Blogs > HNN > An Introduction

Nov 19, 2005 11:12 am

An Introduction

I'm Ben Alpers. I'm a US historian, specializing in 20th-century cultural and intellectual history. I'm also an Associate Professor in the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!). I'll be guest blogging here at Liberty & Power.

Read more below about who I am and what I'm doing here...

David Beito has very generously asked me to guest blog here at Liberty & Power (you may have noticed my name mysteriously appear in the list of contributors above). He's asked me to do so largely in my capacity as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of Historians Against the War (HAW), a national organization founded in January 2003 by a large and diverse group of historians opposed to the then-impending war in Iraq.

Over the next few days I hope to tell you a little about what HAW is up to, including some initiatives we're taking on the academic freedom front. I also hope to have a few things to say about history, historians, and the current national debate over the war in Iraq.

HAW has always striven to include as wide a range of antiwar opinion as possible in its ranks, and to present a variety of antiwar voices in its publications and events. As I'm sure you know, there are many reasons to oppose this war; there are interesting historical criticisms to be made of it from the center and right as well as the left. But keeping HAW politically broad is a real challenge. Nearly everyone who's opposed to this war sees it as part of larger problems. But conservative, liberal, and leftist critics of the war can disagree greatly on what those larger problems are. At any rate, I hope that my presence here will lead regular readers of this blog to check HAW out. I would love to have a stronger libertarian / classical liberal presence in HAW.

I should add that while I have some left-libertarian leanings, I certainly don't consider myself a classical liberal, so I'll probably be something of a fish out of water at L&P.

Finally let me say what should be obvious: although I'm active in HAW, I am blogging purely as an individual. Unless I say otherwise, all opinions that I'll be expressing in my posts will be entirely my own.

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David T. Beito - 11/20/2005

Please do. I'll be interviewing candidates but would like to adjust my schedule so I can come.

Kenneth R. Gregg - 11/19/2005

Welcome Benjamin!
Having been an antiwar activist from the VietNam period (and still one!), I want to thank you for all of your efforts. John Walsh has an interesting piece in CounterPunch today: "A Fractured Anti-War Movement" ( ) which I'm pleased to see.

Keep us informed as to your goings-on.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

Ben Alpers - 11/19/2005

We are having our annual meeting at the AHA. Thanks for asking, David. We've just settled the final details. I'll put the information in a blog entry in the next few days.

David T. Beito - 11/19/2005

Ben: Welcome aboard. Is the HAW planning a meeting at the AHA in January?