On Other Websites: Archives October 2001 through May 2002
An Ominous Reversal on Gun Rights (NYT)
Using a footnote in a set of Supreme Court briefs, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced a radical shift last week in six decades of government policy toward the rights of Americans to own guns.
The Future of War and the American Military
Demography, technology, and the politics of modern empire
Our Past, Cobwebs and All
History is messy. Why tidy up a museum devoted to it?
Remembering the Heroes
The guns fell silent long ago, but interest in World War II remains strong.
Seniors Don't Have Basic Grasp of History (NYT)
More than half of America's high school seniors do not have even the most basic grasp of U.S. history, showing no improvement in a nationwide test since 1994.
A Time to Change
Atlantic articles from the past forty years have considered the troubles and the institutional weaknesses plaguing the Catholic Church.
Kaiser Wilhelm's Germany Had Plan to Take New York
Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm had drawn up detailed plans in 1900 for an invasion of the United States centered on attacks on New York City and Boston, according to documents in a military archive published on Thursday.
Except for that 10 pages . . .
The MobyLives.com website reports that after months of silence from Stephen Ambrose, during which time numerous instances of plagiarism continued to be discovered in several of his books, and barely a week after it was revealed that he was suffering from lung cancer, the embattled author has finally commented at some length on the plagiarism charges.
Nixon Archives Portray Another 'War' on Terror
The response to '72 massacre and '73 Mideast War has many echoes in Bush Administration's challenges.
New Details Emerge From the Einstein Files (NYT)
The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover's Secret War Against the World's Most Famous Scientist, by Fred Jerome, reveals pursuit of Einstein by the FBI.
The Disappearing History Term Paper
Here’s a look at what passes for high-quality student writing about history these days.
Back to the Future
The proposed solution to the crisis in the Middle East is predicated on one notion: the return of the West Bank and all the other lands occupied by Israel after June 10, 1967. However, let us not forget what was occurring in 1967.
Writing Old Wrongs
Terence Smith reports on how The Clarion-Ledger newspaper of Jackson, Miss. prompted the reinvestigation of more than a dozen civil rights-era crimes.
Eric L. McKitrick, 82, Historian and Writer, Dies (NYT)
Dr. McKitrick was a Columbia University historian who chronicled the evolution of the American republic, and was best known for his Andrew Jackson and Reconstruction (1960), reissued by Oxford University Press in 1988. He was also the co-author, with Stanley Elkins, of The Age of Federalism: The Early American Republic, 1788-1800 (Oxford University Press, 1995).
Book Names New Anne Frank Informant (NYT)
The enduring mystery of the Anne Frank story is, who betrayed her to the Nazis? Now, a biographer of Anne Frank has published a new theory which has intrigued the nation and revived a dark chapter in Dutch history -- the failure to protect Jewish citizens from the genocidal Nazis.
Books in Brief: Who Owns History? (NYT)
When Eric Foner, who is white, was hired in 1969 to teach the first course in black history at Columbia University, black students conducted walkouts and disrupted his class in protest. Foner survived that ''baptism by fire'' to become the DeWitt Clinton professor of history at Columbia and a pre-eminent scholar of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Book Review: Inventing America
A review of James F. Simon's book, What Kind of Nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the Epic Struggle to Create a United States.
After the war is over
If political talks can eventually be relaunched, the Taba negotiations would be a good starting-point.
In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
The Arrogance and the Ecstasy
Powerful people expect to get away with behaving badly toward those less powerful than themselves. And this is the unspoken lesson of the revelations that Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose are shameless plagiarists.
A Clash of Symbols: Defining Holy Sites on Faith (NYT)
History and religious tradition clash not just at the Church of the Nativity, but at many other sites in the Holy Land.
Why the Cardinals Kept Mum (NYT)
What happened to the Catholic Church in the late 1960's was a bit like what the American military experienced when public opinion turned against the Vietnam War: its aura of unassailable authority crumbled.
Stephen Ambrose says he has cancer
Stephen Ambrose, the best-selling historian whose books on World War II inspired a wide-ranging resurgence of interest and led to the founding of The National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.
History for a Democracy
A democratic nation needs a democratic history, but few professional historians are providing it.
Tipperary-born Bishop Betrays Candadian Uprising
Two hundred and two years ago this week, inspired by successful revolutions in France and America, nearly 400 Irishmen living in the Canadian island of Newfoundland stood ready to rise up against British authorities. Only their bishop stood between them and considerable bloodshed.
A War of Words on a Prize-Winning Story
No Gun Ri authors cross pens on First Amendment battlefield.
Actors to Re-Create WWII Internment (NYT)
At noon on Saturday, Japanese-American men, women and children in fedoras and flowered dresses will report to a government building, attach tags with government-issued numbers to their suitcases and buttonholes, and ride a bus to a place with fences and guard towers.
Scholars to Investigate History Book (NYT)
A team of scholars is investigating a disputed, prize-winning book about the role of guns in the United States. The dean of Emory University, where author Michael Bellesiles is a professor of history, asked for the panel after the school concluded its own inquiry of"Arming America."
The Middle East According to Robert Fisk
Controversial British journalist Robert Fisk believes that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might turn into something as apocalyptic as the French-Algerian war.
PBS vs. the History Channel
PBS treats making TV shows as if it were noble but tedious missionary work; the History Channel manages to create some comical, intriguing visual rants about"history"—and at the same time attract viewers.
Not Quite an Arab-Israeli War, but a Long Descent Into Hatred (NYT)
The recent Israeli incursions into the West Bank are assuming their own place in the long list of armed conflicts that Israel has fought with its Arab neighbors.
Slave Site for a Symbol of Freedom (NYT)
The National Park Service's plans to showcase the Liberty Bell next year in a new $9 million pavilion in Philadelphia have come under attack from historians and local residents, who have accused the Park Service of trying to cover up a less noble element of American history on the same spot: the existence of slave quarters.
Mount Vernon Acts to Bolster Washington's Presidential Image (NYT)
Curators at Mount Vernon, the estate of George Washington, said today that an orientation center and museum would be added to the grounds in an effort to strengthen his reputation as the indispensable man of American history.
Jefferson Heirs Plan Cemetery for Slave's Kin at Monticello (NYT)
Thomas Jefferson's heirs are proposing the creation of a separate cemetery on the grounds of Monticello, Jefferson's estate in Virginia, for the descendants of Sally Hemings, the slave who may have been the mother of at least one of his children.
The Seminole Tribe, Running From History (NYT)
A tribe is struggling mightily to distance itself from a history in which black Seminole warriors and chiefs had starring roles.
Presidents and Crises
NewsHour historians discuss the American president's challenging role in the Middle East conflict.
Bush Sets Role for U.S. in Afghan Rebuilding (NYT)
President Bush today embraced a major American role in rebuilding Afghanistan, calling for a plan he compared to the one Gen. George C. Marshall devised for Europe after World War II.
Selling Martin and Malcolm's Papers
The strange and twisted saga of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X's personal papers reveal much about the legacy, players and pitfalls of the civil rights era.
Pulitzer Prize Winner for History
Ray Suarez talks to Louis Menand, who won the Pulitzer Prize in History for his book The Metaphysical Club.
Accessing Historical Documents
Testimony from a hearing entitled"The Importance of Access to Presidential Records: The Views of Historians," held before the House Government Reform Committee on April 11, is posted here:
Teachers Get Ready to Return to Space
From Cape Canaveral, TIME's Broward Liston takes a look at the first school teacher to step aboard a space shuttle since the Challenger explosion.
Unsigning the ICC
As the US mutes its response to the call for a global embrace of the rule of law, it traduces a critical principle of American democracy.
History Meets Mystery
Was 'The Bondwoman's Narrative' written by a female former slave in the 1850s? Henry Louis Gates Jr. thinks it was.
It’s the War, Stupid
The secretary of state has sloshed back into the endless swamp of"peace process" and"shuttle diplomacy" in his Middle East interactions, and he is doomed to fail, as all his predecessors since Henry Kissinger failed. They all failed — and he will fail — because they thought they could"solve" the Israel/Arab"problem" by just talking it out.
Roosevelt in Retrospect
A collection of turn-of-the-century Atlantic articles by and about Theodore Roosevelt sheds light on his roles as politician, outdoorsman, and scholar.
A Long Road
What would the United States have done after September 11 if, rather than four coordinated attacks killing some 3000 Americans, it had sustained more than 70 attacks over an 18-month period that killed 20,000 Americans? A comparison between September 11 and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Historians seek perspective on Reagan.
Taking On Catholic Guilt
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, the author of the 1996 best seller “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust,” which ignited a furious debate among Holocaust scholars, is now tackling an even larger theme: the entire question of Roman Catholic guilt.
The Shores of Tripoli
Our first fight against international terrorists.
A military historian abuses the past.
Yehudah Mirsky on fascism, communism, and jihadism.
At a Festival, Documentaries as History (NYT)
Many of the most compelling films at this year's Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, formerly the DoubleTake Festival, dealt with historical events.
Study Faults Small Schools on Social Studies (NYT)
A study by two Columbia University professors has found that many of New York City's small high schools teach a diluted version of social studies that does not adequately prepare students for citizenship's demands. A student in a small high school may never be exposed to important events in history, like the Civil War, World War I or the American Revolution, the report says. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/04/10/education/10SCHO.html
New Japanese Textbook Stirs Up Controversy Over War (NYT)
A Japanese citizens' group criticized the government's decision Tuesday to approve a new high school history textbook written by nationalist historians, saying it glossed over Japan's wartime aggression.
Putin, Schroeder Avoid Former Concentration Camp (NYT)
Germany and Russia dodged confronting a shared past shame Tuesday when leaders of both countries decided not to visit a former concentration camp where Nazis and then Soviets killed thousands of people.
U.S. Catholics See Priest Scandal Testing Faith and Vatican (NYT)
A look at the current sex scandals within the Catholic church in relation to other issues that the church has faced historically.
Historians who pass off other people's work as their own are widely condemned -- just ask Stephen Ambrose or Doris Kearns Goodwin. But publishers seem exempt. These days, entire books are written by people other than their purported authors.
Yossi Klein Halevi says the Passover bombing, with its unmistakeable historical echo, was a clarifying moment for Israelis.
Devil in the Details: George W. Bush, policy plagiarist
What harm is there in writing what has already been written?" The answer, apparently, is a lot if you're a Brooklyn Dodger-loving historian like Doris Kearns Goodwin, but not much if you're the leader of the free world.
Hugh Graham, 65, Historian Who Led Study on Violence, Dies (NYT)
Hugh Davis Graham, a scholar of modern American history who was co-director of a notable 1969 study for the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence, died on Tuesday.
Bush to Transfer Island to NY (NYT)
President Bush will transfer Governors Island to New York state for a nominal fee, preventing the historic island off the southern tip of Manhattan from being sold to the highest bidder.
Oscar's Step Toward Redemption (NYT)
By naming Denzel Washington best actor for"Training Day" and Halle Berry best actress for"Monster's Ball," the 74th annual Oscars made news, and made history, as few of their predecessors have.
U.S. Lied About Cuban Role in Angola (NYT)
The United States and South Africa intervened in Angola months before Cuban troops arrived in 1975, and not afterward as Washington claimed, according to a historian who recently wrote a book on the subject.
A Golden Reign of Tolerance (NYT)
A thousand years ago, Al Andalus was a place where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived side by side and nourished a culture of tolerance.
When Janie Came Marching Home: Women Fought in the Civil War
History buffs, including Lauren M. Cook, set out to document the full story of women who went into combat during the Civil War.
Cockburn on Bellesiles, Ambrose and Goodwin
Call it the year of the yellow notepad. Doris Kearns Goodwin, ejected from Parnassus, from Pulitzer jury service and kindred honorable obligations, sinks under charges of plagiarism consequent, she claims, upon sloppy note-taking on her trusty yellow legal pads....
Historians Conclude Swiss Aided the Nazis (NYT)
An independent historians' commission concluded on Friday that the Switzerland's neutrality was twisted to justify policies that helped the Nazis.
Gallup: Bush Remains High in the Polls
"Six months ago, George W. Bush registered the highest presidential job approval rating in Gallup’s polling history, at 90%. Since that time, his approval rating has fallen only slightly, to 80%. Bush’s 10-percentage-point drop six months after his high point compares favorably to the average six-month approval declines of other recent presidents. Looking at Gallup’s presidential approval archives back to Dwight Eisenhower, the average decline in job approval at the six-month mark following the date of each president’s high score is 16 points. In three cases (John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon), the decline was less than 10 points."
Dallek on Bush
ROBERT DALLEK reviews Frank Bruni's new book about George W."'When I was a boy,' Clarence Darrow said, 'I was told that anybody can become president. I'm beginning to believe it.' Frank Bruni's Ambling Into History: The Unlikely Odyssey of George W. Bush will make believers of us all."
Nixon, Jews, and Dope
From the new Nixon tapes:"You know, it's a funny thing, every one of the bastards that are out for legalizing marijuana is Jewish. What the Christ is the matter with the Jews, Bob? What is the matter with them? I suppose it is because most of them are psychiatrists."
The Loyal Opposition: Soundbite Patriots
Can Free Speech Undermine Freedom? War deserves debate -- at the start and during its course. If it cannot bear close examination and critical barbs, then perhaps it does not warrant firm support.
Billy Graham Responds to Lingering Anger Over 1972 Remarks on Jews (NYT)
Eveangelist Billy Graham acknowledged, but repudiated some anti-semitic statements he made on tape in the Nixon White House 30 years ago.
Appropriating the Holocaust (NYT)
The worst trivialization and distortion of the Holocaust comes not from the Jewish Museum, which in this exhibition attempts to examine portrayals of Nazis and the Holocaust, but from other sources like movies that present false renderings of Holocaust history, as well as governments and interest groups that invoke Holocaust symbols to advance their own agendas.
What Kind of Nation: Clash of the Titans (NYT)
James F. Simon's new book is a study of the political and legal struggle between Thomas Jefferson and John Marshall, icons of American history.
Talking History shows in March
Each program will air the week of the designated date.
Colin Powell's List
The targeting of"terrorist" groups harks back to earlier repression of dissent, from the post-World War I Palmer Raids against socialists and anarchists to the 1950s McCarthyite anti-Communist hysteria.
Never Again Again
Samantha Power, the author of A Problem From Hell, explores in this interview why America—the home of Holocaust awareness—did all but nothing to stop the genocides of the twentieth century.
100,000 People Perished, but Who Remembers? (NYT)
In one horrific night, the firebombing of Tokyo — then a city largely of wooden buildings — killed an estimated 100,000 people. Despite the huge toll, the firebombing of Tokyo left surprisingly few traces in the popular memory of Japanese, or Americans.
Through Allende's Broken Glasses, a View of Chile Today (NYT)
An exhibition of a country's history is often as much about the present as the past, and this is nowhere more true than in Chile today.
Vienna Skewered as a Nazi-Era Pillager of Its Jews (NYT)
Historians have now documented the extent to which Austrians were among the first war profiteers, moving quickly to expropriate the property of Vienna.
Alamo Redux: A Mission Impossible (NYT)
The biggest news in San Antonio last week wasn't a conference of scholars ruminating on the anniversary of the battle of the Alamo, which took place on March 6, 1836. The real news is that there is going to be another movie about the Alamo...can this movie promise to be more historically accurate than past movie attempts?
Malcolm X Letters (NYT)
In a rare trove of journals, letters and other writings attributed to Malcolm X, the fervid civil rights leader shows himself as humbled by his first pilgrimage to Mecca, in 1964, the year he broke with the Nation of Islam amid his growing conviction that not all whites were devils.
Malcolm X Family Fights Auction of Papers (NYT)
Personal writings attributed to Malcolm X have turned up on eBay, infuriating his family and alarming scholars.
Women's History Month
For Women's History Month, The Nation is assembling a collection of archival articles plus links and other resources.
The Consequence of Plagiarism
Overseer Doris Kearns Goodwin should step down for breach of academic honesty.
The"borking" of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Japan Rediscovers Its Korean Past (NYT)
Recognition of Tsushima, and of Korea's importance as a contributor to Japan's early imperial history, recently received a huge and unexpected push from the highest of sources — Emperor Akihito. With a candor far removed from the usual poetic fog of the imperial court, Emperor Akihito, in remarks to the news media that took Japan by surprise in December, all but declared his own Korean ancestry.
Threads of History
Trained to seek and to interpret written documents, American historians usually are flummoxed when confronted with the past's household objects. But perhaps these objects can help historians who operate where the paper trail peters out.
Black Historian Joins Heritage Group (NYT)
When Nessa B. Johnson, the 61-year-old author and black history activist, attended her first United Daughters of the Confederacy meeting in January, she said chapter members welcomed her like family even though she is black.
Arming America: A Recognized Fraud
Tanya K. Metaksa, the former executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, claims to have exposed the falsehoods within Michael Bellesiles' Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture in her Arming America, fiction, not history, article (see below).
Arming America: Fiction, not History
A very determined gun rights proponent has delivered the ammunition to shoot down Arming America, last year’s Bancroft Prize for American History.
Going Beyond Mere Facts in the Study of History (NYT)
History is hard to teach because students will not remember facts without a context, but they cannot comprehend the context without knowing the facts. A look at our current system of teaching history, one that has proven inadequate for students' knowledge of history.
Peace Prize Exhibit Shows History (NYT)
Photographs of Nobel Peace Prize winners reflect what U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the newest peace laureate, calls ``a century of savage loss and bloodshed, but also one of extraordinary progress and vision.'' The new exhibit at U.N. headquarters commemorating the centennial of the Nobel Peace Prize opened Monday and continues through March.
Doubts About 19th Century Massacre (NYT)
Historians have been revisiting a troubling moment in Mormon history since a National Park Service volunteer found a document that purports to blame the 19th-century massacre of 120 settlers in southern Utah on Brigham Young.
Radical New Views of Islam and the Origins of the Koran (NYT)
A handful of experts quietly investigating the origins of the Koran are now arguing that it has been misread and mistranslated for centuries and they are offering radically new theories about the text's meaning and the rise of Islam.
In Theater Depicting History, Just How Far Can the Facts Be Bent? (NYT)
As social critics often lament, this is an age when many people get their knowledge of the past (and often the present) almost exclusively from their entertainment. So the appearance this season of a number of plays that focus on historical events and public figures provokes some familiar questions.
The Lost Promise of the American Railroad
Streamline trains were once a promising new technology, but America abandoned them in favor of the automobile. A historian looks at the days of promise, and the blunders that put America far behind in the worldwide race of high-speed rail.
Spewing Anti-American Gutter Hate: Canada’s Heritage Minister Sheila Copps
With great self-satisfaction, Copps boasted,"When we created Canada, we didn't need a revolution – we had an evolution." In spewing this historical ignorance and ugly bigotry, Copps clearly prides herself on the fact that, in 1776, Canadians didn’t have the backbone to stand up for themselves against British economic exploitation.
Historian Leaves 'NewsHour' in Midst of Furor Over Book (NYT)
Under fire for inappropriately copying passages in a 1987 book, the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has taken a leave of absence from her role as a commentator on the"NewsHour With Jim Lehrer."
History Is an Art, Not a Toaster (NYT)
Books are the products of artisans and artists, and this doesn't allow for them to be mass-produced at their creation like toasters that some assembly line puts together out of these and those parts gathered from here and there. However, the recent discovery of plagiarism within the writings of historians questions how history has been written.
Goodwin loses appearances over book row
Embattled historian Doris Kearns Goodwin took two more blows this week as the University of Delaware canceled her planned spring commencement address and the PBS program ''The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer'' decided to discontinue her regular appearances.
Did Ambrose Write Wild Blue, Or Just Edit It?
Goodwin confesses, but Ambrose remains in denial as evidence mounts about The Wild Blue.
Gwen Ifill compares the scope of the current Enron debacle with previous business scandals with NewsHour regulars Michael Beschloss, Haynes Johnson, Richard Norton Smith and Roger Wilkins
Historians and Thieves
A discussion on plagiarism committed by popular historians.
Learning from September
How a teacher who specializes in international affairs sizes up the students who may be leading the nation through crises yet unimagined.
Get Me Rewrite!
Doris Kearns Goodwin now says that her copying may be more widespread than she thought.
A Spiraling Trail Back to Africa NYT)
A Manhattan writer has used new gene technology and historical research to pinpoint her African origins.
Pulp Culture: History, Hard-Boiled
The adventures of Sherlock Holmes, written and published by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the turn of the last century, helped establish popular culture--and in particular, the mystery and thriller genres--as one of society's more effective venues for assimilating the eruptions and disruptions of history.
History, Meet Politics
Intent on driving out the older understanding of history as the sayings and doings of great political leaders, a contemporary notion of historical study focuses on ordinary people.
SUNY Classics Professor Is Accused of Plagiarism (NYT)
The chairman of the classics department at the State University at Albany has resigned following charges that he plagiarized.
Challenging the History of a Slave Conspiracy (NYT)
An article in November in the William and Mary Quarterly, a leading journal of early American history, Michael P. Johnson, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, has questioned whether the Denmark Vesey conspiracy took place. The paper has ignited a debate among scholars over what happened and how to interpret historical records.
Denmark Vesey: A New Verdict
A historian questions whether Vesey led a slave revolt but his heroism still stands.
Protesting"Black Hawk Down"
It should be news when an actor protests his new film as simplistic and unfair.
Springtime, Taxes, and the Attack on Iraq
UC Berkeley physicist's musings on why a U.S. attack on Iraq is inevitable due to historical events.
In Search of Timbuctoo, a Slice of Black History (NYT)
A gravestone is now the most prominent reminder of a pre-Civil-War hamlet in the Adirondacks that offered thousands of black men 40 acres of free land. Historians now research the town of Timbuctoo in an effort to access historical accounts of past African Americans within New York.
Presidential libraries are history and hagiography, archival mother lodes and gift shops pushing star-spangled dish towels.
'The Lessons of Terror': All War Against Civilians Is Equal (NYT)
Caleb Carr, a military historian and novelist, encounters opposition to his stance on terrorism in his newest book, The Lessons of Terror.
India, Meet Austria-Hungary
A history lesson for India.
Why Europe Is Wary of War in Iraq (NYT)
Europe's diverse loyalties and identities are formed by a war-weary pessimism thoroughly grounded in history.
Drama and Scandal Make the Olympics (NYT)
Reviewing Olympic history in light of the recent Russia v. Canada ice-skating controversy.
Taking the Fifth Too Often (NYT)
A review of the historical significance of the Fifth Amendment, and how Enron officials"taking the fifth" are not using the amendment correctly.
The Historian Who Couldn't Shoot Straight
The truth about Michael Bellesiles's book,"Arming America."
Fighting the Old New Left
As the war on terrorism continues, will conservatives have to re-fight the ideological battles of the '60s and '70s?
The Home of the Free: Switzerland
American founders John Adams and Benjamin Franklin pointed to “the Helvetic Republic” of Switzerland as the best model then available of limited government and liberty. It remains so today.
Milosevic Prosecutors Speak of Massacre, Sieges and Graves (NYT)
"The siege of Sarajevo was an episode of such notoriety that we must go back to World War II to find a parallel in European history," the lead prosecutor Geoffrey Nice said on the second day of Mr. Slobodan Milosevic's trial at the United Nations war crimes tribunal on charges of genocide and other crimes against humanity.
Voices From History
February is Black History Month, and The Nation has assembled a package of articles regarding the influence of African Americans throughout history.
Where Did the Fifth Amendment Come From?
Former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay asserted his Fifth Amendment rights before the Senate Commerce Committee today,"respectfully declining to answer" any of the committee's questions. What is the history behind, and rationale for, the Fifth Amendment right not to testify against oneself?
Stability, America's Enemy
Why is the U.S. so keen to make a more stable world? Americans ought to relax: history shows that in the long run they benefit from turmoil.
The Darker Side of Muhammad Ali
Now that he's lost the power of speech, now that he walks shakily, now that he can be safely trotted out before an adoring public with the surety that he will not offend mainstream sensibilities -- now that he is no longer a threat -- Muhammad Ali is universally loved. In his book, Mark Kram discusses how the public has forgotten history involving Ali.
The Man vs. the Myth
For 11 years at Sports Illustrated, Mark Kram pursued what may be this century’s greatest sports story, the creation of Ali, the man and the legend. But, to quote Kram’s introduction, the book also is “a corrective” to the “myth” of Ali’s “worldly significance.”
Aftermath of War
An article about the history of the four Geneva Conventions, and how this history may be outdated when applied to modern wars.
Their Target: The Modern World
The real enemy: Radical Islamists, intolerant of all diversity and dissent, have become the fascists of our day. That is what we are fighting against.
New Twist on Physicist's Role in Nazi Bomb (NYT)
The leader of Hitler's atomic bomb program, Werner Heisenberg, portrayed himself after World War II as a kind of scientific resistance hero who sabotaged Hitler's efforts to build a nuclear weapon. However, historians now debate Heisenberg's motives due to letters exchanged between Heisenberg and another physicist.
Peter Beinart discusses the history of the Kashmir controversy in India.
Integrity and History
John Dichtl ponders the lessons that should be learned from recent controversies involving historians and plagiarism.
Now is the Time to Teach Democracy
In this opinion piece, Alan Singer replies to a recent article by Diane Ravitch about teaching the events of September 11.
Edwin M. Knights looks at the history of this newly topical threat.
TIME.COM Interview With Caleb Carr
Historian Caleb Carr discusses his definition of terrorism, which is based upon historical events. Carr's definition includes the United States as participants due to the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Super Bowl Highs
Richard Just discusses the anti-drug commercials aired during the Super Bowl and shows that these advertisements were not the first to use history to appeal to an audience.
Singers Merge Politics With Patriotism (NYT)
Throughout the SuperBowl's tribute to America, history and sports were linked. The more serious the tribute became, the more it seemed as if the usually raucous Fox network had been uncomfortably transformed into the History Channel. Some historical references included reenactments of the founding fathers and readings of the Declaration of Independence.
An Outsider Teaches Japan About Itself (NYT)
Throughout Asia and in much of the world recently, contemporary Japan has become as famous for its history textbooks that obscure, or even white- out, unpleasant facts as it is for its wealth or fading industrial prowess. Embracing Defeat," John W. Dower's 2000 Pulitzer prize-winning history book, is critical of these misrepresentations of history.
The One True Faith: Is It Tolerance? (NYT)
Each of the great religions creates, almost from its inception, a colorful spectrum of voices that range from pacifist to terrorist. This article reviews the history of both Christian and Islamic actions in the name of religion in order to show that extremists have always existed in religious practice.
Integrity and the State of the Union (NY Times)
During his State of the Union Address, President Bush fails to look back over historical events when stating the need for unity among Americans at a time of war.
Don't Know Much About History (NY Times)
Anders Henriksson, a professor of history at Shepherd College in West Virginia, is the compiler of"Non Campus Mentis" (Workman Publishing), which is a history of the world taken verbatim from term papers and exams at American and Canadian colleges.
Dueling D-Day Authors: Ryan Versus Ambrose
Stephen Ambrose faces yet another accusation, this time from the files of the late Cornelius Ryan.
The NewsHour's panel of presidential historians offer insight into President George W. Bush's first State of the Union speech.
A debate about historians Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin's use of other writers' words.
Does Stephen Ambrose's plagarism betray a historian's quest for identity? Wendy Kaminer, of The American Prospect, explores this question.
Instant Replay on Ambrose
Did someone say Stephen Ambrose plagiarized? Well, months ago TAP caught him stealing passages freely -- from himself.
Stop, Historians! Don't Copy That Passage! Computers Are Watching! (NYT)
Over the last decade, plagiarism detection has gone high-tech. Today's software market is flooded with programs designed to rout out copycats with maximum efficiency and minimum effort.
The Keystone Kommandos
Just months after Pearl Harbor, the Third Reich secretly sent two small teams of would-be saboteurs to the United States. Their mission: cripple U.S. industry. But things went badly wrong. What happened is a story of confusion, low comedy, and betrayal-and the creation of a precedent for the military tribunals being proposed by the Bush Administration today.
How Did the U.S. Get a Naval Base in Cuba?
What's the deal with the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? How did the U.S. get a military base in a hostile, communist country? Click below to have your questions answered.
Lynne McTaggart on Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lynne McTaggart, the author who Doris Kearns Goodwin once copied, speaks out.
For the Somalis, a Manhunt Movie to Muse Over (NYT)
The premiere of"Black Hawk Down" in Mogadishu this week has forced Somali residents to review the American presence in Somalia in 1993 and look towards the possibility of American troops in the country once again in the near future.
Joe McGinniss on Doris Kearns Goodwin
The man who Doris Kearns Goodwin once accused of copying her work writes in response.
Goodwin Discloses Settlement Over Credits
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin speaks out against accusations of plagiarism.
Another Round in the Abortion Wars
On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, new battles are being fought over global family planning.
"Black Hawk Down"
An editorial by The Weekly Standard's Stephen F. Hayes that"Black Hawk Down" comes full of blood-and-guts realism, and mercifully devoid of Hollywood preening.
Alex Haley's Roots
An opinion regarding the success awarded to an author accused of plagiarism.
A Historian and Her Sources
Having once complained about an author borrowing statements from her books, it now appears that historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has also been borrowing material.
Big History (NYT)
"To understand the last few thousand years of human history, David Christian insisted, scholars need to understand the rest of the past as well, up to and including the Big Bang — in short, the whole 14-billion-year span of time itself."
Many on Campuses Disdain Historian's Practice (NYT)
University professors and students alike are debating over whether to use Stephen Ambrose's books for classroom resources and discussion due to plagiarism accusations.
'Kandahar' is Difficult Yet Fulfilling Journey
This film, by Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, reveals the realities of life for Afghan women living under the rule of the Taliban regime.
Details of Nazis' A-Bomb Program Surface (NYT)
Historians speculate about why the atomic bomb was not built by Werner Heisenberg, the leader of the Nazi atomic bomb program, in light of new information discovered.
Still Making Films, Still Explaining the Hitler Connection (NYT)
Leni Riefenstahl, a filmmaker who once did a documentary of a Nazi party rally for Hitler, still insists that she was ignorant of Nazi ideology, death camps and crimes. She is now releasing her first film since 1954, entitled"Impressions Under Water."
Stephen Ambrose, Copycat
This popular American historian is accused of plagiarism throughout his latest book, The Wild Blue.
Ambrose Has Done It Before
Although Ambrose has apologized for plagiarism in his latest work, new evidence shows that this is not the first time that he has taken passages from another source.
Stories That Mattered (Time)
Remembering Gary Condit, stem-cell research, Jim Jeffords and other big stories of 2001
Professor claims to have identified small sculpture once attached to King Midas' lost throne
A 9-inch ivory sculpture found decades ago in Greece may be part of the lost throne of King Midas, a University of Pennsylvania archaeologist said.
Councils of War
Every American war has changed our society in ways that were not anticipated. What will be the consequences of the latest war?
A New Kind of Abortion War
Sharon Lerner has her eye on threats to Roe v. Wade.
Agenda Item: Slave Reparations
As New York begins to rebuild, will the needs of African Americans be once again ignored?
Bush to release some Reagan papers after delay
The White House announced yesterday that it would make public next month some 8,000 pages of former president Ronald Reagan's confidential papers, despite the delay imposed by President Bush in advance of a contested executive order.
Trial ordered for men charged in '69 murder of York, Pa., police officer during race riots
Two black men accused of killing a white police officer during a 1969 race riot were ordered Thursday to stand trial after a hearing in which witnesses said they saw the suspects at the scene of the shooting.
For nearly 60 years, 101st Airborne Division has had a 'rendezvous with destiny'
The year was 1942. Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, the first commander of the 101st Airborne Division, told his new recruits that their lack of history would not stop them from accomplishing great things.
The Media Muzzled
Vietnam and Afghanistan Show why Limiting Press Access to War is Unpatriotic
Passing as White: Anita Hemmings 1897 (Vassar Quarterly)
Although now known as Vassar's first African-American alumna, Anita Hemmings was forced to pass as white in order to pass through Main Gate in 1893. by Olivia Mancini '00.
Celebrating World War II — and the Whiteness of American History (NYT)
BRENT STAPLES writes : Faces become noticeably whiter in movies when the time frame shifts backward.
Japanese-Americans see parallels with Pearl Harbor aftermath in treatment of Muslims now
Mits Koshiyama's memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor are intertwined with recollections of being forced to live in an internment camp with 11,000 other Japanese-Americans.
Survivors Remember (Newsweek)
Six men share their eyewitness accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor
Brokaw: A Generation’s Trial By Fire (Newsweek)
Pearl Harbor was a signal event in American history, waking the country from its isolationist slumber, uniting its people in the spirit of shared sacrifice and forging a noble common purpose
Before the Bar of History (Newsweek)
Even great men can do bad things to defend freedom. The roots of Bush’s dilemma
Lessons learned from two days of infamy
Parallels between Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001, have been suggested, and indeed there are eerie similarities. Americans responded to both events with anger, frustration, sorrow, surprise and a sense of vengeance. There was the sense that our national integrity had been defiled. And both attacks led to a powerful sense of national unity. But the two events were different in some significant ways.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor (Time)
In less than three hours, Japanese planes crippled the U.S. Pacific fleet. Images from the raid — and the aftermath
Pearl Harbor Day strikes a new chord (Time)
In the six decades since he pulled men from a flaming sea at Pearl Harbor, Henry Freitas would talk about that day only if someone else brought it up. And even then he tended to shrug off his exploits.
Papers implicate Ford, Kissinger in E. Timor (Time)
President Ford and Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger gave the green light for Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor that left up to 200,000 people dead, according to previously secret documents made available yesterday.
Ford Co. rejects tie to Nazis (Time)
Ford Motor Co., whose founder was notorious for his anti-Semitic views, sought yesterday to lay to rest longstanding claims that it profited from the Nazi war machine and the use of forced labor in Germany during World War II.
Business is Often Reluctant To Support The War Effort (NYT)
The attacks of Sept. 11 were aimed at the symbolic heart of capitalism, but that does not mean the titans of industry feel obligated to join the fight on terrorism. Evidence from history shows this is part of a pattern.
The Battle Hymn of the Republic
Americans today are finding new inspiration in Julia Ward Howe's anthem—originally published in The Atlantic in 1862 to rally Union troops.
The Triumph of Terrorism
Who could have perpetrated the September 11 attacks—and why? A collection of Atlantic articles gives insight into the terrorist mind—and how the U.S. may have both inflamed and encouraged terrorist groups.
La Follette in '24, Wallace in '48, Anderson in '80. Atlantic articles on three precursors to Nader and Buchanan from the past century
Martin Luther King (Time)
He led a mass struggle for racial equality that doomed segregation and changed America forever
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Time)
He lifted the U.S. out of economic despair and revolutionized the American way of life. Then he helped make the world safe for democracy
1900 vs. Now (Time)
SWEEPING CHANGES IN WORLD BALANCE OF POWER
PERSON OF THE CENTURY
Albert Einstein (Time)
With just a pen and paper, he peeked farther behind Nature's curtain than anyone had since Newton -- then spent the rest of his years living it down. Now, when we think of genius, we see his face.
Consider History. Or Not (Newsweek)
When grappling over civil liberties, handle precedents with care—and discuss
History Is a Prison
Newhouse wire service says that Americans are different from the screaming, hating masses in the streets who are hanging George Bush in effigy.
William Safire Lays Out the Story Behind the Story of the 8 German Spies Tried by a Military Court (NYT)
As soon as German U-boats put eight saboteurs on U.S. shores during World War II, one of the eight called the F.B.I. to betray the mission but was brushed off as a crackpot. Days later, he called again and managed to persuade the F.B.I. he was an authentic saboteur. Partly to keep this embarrassment of bungled enforcement from becoming known, the eight were secretly tried by a military court inside the F.B.I. headquarters.
The Man Behind the Movement
Lyndon Johnson won the 1964 election, but Barry Goldwater, whose legacy is alive in the presidency of George W. Bush, won the war
Politics as Usual
In America, history shows, war does not override the calculus of politics.
Vietnam: Shadows of a distant war
Twenty-five years after the US pullout from Vietnam, Globe writers reflect on their war experiences and return to the former battlefields of Southeast Asia.
Thanksgiving: A Native American View
For a Native American, the story of Thanksgiving is not a very happy one. But Jacqueline Keeler, a member of the Dineh Nation and the Yankton Dakota Sioux, finds occasion for hope. An AlterNet Thanksgiving classic.
Voting Rights in Jeopardy
Prior to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, barriers to black registration and voting were massive and crude. Now that the Act, structured to make sure black Americans could register and vote, is up for reconsideration--and under fire--a major rollback could well occur.
"Regarding Henry Kissinger"
A panel discussion on the making of a war criminal
‘I Don’t See Any Way of Winning’ (Newsweek)
Surprisingly, Lyndon Johnson never thought we could prevail in Vietnam. An exclusive excerpt from his secret tapes.
Vernon Jordan: American Odyssey (Newsweek)
Born into a segregated world, he transcended his time—and nearly died for it. In an excerpt from his memoirs, a snapshot of a vanished way of life
Ghosts of Vietnam (Time)
32 years after leaving Vietnam, Bob Kerrey admits a terrible secret — and stands accused of worse. The tangled tale embodies the madness of Vietnam.
The Ways We Were in New York (New York Magazine)
New York is rebuilding. But in a sense, New York is always rebuilding. These images, culled from eight decades of the Daily News, remind us of all that's changed -- and all that stays the same.
On Long-Lost Pages, a Female Slave's Voice
In the spring of 1857, one of John Hill Wheeler's slaves slipped away from his North Carolina plantation and made her way north to New Jersey. There she promptly picked up a quill pen and began to write a novel, combining the story of her own life .... November 11, 2001, Sunday
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
What I Saw at a Military Tribunal
Former White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler gives a first-person account of the WWII tribunal and a critique of the Bush plan
"Learning From Our Past: 1987 Speech by Justice Brennan Helps Frame Civil Liberty Concerns in Light of 9/11 Attack"
Brennan Center for Justice: In these pages you will find a concise history of our nation's balance between civil liberties and security during times of national crises.
Pearl Harbor — What Really Happened (Time)
Robert Sullivan separates fact from fiction on the date that will live in infamy
The Kennedys: Then and Now (Time)
When the family business beckons, the third generation exploits the name and struggles with the legacy
Ashcroft Likes To Listen
The Justice Department rewrites the Bill of Rights so it can eavesdrop on suspects.
Secret History of WWII (Boston Globe)
This series is based on some of the more than 3 million files the CIA is declassifying as part of a global effort to unlock the last stash of secrets about World War II war crimes.
New York Was Bioterrorism Target, in 1864 (NYT)
In 1864, Southern sympathizers plotted to seed a yellow fever epidemic in Northern cities. The plan luckily failed.
The Second Fall of Rome
Ancient Rome's long reign over the Western imagination ended in the 19th century with the elevation of the Greeks--an error we should reverse, the author says.
Lincoln and the Abolitionists
To the abolitionists of his day, the president we now revere for ending slavery in America was no real enemy of slavery at all.
The Lost Promise of the
Streamline trains were once a promising new technology, but America abandoned them in favor of the automobile. A historian looks at the days of promise, and the blunders that put America far behind in the worldwide race of high-speed rail.
The Demon in Jim Garrison
Did the popular belief that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination grow from a seed planted by the Soviet KGB?
The Decline of the Muslim Middle East, and the Roots of Resentment
Islamic inheritance law may be behind the decline of the Muslim Middle East as a global business power, according to a new study.
CREATING A HISTORY CURRICULUM
Robert Cassanello and Daniel S. Murphree discuss the creation of a La Pietra-based history major at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama.
VOICE Executive Director Lee Formwalt discusses some ways in which the OAH serves as the voice of the American history profession.
PORTALS OF PUBLIC HISTORY
OAH President Darlene Clark Hine talks about the importance of using public history to open diverse portals to the study of America's past.
Massachusetts Clears Five Witches in Salem Trials
More than three centuries after they were accused, tried and hanged as unrepentant witches on Gallows Hill in Salem, Mass., five women have been officially exonerated by the state.
When a Killer Disease Held a Continent in Fear (NYT)
A terrifying contagious disease, the threat of biological warfare and an American population"living a life of incessant dread": Elizabeth A. Fenn's"Pox Americana" goes back to the future to examine an all-too-relevant part of our past. The American Revolution coincided with a smallpox plague that swept across North America, decimating the population and determining the course of history.
Lessons from 1793 epidemic can guide us in anthrax crisis
For a lesson on how to draw civic good from the ongoing anthrax threat, we turn now to the yellow fever epidemic of 1793.
Announcement-Thomas Bender Moderates a Web Forum on U.S. History in Global Perspective at HISTORYMATTERS.GMU.EDU
Starting November 1, 2001, Thomas Bender will moderate a month-long open discussion on U.S. History in Global Perspective on the HISTORY MATTERS Web site (http://historymatters.gmu.edu).
The Idea of Compassion By Gertrude Himmelfarb (The Public Interest)
The conservative historian distinguishes between the British and the French Enlightenment.
"Pearl Harbor Redux: The Warning Failure" By Melvin A. Goodman
Goodman examines the U.S. intelligence problem by comparing the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor to the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center.
Tax Legislation During WW II
House Republicans have taken a lot of heat for their economic stimulus package. Critics have attacked it as a giveaway to big business, chastising the GOP for including various special interest tax breaks. It's not the first time that tax policymakers have been accused of less-than-statesmanlike behavior in the face of national crisis. While wars often spark a burst of bipartisan unity, peacetime political dynamics never fully disappear. The Revenue Act of 1943 provides a case in point.
JFK's First-Strike Plan (Atlantic Monthly)
The Berlin crisis of 1961 does not loom large in the American memory, but it was an episode that brought the United States and the Soviet Union close to war—nuclear war. Newly available documents reveal that the Kennedy White House drew up detailed plans for a nuclear first strike against the Soviets, and that President Kennedy explored the first-strike option seriously.
Politics as Usual By Jack Beatty
In America, history shows, war does not override the calculus of politics.
Small Office, Wide Authority By ERNEST R. MAY (NYT)
If history is any guide, creating a full-fledged cabinet department for homeland security not only isn't necessary but is not the best way to achieve its aims.
The Storm over The Black Book by Andrzej Paczkowski
A scholarly effort to tally the human cost of communism around the world has stirred enormous controversy. One of its authors explains why.
The Demon in Jim Garrison
by Max Holland
Did the popular belief that the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination grow from a seed planted by the Soviet KGB?
Stranger in the Arab-Muslim World By Fouad Ajami
America´s primacy will endure in Arab and Muslim lands, but the foreign power will have to tread carefully."England is of Europe, and I am a friend of the Ingliz, their ally," Ibn Saud, the legendary founder of the Saudi state, once said of his relationship with the British."But I will walk with them only as far as my religion and honor will permit." In Arab and Muslim domains, it is the stranger´s fate to walk alone.
The"New" New York City Skyline
October 29, 6:00 PM New York City museums and civic organizations present a forum featuring prominent architects, developers, educators, journalists, and historians who will reflect on the New York City skyline--past, present, and future--in light of the tragic events of September 11th.
No Day Too Holy: War Rarely Pauses It's Been Dark Before By David Kennedy
Sir John Plumb, British Historian, Dies at 90
A Memorial Is Itself a Shaper of Memory
Concern is now running through Washington that persisting with attacks on Afghanistan during Ramadan, Islam's sacred month of fasting, will only deepen anger at the United States in the Muslim world. But holidays — no matter how widely or religiously observed — have never guaranteed immunity from violence.
Memory may be short, but history is long, and American history abounds with comparable trials of incertitude, trepidation and consequence. The ragtag revolutionaries of 1776 had scant guarantee of victory when they rose against what was then the world's most formidable empire, and they had every reason to tremble over the possibility, even the likelihood, of defeat. Nor could Abraham Lincoln count on inevitable success when he set out to rally a perplexed and reluctant people to wage war to preserve the Union.
Sir John Plumb, a prolific British historian of the 18th century whose lucrative and popular history books and unerring knack for picking brilliant students may have eclipsed his own potential as a serious historian, died Sunday in Cambridge, England. He was 90.
In the last few decades, the reliability of memory, particularly traumatic memory, has been questioned. Sociologists and psychologists have shown, for example, that so called flashbulb memories, the supposedly indelible recollections of traumatic historic events like the assassination of John F. Kennedy or the Challenger disaster, are not as stable as was once thought.
It's Been Dark Before By David Kennedy
Sir John Plumb, British Historian, Dies at 90
A Memorial Is Itself a Shaper of Memory
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