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: University World News (2-27-11)
The Ministry of Public Administration and Justice has been instructed to draft legislation on how to return the files relating to secret service investigations stored in the archive of Hungarian State Security....
A petition of international historians with 1,215 signatures, undertaken by several historical societies, aims to persuade the government to reconsider.
Following the announcement of the decision, archivists and historians from the international Network for Concerned Historians and the UK's Royal Historical Society protested that the plan not only contradicts current legislation governing Hungary's archives and European Union conventions, but is unprecedented in the history of modern archives.
Colin Jones, President of the Royal Historical Society, said: "The threat to the national archives in Hungary...is of real concern to all historians. The principle behind it seems a real threat to archival integrity."...
SOURCE: National Review (2-19-11)
Thomas Jefferson, however, gave the office much more of a populist flavor, says historian Gordon Wood. “He saw himself as speaking for the people; I don’t think Washington saw it that way at all,” Wood observes. Unlike Washington, who held weekly levees reminiscent of those held by European courts, “Jefferson really threw all that out and opened himself to the people” — sometimes answering the White House’s door in his slippers....
By saving the American experiment, Lincoln allowed a future president, Theodore Roosevelt, to turn an agrarian republic into a world power. “Roosevelt made the presidency into the office of an international statesman,” says historian Edmund Morris, who recently released the final installment of his three-volume biography of the 26th president.
Roosevelt succeeded in this effort largely because of his cosmopolitan personality. He had four grand tours of Europe before serving as president, spoke German and French fluently, and boasted an enormous range of international acquaintances. “The climax of his presidency was the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906, which he got for mediating the end of the Russo–Japanese war,” Morris notes. “To date, he’s the only president who’s ever been asked to mediate a foreign war.”...
SOURCE: Hampton Roads Pilot Online (2-23-11)
In Virginia, tourism officials are quick to mention the state's wine country and the 200 wineries that quantify the designation.
Now the General Assembly, with urging from the state's wine board, has passed a bill that its sponsors say will help "Virginia's burgeoning hard cider industry."...
Sarah Meacham, an assistant professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University who wrote a book on cider, said cidering in Virginia, and specifically in Hampton Roads, dates back to the 1600s.
Unlike in New England, Virginia's cities and towns were too far apart to create concentrated markets to trade the ingredients for beer. Plus, the warmer temperatures here didn't favor beer-making.
Instead, colonists took advantage of the bountiful apples and pressed cider. Then they drank it. Lots of it. Lots and lots and lots of cider.
That was especially true in this area, where cider was cleaner, tastier and healthier than the water. While Meacham can't prove it, she believes cider was a key factor in keeping colonists alive....
SOURCE: Center for History and New Media (2-23-11)
Roy Rosenzweig (1959-2007) was professor of history and founder of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.
SOURCE: Daily Mail (UK) (2-19-11)
Despite gathering a host of pre-Oscar awards — including a clutch of Baftas last week — and a staggering 12 nominations for the big night itself, a whispering campaign is spreading across Hollywood that appears to be aimed at derailing the film’s runaway success.
Emails have been dropping into the inboxes of some of the nearly 6,000 Academy Awards voters suggesting that the tongue-tied King George VI was anti-Semitic and supported the idea of keeping Jews fleeing from Germany in 1939 out of the safe haven of Palestine....
Two books recently published — Royals and the Reich by Professor Jonathan Petropoulos and Royal Flourish by the late Christopher Rubinstein — also question Bertie’s involvement with the Nazi Deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, who flew to Britain in 1941 in a bid to make peace....
According to 20th-century British history expert Tom MacDonnell: ‘George VI was haunted by the memory of the Great War and had been an enthusiastic supporter of (Prime Minister) Chamberlain’s appeasement policies.
‘Repeatedly, he offered to make his own appeal to Hitler, sharing with his brother the Duke of Windsor the idea that kings and princes still had a meaningful part to play in diplomacy — as if nothing had happened to the map of Europe since 1914 when the Continent had been the private domain of royal cousins.’...
SOURCE: HNN Staff (2-23-11)
Edward H. Sebesta, co-editor of The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader (University Press of Mississippi, 2010) and Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction (University of Texas Press, 2008), is soliciting co-signers for a letter to be mailed to President Obama on May 1, 2011, requesting that he cease allowing the United Daughters of the Confederacy to sponsor awards at U.S. service academies.
Mr. Sebesta describes the UDC as “one of the oldest and most powerful neo-Confederate organizations, [with] a long history of opposition to the values of a multiracial democratic United States of America.” He also notes that “[i]n recent years the UDC has promoted the neo-Confederate Southern Partisan magazine… [and] authors in UDC publications continue to correct what they state are American “misconceptions” about the horrors of slavery.”
The letter also calls upon the president to cease sending a wreath to the Confederate monument at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. You can read the full version here.
Mr. Sebesta is also the author a letter sent to President Obama requesting an end to federal recognition of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, published by the History News Network in May 2010.
SOURCE: Reason (3-1-11)
Such liberties shocked the more respectable classes, including the Founding Fathers; in what one historian calls “a counterrevolution against the pleasure culture of the cities,” the young country’s leaders called for new restrictions on disreputable recreations. Soon there were crackdowns on illicit sex, tighter controls on divorce, and a booming network of anti-vice groups that “targeted gambling houses, brothels, dance halls, and lower-class taverns.”
The historian speaking is Thaddeus Russell, 45, a professor at Occidental College and the author of a provocative and engaging new book, A Renegade History of the United States (Free Press). The book’s title deliberately echoes A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn’s retelling of the American story from a New Left perspective. But Russell’s book takes a rather different vantage point, celebrating the prostitutes who seized new freedoms for women, the gangsters whose gay bars opened spaces for same-sex liaisons, the lower-class Birmingham blacks who threw bricks at racist cops, and the consumer revolution that expanded American pleasures. And while Russell is a man of the left, more or less, he doesn’t have many kind words for the traditional pantheon of liberal heroes. One chapter of his book attacks Franklin Roosevelt for cartelizing the economy and regimenting the culture. Another highlights the puritanical side of Martin Luther King, who “called for blacks to stop drinking and gambling and to curtail their desires for luxuries.” Even the ’60s counterculture gets a mixed review, with Russell finding an ascetic strain in a movement more famous for its hedonism....
reason: One of your themes is that the outlaw classes tend to be invisible not just in mainstream histories but on the left.
Thaddeus Russell: Traditionally, history was written about elite white males, an approach that critics called history “from the top down.” With the New Left in the 1960s and ’70s, scholars started writing history with a new class of heroes, who they claimed were the bottom of society. That is now known as history “from the bottom up.” But as a graduate student and as a professor, I was always skeptical about that. Those heroes didn’t really seem to be at the bottom of society. The way they spoke and their aspirations were very much in line with the 19th-century middle class.
I began as a labor historian. I started out as a fairly orthodox Marxist-inspired intellectual. But the more I researched labor unions, and later civil rights leaders and feminist leaders, the more I found that they talked just like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller and Thomas Edison and George Washington. They urged, and in some ways forced, their constituencies to adopt Victorian sexual repressions, to adopt the Puritan work ethic, to speak in proper English and avoid slang, to show propriety at all times, to dress respectfully, and the rest. Then I began to look down further, at what they were worried about among their constituencies, and a whole new world opened up to me.
reason: Your book draws heavily on existing historical work. So bottom-up historians were already beginning to reach further down.
Russell: Absolutely. There’s been a whole wealth of literature focusing on the same people I do. Especially since the mid-’90s, when younger scholars—people who were born after the New Left—started to go into the academy. People who are now in their 30s and 40s have had similar curiosities. They still are essentially wedded to a left-liberal politics. But nonetheless, they have looked in the right places....
SOURCE: Seattle PI (2-20-11)
President Theodore Roosevelt used the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate a Grand Canyon National Monument, as well as an Olympic National Monument to protect a species of elk that now bears his name.
"Monuments Could Be Blocked in Senate Bill," said a recent release from Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho....
Lands that began as national monuments -- e.g. Grand Canyon, Olympic, Death Valley -- are now numbered among our greatest national parks. Up north, Katmai and Glacier Bay were national monuments until the 1980 Alaska Lands Act expanded both and made these wonderlands national parks....
"National monuments are usually way stations to national parks, places so popular that they became national parks: They are national treasures and huge economic engines," said Douglas Brinkley, author of a bestseller on Theodore Roosevelt and a new book, "The Quiet World," on efforts to control land exploitation in Alaska and stave off species extinction.
"In an America filled with lobby groups and selfish agendas, you can't just save a place for one presidency," Brinkley added....
"Sponsors of efforts to curb Presidential authority under the Antiquties Act are some of the same people in Congress who promote executive power in other realms," Brinkley notes....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-20-11)
Broadcaster Schama, 66, who is Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, also made no secret of his fears for what lies ahead for the study of the arts and humanities in British universities.
He said he had deep misgivings about the proposed new financial regimen for higher education.
Schama said he was uneasy that "sciences and subjects, which seem to be on a utilitarian measure useful, have retained their state funding, while the arts and humanities are being stripped of theirs."...
In a thinly veiled attack on PM David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg, Schama said: "It behoves those people who were themselves educated at places like Westminster, and Eton - or in my case, Haberdashers' - to understand the damage that you can do to British culture by making it essentially a wealthy pursuit."
He also slammed some fellow academics, adding: "You have to work very hard to make history boring, and there are plenty of people in the institutions who do a brilliant job of making it boring....
SOURCE: Korea Times (2-16-11)
Michael Rubin, resident fellow of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI), indicated that the difference probably reflects that compared with China, the North is relatively safe from the impact of the unrest sweeping the Arab world....
Rubin pointed his finger at China as the nation that could be most affected by the unrest in the Arab world.
“China should be very worried. The wealth discrepancy is huge between the coastal cities and the inland villages. Inflation is gaining steam.”
His remarks came against the backdrop of the economic roots of the Egyptian unrest, including deep income disparity and high unemployment among young people.
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, observed the Chinese authorities were well aware of the dynamism of popular protests from their own history: the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
“In the 1989 protests that were crushed by the army, inflation and anger over corruption were important factors in getting students and others out onto the streets,” the professor said in an email interview with The Korea Times.
Wasserstrom, the author of the book “China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (2010),” noted the urban protests of the mid-to-late 1940s would be an even better parallel in Chinese history....
SOURCE: Haaretz (2-21-11)
Who is behind the demonstrations in Libya? Who forms the opposition to Gadhafi?
I attach great importance to the hatred and antagonism that exists between the two parts of that country - between the region of Cyrenaica which covers a little more than one half of the area of Libya and has Benghazi as its capital, and the region of Tripolitania with its capital, Tripoli. The focus of the unrest is in Cyrenaica where they still remember that Gadhafi overthrew King Idris I who was born in the region....
SOURCE: Columbia Missourian (2-21-11)
“Bill Taft was a man who cared deeply about the craft of journalism and cared deeply about the school,” said Professor Emeritus George Kennedy, a former student and colleague at the Missouri School of Journalism. “He knew his material well and insisted that you master it.”
Taft, credited with teaching more than 10,000 students in a career as a journalism educator that spanned 25 years, died Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at Lenoir Woods. He was 95.
Taft first came to the Missouri School of Journalism in 1956. Brian Brooks, associate dean, said that Taft influenced two or three generations of Missouri journalism students “in a very positive way.”...
SOURCE: Spectator (UK) (2-22-11)
It's sometimes said that the British, unlike the French and the Americans, mistrust public intellectuals. But the careers of Richard Dawkins, A. J. Ayer, Bertrand Russell and A.J.P. Taylor say otherwise. Even the truly odious Hugh Trevor-Roper was more loved than feared. Why, then, is Ferguson reviled rather than revered?
Naturally, envy plays its part. Basking in the bright lights of New York was never going to endear him to Britain’s mustier or grasping academes. But envy is only a constituent of contempt. Ferguson's style is bumptious. He carries himself with the brash deportment of a nabob – a self-regarding parvenu who has absolute certainty in the merit of each and every one of his opinions.
SOURCE: The Browser (2-21-11)
You were among the distinguished historians invited to advise President Obama during his first year in office. Do you believe that the stories of past presidencies contain clues to solving the problems of the present?
As a historian, I think that being aware of the what’s occurred in the past—what’s worked in the past, what hasn’t worked in the past—does provide some guidance for the present.
Well then, let’s get to the books! First, you picked Washington, by Douglas Freeman. Why does this work make your list?
It’s the closest thing we have to a definitive account of Washington’s life. Freeman was a fan—there is no doubt about that. He was a Virginian, and he identified with the greatest Virginian in history. It was a labour of love. Freeman was a full-time journalist; he was the editor of a paper in Richmond, VA. Nonetheless, he found time to write seven volumes on Washington. I won’t say that the facts speak entirely for themselves in Freeman’s work; he marshals the facts, but he mainly writes from the perspective that the more we know, the more we’ll understand the great man. If you have the time and the leisure, it’s the best way to get to know Washington....
SOURCE: Hurriyet Daily News (2-20-11)
Professor Donald Quataert, one of the world’s leading Ottoman historians, passed away earlier this month at the age of 69 from prostate cancer. He nurtured many students of Ottoman history, influenced the study of labor history in the Ottoman Empire and added to the controversy over the events of 1915 in Eastern Anatolia.
Quataert was born in Rochester, New York, and acquired a reputation as a prodigious reader even as a child. His initial introduction to Turkey occurred in 1960-61 when he helped build a radar station for General Dynamics in Samsun, Turkey. The job influenced his approach to Ottoman history and he focused on looking at “history from below,” studying the lives of ordinary people....
SOURCE: Bermuda Sun (2-16-11)
The contradictory experiences of slaves during the 17th and 18th centuries were discussed during a seminar by Bermudian historian Dr. Clarence Maxwell yesterday.
The talk to more than 70 people at Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, was given to celebrate Black History Month and organized by Business Bermuda....
African slaves began to arrive in Bermuda from 1619. As the diaspora spread through the Caribbean, Dr. Maxwell said the region’s maritime commercial revolution was powered through trading activities of these enslaved merchants.
Both men and women were involved, selling goods to sailors from the shore or sailing to other island communities.
In 1623 an Act “to restrayne the insolencies of the Negroes” was passed in Bermuda, preventing blacks from engaging in business activities without permission from their masters.
Dr. Maxwell said: “The owners of property were realizing slaves were actually working on the tobacco farms and selling tobacco to the ships.
“The law aimed to prevent this type of activity from happening.”...
SOURCE: New Zealand Herald (2-16-11)
She was 70 years old and died at her home in Auckland late last night, Radio New Zealand reported.
Dame Judith nearly died after being hit by a truck while crossing Princes St in Auckland in December 2009. She suffered serious head injuries but was thought to have made a good recovery.
Dame Judith was one of New Zealand's most renowned historians. She was Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Auckland and was a pioneer of oral history in New Zealand. Her approach was described as "history in the round", which involved consideration of the landscape and listening to people speak about their experiences....
SOURCE: Newsweek (2-13-11)
The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.
Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity … and missed it completely.
In Bismarck’s case it was not so much God’s coattails he caught as the revolutionary wave of mid-19th-century German nationalism. And he did more than catch it; he managed to surf it in a direction of his own choosing. The wave Obama just missed—again—is the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy. It has surged through the region twice since he was elected: once in Iran in the summer of 2009, the second time right across North Africa, from Tunisia all the way down the Red Sea to Yemen. But the swell has been biggest in Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country.
In each case, the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave, Bismarck style, by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail. In the case of Iran, he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. This time around, in Egypt, it was worse. He did both—some days exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, other days drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.”
The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted. The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness....
SOURCE: Times of India (2-15-11)
Dozens of youths guided by social organisation Eco-Pro thronged the monument in the graveyard of the Gond dynasty on Valentine's Day and paid tributes at the majestic memorial of love. Built in early 18th century, this is the only memorial known to be built by a queen as a tribute to her loving husband....
Professor of history Viday Vaidya explained that Rani Hirai is a symbol of ideal love. "By building the mausoleum of her husband, she immortalised her love for her husband. It is the only monument any queen has built in memory of her husband," she said. Vaidya stressed that youths should follow the ideals in Indian history instead of running blindly after western Valentine's Day traditions. Bandu Dhotre said that the programme was organised at this monument of love to give a better direction to the youths spoiling Indian culture through crude Valentine's Day celebrations.
SOURCE: Pravda (2-15-11)
Until 1878 the territory of Bosnia was a part of the Ottoman Empire, and Croats (along with Serbs) were the oppressed minority. Then this land became a part of Austria-Hungary, and there was no unity in the ranks of the Croats. Some of them along with the Serbs fought to create a single Yugoslavia state, while others, in contrast, had anti-Serbian attitudes. After 1918, Bosnia became a part of the future Yugoslavia controlled by a Serbian king. That was when the Croats, along with Muslims, expressed their discontent.
During World War II, Bosnia became a part of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) that allied with the Nazi. Croatian Ustashi along with the Muslims organized retaliatory attacks on Serbs who responded with violence. However, there were those among Muslims who were dissatisfied with the Croatian dominance as they remembered that once they were the dominant nation. Therefore, it would be an exaggeration to consider the Croats and Muslims to be the half-brothers in the fight against the Serbs....
Will the Croats seek the status of the national unity, which will certainly be opposed by the Muslims? Is BiH close to another war? Vadim Prozorov, Associate Professor of History Department of the Moscow State University, commented on the words of the President of Croatia, the situation of the Bosnian Croats and the general state of affairs in today's Bosnia and Herzegovina for Pravda.ru:
"Dayton Accords established an abnormal situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina that has not changed and that can only be changed by a miracle. Strictly speaking, this is what drew the attention of the president Josipovic. However, there is no real infringement of Croats in BiH. Dayton Accords took into account their interests, as much as their interests can be taken into account in this very ugly public union....
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coalition for History (2-14-11)
Recently, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero marked his first year in office and many of the initiatives he began since taking the helm are starting to bear fruit. Last summer, Ferriero created a staff task force to draft a plan for the “transformation” of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Ferriero recently unveiled Charting the Course, the reorganization plan for “reinventing” the National Archives.
Throughout the development of the plan, Mr. Ferriero emphasized that his goal for the transformation of the National Archives was much more than merely reorganization. Ferriero has made clear that if all reorganization does is to redraw the organizational chart without making a profound change in NARA’s underlying culture improvements will only be incremental, not transformational. In releasing the plan, Ferriero stated, “This is not a ‘rearrangement of the deck chairs,’ but a bold new way of positioning ourselves to face the future.”
The NARA reorganization plan can be seen at: http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/charting-the-course.pdf
SOURCE: Dissent Magazine (2-15-11)
The “F” word (feminism) has been revived in academic and literary discourse with Stephanie Coontz’s A Strange Stirring, a widely publicized book that considers the intent and impact of Betty Friedan’s iconic The Feminine Mystique. Like other critics, Coontz claims that Friedan’s book should not be credited with starting the women’s movement, suggesting it would have happened anyway. She also faults her for being “elitist,” focusing on the lives of middle-class women, and neglecting the situations of working-class women and women of color. Because Coontz’s perspective is not uncommon, it is worth reviewing Friedan’s contributions to social change in America.
Coontz, like other writers who do not distance themselves from the term “feminist” and who (sometimes grudgingly) acknowledge that Friedan did play a role in achieving greater women’s equality, somehow feels that The Feminine Mystique was deficient. It was “only” an analysis of the despair felt by housewives isolated in domestic roles after the Second World War and “contained no call for women to band together to improve their legal and political rights.” In interviews with women who read Friedan’s book when it came out in 1963, Coontz heard of how much it “changed their lives,” how Friedan connected their private distress to a larger social problem. She gives Friedan credit for arguing that this problem needed to be addressed by education, work, and community involvement, and for providing “the clinching piece of evidence…that they had indeed been the target of a massive and cynical campaign to erase the feminist aspirations of the 1920s and turn women into mindless consumers.” But she faults her for not mentioning marital rape, abortion, sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and issues faced by African-American women.
But to assume that the book should have been a manifesto for the women’s movement is ridiculous and wrongheaded. Its purpose was to shed light on the “mental health crisis” middle-class women faced because of their entrapment in roles as housewives and mothers, and to expose the rationalizations of these “functional” roles as necessary for social stability in social science analysis (particularly the work of Talcott Parsons). To fault her for not writing a book that prescribed wide social change is foolish. It raised the consciousness of millions of readers and gave Friedan the visibility required for her to begin building a movement. The notion that she was not pivotally important in creating one of the largest movements ever for social change in the United States, and indeed the world, points to the lack of respect and recognition women leaders face, even on the part of their own constituencies. It also shows ignorance of the context and the history of the movement....
SOURCE: WSJ (2-12-11)
...[H]erein lies the most troubling flaw of [Dominic Sandbrook's "Mad As Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right" one that won't be apparent to the casual reader. It's only by consulting the book's footnotes that one discovers, by looking inside the books he cites, that Mr. Sandbrook shamelessly and repeatedly cannibalizes the work of others, offering what could be generously called a 400-page mash-up of previous histories of the 1970s.
Take this passage, where Mr. Sandbrook, in vivid prose, describes the 1976 bicentennial celebration in Boston: "As the orchestra reached the climax of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, the church bells pealed, howitzers thundered, fireworks sent shards of color wheeling through the sky, and red, white, and blue geysers burst from a fireboat behind the Hatch shell."
These aren't Mr. Sandbrook's words but two sentences grafted together—one from a 1976 Time magazine article ("As the orchestra reached the climax of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, howitzers boomed, church bells pealed"), the other from J. Anthony Lukas's "Common Ground" ("geysers of red, white, and blue water burst from a fireboat behind the band shell")—with a bit of strategic re-editing. Both sources are named in the book's footnotes, but in the text the sentence is passed off as the author's own....
Mr. Sandbrook, an Oxford-trained historian, knows better. After all, it wasn't long ago that, reviewing Jon Wiener's "Historians in Trouble," a book on academic misconduct, he upbraided a historian for "ignor[ing] the codes and courtesies of historical scholarship."
Writing a tedious and unoriginal book is excusable. Recycling the phrasing, the descriptive adjectives, the reportorial detail of other historians—in other words, ignoring the codes and courtesies of historical scholarship—isn't.
SOURCE: WaPo (2-14-11)
But a new biography portrays the first lady as willful and combative in her relationship with her husband and his top advisers. She waged “a battle to retain control over her responsibilities,” writes Mary C. Brennan in “Pat Nixon: Embattled First Lady,” due out next month from the University Press of Kansas. “She found herself engaged in almost constant warfare with her husband and some of his advisors . . . and she refused to give up without a fight.”...
SOURCE: Mineweb.net (2-14-11)
Hastening the decline of Western economic and ideological hegemony is the recent financial crisis which has seen the levels of public debt held by the developed (and developing) world, rise to unsustainable levels. Cumulatively, public debt levels now top $41.2trn, according to the Economist magazine, with Japan and the US bearing the lions share. In the US, public debt as a share of GDP will soon pass 80% and will reach 100% within the decade, a level not reached since the second world war. "There are few bigger problems than this," Ferguson told the assembled audience of miners and financiers at Cape Town's recent Mining Indaba.
Addressing this debt through the normal mechanisms of cutting expenditure or raising taxes is not that simple. To stabilise its debt to GDP ratios Japan would have to make fiscal adjustments to the tune of 9% of GDP. The US needs to do 8%, and has achieved 3% so far, according to the OECD. Reducing it further would require unpopular levels of fiscal responsibility....
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (2-11-11)
Thomas DiLorenzo, a Loyola professor since 1992, was in Washington on Wednesday to testify at a House subcommittee hearing on the Federal Reserve Bank. But Rep. William Lacy Clay, a Democrat from St. Louis, quickly raised questions about DiLorenzo's ties to the League of the South, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center....
DiLorenzo rebutted the claim in a post on LewRockwell.com, an anti-big-government website, saying that he had merely delivered lectures on Civil War economics at the invitation of professors affiliated with the League of the South. He said he gave the lectures 13 years ago....