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: NYT (10-2-10)
The litany of problems plaguing the games — collapsed footbridges, filthy dorms, cartoonish corruption — have not only made headlines around the world. They have left Indians to wonder why a country so promising in so many regards is incapable of organizing a signature event when the eyes of the world are focused on it....
“You see the mismanagement all around,” said Jaya Kakkar, a professor of history at the Shyam Lal College of Delhi University. “There is no accountability. Every day they say all is well, but all is not well. We are paying for all this, and this is what we are getting? These games have become a national shame.”...
SOURCE: HNN Staff (10-3-10)
Many media outlets have noted that John C. Cutler, the late doctor who led the U.S. Public Health Service syphilis experiment on Guatemalan inmates and later participated in the Tuskegee experiment, defended the latter well into the 1990s, most famously for a 1993 PBS Nova documentary entitled The Deadly Deception.
Cutler: The Tuskegee study has been grossly misunderstood and misrepresented this way. And the fact was that it was concern for the black community, trying to set the stage for the best public health approach possible and the best therapy, that led to the study being carried out….
We were dealing with a very important study that was going to have the long-term results of which were actually to improve the quality of care for the black community so that these individuals were actually contributing to the work towards the improvement of the health of the black community rather than simply serving as merely guinea pigs for the study. And of course I was bitterly opposed to killing off the study for obvious reasons.
A graduate of Western Reserve University Medical School, Cutler joined the Public Health Service in 1942. His service at the Public Health Veneral Disease Research Laboratory, his obituary blandly notes, "led to his appointment to head a venereal disease research program of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau in Guatemala in 1948."
In fact, Cutler was involved with the project when it began in 1946. The PHS, along with the National Institutes of Health, the aforementioned Pan American Sanitary Bureau and the Guatemalan government, selected prisoners, mental patients, and soldiers to deliberately infect with syphilis (often with the assistance of prostitutes). Unlike in Tuskegee, the subjects of this experiment received doses of penicillin after they were infected, but it is not clear whether all of the subjects were cured. "The PHS," wrote Susan Reverby, the Wellesley College professor who discovered the records of the experiment, "was aware... that this was a study that would raise ethical questions."
Cutler's wife, Eliese Cutler, assisted her husband in the administration of the experiment. "She 'got to know the patients and helped keep things straight,' while also photographing them and the inoculations for the record."
Cutler joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in 1967 as a professor of international health, serving as acting dean from 1968-1969. He left teaching in 1985, but remained a frequent presence at Pitt until his death in 2003. The GSPH sponsored a John C. Cutler Memorial Lecture in Public Health from 2007-2008. Eliese Cutler is listed as a donor in the $5,000-$9,999 to the GSPH.
"He was a pioneer who had firsthand experiences of living and working in the Third World," said a colleague of his after his death.
SOURCE: NYT (10-1-10)
From 1946 to 1948, American public health doctors deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalans — prison inmates, mental patients and soldiers — with venereal diseases in what was meant as an effort to test the effectiveness of penicillin.
American tax dollars, through the National Institutes of Health, even paid for syphilis-infected prostitutes to sleep with prisoners, since Guatemalan prisons allowed such visits. When the prostitutes did not succeed in infecting the men, some prisoners had the bacteria poured onto scrapes made on their penises, faces or arms, and in some cases it was injected by spinal puncture.
If the subjects contracted the disease, they were given antibiotics....
SOURCE: Examiner.com (10-2-10)
Cutler, the government physician, would also take part in the equally abhorrent US government sponsored Tuskegee Syphilis Study.
Do you think Cutler was just a rogue doctor performing dangerous experiments on unsuspecting foreigners in another land? Though clearly Cutler agreed with the goals of the experiments he certainly wasn’t alone in this. At least two agencies under the Truman administration were direct co-sponsors in this dastardly deed; in addition to the PHS, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was involved and the global health organization, Pan American Health Organization....
SOURCE: News Blaze (10-2-10)
Reverby's book, "Examining Tuskegee," published in November 2009, illuminated the facts and myths about a 40-year, mid-20th-century research project by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) that left hundreds of African-American men with late stage syphilis untreated and deceived about their disease.
Once Reverby got around to writing up her historical analysis about a 60-year-old medical research study in Guatemala, undertaken between 1946 and 1948, much to her astonishment the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the State Department and even the White House all became involved.
What followed was an apology from the highest levels of government. On Friday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offered extensive apologies for actions taken by the U.S. Public Health Service....
After writing the paper delivered at the American Association of the History of Medicine annual meeting last spring, Reverby shared her work with David Sencer, a retired director of the CDC, whom she had interviewed for the Tuskegee book. Recognizing the critical nature of her report, Sencer asked if she would allow current CDC officials to see it ahead of publication. Reverby agreed.
Sensitive to what is now considered inappropriate and immoral research, CDC officials sent a leading syphilis specialist to see the archival material. The subsequent report backed up Reverby's findings. A case review is being organized to see if people involved in the study, and their contacts, are still alive. If so, they may have passed on the disease....
SOURCE: Deutsche Welle (9-30-10)
Philip D. Zelikow worked on German reunification as a senior National Security Council official under President George H.W. Bush. Together with Condoleezza Rice, he is the author of"Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft (1995)." Zelikow also served as executive director of the 9/11 Commission and as the top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He is currently the White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia.
Deutsche Welle: While most German politicians up to the fall of the Berlin Wall rhetorically supported the principle of reunification, few believed it would ever happen in their lifetime. Before things started to unravel in Eastern Europe, did you and other US officials believe Germany would be peacefully united in your lifetime?
Philip Zelikow: By the spring of 1989 several of us had come to believe that this was possible. And therefore we urged in writing that the older President Bush put the unification of Germany high on the agenda and spotlight the issue as a topic that we should look at and consider. And that then led to a series of statements, made both by President Bush and then later Chancellor Kohl in the spring and summer of 1989. President Bush stated again and again before the fall of the Berlin Wall that he supported German reunification and would be glad to see it. In the context of the increasing instability in Eastern Europe those comments had quite an impact in Germany and Western Europe.
Going even further back, would you have thought German reunification was possible prior to 1985?
I thought it unlikely. I think when I was a serving diplomat working in places like the Arms Control Talks in the mid 1980s we were resigned to the fact that Europe was going to remain divided for the foreseeable future. We thought that was tragic. By the end of 1988 several prominent people including Prime Minister Thatcher in Britain were happily declaring that the Cold War was over. That was not my view. Because I believe the Cold War did not end just when you had a divided Europe in which there was an understanding, in other words, a sort of modus Vivendi of Europe that could stably be divided....
SOURCE: Psychology Today (9-29-10)
In this book, he first introduced the idea that the biblical Onan's sin was masturbation, even though most close readers of the biblical text know Onan's actual sin was a failure to impregnate his dead brother's wife (as mandated by Jewish law)--specifically, coitus interruptus.
The book became a hit, and Marten, now fancying himself a "surgeon," quickly capitalized on his luck by selling remedies for the ills of masturbation. Con men are, above all, great capitalists, as we have all re-learned recently in the U.S....
SOURCE: Fox News (10-1-10)
Susan Reverby, a women's studies professor at Wellesley College, published a paper detailing the joint research program between the U.S. and Guatemalan governments. From 1946-1948, doctors enabled men in prison to be infected with syphilis by allowing prostitutes carrying the disease to visit them. From there, they studied inoculation techniques. The tests, which also involved mental hospital patients, involved nearly 700 subjects, according to the study....
SOURCE: NYT (10-1-10)
Jurors took half a day to find the son, Raphael Haim Golb, a 50-year-old real estate lawyer, guilty on 30 of 31 counts, including identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment....
Prosecutors contended that Mr. Golb had established e-mail accounts pretending to be Lawrence H. Schiffman, the N.Y.U. professor, and sent messages to university officials making a fabricated admission of plagiarism.
Mr. Golb testified that the e-mails were merely parodies, but he maintained that he did believe Professor Schiffman had plagiarized from his father, Norman Golb. Professor Schiffman denied those accusations....