenting what I said. I did not admit I was wrong but he went on about how I should have known the facts before I wrote my initial column."He is openly admitting that he speaks without having the slightest idea what he is talking about!" Cole exclaimed. This was transparently shabby and dishonest on his part. I made no such concession and he made no effort to address my objections or the objections of others I linked to.
Again, since I am apparently the only one in this exchange concerned with the substance, I will make my case. Basically, I still think it is absurd to say that the elections in Iran were"much more democratic" than the ones in Iraq. The nature of the regime in Iran was never open for debate in 1997 in any meaningful way. As Michael Ledeen noted when Cole first put forward the Iranian elections as a model:
When [Cole] says:"(the Iraqi election) is not a model for anything, and would not willingly be imitated by anyone else in the region. The 1997 elections in Iran were much more democratic..." he has really disqualified himself from being taken seriously. The 2005 Iraqi elections were wide open. Anyone could form a party and run. The 1997 elections in Iran were a sham. The government decided who could run. The guy who"won," Khatami, was" cleared" by the mullahs after they had purged more than three hundred other candidates.
The fact that President Khatami was in fact incapable of implementing any meaningful change to the regime illustrates what a sham that election was. Inherent to democracy is the notion that an elected official actually has the power and authority to act on the things he or she promises to do. That doesn't mean, of course, that an elected official must do what he promised to do for a system to be democratic. By that standard no nation in the world is democratic. Rather, there must be a good-faith understanding that votes can be translated into action. If it turns out that politicians are merely kabuki dancers for the public's amusement and that all significant decision-making authority resides in some star chamber of mullahs, that isn't democratic.
Also, since Cole keeps his ear to the ground on such things, he surely knows that many Iranians believe the elections were a sham. Are they to be discounted? The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that dissatisfaction with Iranian regime reaches 90 percent — presumably quite a few of these people think the 1997 elections didn't turn out as democratic as they hoped never mind as democratic as the Iraqi elections last week. Another good sign that the Iraqi elections were more democratic is that the Iraqi election has — I'm told — rattled officials in Riyadh, Damascus, and Cairo. Iran's 1997 elections were greeted with little more than a yawn. Indeed, just last week there were pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt.
Let me appeal to one more expert. In 2004 a noted Middle East scholar observed that the"free and fair" elections being demanded by Iraq's Ayatollah Sistani posed an"implicit challenge to the hard liners in Iran." Sistani's belief, the expert continued"that legitimate government must reflect the will of the sovereign people echoes Enlightenment thinkers such as Rousseau and Jefferson, and promises a sea change in Middle Eastern politics." The scholar lamented that the United States still appeared intent on"stage-managing" the elections a year ago. Overstating things a bit, this professor believed that if the Coalition Provisional Authority didn't go along with Sistani's plan it would make the Iraqi elections no more democratic that the Iranian ones where"the clerical Guardianship Council has excluded thousands of candidates from running, including sitting members of parliament" giving the Iranian system"more of the form than the substance of democracy."
"Iraqis must feel that the procedures that produce their interim government, even if not perfect, are as fair and democratic as possible under the circumstances," he concluded."Should the United States disappoint them, it could give democracy a bad name and hurt not only the stability of Iraq but the fortunes of reform in Iran."
As we all know, President Bush gave into Sistani's demand and agreed to Sistani's"free and fair" elections. You would think this would have pleased the above scholar. Alas, it didn't, because the above scholar was Juan Cole himself writing in 2004. Funny how Cole once believed that if Sistani got his way Iraq would be much more democratic than Iran. But once that actually happened Cole suddenly said the opposite. It seems to me that Cole decides whether something is wise or unwise based upon whether it is bad or good for Bush. If it's good, it must be unwise and vice versa.
Perhaps I'm misreading Cole's own words. Perhaps I'm wrong about the Iranian system being as undemocratic as Cole described just one year ago. Maybe Cole has good arguments on his side. I just don't know because he hasn't offered any....
DAVID IRVING, the Holocaust denier, is planning a new book to try to restore his reputation -on SS chief Heinrich Himmler.
Irving, speaking in a Mayfair coffee shop a week after the moving ceremonies to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, said: "I am not interested in survivors -survivors lie. People lie when money is involved."
The disgraced historian, who was bankrupted after being branded a Holocaust denier by a judge in a failed libel action, is now planning the biography of Himmler, who was an architect of the Final Solution.
Irving, who is also writing another book on Winston Churchill, said: "Because of my reputation, a lot of private collectors, particularly in the United States, came forward and gave me access to material which no one else has seen.
"I have read 200 letters written by Himmler to his mistress between 1938 and 1944 which are very revealing.
"I am deliberately holding them back until I am released from my bankruptcy on March 5. Otherwise it would be seized ...they will be a fitting climax of my career."
Will the Himmler book be positive about the SS leader? "It asks the same interesting questions that I got into trouble for asking about Adolf Hitler," said Irving....
The man who rules Bolivia has a gentle soul.
Before he became president, Carlos Mesa wrote a dozen books, and some here say he still has the temperament of a historian.
Last month, as protesters took to the streets over his decision to raise fuel prices, Mesa said he would not use force to restore order. In a televised address, the president solemnly declared he did not want blood on his hands.
Mesa begged the demonstrators to stop. They did not. And in the days and weeks since, he has given in to many of their demands.
"The president goes in the direction of whoever is protesting," political analyst Carlos Valverde Bravo said. "He makes agreements and promises according to the size of the protest. If it's a big protest, he'll give in a lot; if it's a small one, a little less."
A former vice president who was brought to power by an Indian-led revolution in October 2003, Mesa is fast earning a reputation for retreating in the face of barricades and raised fists.
Joining us now from Los Angeles, Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East forum and campus-watch.org. Mr. Pipes, who is M. Shahid Alam?
DANIEL PIPES, MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Professor Alam is an economist teaching at Northeastern University. He is a poet, and he writes history. He is a combination of a Marxist and a radical Muslim, someone who sees the Western colonial enterprise as the source of all the problems of the non-Western world. He sees it being the problem in the eighteenth century, he sees it as the problem today. Whatever goes wrong with the world is our fault.The United States as the leading Western country is, of course, the leading source of problems in the world. He has great antagonism toward this country, though I might add, he's an immigrant to this country.
O'REILLY: He's an Egyptian born, right? Is he an American citizen now? PIPES: I can't tell you exactly.
O'REILLY: OK, we know he's an Egyptian, but we don't know if he's an American citizen. Now Northeastern University, very, very buttoned down about this guy. I mean, they don't want to give us any information. We finally got a statement from Genevieve Haas in the media office there. And basically free speech, free speech, free speech. But they don't want to say anything about him. But he's been a bomb thrower, you know, for quite sometime, has he not?
PIPES: They say he's speaking for himself, not for the university and that they believe in free speech, as you said.
Yes, he has been throwing bombs for quite some time. I've been doing some research on him today. And there are some really strong statements.
He's a good writer. He's fairly prolix. If I read you quotes, they would take us through the hour. But he has a venom towards the United States. Let me read you one. Most Americans are kept in the dark,he writes,"unaware of the actual, the real America, the only kind seen by much of the rest of the world. This is the America that daily employs its might to mangle the lives of hundreds of millions, that pushes a globalization that devastates the economies of the Third World, that instructs and arms foreign tyrannies to terrorize their own people." That?'s the kind of statements that he makes.
O'REILLY: All right, would it be fair to say that this professor is rooting for the terrorists to win the war on terror? Would that be fair to say?
PIPES: I don't know that he's actually gone that far. But he justifies them and says they are good people and their cause against us is righteous. I don't, I can't say he's actually come out and...
O'REILLY: All right, so he hasn't gone as far as Ward Churchill out at Colorado University by saying that the people killed?Americans killed on 9/11 were, deserved their death and were pawns and all of this. This guy, Alam, he walks a line by saying that we?re the bad country. And it?s understandable that we'd be attacked. Is that...
PIPES: We're under, right, we're under a bad system. Americans are suffering from this terrible capitalist system as well as the rest of the world. Americans: rise up and see your problem.He has an interesting comment. He doesn't write much about himself, but he's lived in many countries around the world and wherever he went, the United States created problems for him. And then finally, he came to the United States because this was the country where he would have less problems. But since 9/11, even here he has the same problems.
O'REILLY: What problems does this guy have?
O'REILLY: He's got a got cushy job at Northeastern University. He says anything he wants to say. What problems does he have?
PIPES: Well, Bill, the fact that you as a journalist and me as an analyst are critiqued all the time is OK, but he is a professor. You know, he shouldn't be. This, what we're doing...
O'REILLY: Oh, he doesn't like...
PIPES: ...is impeding his freedom of speech.
O'REILLY: Well, he ran today behind the ACLU, interestingly enough, because we were talking to him. We wanted to get him on and, you know, figure out who this guy is. And he says, listen to this. He e-mails us, and he goes, he e-mailed us to all his supporters, whoever they may be. Does this guy have like a club or something? Is there a Professor Alam Club that he deals with?
PIPES: Not that I know of, no.
O'REILLY: How does he get his word out? Is he on some crazy Internet site?
PIPES: Far point, exactly. There are a number of far-left Internet sites. But the one that he most uses is something called 'Counterpunch.' Vicious, vicious, vicious.
O'REILLY: OK, anti-American site. So he says, this guy Alam says,"I received an e-mail from FOX News asking for a TV interview. They were producing a program on me. At this point I spoke to the ACLU, advised me against going on the program. I received the same advice from other friends. I wrote back to FOX saying I could not do the interview. Clearly, they have designs against me. It appears that Bill O'Reilly is doing a series of un-American professors on U.S. campuses. And I expect he will make all kinds of outlandish accusations that will resonate well with the left- and Muslim-hating members of his audience."
He doesn't know the left from the right. The left is kind of sympathizing him. It's the right that?'s not going to like you there, professor, but that's OK.
PIPES: Note that he calls it a fatwa. You're engaged in a fatwa against him.
O'REILLY: Yes, well that's, isn't that the usual game that if you criticize what these people say, then you're anti-Muslim, correct?
PIPES: One other point that I think is worth making: You acknowledged that you accepted that Ward Churchill's had all sorts of death threats. I would challenge that.
I mean, I don't know the specifics, but when I started Campus Watch a little over two years ago, the professors that I discussed claimed that they'd been threatened and threatened and threatened. And I completely condemn that, as you have. But I also questioned it. And I asked them for proof. Show me that you've actually had death threats. Show me the reports...
O'REILLY: Well, it could be a canard, but I have to say I get death threats all the time. And I know what that?s like. So if Churchill says he gets them, and I know he's had some vandal, they vandalized his car or something. And I know the guy's under extreme pressure. So I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Mr. Pipes, thanks very much. And Mr. Alam up there in Northeastern, you're welcome to come on any time you want and explain yourself, sir.
New York University professor Daniel Walkowitz loves history and he loves to move. “Any city I go to, I dance,” said Mr. Walkowitz, who has kicked up his heels at folk-dancing events in New York, London, Minneapolis, San Francisco, San Jose, Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia, and London, among other cities. He has performed with a Balkan troupe based in Baltimore, led workshops in Scandinavian dance, and is a teacher of English country dance with Country Dance New York, which hoofs it up weekly at a church in Greenwich Village.
His current project manages to combine both his scholarly interest and his personal passion for dance. Mr. Walkowitz is writing a book called “City Folk: English Country Dance and the Politics of the Folk in 20th Century America.” A public television documentary made with support from the Smithsonian’s Center for Folk Life and Cultural Heritage will complement the book.
Mr. Walkowitz said more Americans learn about history from television than from reading.“It’s as much a problem as an opportunity,” he said. It’s important that historians themselves be involved in making shows: History, he said, is too important to be left to filmmakers alone. He has been at the forefront of the field of public history, which trains academics to address a broader public through films and museum exhibitions.
“Why do urban people think it’s fun to emulate the folk and whom do they think they’re emulating?” Mr. Walkowitz asks in his research. English country dance has been in America for a long time. “George Washington,” Mr. Walkowitz said, “was a great country dancer, renowned for his fine form and fancy footwork.” In the 19th century, country dancing lost out in popularity to waltzes and polka — ballroom dances that allowed more intimate physical contact.
America has had two folk revivals. The first occurred around the turn of the 20th century and coincided with the rise of industrialization. As immigrants and rural migrants streamed into urban centers, they romanticized rural life as something natural.
A second resurgence occurred after World War II, and its spirit continues to influence the dance community today. In the 1960s, dancers felt that participating allied them with “common people,” with whom they preferred to identify.They were turning their backs on the materialism of mainstream culture, Mr. Walkowitz said.
Today, folk dancers see it as a way to escape the “speed and greed” of contemporary culture. ...
Mr.Walkowitz met his wife,Judith,at the University of Rochester on Thanksgiving in 1963; they recently celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. She is a feminist historian at Johns Hopkins University. Their daughter, Rebecca, teaches English at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
His interest in labor and social history is evident not only in his choice of scholarly topics but in his family’s cats, Bellamy and Josephine, named for the 19th-century utopian novelist Edward Bellamy and British suffragist Josephine Butler.
Asked what makes good historical writing, he said work that “does not confirm our prejudices but challenge us.” He added, “Thinking begins when people become uncomfortable.”...
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Larry Schweikart, a history professor at the University of Dayton. He is the co-author (with Michael Allen) of the new book, A Patriot's History Of The United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery To The War On Terror.
FP: Dr. Schweikart, welcome to Frontpage Interview. It is a pleasure to have you here.
Schweikart: Thanks, Jamie. I only wish Mike could be here with us, but he's busy promoting the book on the West Coast.
FP: What inspired you to write a patriot’s history of America?
Schweikart: It began years ago when I was teaching U.S. history and found a numbing similarity in all the U.S. history textbooks: they all seemed heavily tilted to the left. One of the first things that really convinced me to write a survey was a chart on debt and deficits in the then-Bailey and Kennedy book, "The American Pageant," dealing with the Reagan years. The upshot was that federal debt and deficits just went off the screen under Reagan, and the authors had two charts to emphasize this--in case the students missed it. But I then noticed that their dollars were not in "real dollars," and so I re-calculated the charts in real dollars as a share of GNP and found that they not only were wrong, they were so seriously distorted as to be meaningless. The worst deficits in American history, as a share of GNP, occurred under FDR, not Reagan, and the national debt levels under Reagan in real dollars as a share of GNP were about where they were under Kennedy.
So I decided then to begin writing a U.S. history survey---and was already in the process of writing "The Entrepreneurial Adventure" for Harcourt, which is a history of American business. But I had some gaps in my knowledge and areas of emphasis, so I contacted Mike Allen, whom I had met before at the Western History Assoc. meeting, and we hit it off. Not only did our areas of emphasis compliment each other, but our interpretations and world view on the "big questions" were quite sympatico. It was a great match-up. We also agreed on the marketing strategy of making an "end run" around the textbook companies (and faculty committees) by going the "trade" route, and got a terrific publisher who really believes in the book in Penguin/Sentinel.
FP: How do you think your book will do in academia? Will it be included in the curriculum of any courses? What do you think can be done to improve the intellectual balance and diversity in academia?
Schweikart: We not only think it will do well, we are counting on it. Already people from Duquesne and Hillsdale had adopted it, as have a half-dozen instructors from junior colleges and smaller colleges. This, in fact, is where we will get great sales---in those schools where the uber-leftists do not dominate what the non-tenure track and part-timers can use. As a sidebar, it’s funny that in many schools, as you well know, the teaching of the “core” history classes, including Western Civ (if they still allow that to be taught) and U.S. History is foisted off on part-timers or non-tenure track people. My experience is that many of these teachers, though certainly not a majority, are conservatives. They come from the ranks of business people who just like history; conservatives who were blacklisted in “mainstream” academia; lawyers; housewives; and retired military people. We think the book will have a huge appeal to them.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In March, Mike and I will have a booth provided by Penguin/Sentinel at the Missouri Valley History conference and the “buzz” is that there is great excitement over Patriot’s History. My personal experience is that many teachers have been waiting a long time for a book like this. Then we have the homeschoolers. I can’t tell you how many e-mail questions I get on website chat threads about whether this book is appropriate for homeschoolers, and the answer is yes. Homeschoolers as a rule are ahead of their public-school counterparts, and the book is perfect for a Junior or Senior homeschooler. I should add, though, that Patriot’s History does not have the typical “boilerplate” of a “textbook,” what with “study questions” and “review topics.” But it has a hefty notes/sources section. Maybe in the second edition we can add a few maps and charts. Still, students just don’t read most of that stuff. When I teach a freshman course, I often have to begin with “How to Read a History Book.” The study habits are that bad out there.
As to your second question, Jamie, I’m less optimistic. The academy is unique in the social and economic culture of the United States, in that it is essentially immune from the market forces that discipline every other activity. I highly recommend a book by my fellow Ohioan, Richard Vedder, Going Broke By Degree, on this topic. But here’s what we have: the faculty (aided and abetted by leftist administrations) sets the intellectual agenda. Trustees cannot control them, parents cannot control them, and even the students---who are less willing to put up with left-wing demagougery---really can’t control them. In the first place, faculty have an iron grip on hiring. No conservative can even get close to a final three cut-down in a search. Mike and I are rare, rare exceptions, and there are a few. But you’ve seen the numbers. In most universities it’s 10:1 liberal to conservative.
Worse, there is no competition, because the mind-set of those at the top convinces them that all of their competitors have the same views they do, so they steadily drift further left. Vedder argues that on-line universities, like the University of Phoenix, will eventually provide an important alternative. I don’t know. One central aspect of college life is the social interactions on a campus, and the electronic campus will never significantly replace that, any more than homeschooling can replace traditional schools.
However, I can’t completely lose hope. In my lifetime, I’ve seen something occur that I would have thought impossible---the demise of the MainstreamMedia (MSM) and the rise of “alternative” or “conservative” voices with almost as much power and influence, including the Internet and sites such as Frontpagemagazine.com . Twenty-five years ago, who would have predicted that the “big three” would be in a news ratings free-fall, or that a radio host like Rush Limbaugh would have as much influence over a large part of the country as the New York Times? So given that it happened in the media, anything’s possible. But right now, I don’t see educational reform on the horizon. I hope I’m wrong.
FP: What do you think motivates many Americans to loathe their own country?
Schweikart: I think this has its origins in several underlying factors. One is, liberals hate capitalism because it's been my experience that they just don't understand it. Most haven't read Adam Smith and certainly don't get that "self interest" is not selfishness. So right off the bat, any country that is primarily capitalist is "evil."
Second, they rightly recognize (but usually won't admit) the fact that Americans are blessed by God, and that as a nation we have honored Him, and therefore can be blessed by Him. They hate that about us---that we are, for all of our sin and rebellion, still pretty much a Christian nation. Liberals hate God-talk, whether it comes from an Orthodox Jew or a "fundamentalist" Christian (by which they mean any Christian who practices what he or she preaches!) They want to rely solely on themselves, which is the ultimate rebellion against God. Yet deep inside, they know this is wrong, and it eats at them. Jesus encountered the "rich young ruler" who "went away sad" because he would not do what Jesus told him to do, with the implication being that his sadness came because he knew what was the right thing to do, but his ego got in the way. Liberals hate that little voice that keeps telling them, "There is a God, and you're not him." It makes them angry people.
Third, they loathe the notion that America has a special role in the world---a GOOD role---and to them the notion that any one country is "better" than another is anathema. So they get themselves in this remarkable pickle: they rail against "oppression" and "violations" of "human rights," yet hate the only country in the world capable of doing anything about it. More important, since most of the time, the only way to deal with tyrannies is to defeat them militarily, liberals are even more exorcised because they can't stand the use of military force.
FP: What do you think of many segments of the Left now cheering for radical Islam? Tom Hayden and Michael Moore have clearly come out supporting the Islamist enemy. This is bizarre, as our totalitarian enemy extinguishes all rights that are supposedly at the heart of leftist values. What gives here?
Schweikart: It is entirely predictable. Years ago, I took history courses from Robert Loewenberg, who has gone on to head up the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in Jerusalem. He even wrote a paper about how the “pacifist” Quakers were supporting the PLO---this was in the 1970s. These radicals always supported the Soviets and their slug-like apprentices, and I think we on the right assumed that it was because they had so much in common ideologically with communism. But perhaps an even more important factor was that the Soviets were anti-American. Perhaps it is that these people so hate America, and the concept of what this nation stands for, that they would gleefully align with anyone who opposes us.
That’s why I think the modern so-called “left” in fact greatly resembles the Nazis: they are anti-religious (unless it is their state, secular religion of “man” or Gaia); they are anti-Semitic; they hate freedom; and they are ruthless in their speech and behavior codes.
When it gets right down to it, both the Islamofascists and the modern Moore-ish left are terrified of the freedom of ideas. As a Christian, I’m convinced in the rightness of my ideas and that they will win out without force. It’s interesting that new research, which we cite in Patriot’s History, shows that the more competition there is in religion, the better the so-called “fundamentalist” denominations do. I don’t know if that applies to Orthodox Jewry---that wasn’t included in the study---but from my perspective, if all ideas are able to be expressed, the best ideas will always win. This doesn’t sit well with the Left and the Islamofascists. Many Muslim countries strictly prohibit missionaries and evangelizing. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but 20 years ago contractors working in Saudi Arabia were told they could not bring Bibles, crosses, Stars of David, or many other religions items that challenged Islam.
Well, if you think about the Left’s “enemies list,” God is at the top, and especially Jesus. A generic “god” is ok for now, but of course, they want to get rid of that concept too. I think, then, they see the Judeo-Christian God as the central threat to everything they do, and don’t take Allah as much of a threat at all. Therefore, the Islamic nations aren’t a problem in their book.
Oh, and one more thing: even if they were a problem, the Left is stuck because actually doing something about them is going to require military force, pure and simple, and the Left hates the use of military power for whatever purpose.
FP: What is it that makes America a beacon of liberty?
Schweikart: America remains a shining city on the hill because, despite steady erosion in some cases, we are a nation that celebrates individuals---individual freedom, individual initiative, and even individual failure. We tolerate failure more than any country in the world, and everyone learns from failure. We rejoice in cultural differences, but unlike many Euros, we insist that at some point you become "American." I know many people think this is unravelling, especially with Hispanic immigration. But it's interesting that in 1910 there were more daily German-language newspapers in the U.S. than there are Spanish-language newspapers today; that in the late 1900s it took about three generations before the majority of the language in the home of an immigrant was English, whereas today it's closer to two generations.
The United States, among all nations, also remains a beacon of liberty because we are a nation of LAW. We still respect, for the most part, the right to property. Citizens, unlike most places in the world, can be armed. We uphold, in most cases, sanctity of contract. And so on. It isn't just that we have unfettered liberty in America, but that we have a structure of law that generates a climate of responsibility to go along with it.
FP: Do you think the Bush administration did the right thing by liberating Iraq?
Schweikart: Absolutely. After 9/11, Bush faced up to a threat that, frankly, his own father and Bill Clinton ignored: Islamofascism. This was a very tough call. It would have been so easy to topple the Taliban and declare victory, then, two, three, or ten years later have a bio weapon go off in Chicago or have a dirty bomb make Manhattan unliveable for the next fifteen years. Instead, Bush did what a leader needs to do. He saw the threat and acted, not merely for short term results, but for long-term stability. This is something Woodrow Wilson didn't do with the communist revolution in Russia. And we note in the book that even though FDR was almost alone in seeing the Nazi and Japanese threats for what they were, he never used his own political capital to mobilize the country to face them. But Bush did.
Almost everyone knew that to effectively deal with the islamofascist threat, after Afghanistan we needed to take on Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and Saudi Arabia, in no particular order and with a variety of methods. Bush chose the most obvious, I think, and, in a sense, the easiest. But we still are going to have to change the governments in Iran, Syria, and possibly Saudi Arabia, and Khaddafi wisely decided he'd rather rule as a prince without his weapons than sit in a jail as a one-time dictator.
Of course, the issue has been the WMDs, and I would remind everyone that as we geared up to go into Iraq, France and Germany said Saddam had WMDs; Britain said he had WMDs; Russia said he had WMDs (and also said that he provided support for 9/11); all of NATO said he had WMDs; Iran said he had WMDs; Israel said he had WMDs; Australia said he had WMDs; the King of Jordan and the president of Egypt BOTH told Tommy Franks that Saddam had WMDs; the UN said he had them; and lastly the CIA said he had them. Saddam himself easily could have proven he didn't, but chose not to. Now, my question is, why does only the CIA and Bush get blamed, when every darn country in the world, most of them using independent sources of intelligence, came to the same conclusion?
My own thought is that the weapons likely were there, and were moved. During the war, we found 140 JETS buried in the desert for 10 years that we didn't know about. If Saddam could hide 140 jets, how easy would it be to hide some drums of VX or other chem/bio weapons? His own army had chem/bio suits en masse. The bottom line is, Bush would have been a fool if he had not taken the WMD threat seriously and de-throned Saddam in light of the 9/11 attacks.
This is the defining issue of our day. Yes, Bush has made some mistakes by sighing Campaign Finance Reform and allowing that monstrosity of a prescription drug bill to pass. But overall these are very minor issues compared to what I believe is our very survival, and he has been a great leader on this defining issue of the time.
FP: If you were asked for your advice by the Bush administration on the next steps in fighting the terror war, what would you recommend?
Schweikart: First, finish pacifying Iraq. This will not be a short-term thing. Since 1899, the U.S. or western nations have fought something like eleven major anti-guerrilla or anit-”insurgency” campaigns, including the Philippine insurrection, Malaya, and Vietnam. The established government or the West won eight of those. Almost all of them took a minimum of five years to win. In other words, victory is nearly assured, but patience is an absolute necessity.
Second, make plans to foment a revolt in Iran. We should already be slipping agents inside Iran and destabilizing that government. Once we are satisfied with the situation in Iraq, lower the boom. I don’t think Iran will require direct military intervention, but it may need some special forces and a well-placed precision-guided-weapon or two.
Third, get it set in our minds now that this isn’t over until we deal with Syria. At that point, with a democratized Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran in place, who knows what would develop. I suspect the Saudis would see the writing on the wall, but you never know.
Finally, but certainly this could be done right now, tighten our borders. Illegal immigration is going to be the issue of the 2008 election, in my opinion. The fact that She-Who-Mus-Not-Be-Named has already made noises about this shows that the Dems are not totally blind. Of course, the Democratic Party cannot propose any serious immigration reform, because that would finish it as a party. So the key will be the Republican contenders. But sooner or later, someone must step up and say “enough.” We cannot allow millions of illegals to keep coming into this country---it is, above all, a security threat.
FP: What is the future of America?
Schweikart: Right now, the future looks incredibly bright. The increasing conservatism of youth, the growing awareness of a need for spiritual things, and the continued growth of the economy all are very positive signs. The “Greatest Generation” is going to die out and with them, the entitlement mentality of the New Deal will die too. Most of the students I speak to are upset about Social Security---and they tend to not get upset about anything. But they easily see the injustice of that program. More and more, they see the inherent destructiveness of “anti-poverty” programs, and while they don’t lack compassion, they do have common sense, and know that having babies without fathers just ain’t gonna work! The aforementioned revolution in the media is a spectacle to behold, and with it, the phenomenal success of the Passion of the Christ suggests that even Hollywood is losing its grip on our culture.
Heck, merely the appearance of books like A Patriot’s History, Slander, Radical Son, and Bias reflects the loss of control over the intellectual discussion in the United States that once was completely in the hands of the Left. But there are still major hurdles remaining. I’ve mentioned the university system. Hollywood and the music industry still have far too much influence over all citizens---not just the young. Rap is particularly destructive---and, in my view, boring. (This from a former rock drummer who opened major concerts back in the 1970s!). There is a lot yet to do, and evil never takes a holiday.
FP: Dr. Schweikart, thank you. It was a pleasure to have you here. We hope to see you again soon.
Schweikart: Thanks very much. I love FPM and am honored that you guys took the time to discuss our book. It's a long war, and I hope this is one of many small victories we experience.