Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards blog brought to you by History News Network. Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 Zend_Feed_Writer 2.1.3 (http://framework.zend.com) http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/author/39 editor@hnn.us (History News Network) History News Network “We Find the Republican Party Busily Chewing on Itself” Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153776 http://hnn.us/blog/153776 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Trump Isn't a Fascist. He Has Fascist Instincts. Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153772 http://hnn.us/blog/153772 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Orrin Hatch's Embarrassing New York Times Op-Ed Senator Orrin Hatch took to the New York Times op-ed page to try to make the case for the Senate refusing to take up President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. It didn’t go well.

]]>
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153750 http://hnn.us/blog/153750 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0
Ted Cruz's Phony Supreme Court "Tradition"

]]>
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153732 http://hnn.us/blog/153732 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0
The American Reaction to Refugees Since 1924 Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153698 http://hnn.us/blog/153698 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 The American Reaction to Refugees, 1848-1924 Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153693 http://hnn.us/blog/153693 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 The American Reaction to Refugees in the Early Republic Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153691 http://hnn.us/blog/153691 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Ben Carson's "Know-Nothing" Attitude Toward Islam Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153670 http://hnn.us/blog/153670 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 This Flag Needs to Go Down--So Does the Lie it Represents Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153637 http://hnn.us/blog/153637 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 It's Ok to Celebrate Magna Carta Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153635 http://hnn.us/blog/153635 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 "Unconditional Surrender" in Iran After the nuclear framework agreement was announced last Thursday, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton told CBS News that "the only acceptable deal would be Iran's nuclear disarmament." What?


]]>
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153609 http://hnn.us/blog/153609 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0
"There Was a Right Side and a Wrong Side": Art and Historical Memory Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153575 http://hnn.us/blog/153575 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Dick Cheney’s David Frost Moment Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153549 http://hnn.us/blog/153549 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Can Obama Do in Iraq What Nixon and Ford Couldn't in Vietnam? Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153518 http://hnn.us/blog/153518 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 Obama's Playing “Small Ball” in Iraq and Syria Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153508 http://hnn.us/blog/153508 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 What Obama's Critics Are Forgetting: Policy-Making Always Looks Decisive--In Retrospect Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153497 http://hnn.us/blog/153497 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 "He Wasn't A Regular Guy" Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153487 http://hnn.us/blog/153487 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0 The Lesson Tolstoy Teaches About Writing History that We Should Remember on the Anniversary of World War I

Tolstoy gave expression to the latter idea in War and Peace:

The further back we transport ourselves in examining events, the less arbitrary they appear to us…. The further back in history we transport the object of our observation, the more questionable becomes the freedom of the men producing events, and the more obvious the law of necessity. 

While the wide, long-term perspective employed by Tolstoy in this passage is familiar to historians, two articles in the popular press prompted by the anniversary of the beginning of World War I show the great appeal of focusing on the individual. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan details the toll taken by the war on the leaders of major states: Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II, England’s King George V, Russia’s Czar Nicholas II. In the Washington Post, Graham Allison examines how two of those three leaders (“Nicky and Willy”) tried to prevent the war. 

]]>
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153460 http://hnn.us/blog/153460 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0
Historical Humility

The great temptation that follows from that fact is historical arrogance—an unspoken certainty that because we know it now, we would have known it then. 

The great challenge, therefore, is to impose upon ourselves historical humility, to remind ourselves that the historical actors we study did not have the advantage we do of knowing the story’s end. 

I was reminded of that recently while doing some research at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY. I’m working on the role of radio in the Great Debate over American intervention in World War II, and came across some of the countless personal letters people wrote to FDR on the subject. 

]]>
Sat, 23 Jul 2016 23:21:13 +0000 http://hnn.us/blog/153433 http://hnn.us/blog/153433 Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards 0