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.
SOURCE: Jewish Chronicle (10-30-08)
Mr Irving states on his website that he received a "top secret provisional invitation" in September asking him to take part in series planned to start on January 2. He was told last Friday that he had not made the final selection.
He met producers for 90 minutes at a Kensington hotel on October 7 and wrote on his website: "They seem very keen, pleased that I am so up front, open and uninhibited. Comes easily to me."
He also notes that his teenage daughter advised him against accepting, but he told her he was encouraged by the fact that "financially [the programme makers] have made a killing".
He said he was annoyed at the decision not to take him, saying "the fee would have been nice" wondering "who had put the ‘no' stamp on it".
SOURCE: Max Boot at his blog in Commentary (10-27-08)
In a bizarre op-ed in today’s New York Times, Morris pulls a bunch of Theodore Roosevelt quotations out of context and makes it seem as if the old Rough Rider, who died 89 years ago, is answering questions on the state of today’s politics. A sample of his technique: He takes a comment Roosevelt had made about Woodrow Wilson (”It is entirely inexcusable, however, to try to combine the unready hand with the unbridled tongue”) and turns it into an assault on Sarah Palin, whose resemblance to Wilson–that idealistic egghead who would not have been caught dead hunting a moose–entirely escapes me.
Such a literary performance would have to be judged as pretty weird, but it is nothing unusual for Morris, a writer of some gifts who has a penchant for injecting fiction into what are supposed to be sober works of biography. This tendency was most ill-advisedly on display in “Dutch,” Ronald Reagan’s authorized biography, which was judged a bust because Morris injected a fictional character, confusingly also named “Edmund Morris,” into the narrative to describe events in Reagan’s life that Morris had not seen for himself.
The same tendency was on display, in more attenuated form, in Morris’s magisterial biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Volume two, “Theodore Rex,” for instance, began with a prologue that purported to report Roosevelt’s impressions as he was traveling in a train across the American landscape–impressions that seem to have been imparted to the dead president by his slightly zany biographer.
At least the “Theodore Rex” prologue was a fairly convincing piece of work. Not so Morris’s op-ed. It is impossible to know, of course, what Roosevelt would think if he were resurrected today. But if anyone is his successor in personal and ideological terms, surely it is John McCain–another war hero known for aggravating his own party–rather than Barack Obama, a doctrinaire liberal in the Woodrow Wilson mold. Readers interested in my take on where Roosevelt fits in today’s political spectrum should check out this  article from World Affairs journal.
SOURCE: MSNBC (10-29-08)
The paper said it had written about the event in April and would not release the tape because of a promise made to the source who provided it.
McCain and Palin called Rashid Khalidi a former spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization, a characterization that Khalidi has denied in the past. Both candidates said guests at the party made critical comments about Israel....
Khalidi is a professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University and a longtime friend of Obama's. Khalidi has publicly criticized Israel, but he and Obama have both said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues.
The Times is owned by Sam Zell, 67, a billionaire real estate investor and owner of the Chicago Cubs whose Jewish parents fled Poland for America weeks before the Nazi invasion. Describing Zell as “Jewish as you can get” when he purchased the newspaper in 2007, the Jewish Chronicle speculated that the new publisher’s penchant for Israeli and Jewish causes, to which he makes large contributions, might also be reflected in the paper’s editorial pages....
McCain also has ties to Khalidi through a group that Khalidi helped found 15 years ago. The Center for Palestine Research and Studies has received more than $800,000 from an organization that McCain chairs.
JTA: Khalidi and the PLO
SOURCE: Juan Cole at his blog Informed Comment (10-30-08)
The increasingly sleazy John McCain, who once promised to run a clean campaign, has now attacked my friend Rashid Khalidi and attempted to use him against Barack Obama. Khalidi is an American scholar of Palestinian heritage, born in New York and educated at Yale and Oxford, who now teaches at Columbia University. He directed the Middle East Center at the University of Chicago for some time, and he and his family came to know the Obamas at that time. Knowing someone and agreeing with him on everything are not the same thing.
Scott Horton has a fine, informed and intelligent discussion of the issue.
I know it may seem a novel idea to people like McCain and Palin, but it would be worthwhile actually reading Khalidi's book on the Palestinian struggle for statehood. (I urge bloggers interested in this issue to link to his book, which the American reading public should know).
At the least, read a whole essay Khalidi has written.
Far from being a knee-jerk nationalist, Khalidi has been critical of the decisions of the Palestinian leadership at key junctures in modern history.
McCain's and Palin's attacks on Khalidi are frankly racist. He is a distinguished scholar, and the only objectionable thing about him from a rightwing point of view is that he is a Palestinian. There are about 9 million Palestinians in the world (a million or so are Israeli citizens; 3.7 million are stateless and without rights under Israeli control in the West Bank and Gaza; and 4 million are refugees or exiled in the diaspora; there are about 200,000 Palestinian-Americans, and several million Arab-Americans, many living in swing vote states). Khalidi was not, as the schlock rightwing press charges, a spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organization. He was an adviser at the Madrid peace talks, but would that not have been, like, a good thing?
Much of the assault on Khalidi comes from the American loony Zionist Right, which quietly supports illegal Zionist colonies in the West Bank and the ethnic cleansing of the remaining Palestinians. They have been tireless advocates of miring the US in wars in Iraq and Iran to ensure that their dreams of ethnic cleansing are unopposed. They are a tiny, cranky but well-funded group that has actively harassed anyone who disagrees with them (at one point, cued by Daniel Pipes, they cyberstalked Khalidi and clogged his email mailbox with spam for weeks at a time). All opinion polling shows that most American Jews are politically liberal, overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and support trading land for peace to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Khalidi is their political ally in any serious peace process, which many have recognized.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has repudiated the"Greater Israel" fantasy that drives the Middle East Forum, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Commentary, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Hudson Institute, the American Enterprise Institute and other well-funded sites of far-right thinking on Israel-Palestine that have become, with the rise of the Neoconservatives, highly influential with the US Republican Party. Olmert's current position is much closer to Khalidi's than it is to the American ideologues.
That McCain should take his cues from people to the right of the Neoconservatives shows fatal lack of judgment and signals that if he is elected, he will likely pursue policies that are very bad for Israel, forestalling a genuine peace process (which would involve close relations with Palestinians!)
McCain even compared the gathering for Khalidi that Obama attended to a"neo-Nazi" meeting! I mean, really. this is the lowest McCain has sunk yet.
McCain is bringing up Khalidi in order to scare Jewish voters about Obama's associations, and it is an execrable piece of McCarthyism and in fact much worse than McCarthyism since it is not about ideology but rather has racial overtones. Not allowed to pal around with Arab-Americans, I guess. What other ethnic groups should we not pal around with, from McCain's point of view? Is there a list? Are some worse than others?
Ironically, as the Huffington Post showed, while John McCain was chairing the International Republican Institute, he gave over $400,000 to Rashid Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.
Here is Lou Dobbs letting McCain have it over this piece of hypocrisy.
The rightwing American way of speaking about these issues is bizarre from a Middle Eastern point of view. Lots of real living Israelis have close ties to actually existing Palestinians. There are 12 Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset, and they have helped keep the Kadima government in power. Here is PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas with current Israeli Prime Minister Tzipi Livni; Livni has repeatedly negotiated with the PLO as foreign minister of Israel. McCain's entire line of attack assumes that Palestinian equals"bad" and ignores Israel's and the Bush administration's support for the PLO against Hamas.
As the Young Turks pointed out, before the 'straight talk express' became the 'mealy-mouthed train wreck,' McCain advocated direct negotiations with Hamas when it was in control of the Palestinian Authority after the 2006 elections.
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (10-28-08)
Ms. Douglass, a former mayor of Claremont (Los Angeles County died Oct. 17 at a care facility in Sunnyvale from complications of Alzheimer's disease, her family said.
As a graduate student at the school in the 1950s, she became interested in how history is preserved as she studied the letters of Americans who founded the United States.
Oral history was still a fairly new academic pursuit - the field was founded at Columbia University in 1948 - when Ms. Douglass joined Claremont's program a year after it began in 1962. She was the program's director from 1971 until she retired in 2003.
In explaining the importance of preserving spoken history, Ms. Douglass told the Los Angeles Times in 1986, "You're as close to the event or incident as you can be with a primary source; there's nothing closer."
In 1969, the program embarked on its first major project, interviewing missionaries who had been in China before World War II. The goal was to study how Western values had influenced China.
In the 1980s, she started recording the voices of California's recent political heritage, a project fueled by the discovery "that people weren't keeping records anymore," she said in the 1986 Times article. "We have no feeling for what went into the decision-making."
She interviewed politicians including Jerry Voorhis, who served five terms representing California in the U.S. Congress before losing his seat to Richard Nixon in 1946, and Walter Stiern, who was the dean of the state Senate when he retired in 1986....
SOURCE: Tim Rutten in the LAT (10-29-08)
Any new book of his is -- by definition, therefore -- an event, but "Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief" is one that speaks directly to a nation on the cusp of a momentous decision regarding its next president. Given the author's vocal disapproval of the war in Iraq, it's possible he elected to fill this obvious hole in the Lincoln portrait because the example of our greatest president is particularly instructive at this crucial juncture, though next year also happens to be the bicentennial of the Great Emancipator's birth.
Still, the question of what constitutes both a constitutionally licit and effective wartime presidency has taken on a special urgency over the last seven years. On the one hand, partisans of the "unitary executive theory" within the Bush-Cheney administration have pushed a dramatic expansion of the chief executive's powers, frequently in areas heretofore regarded as extralegal. According to this previously marginal line of thinking, for example, the president's rights to order torture, confinement without charges or trial, and warrantless domestic surveillance are "inherent" in his constitutional role as "commander in chief" and beyond scrutiny by the other, co-equal branches of government. On the other hand, this unprecedented extension of unchecked executive power has been accompanied by repeated deceptions of the electorate and, until recently, a generally incompetent prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In this context, McPherson's study of Lincoln is particularly welcome -- and not only because the author is both a fine writer and a historian with an unmatched mastery of his era's original sources. McPherson also happens to be one of those scholars whose ingrained integrity simply precludes him from stacking the historical deck.
As the author points out, Lincoln is our only president whose entire tenure was circumscribed by war. The request to resupply besieged Ft. Sumter was the first official document to cross his desk after inauguration, and, though Robert E. Lee finally had surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, several Confederate forces still were in the field the night Lincoln was assassinated. Moreover, though two earlier chief executives had lived through wars -- James Madison in the War of 1812 and James K. Polk in the Mexican War -- the presidential role as commander in chief remained hazy and ill-defined, both politically and legally....
SOURCE: WTVD (10-27-08)
Doctor John Hope Franklin, 93, joined more than 1 million early voters in N.C. The civil rights activist said he's taking advantage of a right he once fought to have.
Franklin, a historian, an author, a prestigious professor and a civil rights activist, arrived at a Durham polling site to place his vote.
Franklin, said he was honored to vote in this historical election and was candid in his decision to vote for the first African-American on a presidential ticket.
"Not only did he graduate from Harvard University, but he went back to work in his community," Franklin said.
A fellow Harvard Graduate, Franklin has written numerous books. His book, "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans," shows hurdles of many African-Americans in the U.S. -- obstacles he said Senator Obama has overcome.
"I think the very fact that we have a person from a group of people that have been maligned, condemned and cursed for all their lives, this merely is symbolic of a new day in this country.," he said.
In a couple of months, Franklin will be 94 years old. He's been voting for more than 60 years, but it's the first time voters he's concerned about, wanting them to come back and make sure they vote again.
"I hope that this is just a beginning for these young people," Franklin said. "I hope that they will be voting every time, even when the choice might not be as exciting as it is today. They ought to vote."...
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-28-08)
Walbank also published the monograph Polybius (1972), and many of his 350-odd papers concerned the historian. Some of these papers were collected in two volumes (of 1985 and 2002); the second of these has an introductory chapter, "Polybian Studies c1975-2000". Walbank, remarkably, not only remained abreast of Polybian scholarship but was still contributing to it virtually until his death at the age of 98: his last article, on Fortune (tyche) in Polybius, appeared in 2007.
The collection of 2002, as indicated by the title, Polybius, Rome and the Hellenistic World, points to his mastery of Hellenistic history in general. In this area, one thinks especially of the two prize essays published as Aratos of Sicyon (1933) and Philip V of Macedon (1940), the Fontana Hellenistic World (1981, widely translated), and the three volumes of the revised Cambridge Ancient History which he co-edited and wrote for.
Curiously, the book for which he is best known in other fields of history and other cultures is an essay on the later Roman Empire, published in 1946 as The Decline of the Roman Empire in the West and reissued in 1969 as The Awful Revolution (recalling Gibbon). Walbank later distanced himself from some of its conclusions and from the Marxist views that inspired it, but nevertheless justified its composition as "a tract for the times", and stood by his attempt therein to explore the relevance of ancient history to the contemporary world.
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (10-27-08)
A new report, prepared by the National History Center with support from the Teagle Foundation, suggests that while the history major is doing plenty that is right on target, changes are needed for the major to provide the most benefit for students. The study — prepared by a working group led by Stanley N. Katz of Princeton University and James Grossman of the Newberry Library — suggests a need for greater coherence in the way the major is structured, and much more of an active consideration by faculty members of their role in educating non-historians.
To do so effectively, the report says, graduate programs in history need to be reformed so that more emphasis is placed on the graduate students’ likely role in the future as a teacher, not just a researcher....
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Ed (10-23-08)
The conference focused on elementary- and secondary-school students and teachers. But one presentation, by Wilfred M. McClay, a history professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, was on a topic relevant to all levels of education: the advantages and obstacles of using art as a classroom tool.
Art can be used to enable inquiries beyond its immediate subjects, said Mr. McClay. Written narratives, he said, are capable of offering details of a specific, subjective experience. Art, however, is a more effective means of presenting a comprehensive perspective. “The written text can only hint at the panorama,” he said.
SOURCE: http://timesunion.com (10-26-08)
A tantalizing opportunity for such speculation comes in what historian and author David Hackett Fischer calls "that high summer of 1609."
As the French explorer Samuel de Champlain paddled a canoe on July 31 to the southern edge of the lake that now bears his name, the English seaman Henry Hudson was sailing north along the river christened in his honor and anchored just north of Albany on Sept. 19.
They returned their respective ways and a great confluence of history was narrowly missed as the titanic explorers came within less than 100 miles and six weeks of meeting each other between Lake Champlain and the Hudson River.
"If they had met, they would have instantly interrogated each other about the New World and there would have been a lot of professional shop talk between explorers," Fischer said by phone recently from his office at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., where he has taught history since 1962.
"We know Champlain read accounts of Henry Hudson's travels and Champlain had a highly developed professional interest in what other explorers and mapmakers of his day were doing," he said.
Published this month to capitalize on planned 2009 quadricentennial celebrations of Hudson and Champlain, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian has written a comprehensive, magisterial biography, "Champlain's Dream" (Simon & Schuster, 834 pages, $40). It is intended to resurrect the extraordinary accomplishments of a protean figure largely overlooked in today's history courses. He will be in Albany on Thursday to discuss his work as a guest of the New York State Writers Institute.
"I'm an evangelist for history," said Fischer, 72, who has written 10 books while teaching full time. He became hooked on the past as a boy listening to the stories of his Aunt Eliza, elderly and blind, who described growing up on a farm outside Baltimore in the summer of 1863 and hearing "a sound like wind in the trees." It turned out to be a line of wagons that stretched for miles carrying wounded soldiers from the Battle of Gettysburg....
SOURCE: Atlanta-Journal Constitution (10-26-08)
He also collected books about Atlanta history and the history of black Americans, said his daughter, Bernadette Lambert of Powder Springs.
“He used to tell me, ‘I’m more of a historian than a journalist,’” said Mrs. Lambert. “He loved to talk about Atlanta history. You could sit down with him and learn a lot.”
Mr. Coleman, 86, of Atlanta, died Tuesday at Wesley Woods Hospice after a long battle with tonsil cancer. The funeral will be 11 a.m. Monday at St. Paul of the Cross Roman Catholic Church in Atlanta. Murray Brothers Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Coleman was an Atlanta native and graduated from Lincoln University of Missouri before returning to Atlanta to join the staff of the Atlanta Daily World.
SOURCE: http://www.atlanticfreepress.com (10-26-08)
Dr Sand argues that the idea of a Jewish nation – whose need for a safe haven was originally used to justify the founding of the state of Israel – is a myth invented little more than a century ago.
An expert on European history at Tel Aviv University, Dr Sand drew on extensive historical and archaeological research to support not only this claim but several more – all equally controversial.
In addition, he argues that the Jews were never exiled from the Holy Land, that most of today’s Jews have no historical connection to the land called Israel and that the only political solution to the country’s conflict with the Palestinians is to abolish the Jewish state.
The success of When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? looks likely to be repeated around the world. A French edition, launched last month, is selling so fast that it has already had three print runs.
Translations are under way into a dozen languages, including Arabic and English. But he predicted a rough ride from the pro-Israel lobby when the book is launched by his English publisher, Verso, in the United States next year.
In contrast, he said Israelis had been, if not exactly supportive, at least curious about his argument. Tom Segev, one of the country’s leading journalists, has called the book “fascinating and challenging”.
Surprisingly, Dr Sand said, most of his academic colleagues in Israel have shied away from tackling his arguments. One exception is Israel Bartal, a professor of Jewish history at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Writing in Haaretz, the Israeli daily newspaper, Dr Bartal made little effort to rebut Dr Sand’s claims. He dedicated much of his article instead to defending his profession, suggesting that Israeli historians were not as ignorant about the invented nature of Jewish history as Dr Sand contends.
The idea for the book came to him many years ago, Dr Sand said, but he waited until recently to start working on it. “I cannot claim to be particularly courageous in publishing the book now,” he said. “I waited until I was a full professor. There is a price to be paid in Israeli academia for expressing views of this sort.”...
SOURCE: AP (10-24-08)
He died on Wednesday of stomach cancer in Lincoln. He was 80.
Manley played guitar and sang folk songs. He also wrote books and essays, and lectured about historical events, places and, most importantly, people.
Manley, who had a 50-year-plus career as a teacher and historian, wrote at least 26 books.
He was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Chicago and play semi-pro baseball in Kansas, but he spent most of his life in Nebraska.
SOURCE: http://news.brynmawr.edu (10-23-08)
Ullman had been asked by Equality Forum, an international nonprofit that works toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights through educational outreach efforts, to co-chair its celebration of GLBT History Month. She and her co-chair, NYU Law School Professor Kenji Yoshino, compiled a list of 31 icons of GLBT history—one for each day of October— from a list of suggestions made by GLBT groups around the country. On the GLBT History Month Web site, each icon is represented by a short video describing her or his achievements and importance, with links to more information (to see the videos, visit the History Department news page).
It isn’t the sort of history Ullman usually practices as an academic. “I tend to avoid the ‘great person’ view of history,” she says. “I think focusing on individuals can obscure the larger forces that are at work in shaping the world. But the goal of GLBT History Month is to bring attention to a history that simply isn’t taught in most schools. There’s an urgency about the project because the general lack of knowledge about that history contributes to the prejudice and homophobia that still have a profound impact on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people.”
The 31 icons, Ullman says, “create an awareness that people in the national spotlight, people who are already loved and admired, are members of the GLBT community.”
The inclusion of several people on the 31-icons list is apt to be surprising to many people. But Ullman notes that there is no “outing” on the list: “All of the icons who are living approved the project and were happy to appear on the list,” she says.
As an example of the practical importance of history, Ullman offers the Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which held that laws forbidding individuals of the same sex to engage in intimate sexual conduct violate the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of personal liberty under the due-process clause. Lawrence explicitly overturned a case that had been decided by the Supreme Court just 17 years earlier. The Court’s opinion relied heavily on friend-of-the-court briefs submitted by historians.
“Those historians, many of whom I’ve worked with, gave the justices a more thorough understanding of the history of laws regarding sexuality,” Ullman says, “and that enabled them to see the issue in a different light.”
“History helps us create our sense of self as a community and a nation,” Ullman says. “We impoverish ourselves and our understanding of who we are and where we’ve been when we censor parts of it.”
“Excising gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people from history also makes it easier for those who would like to do so to strip us of our fundamental human rights, as proponents of California’s Proposition 8 propose to do,” Ullman says. “I don’t permit anyone to try to make me a second-class citizen on the grounds that I’m a lesbian. If history teaches us anything, it is that the struggle to secure human rights for everyone is very tough. Understanding the past is essential to that ongoing battle for social justice.”
Ullman will contribute to a student-led panel about gender and sexuality organized in honor of GLBT History Month this evening (Thursday, Oct. 23) from 5 to 6:30 p.m. in the Quita Woodward Room.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (10-25-08)
Academics will suggest that the extent of the feat of arms was massively exaggerated, with claims that the English were hugely outnumbered a lie.
More controversially still, they will say that the foreign invaders used numerous underhand tactics against an honourable enemy.
These included burning prisoners to death and setting 40 bloodthirsty royal bodyguards on to a single Gallic nobleman who had surrendered.
'There's been a distortion of the facts and this conference will attempt to set the record straight,' said Christophe Gilliot, a distinguished French historian who is director of the Medieval History Museum in Agincourt, where the conference will take place.
SOURCE: Caleb McDaniel at H-SHEAR (10-23-08)
H-SHEAR has commissioned seven distinguished scholars to write review essays on Howe's book that focus on their respective areas of expertise. Each Monday over the next seven weeks, one of these review essays will be posted to the list according to the schedule below. At the conclusion of the seven weeks, Professor Howe has graciously agreed to post a response to the entire forum. (Other book reviews will continue to appear irregularly throughout this eight-week period.)
SCHEDULE FOR FORUM ON _WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT_
Oct. 27: James Huston (Oklahoma State University) on Economic History
Nov. 3: Michael A. Morrison (Purdue University) on Political History
Nov. 10: David Henkin (University of California-Berkeley) on the "Communications Revolution"
Nov. 17: Mary Ryan (Johns Hopkins University) on Women's History
Nov. 24: James Taylor Carson (Queen's University) on Native American History
Dec. 1: Manisha Sinha (Massachusetts-Amherst) on Race, Slavery, and African American History
Dec. 8: Bertram Wyatt-Brown (Emeritus, Univ. of Florida) on Religion and Reform
Dec. 15: Daniel Walker Howe Responds
Our intention in publishing this forum serially is to invite your participation in it. We encourage subscribers to jump in each week and comment on the essays by our reviewers, who have also been invited to watch the discussion and contribute in an ongoing way to the forum.
Once all of the reviews and Professor Howe's response have been published to the list, the entire forum will be archived permanently on the Web, together with links to any discussion threads that begin on the list about the book and/or the reviews. Our hope is that this unique--and uniquely interactive--forum will then be of use to future scholars and students of the early American republic.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Howe and all of the reviewers who have agreed to participate in this forum, and to thank all the loyal readers of H-SHEAR for making the list such a collegial and stimulating context for intellectual exchange.
Co-Book Review Editor
SOURCE: LAT (10-23-08)
Boime, a faculty member at UCLA for more than 30 years, died Saturday of complications from a blood disorder at Kaiser Permanente hospital in Los Angeles, said his wife, Myra. He had been a longtime resident of Mar Vista.
In close to 20 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, Boime approached artworks as social documents, not simply artistic expressions, and demonstrated how artists are influenced by the historical events of their lifetime.
He went outside traditional research methods that evaluated one artwork in the context of others and looked for influences among an artist's teachers and the important art movements of the day.
"My work presents an alternative view and attempts to keep pace with the advancements made by social history," Boime said in a 1995 interview with the Rutgers Art Review.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (10-23-08)
The system was that the patronage secretary would take soundings at Cambridge and put forward two names to the PM, from which he or she would choose, but Gordon Brown changed that. As with the Bank of England, he devolved decision-making, and the university now makes the choice. So Professor Evans, the prolific and combative scholar of Nazi Germany, is the first academic to have won the position in open competition.
"This time the post was advertised," he says. "And there was a so-called advisory panel, to all intents and purposes an appointments committee, which was under instructions to submit one name of a person who had already accepted the job, so that Number 10 and Her Majesty would in effect simply ratify this choice."
So, Evans applied. On the panel was Cambridge's vice chancellor, Professor Alison Richard, and a group of other eminent academics, as well as historians from Yale, Harvard, Oxford and London. The panel selected a shortlist of four, each of whom was asked to give a presentation to the entire assembled history faculty.
Essentially, the applicants had to give a lecture on their research, their plans and their concept of the post, which dates back to 1724. The faculty then completed a questionnaire in which they were asked to list the 10 qualities that they thought were most important for the Regius Professor. As if that wasn't enough, there were feedback meetings where the presentations were discussed. Interviews followed. The shortlist of four was reduced to two – and finally Evans triumphed.
Gordon Brown should be pleased with the choice that Cambridge has made, if only because Evans is seen as left of centre. He is certainly no ordinary scholar. Not only has he written the massive three-volume history of the Third Reich, whose last volume is published this month in a felicitous coincidence of events, but he has got his hands dirty in the real world.
As the principal expert witness, he comprehensively demolished David Irving in the Holocaust denial libel trial of 2000, taking him to task for mistranslated documents, for using discredited testimony and for falsifying historical statistics. "Irving has fallen so far short of the standards of scholarship customary among historians that he does not deserve to be called a historian at all," Evans said at the time.
The presentations and papers of the Hirschman Prize ceremony and memorial conference in honor of Charles Tilly (Oct. 3-5, 2008) are now available online , including contributions from Craig Calhoun, Jack Goldstone, Ira Katznelson, Joan Scott, Bill Sewell, Sidney Tarrow, Immanuel Wallerstein, Lynn Eden, Viviana Zelizer, and others. At the memorial conference, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the Social Science History Association (SSHA) announced the creation of the Charles Tilly and Louise Tilly Fund for Social Science History .
Charles Tilly was one of the giants of social science and remains through his teaching, writing, and leadership a formative influence on the study of politics, social movements, inequality, states, French and British history, and historical social science in general. In recognition of his extraordinary achievements, Tilly was selected the winner of the 2008 Albert O. Hirschman Prize, awarded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) several weeks before his death on April 29th, 2008. Shortly after his death, the SSRC launched a web site of "Tributes to Charles Tilly" ( www.ssrc.org ), featuring essays by several of his close colleagues and former students and providing the opportunity to submit tributes online ( http://www.ssrc.org). The "Tributes to Charles Tilly" also include a page with "Annotated Links to Charles Tilly Resources" ( http://www.ssrc.org/essays/tilly/resources ), providing extensive information about Charles Tilly's life and work. Furthermore, there is a page listing the newspaper obituaries from around the world ( http://www.ssrc.org ). And as a prelude and pre-announcement of the conference, the SSRC published an interactive version of Charles Tilly's new article “Memorials to Credit & Blame” ( http://www.ssrc.org ).
SOURCE: Press Release (10-21-08)
Along with the other newsreels of the period, the Universal Newsreels preserved much of America’s cultural history during the mid-20th century. These films connected our grandparents and great-grandparents to the rest of the world as CNN does today. Thousands of these newsreel stories are available for research and viewing at the National Archives, but only Phillip W. Stewart has dedicated the time and resources to play detective and compile the details so these films are more accessible to the public. This first volume of “Projected History” details the newsreels from 1929-1930, and several more volumes are on their way.
For the first time, the Universal Newsreel story title, description, and availability are brought together into a single reference resource. The “Projected History” series will:
• Raise the awareness of this excellent historical documentary film resource.
• Provide a comprehensive catalog of all the known Universal Newsreel edited stories nationally released in the U.S.
• Present an annotated summary of each story.
• Identify those newsreel stories that still exist.
Most Americans are unaware that over 100,000 edited film titles in the National Archives exist. This newsreel collection is a forgotten treasure trove of Americana that Stewart is helping to retrieve. Stewart states he is writing the “Projected History” series: “out of a great appreciation for our country’s rich collection of motion picture recorded history and a desire to ensure that it is preserved and accessible for future generations. To see history as it actually happened is enlightening, instructive and often rather dramatic.”
Readers will enthusiastically agree. “Projected History” provides nostalgia and knowledge about the past. Stewart’s book is an invaluable resource to film buffs, world history scholars, genealogy aficionados and anyone interested in human-interest stories of the past. This first volume will lead to heavy anticipation of more volumes as Stewart continues to dig deep into the National Archives to extract more Universal newsreel treasures.
About the Author
Phillip W. Stewart was born and raised in southern California. He graduated from San Diego State University and served in the U.S. Air Force for twenty-one years. He spent his military service involved in TV/video production and multimedia management. He then opened his own video production company, worked as a TV producer-director for a university, managed a cable channel, and currently manages a multimedia facility for Uncle Sam. In his spare time, Mr. Stewart volunteers as a motion picture film researcher for the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and writes non-fiction aviation and film history books. He is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society, the League of World War I Aviation Historians, and the Military Writers Society of America. Along with his wife and two cats, he lives semi-quietly on the Emerald Coast of Florida.
“Projected History: A Catalog of the National Stories Produced by Universal Newsreel, Volume One, 1929-1930” (ISBN 9780979324383, pms press, 2008) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit www.pwstewart.com. Publicity contact: www.ReaderViews.com. Review copies available upon request.
SOURCE: Newsday (10-22-08)
Beschloss will receive the Empire State Archives and History Award from the New York State Archives Partnership Trust on Wednesday night in Albany.
Beschloss has written nine books on American presidents, including best sellers "Presidential Courage" and "The Conquerors." He's a regular commentator on news programs on NBC and PBS and also writes a column for Newsweek.
SOURCE: Ralph Luker at HNN blog, Cliopatria (10-18-08)
SOURCE: Phil Krone in the Clarion Ledger (10-21-08)
It began on Sept. 13, 2006, when you published a piece by regular contributing columnist and historian Robert S. McElvaine titled "Obama can bind nation's wounds," and it audaciously promoted Obama for president in 2008.
The very next day Dan Hynes, the highly respected Illinois state comptroller and Obama's leading opponent for the the U.S. Senate in 2004, called a press conference to announce that he was supporting Obama for president and released the text of the letter he sent Obama urging him to run. Hynes was the first public official in the United States to actually endorse - not suggest - an Obama candidacy.
In his letter to Obama, Hynes directly quoted from Professor McElvaine's column which I had e-mailed him, and also stated that his intention in asking Obama to run was specifically keyed to Obama's visit that coming weekend to Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's legendary annual steakfry where Obama was featured as the "principal guest and keynote speaker." When asked by reporters at the Harkin event to respond to Hynes' announcement of support, Obama said that he would now have to give consideration to the possibility, slightly modifying his earlier statements that he would not run. Five months later, in Springfield, Ill., Obama announced his candidacy for president.
Mississippi is often treated unfairly, getting listed as 49th or 50th of all the states in education, livability, etc. For me it's one of our most beautiful states - the Natchez Trace and Natchez itself are special highlights. And the great literary tradition of William Faulkner and Eudora Welty need not take second place to any other state.
It now appears probable that Obama will win the election, but regardless of who wins, I think it would be great for Mississippi to be in the Obama column, eradicating much of the South's past negativism associated with slavery and segregation and demonstrating that McElvaine's prophecy was indeed prophetic.
Three cheers for Mississippi and Obama!
SOURCE: Ron Radosh at his new blog at pajamasmedia.com (10-15-08)
Welcome to my new blog, which I hope will prove stimulating, provocative, entertaining and hopefully, will at times get many of you angry at me. I will be writing about current political events, history, ideas, books, articles, bluegrass and folk music, and whatever else interests me and will hopefully be interesting to readers.
Many of you may already know my work from the various books I have written, or the articles and reviews I have recently had in The Weekly Standard, National Review, Frontpagemag.com, and The New Republic. For a long time, I have wished that I had a blog, so that I could respond instantly to events and items that cross my desk. Now Pajamas Media has given me the opportunity, and I’m set to go.
I have been called many names—”neo-conservative,” which is how at one time I called myself, thinking primarily of my overall view of foreign policy issues. My adversaries have used harsher terms, such as “the far-right extremist historian,” “McCarthyite writer,” “extremist partisan,” and the like. These are some of the gentler characterizations. To those who ask, I tell them that I consider myself a centrist/right moderate, leaning to the positions taken by many conservatives. I differ with them, however, on many issues. While I respect the arguments of those who consider themselves pro-life, and favor a ban on partial birth abortions, I still favor what is generally called the right of a woman to choose. So when it comes to many social and cultural issues, I do not have the position espoused by many conservatives. Most recently, Marty Peretz, editor of The New Republic, has called me “the myth-busting historian.” That is, finally, a term I am rather content with.
So, I hope that in this blog, I will as time goes along come up with many other myths to bust.
Finally, although I use Ronald for my books and articles (too late to change that), for this blog, I am using Ron, which is what everyone I know calls me. Until next time,
SOURCE: Martin Kramer at his blog Sandbox (10-20-08)
But this seems like an opportune moment to flag my own writings on Khalidi, going back a number of years.
• "Dr. Rashid and Mr. Khalidi." On how Khalidi has varied his pitch according to audience—and, when interviewed on Al Jazeera, turns into a firebrand.
• "The Day the Rabbi Rescued Rashid." Khalidi has always taken care to cultivate a few Jewish supporters, and the late Arthur Hertzberg was one of them. Shows how they haven't a clue about what he really believes—and says.
• "Rashid Khalidi: Gaza blame-thrower." Hamas took over Gaza, so who's fault is that? Guess.
• "Unreal Rashid." Dissects Khalidi's 2005 interview with the Radical History Journal. "They are political," he says of the right, "and we're not political"—he tells his fellow radical historians.
• "Radical Rashid." Khalidi finds the University of Chicago Law School faculty "extremely conservative"—even though the ratio of Democrats to Republicans there is 7 to 1.
• "Philistine at Columbia." Considers a speech in which Khalidi indicted America's universities—including disciplines he knows nothing about, such as medicine and agriculture—for failing to "challenge the reigning orthodoxies in their fields."
• "The rise and fall of the third-rate." Khalidi complains about "Uncle Toms" in Middle Eastern studies.
As I said, I have no inside information on the Obama-Khalidi connection. But I did note this statement by Obama, when pressed on Khalidi:
I do know him [Khalidi] because I taught at the University of Chicago [where Khalidi taught prior to his Columbia appointment—MK]. And he is Palestinian. And I do know him and I have had conversations. He is not one of my advisors; he's not one of my foreign policy people. His kids went to the Lab School where my kids go as well. He is a respected scholar, although he vehemently disagrees with a lot of Israel's policy.To which I would ask the candidate in response: What aspect of his "scholarship" do you respect?