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  • Originally published 12/18/2015

    The fate of foreign refugees, past and present

    Caroline Shaw

    To allow Islamophobia to redefine asylum as dependent on religious confession would be to return to the world of rampant anti-Catholicism of early modern Britain.

  • Originally published 04/05/2013

    The Chaotic and Bloody Aftermath of WWII in Europe

    Robin Lindley

    On May 8, 1945, Germany surrendered to the Allies and the Second World War in Europe ended officially. But in reality, the war continued in various guises for several years.British author and historian Keith Lowe details the cruel aftermath of the war in his acclaimed book Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II (St. Martin’s Press). His  careful study of the postwar years in Europe reveals widespread anarchy, famine, crime, pestilence and violent conflict, with millions of uprooted people wandering the ruined lands. Often, Mr. Lowe writes, the bloody conflicts were a continuation of the war that had left 30 million dead and destroyed the infrastructure of most of the warring nations, including political institutions, law enforcement, transportation, media and social services. 

  • Originally published 12/08/2015

    The American Reaction to Refugees Since 1924

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    The reactions we see today to the prospect of admitting refugees from Syria and elsewhere have a long history in this country. 

  • Originally published 11/22/2015

    The American Reaction to Refugees, 1848-1924

    Mark Byrnes's Facing Backwards

    The sad demand that only Christian refugees should be admitted to the U.S. reminds this historian of an awful American tradition.

  • Originally published 07/27/2014

    Jane Cobden: Carrying on Her Father's Work

    Liberty and Power

    Among libertarians and classical liberals, the name Richard Cobden (1804–1865) evokes admiration and applause. His activities — and successes — on behalf of freedom, free markets, and government retrenchment are legendary. Most famously, he cofounded — with John Bright — the Anti–Corn Law League, which successfully campaigned for repeal of the import tariffs on grain. Those trade restrictions had made food expensive for England’s working class while enriching the landed aristocracy....Cobden’s legacy is much appreciated by libertarians, but one aspect of it is largely unknown. (I only just learned of it, thanks to my alert friend Gary Chartier.) Cobden’s third daughter and fourth child, Emma Jane Catherine Cobden (later Unwin after she married publisher Thomas Fisher Unwin), carried on his work. Born in 1851, she was a liberal activist worthy of her distinguished father.