History Buzz, August 2-9, 2010: Remembering Tony Judt

HISTORY BUZZ:

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Her blog is History Musings

RELATED LINKS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

IN FOCUS:

  • Historian Tony Judt dies aged 62 Author of Postwar and New York University professor dies after two-year fight with motor neurone disease:
    Tony Judt, the British writer, historian and professor who was recently described as having the “liveliest mind in New York”, has died after a two-year struggle with motor neurone disease. Considered by many to be a giant in the intellectual world, Judt chronicled his illness in unsparing detail in public lectures and essays – giving an extraordinary account that won him almost as much respect as his voluminous historical and political work, for which he was feted on both sides of the Atlantic.
    Judt was born in 1948 and grew up in south London. His mother’s parents had emigrated from Russia; his father was Belgian, descended from a line of Lithuanian rabbis.
    His academic career began with a history degree and PhD at Cambridge and took him eventually to New York University, where he was the Erich Maria Remarque professor in European studies, director of the Remarque Institute and a renowned teacher.
    His finest work was widely thought to be Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945, published in 2005 and an enormous critical success. It was described by the Yale historian Timothy Snyder as “the best book on its subject that will ever be written by anyone”. – guardian.co.uk, 8-7-10
  • Tony Judt dies at 62; leading historian of postwar Europe: The New York University history professor’s career reached its zenith with the publication of ‘Postwar’ in 2005. He also wrote movingly about his struggle with Lou Gehrig’s disease…. – LAT, 8-7-10
  • Tony Judt: A Public Intellectual Remembered: Tony Judt was a historian of the very first order, a public intellectual of an old-fashioned kind and — in more ways than one — a very brave man.
    A professor at New York University and director of the Remarque Institute on European studies there, for the last two years Judt had been living with a degenerative motor neuron disease and wrote movingly and without a touch of self-pity of the impact that it had on his body. Thankfully and remarkably, he continued writing throughout his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, with a verve and feeling that added color to what had always been an astonishing breadth of intellectual understanding. His last book, the short polemic Ill Fares the Land — adapted from articles written for the New York Review of Books, long Judt’s home outside the academy — was a cri de coeur for the virtues of social democracy, the political philosophy that had shaped the thinking of so many western Europeans, born and raised, like Judt, in the post-war period. (Read TIME’s review of Judt’s book Postwar)
    Judt was born to a Jewish family in England in 1948, and spent time on a kibbutz in Israel before going up to Cambridge, volunteering as a driver in the Six-Day War of 1967. (He later studied in France, and a fascination with modern French politics and society ran through all his work.) A secular, social-democratic European Jew, his criticisms of Israel in later life — and by extension, of what he considered to be a narrow defensiveness on the part of mainstream American Jewish institutions — made him many intellectual opponents in the US. He stuck to his guns…. – Time, 8-7-10
  • Tony Judt, Chronicler of History, Is Dead at 62: Tony Judt, the author of “Postwar,” a monumental history of Europe after World War II, and a public intellectual known for his sharply polemic essays on American foreign policy, the state of Israel and the future of Europe, died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 62.
    The death was announced in a statement from New York University, where he had taught for many years. The cause was complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which he learned he had in September 2008. In a matter of months the disease left him paralyzed and able to breathe only with mechanical assistance, but he continued to lecture and write…. – NYT (8-7-10)
  • David A. Bell: Remembering Tony JudtDissent (8-9-10)
  • Saul Goldberg: Tony Judt: the captivating wit and intellect of my friend and teacher – The Guardian (UK) (8-7-10)

HISTORY NEWS:

  • Historian reviews NC’s Civil War death count: North Carolina’s claim that it lost the most men during the Civil War is getting a recount from a state historian who doubts the accuracy of the accepted, 144-year-old estimate. “The time has come to get it right,” said Josh Howard, a research historian with the Office of Archives and History in Raleigh. “Nobody has gone through man by man looking for the deaths.”… – AP (8-9-10)
  • Accused Dead Sea Scrolls identity thief rejects plea deal, plans trial: Plea negotiations broke down this morning for accused Dead Sea Scrolls cyber-bully Raphael Golb — who now says he’s taking his wacky identity theft and impersonation case to trial. Golb, 49, is charged with trying to boost his historian father’s scholarship on the 2,000 year old scrolls by going online in the name of rival scholars — notably Dr. Lawrence Schiffman of New York University — to discredit their work…. – NY Post (8-6-10)
  • Ron Radosh: Howard Zinn’s FBI Files: What It Reveals: The announcement last week by the FBI that it was releasing the FBI files of the late radical historian, Howard Zinn, was not met with universal acclaim. In fact, many leftists were enraged. Typical was the reaction of Noam Chomsky, who was quoted by writer Clark Merrefield. Zinn’s files, Chomsky said, were “mostly a mixture of things that they’ve picked up here and there which is mostly false, things they’ve gotten from informants that are mostly false. We took for granted that obviously we were being monitored by the FBI.” For Chomsky, anything coming from the FBI obviously has to, by definition, be lies…. – Pajamas Media (8-5-10)
  • A Medieval War — Over Arizona: On Tuesday, the Medieval Academy of America — following an intense debate among its members — announced that it was proceeding with plans to hold its annual meeting in Tempe in April. The meeting attracts hundreds of scholars, and those who are members of the academy narrowly voted down a plan to move the conference (although that vote was advisory only). The decision to go ahead with a meeting in Arizona is getting blasted by some academy members, some of whom say that they are calling off plans to present at the meeting and are canceling memberships…. – Inside Higher Ed (8-4-10)
  • Stanford professors find works of art from darkest moments of Holocaust: “It was spread all over the 20 countries that Nazis occupied. It happened in every language and in every place. It was not hundreds of people. It was countless,” said John Felstiner of Stanford’s Department of English.
    “It did not serve as much as another piece of bread. It didn’t kill one Nazi. It didn’t stop anything,” said Mary Felstiner, a visiting professor of history. “But it gave them the morale to go another day. And when we look at these works, we see transcendence.”… – San Jose Mercury-News (8-1-10)
  • Google books may advance scholarly research: When scholars seek to understand long-ago cultures, they tend to draw conclusions from the handful of famous writers and thinkers whose works endure today. John Stuart Mill and Thomas Carlyle peppered their books with words like “sunlight” and “hope,” so their Victorian era is often thought of as earnest and optimistic…. – San Jose Mercury-News (8-1-10)

OP-EDs:

  • Robert Stacy McCain: The Case Against Howard Zinn: One of Zinn’s comrades described him as “a person with some authority” within the local CPUSA section and said that Zinn’s class was on “basic Marxism,” the theme being “that the basic teachings of Marx and Lenin were sound and should be adhered to by those present.” – American Spectator (8-2-10)
  • Chris Hedges: Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn: The power of Zinn’s scholarship—which I have watched over the past few weeks open the eyes of young, mostly African- Americans to their own history and the structures that perpetuate misery for the poor and gluttony and privilege for the elite—explains why the FBI, which released its 423-page file on Zinn on July 30, saw him as a threat…. – Truthdig (8-1-10)
  • Alan Brinkley: ‘Mad Men’: A Conversation (Season 4, Episode 3, ‘The Good News’): There is Dick Whitman, the decent, caring man who sees his better self when he is with Anna. Despite his tawdry flirtation with her niece, he is loyal to Anna. He struggles with a genuine ethical dilemma — does he tell her that she has cancer, or as was fairly common in the early 1960s, does he not tell her to spare her the fear for as long as possible. (As it turns out, it seems pretty clear that Anna knows exactly what is happening to her and has decided not to let others know that she knows.) This significance of this dilemma is less about what the right answer is than it is about his struggle to do the right thing…. – WSJ, 8-9-10
  • ‘Mad Men’: A Conversation (Season 4, Episode 2, ‘Christmas Comes But Once a Year’): This is a series mostly about men, none of whom seem to be very happy or particularly admirable. Women, according to many of the assumptions about this era, are supposed to be lonely, frustrated, and unfulfilled. But some of the strongest and most capable characters in the show are women: Peggy, who may not be making good choices but appears nevertheless to be strong enough to rebound; and Joan, who enhanced her career by having an affair with Roger Sterling, but who has emerged as one of the strongest and most capable figures in the show, far more powerful than her weak and whiny husband. The significant exception is Betty, a Bryn Mawr graduate and former fashion model, who – true to “The Feminine Mystique” — is filled with frustration, anger, and disappointment, stuck in the suburbs…. – WSJ, 8-2-10

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Washington and Lee University Politics Professor’s New Book Examines Political Partisanship: Name calling. Distortion. Invective. Partisan bile. Just another day on Capitol Hill…in the 1790s. As Washington and Lee University politics professor William F. Connelly Jr. outlines in his new book, “James Madison Rules America: The Constitutional Origins of Congressional Partisanship” (Rowman & Littlefield), political divisiveness has existed since the country’s founding. “We tend to think of the founders as statesmen. And they were,” said Connelly, “but they were also politicians, and they were partisans.” Newswise, 8-9-10
  • Book Review: Jesus and Gin: Evangelicalism, the Roaring Twenties and Today’s Culture Wars by Barry Hankins: The decade sandwiched between the end of the Great War (1914-1918) and the Great Depression continues to fascinate the popular mind today. It was an era of stark contrasts and glowing optimism. Boosterism was the watchword in towns and cities across America. And booze was illegal, though all-too-readily available for those with thirsts to slake…. – Blog Critics, 8-9-10
  • Kevin Starr: A View of the Bridge: GOLDEN GATE The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge Yet today, the structure rises like “a natural, even an inevitable, entity,” as Kevin Starr, the California historian and author of over a dozen volumes on his home state, writes in “Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge.”
    This is an exultant, discursive and strange little book. Starr is not older than the bridge; at his birth, people had already been shuttling across it for three years. But his narrative tour does evoke a grandfatherly ramble. Imagine setting off over the Golden Gate and being forced to stop every few feet not only to greet each passer-by, but also to endure a cursory biography or windy tangent. It gets difficult to enjoy the view…. – NYT, 8-8-10
  • Jane Ziegelman, Andrew Beahrs: Your Tired, Your Poor and Their Food: 97 ORCHARD An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement, TWAIN’S FEAST Searching for America’s Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens Jane Ziegelman tells this story exuberantly in “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement.” Highly entertaining and deceptively ambitious, the book resurrects the juicy details of breakfast, lunch and dinner (recipes included) consumed by poor and working-class New Yorkers a century and more ago. It could well have been subtitled “How the Other Half Ate.”
    If Mark Twain had been consulted, the program might have worked. He loved the pure, unadulterated flavors of straight-ahead American cooking, a passion that provides Andrew Beahrs with the pretext for “Twain’s Feast: Searching for America’s Lost Foods in the Footsteps of Samuel Clemens.” This is a culinary stunt book fixated on the nostalgic list of American foods Twain included in his 1880 travel memoir, “A Tramp Abroad.” – NYT, 8-8-10Excerpt
  • HISTORY Review of histories of American revolution by T.H. Breen and Jack Rakove: AMERICAN INSURGENTS, AMERICAN PATRIOTS The Revolution of the People, REVOLUTIONARIES A New History of the Invention of America So tied up is American identity in the American Revolution that popular histories of it are inescapably children’s books, bedtime stories that tell us how we came to be: “Mommy, Daddy, tell me about when I was born.” The newest additions to this literature are by two distinguished historians, T.H. Breen of Northwestern and Jack Rakove of Stanford. Each will appeal to a different segment of the history-reading public…. – WaPo, 8-6-10
  • Laura Ingraham: In ‘Obama Diaries,’ self-absorbed musings: THE OBAMA DIARIES …The package contained pages and pages of private diaries: the musings of Barack Obama, first lady Michelle, Vice President Biden, first grandmother Marian Robinson and others in the inner circle. Compelled by her duty to the nation, Ingraham divulges their secret ruminations in “The Obama Diaries.”
    The diaries, of course, are fictitious — crafted by Ingraham to convey her satiric vision of Obama and his policies. Satire by nature is nasty and crude, its goal to deflate the powerful; Ingraham, a popular talk-radio host and Fox News Channel regular, holds nothing back. She lacerates Obama, his administration and his family for failures in government spending, foreign policy, business, education, immigration, morality and faith. Even the White House dog, Bo, gets a clipping…. – WaPo, 8-8-10
  • FOOD “The Wild Vine: The Untold Story of American Wine,” by Todd Kliman: For Washingtonian magazine food writer Todd Kliman, the mystery started one night when he saw “something wild, something alive” in the glass of red wine he was drinking. His interest and palate piqued, he decided to investigate the source: a grape known as the Norton, trademarked as “The Real American Grape!”
    What he unearthed is the subject of “The Wild Vine.” He traced the wildness back to the 1820s, in Richmond, Va., when a doctor on the verge of suicide found a reason to live in a grape he developed by cross-breeding existing varieties…. – WaPo, 8-6-10
  • Review of William Leeman’s Naval Academy history, “The Long Road to Annapolis”: THE LONG ROAD TO ANNAPOLIS The Founding of the Naval Academy and the Emerging American Republic …William Leeman has given us an excellent history of the politics and personalities animating the long debate over whether to establish a naval academy, with many interesting anecdotes along the way… – WaPo, 8-6-10

FEATURES:

  • By bridging Jewish and Arab cultures, a pair of Oberlin historians hope to shape history: As the new course in American democracy ended to applause last week, professors Carol Lasser and Gary Kornblith walked their matching bikes across the Oberlin College campus — nearly walking on air. After more than 30 years teaching history, the husband-wife team had tried to make some. They brought two of the world’s most divided peoples — Israelis and Palestinians — to Oberlin’s serene campus to discuss how multicultural America works…. – Cleveland Plains-Dealer (8-5-10)
  • Jane Humphries: Revealed: Industrial Revolution was powered by child slaves: Child labour was the crucial ingredient which allowed Britain’s Industrial Revolution to succeed, new research by a leading economic historian has concluded. After carrying out one of the most detailed statistical analyses of the period, Oxford’s Professor Jane Humphries found that child labour was much more common and economically important than previously realised. Her estimates suggest that, by the early 19th century, England had more than a million child workers (including around 350,000 seven- to 10-year-olds) – accounting for 15 per cent of the total labour force. The work is likely to transform the academic world’s understanding of that crucial period of British history which was the launch-pad of the nation’s economic and imperial power…. – Independent (UK) (8-2-10)

PROFILES:

  • Michael Bellesiles Takes Another Shot: He was drummed out of academe after a controversy over his book about guns in America. Now the historian aims for a second chance… – The Chronicle of Higher Education, 8-3-10
  • Scholar Emerges From Doghouse The historian Michael A. Bellesiles is trying to put a scandal behind him: His book “1877: America’s Year of Living Violently,” which will be published next week, is an attempted comeback for Mr. Bellesiles, who has languished in a kind of academic no-man’s land for the past decade after a scandal surrounding his previous book cut short what looked to be a promising career. “I’d like to think that anyone reading it would give it a fair chance,” he said of his latest work…. – NYt, 8-4-10

QUOTES:

  • University technical college is set to make its debut Will the new university technical colleges really boost vocational learning or just mislead students?: Professor Gillian Evans, historian and theologian at Cambridge University, says it is another case of boundaries being blurred in education. “The title is going to mislead students and their families, who may feel they haven’t got what they bought into. It’s just another example of an inappropriate attempt to try to claim the ‘university’ title. Soon everyone will want one.”… – Guardian UK, 8-10-10
  • Robert Bartlett: 1066 and all those baby names: Norman names such as William, Henry and Alice have been popular for 1,000 years. Why did the English copy their invaders?
    “If you ask where did the Normans come from and what was their impact, most people run out of steam pretty quickly,” says historian Robert Bartlett of the University of St Andrews. “It’s not like the Tudor era, which people are much more familiar with thanks to TV dramas and historical novels.”… – BBC News Magazine, 8-4-10

INTERVIEWS:

  • Latina professor pens history of Mexican American Civil Rights Movement: Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco is a historian who teaches at Eastern New Mexico University- Ruidoso. Originally from Cuero, Texas, she earned her Bachelors degree from The University of Texas at Austin and her MA and Ph.D. from The University of California at Los Angeles. She is the author of No Mexicans, Women or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. The following interview was conducted last month at the State LULAC Convention which was held here in Austin, Texas.
    La Voz: Let’s begin this interview by sharing with our readers some insight on your latest book.
    Dr. Orozco: My latest book is No Mexicans, Women or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, a history of the origins of LULAC. LULAC is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country and was founded in 1929 and has 700 councils today. I am proud of this book. My parents were Mexican immigrants, I grew up poor in Cuero, and now have a Ph.D…. – Latinlista.net, 8-10
  • A Conversation With Historian Douglas Brinkley: Then historian Douglas Brinkley talks about Teddy Roosevelt, the “Naturalist President.” Many beautiful places in the Northwest still exist because of him. Find out which places could have been mined or cut for timber. KUOW, 8-5-10
  • An Interview With a Young Historian: An Interview with a Current Law School Student who was a History Major in College – Huff Post, 8-4-10

AWARDS &APPOINTMENTS:

  • Civil Rights History Expert Joins Little Rock Faculty: Dr. John Kirk, noted Little Rock Central High historian and author of “Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis” has joined the UALR — University of Arkansas at Little Rock — faculty as the Donaghey Professor of History and chair of the department…. – Newswise, 8-4-10

SPOTTED:

  • Robertson: ‘History is what it is and not what we wish it to be’ Confederate monument dedication draws a crowd of 500: The crowd listened to featured speaker Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, a distinguished Civil War professor at Virginia Tech. Robertson, along with Dr. Frances Amos and Circuit Court Judge W.N. Alexander II spoke from the decorated balcony on the second floor of the courthouse.
    Robertson spoke of how two major things came as a result of the Civil War — the elimination of slavery and most importantly, the establishment of a union. “Union” is the single most important word that describes the war, he said. “It’s the single threat that now binds us all.”
    “History is what it is and not what we wish it to be,” he said. Both sides fought for their homes, their families and their ways of life, he added.
    Robertson noted the war was a “national tragedy” as Americans fought Americans, with “700,000 plus who all died ugly deaths.” “We can love history, which most do, or hate history, which some do. But it is history, and we can all learn from it,” he concluded…. – Franklin News Post, 8-8-10
  • Dr. Howard Winn, Professor Emeritus and Luncheon Speaker Sixth Annual Clarksville Writers’ Conference: Introduced by Dewey Browder, Professor and Chair of the Department of History and Philosophy, Howard Winn. Professor Emeritus of history at Austin Peay State University and co-author of A History of Austin Peay State University, 1806-2001 and Clarksville Tennessee in the Civil War: A Chronology, advised participants of the Sixth Annual Clarksville Writers’ Conference to use but not abuse history…. – Clarkville Online, 8-9-10

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • September 17-18, 2010 at Notre Dame University: Conference aims to bring medieval, early modern and Latin American historians together: An interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame this fall is making a final call for papers to explore the issue surrounding similarities between late-medieval Iberia and its colonies in the New World. “From Iberian Kingdoms to Atlantic Empires: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, 1250-1700” is being hosted by the university’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and will take place on September 17-18, 2010. Medieval News, 4-29-10
  • Jeff Shesol to give Jackson Lecture at the Chautauqua Institution: Historian, presidential speechwriter and author Jeff Shesol will deliver Chautauqua Institution’s sixth annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States. Jeff Shesol will give the Jackson Lecture on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy…. – John Q. Barrett at the Jackson List (6-14-10)
  • Thousands of Studs Terkel interviews going online: The Library of Congress will digitize the Studs Terkel Oral History Archive, according to the agreement, while the museum will retain ownership of the roughly 5,500 interviews in the archive and the copyrights to the content. Project officials expect digitizing the collection to take more than two years…. – NYT, 5-13-10
  • Digital Southern Historical Collection: The 41,626 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

ON TV:

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

BOOKS COMING SOON:

  • Alexander Hamilton: The Federalist Papers, (Hardcover), August 16, 2010
  • Christopher Tomlins, Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865 (Paperback and Hardcover), September 1, 2010
  • Holger Hoock: Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850, (Hardcover), September 1, 2010
  • Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen, (Hardcover), September 7, 2010
  • James L. Swanson: Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse, (Hardcover), September 28, 2010
  • Timothy Snyder: The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (First Trade Paper Edition), (Paperback), September 28, 2010
  • Ron Chernow: Washington: A Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • George William Van Cleve: A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, (Hardcover), October 1, 2010.
  • John Keegan: The American Civil War: A Military History, (Paperback), October 5, 2010
  • Bill Bryson: At Home: A Short History of Private Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • Robert M. Poole: On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Robert Leckie: Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Manning Marable: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, (Hardcover), November 9, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • G. J. Barker-Benfield: Abigail and John Adams: The Americanization of Sensibility, (Hardcover), November 15, 2010
  • Edmund Morris: Colonel Roosevelt, (Hardcover), November 23, 2010
  • Michael Goldfarb: Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, (Paperback), November 23, 2010

DEPARTED:

  • Larry De Lorme, former WWU provost, dies at 73: Roland L. “Larry” De Lorme, a retired Western Washington University administrator and history professor credited with starting several campus programs, died Sunday, Aug. 1. He was 73. A celebration of life will be held in his hometown, Aberdeen, at 2 p.m. Aug. 21 at The Aberdeen Museum of History…. – Bellingham Herald. 8-6-10
  • Historian and Essayist Juan Marichal Dies: SANTA CRUZ, Spain – Historian and essayist Juan Marichal, a native of the Spanish island of Tenerife, died over the weekend at his residence in Cuernavaca, Mexico, the regional government of the Canary Islands said Monday. He was 88. Marichal, who became a political exile at 19, was professor emeritus at Harvard University and among other honors received Spain’s National Prize for Literature in the category of history…. – Latin American Tribune, 8-10-10
  • Newfoundland historian Peter Hart, 46, was an expert on the IRA: A good historian is expected to be meticulous and balanced. A very good historian is challenging, perceptive, integrative, and nuanced. But a great historian is all that and more – audacious and brave. Peter Hart, who died at 46 on July 22 following a brain aneurysm, was well on his way to becoming a great historian. Although only in mid-career, he was already a major international figure in Irish history…. – Globe and Mail (8-5-10)
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History Buzz, July 19-26, 2010: The FBI & Howard Zinn & Alan Brinkley Blogs “Mad Men”

HISTORY BUZZ:

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University. Her blog is History Musings

RELATED LINKS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

  • Coventry historian helps identify Battle of Fromelles fallen: TODAY marks the 94th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles where 30 Coventry and Warwickshire servicemen are thought to have died. More than 7,000 British and Australian soldiers died, were wounded or taken prisoner during the First World War battle in Northern France. Bodies of the dead soldiers were buried in six mass graves by the Germans but the names of many of these remain unknown…. – Coventry Telegraph (UK) (7-19-10)

IN FOCUS:

  • FBI admits probing ‘radical’ historian Zinn for criticizing bureau: FBI files show bureau may have tried to get Zinn fired from Boston University for his political opinions. Those who knew of the dissident historian Howard Zinn would not be surprised that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI kept tabs on him for decades during the Cold War. But in a release of documents pertaining to Zinn, the bureau admitted that one of its investigations into the left-wing academic was prompted not by suspicion of criminal activity, but by Zinn’s criticism of the FBI’s record on civil rights investigations…. – The Raw Story (7-30-10)

HISTORY NEWS:

  • Teaching history may become a thing of past: As the start of a new school year approaches, not to mention the November elections, Americans face a dizzying array of fiscal, human, environmental and other crises. More than ever, our democracy requires an educated citizenry capable of analyzing the world around us and of making informed judgments. So this is why Americans — from parents to voters to policymakers – must address yet another deepening crisis, the one in history education at the K-12 level. As if the approval in May of gravely flawed social studies standards by the Texas State Board of Education is not depressing enough, the nation lost one of its most learned, passionate and effective public champions for the study and appreciation of our collective past with the passing of Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia in June. However complicated his own legacy, Byrd understood that we must invest in the future by understanding the past, which is why he used his considerable influence to sponsor the Teaching American History grants program. – Houston Chronicle, 7-31-10
  • Japan asked for annexation apology by Korean scholars: Over 1,000 scholars, writers and attorneys from Korea and Japan asked the Japanese government for a formal apology for the annexation of Korea ahead of its 100-year anniversary next month…. – JoongAng Daily (7-29-10)
  • Christopher Waldrep, Michael Pfeifer: Experts on history of lynching rebut Jeffrey Lord’s Sherrod claim: Experts on the history of lynching are criticizing an American Spectator report which claimed that Shirley Sherrod’s statement that her relative Bobby Hall was lynched was “factually, provably untrue.” Media Matters (7-27-10)
  • Construction History Society of America – Newest AHA Affiliate: The AHA welcomes the Construction History Society of America as its newest Affiliated Society…. – AHA Blog (7-20-10)
  • Niall Ferguson slams Australian immigration policy: ONE of the world’s leading economic historians has slammed Labor’s “needless pseudo stimulus” spending. Niall Ferguson has also criticised the election campaign’s “pathetic” debate over capping immigration and population growth…. – The Australian (7-27-10)
  • Historian stages sleep-ins to save SC slave cabins: When Joe McGill spreads his sleeping bag on the floor of a slave cabin, he knows that spending the night there will conjure the specter of slavery…. – AP (7-23-10)
  • Daniel Kevles, David Reynolds, Lizabeth Cohen, Sean Wilentz, Simon Schama: Sixteen economists and historians joined in a consensus statement demanding urgent action on unemployment and the faltering recovery: Fourteen million out of work! Sixteen notable economists and historians have joined in a consensus statement for The Daily Beast demanding urgent action on unemployment and the faltering recovery. Joseph Stiglitz, Alan Blinder, Robert Reich, Richard Parker, Derek Shearer, Laura Tyson, Sir Harold Evans, and other thought leaders have produced a manifesto calling for more government stimulus and tax credits to put America back to work…. – Hot Indie News (7-19-10)
  • Conrad Black to be released from prison on bail: Conrad Black will likely be out on bail within days from the Florida jail that has been his home for the last 28 months. But it’s the bail conditions that will determine where he goes next. The bail conditions will be set by U.S. District Court Judge Amy St. Eve in Chicago. St. Eve is the judge who presided over Black’s trial in 2007 and who ended up sentencing him to 78 months after a jury found him guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice…. – CBC News (7-20-10)
  • Historian Orlando Figes agrees to pay damages for fake reviews: One of Britain’s leading historians, Orlando Figes, is to pay damages and costs to two rivals who launched a libel case after a row erupted over fake reviews posted on the Amazon website…. – Guardian (UK) (7-16-10)

OP-EDs:

  • Alan Brinkley: ‘Mad Men’: A Conversation (Season 4, Episode 1, ‘Public Relations’): I’m flattered to have been invited to join this conversation about “Mad Men.” Like most of us on this blog, I suspect, I grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of the pleasures of watching the show is being reminded of so many aspects of life in those years that now seem so much a part of the past.
    I’ve been watching the show since it began, and I’ve always been impressed by the unflinching portrayal of flawed characters whom we really want to like but are never wholly allowed to. It echoes so many parts of the culture of that era and of some of the greatest artists of the era: Cheever, Bellow, Yates, Updike, Miller, Albee, among others. And it¹s terrific on the quotidian details of the era as well ­ the clothes, the décor, the smoking, the drinking, the jargon, the sexism, the closeted homosexuality, and the casual antisemitism. Parts of it remind me of my parents. I remember the omnipresence of cigarettes and cocktails. Only later did I understand their own struggle to find a place in a world that did not come naturally to them ­ my mother, from a middle-class Jewish family, marrying a man from a lower-middle class Protestant family in North Carolina, both of them fleeing into the postwar suburban world — where backgrounds were supposed to disappear — and trying to find a place in it, not always successfully…. – WSJ, 7-25-10
  • Alan Brinkley: ‘Mad Men’: A Conversation Every Sunday after the newest episode of “Mad Men,” lawyer and Supreme Court advocate Walter Dellinger will host an online dialogue about the show. The participants include literature professor Toril Moi, political science professor David L. Paletz, media expert Evangeline Morphos, and historian Alan Brinkley. Dellinger will post his thoughts shortly after each episode ends at 11 p.m., and the others will add their commentary in the hours and days that follow…. – WSJ, 7-25-10
  • Mark Bauerlein: An Episode at Hamilton–Paquette and UrgoThe Chronicle of Higher Education (7-20-10)
  • Peter Zarrow: Me, Wang Hui, and Liberal Wishy-washy-ness: Wang Hui is a cultural historian and critic, and professor at Qinghua University in Beijing. He was for several years editor of Dushu, a serious general interest magazine perhaps roughly — very roughly — equivalent to the Atlantic monthly in the US. He is also known as a leader of the so-called “New Left” intellectuals, who highlight the costs of economic liberalization, global capitalism, and rigid Western-style modernization policies. Early this year, charges of plagiarism began to appear concerning some of some of Wang Hui’s work. He has since been subject to numerous attacks, including ad hominen blog attacks…. – The China Beat (Blog) (7-16-10)

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland” gets the digital treatment, E-Books Fly Beyond Mere Text: E-books of the latest generation are so brand new that publishers can’t agree on what to call them. In the spring Hachette Book Group called its version, by David Baldacci, an “enriched” book. Penguin Group released an “amplified” version of a novel by Ken Follett last week. And on Thursday Simon & Schuster will come out with one of its own, an “enhanced” e-book version of “Nixonland” by Rick Perlstein…. Simon & Schuster has taken the best-selling “Nixonland,” first published in hardcover in 2008 in a whopping 896 pages, and scattered 27 videos throughout the e-book…. – NYT (7-29-10)
  • Niall Ferguson: Yesterday’s Banker: HIGH FINANCIER The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg Niall Ferguson’s “High Financier,” the biography of the Anglo-German banker Sir Siegmund Warburg, takes us back to a different era — the 1950s and ’60s — and a different conception of banking. Profits from trading were modest, and bankers made most of their money by giving advice to clients and helping businesses to raise capital. Bankers like Warburg thought of themselves as rather like family doctors, whose job it was to get to know their clients well, understand their problems and act in their best interest — a far cry from the ethos that dominates today’s Wall Street…. – NYT, 7-30-10
  • Jane Ziegelman: In a Tenement’s Meager Kitchens, a Historian Looks for Insight: 97 ORCHARD An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement In the meantime we have Jane Ziegelman’s modest but absorbing “97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement.” The story it tells, about Old World habits clashing and ultimately melding with new American ones, is familiar. But Ms. Ziegelman is a patient scholar and a graceful writer, and she rummages in these families’ histories and larders to smart, chewy effect. Ms. Ziegelman, whose previous book, “Foie Gras: A Passion,” occupies a place at the plummier end of the food history spectrum, introduces us to the Glockners, the Moores, the Gumpertzes, the Rogarshevskys and the Baldizzis, who all lived at 97 Orchard Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, between 1863 and 1935…. – NYT, 7-28-10
  • Julie Flavell: Colonials Abroad: WHEN LONDON WAS CAPITAL OF AMERICA Julie Flavell’s “When London Was Capital of America” illuminates this fascinating chapter of London’s — and North America’s — past, showing how the metropolis functioned as a magnet for colonists from across the Atlantic (including the West Indies) who sought accomplishment, opportunity and commerce. An American-born scholar who is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Flavell has unearthed a host of stories that bring alive a previously neglected aspect of the colonial experience…. – NYT, 7-30-10
  • Geoffrey O’Brien: Saratoga Gothic: THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WALWORTH A Tale of Madness and Murder in Gilded Age America In addition to publishing six books of poetry as well as eight of cultural history and criticism, Geoffrey O’Brien is the editor in chief of the Library of America, whose handsome, authoritative volumes now more or less constitute the nation’s literary canon. But however central the novelist Mansfield Tracy Walworth (1830-73) may be to O’Brien’s crackerjack new history of one family’s mayhem, it seems safe to say that he will not soon be joining Welty, Wharton and Whitman at the right-hand reaches of the Library’s long, august shelf…. – NYT, 7-30-10Excerpt
  • Thomas L. Jeffers: Turning Right: NORMAN PODHORETZ A Biography …Thomas L. Jeffers’s exhaustive but frustratingly uncritical biography, “Norman Podhoretz,” is most engaging in its early chapters, telling the story of how this brilliant and ambitious child of Jewish immigrants from Galicia rose from poverty in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn to become first, the star student of the great literary critic Lionel Trilling at Columbia University and then, at the age of 30, the editor of Commentary, the magazine of the American Jewish Committee and one of the two leading journals (along with Partisan Review) of the legendary New York Intellectuals…. – NYT, 7-30-10Excerpt
  • Lyndall Gordon: Explosive Inheritance LIVES LIKE LOADED GUNS Emily Dickinson and Her Family’s Feuds The tale that Lyndall Gordon unveils in “Lives Like Loaded Guns” is so lurid, so fraught with forbidden passions, that readers may be disappointed to find that no actual gun goes off in this feverish account of the Dickinson family “feuds.” There are metaphorical guns galore, including Dickinson’s self-portrait as lethal wallflower: “My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun — / In Corners — till a Day / The Owner passed — identified — / And carried Me away.” Gordon, who has written highly regarded biographies of Charlotte Brontë, T. S. Eliot and Mary Wollstonecraft, detects two patterns of “explosive inheritance” in Dickinson, who happened to have a grandmother named Gunn: eruptions in the lives and in the poems…. – NYT, 7-30-10
  • Jane Brox: Up From Darkness: BRILLIANT The Evolution of Artificial Light The lights eventually came back on, and I forgot about the burger lamp until reading Jane Brox’s “Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light,” which takes us from fat to fluorescence and on into the future (beyond the bulb, that is). The book starts off promisingly, in the dim past…. – NYT, 7-30-10
  • Mark Atwood Lawrence: John Lukacs: The Heart of a Realist: THROUGH THE HISTORY OF THE COLD WAR The Correspondence of George F. Kennan and John Lukacs This powerful sense of estrangement from mainstream America pervades “Through the History of the Cold War,” a gloomy but fascinating volume containing more than 200 letters exchanged by Kennan and John Lukacs over half a century. The correspondence began in 1952, when Lukacs, a Hungarian émigré who later became a prolific historian of modern Europe, wrote Kennan to commend his view that the United States needed to resist Soviet expansion through political and economic, rather than military, means. To Lukacs’s surprise, Kennan wrote back… – NYT, 7-25-10
  • Wendy Moffat: Lives of the Novelists: E. M. Forster: A GREAT UNRECORDED HISTORY A New Life of E. M. Forster In “A Great Unrecorded History,” a well-written, intelligent and perceptive biography of Forster, Wendy Moffat attempts to explore that silence and at the same time to draw a picture of a figure who was sensitive, sensuous and kind, an artist who possessed a keen, plain sort of wisdom and lightness of touch that make him, to this day, an immensely influential novelist, almost a prophet. She uses the sources for our knowledge of Forster’s sexuality, including letters and diaries, without reducing the mystery and sheer individuality of Forster, without making his sexuality explain everything…. – NYT, 7-25-10
  • Powerful Political Figures, Historians and Scholars Assert President Calvin Coolidge’s Relevance in Today’s Politically Charged Climate in a New Book Titled, Why Coolidge Matters: A collection of 21 essays authored by an impressive bipartisan list of historians, political figures, scholars and journalists, that includes Senator John Kerry, former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, Governors M. Jodi Rell (CT) and James Douglas (VT), Ward Connerly, founder/chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, and Jerry Wallace, Presidential archivist, among others, Why Coolidge Matters reflects a common denominator: President Coolidge’s civility, integrity, even-handedness and scrupulous attention to propriety provides much wisdom that can be applied to present day politics…. – Earth Times (7-20-10)
  • James T. Patterson’s “Freedom Is Not Enough,” reviewed by Kevin Boyle: FREEDOM IS NOT ENOUGH The Moynihan Report and America’s Struggle Over Black Family Life — from LBJ to Obama Shortly after the cataclysmic Watts riot in the summer of 1965, word spread around Washington that the Johnson administration had in its hands a secret report on the state of Black America. It had been written, said the rumors, by a little-known official in the Department of Labor: Daniel Patrick Moynihan. And it was “a political atom bomb,” according to columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, “which strips away usual equivocations and exposes the ugly truth about the big-city Negros’ plight.” What followed, as Brown University historian James T. Patterson makes clear in this fine-grained study, was one of the great tragedies of postwar policy making…. – WaPo, 7-18-10
  • Alex Heard’s “The Eyes of Willie McGee,” reviewed by Michael Kazin: THE EYES OF WILLIE MCGEE A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South The bare facts about the case of Willie McGee seem to fit the dreadful image of a legal lynching in the Deep South back when white supremacy ruled. In 1945, McGee, a handsome black truck-driver, was jailed for allegedly raping a white housewife named Willette Hawkins in Laurel, Miss. — while her husband slept in a nearby room and a small child slept beside her. Despite the improbable circumstances, McGee was convicted by an all-white jury and, after two appeals, was electrocuted in 1951….
    But Alex Heard, a veteran journalist who grew up in Mississippi, uncovers a story that is a good deal more intriguing, if less dramatic, than Harper Lee’s iconic Southern novel. The McGee case was fought out on a global terrain. That tearful young lawyer’s name was Bella Abzug. Years before she became a politician famous for big hats and robust feminism, Abzug worked for the Civil Rights Congress, a small but aggressive group with close ties to the Communist Party. The CRC, with aid from the Soviet bloc, whipped up an international outcry against McGee’s execution. Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Dmitri Shostakovich dispatched cables of outrage, and a band of protesters chained themselves to one of the columns at the Lincoln Memorial….. – WaPo, 7-18-10
  • Bruce Cumings: Carpet-Bombing Falsehoods About a War That’s Little Understood: THE KOREAN WAR The world will be watching, and here’s a book that American policymakers may hope it won’t be reading: Bruce Cumings’s “Korean War,” a powerful revisionist history of America’s intervention in Korea. Beneath its bland title, Mr. Cumings’s book is a squirm-inducing assault on America’s moral behavior during the Korean War, a conflict that he says is misremembered when it is remembered at all. It’s a book that puts the reflexive anti-Americanism of North Korea’s leaders into sympathetic historical context…. – NYT, 7-22-10Excerpt
  • Alexandra Popoff: The Tolstoys’ War: SOPHIA TOLSTOY A Biography As Alexandra Popoff suggests in her new biography, “Sophia Tolstoy,” the countess has been maligned by history, viewed as hysterical and insanely jealous, a shrew. These misconceptions, Popoff insists (with some exaggeration), “all have one source: Chertkov. For decades, he suppressed favorable information about Sophia and exaggerated his own role in Tolstoy’s life.”… – NYT, 7-18-10

FEATURES:

  • Douglas Brinkley: Electric cars like Chevy’s new Volt are too expensive today, but they won’t be for long, if history is a guide: In 1903, most car companies were “turning out products with steep prices of $3,000 or even $4,000,” writes Douglas Brinkley in Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company, and a Century of Progress. In 1903, about 12,000 cars were sold in the United States The following year, Henry Ford introduced his Model B “at a startling $2,000.” Now, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator only goes back to 1913. But $3,000 in 1913 is worth about $66,114 today. This BLS report suggests that average family income in 1901 was about $750. Any way you slice it, cars were very expensive. A luxury car cost about four times what a family earned in a year. What kind of future was there for the car as a democratic object?… – Slate (7-28-10)
  • Shelley E. Roff: Women workers could be found on the medieval construction site, study finds: According to a recently published study, women could be found working on construction sites, if only occasionally, including in specialized roles such as carpenters and masons. The research is found in the article, “Appropriate to Her Sex?” Women’s Participation on the Construction Site in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, by Shelley E. Roff…. – Medieval News (7-27-10)
  • Richard K. Lieberman: A 19th-Century Piano Is So Square, It’s Cool: Mr. Lieberman, a professor of history at LaGuardia and director of the La Guardia and Wagner Archives, said it had an interesting history: It survived the Civil War in Kentucky, hidden in a barn where it was not burned as troops crisscrossed the area. The family legend was that someone played “Dixie” when Confederates were within earshot. It is not known whether the same pianist struck up “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” when Union soldiers were around…. – NYT (7-25-10)
  • ‘Mad Men’ series inaccurately depicts difficulties of divorce for women in ’60s: …”As historians, most of us just love ‘Mad Men’ — it is so realistic, not just in the details, but in the gender dynamics,” said Stephanie Coontz, a sociologist and professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. “But, I think in this case they’ve gotten it wrong.”
    “In 1964, Nelson Rockefeller could not run for president because he was divorced — anyone with high aspirations, unless he was absolutely besotted with love, would never have considered getting involved in a divorce.”… Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (7-25-10)

QUOTES:

  • New FDR letters could be a “trove,” says Goodwin: The writer was Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd, who decades before had been FDR’s mistress and who now was making arrangements for what would be their last meeting. Elegantly handwritten, the letter never mentions Roosevelt by name — her love letters to him had been their undoing a quarter-century earlier when Eleanor Roosevelt found them in her husband’s steamer trunk…. “Wow,” said historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of “No Ordinary Time,” a chronicle of the Roosevelts during the war. “This stuff sounds like it’s going to be very exciting. You very rarely get a whole new trove of material.”… – Star Tribune (7-28-10)
  • Geoff Wade, Edward Friedman: Zheng He: Symbol of China’s ‘peaceful rise’: “The rise of China has induced a lot of fear,” says Geoff Wade of the Institute of South-east Asian Studies in Singapore. “Zheng is being portrayed as a symbol of China’s openness to the world, as an envoy of its peace and friendship – these two words keep cropping up in virtually every reference to Zheng He out of China,” says Prof Wade….
    Zheng He was an admiral in the time of “empire”, when there were no boundaries, no frontier limits, says China expert Edward Friedman. “The expeditions were real events – Zheng’s achievements were extraordinary and a marvel of the time,” says Prof Friedman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison…. BBC News (7-28-10)
  • Brian Carso: Treason expert says release of military files on war is not treason under the law: “But, it harms our democratic process,” Carso said. “Our democratic leaders have made a decision to pursue the war effort, and while we are right to constantly debate that decision as we go forward, by the same token we shouldn’t undermine our own ability to carry out the war effort.”… – The Times Leader (PA) (7-27-10)
  • Nostalgia drives ‘Mad Men’ culture beyond small screen: Taken together, New York University’s Jonathan Zimmerman says viewers aren’t watching Mad Men because it affirms any secret sexism they might harbour, but rather because the show enables a kind of self-congratulation.
    “The well-to-do pride themselves on their notions of gender equality,” says Zimmerman, a professor of history and culture. “They look especially at Mad Men’s gender roles and say: ‘My goodness, wasn’t it barbaric back then?'” “Nostalgia is a profound emotion that affects us in a guttural way,” says Zimmerman, a fan of the AMC series. “With just a shot of a corridor or a desk or a type of car, baby boomers can quite literally relive their youth.”… Vancouver Sun (7-20-10)

INTERVIEWS:

  • Will Israel’s New Archive Policy Set Back a Generation of Scholarship? CHE asks Benny Morris: Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended the classification of certain national- security related state archives for an additional 20 years…. For more on the potential implications of Netanyahu’s decision, I turned to Benny Morris, a professor of history at Ben Gurion University of the Negev…. – CHE (7-30-10)

AWARDS &APPOINTMENTS:

  • MU prof’s book recognized by the Wall Street Journal: James Tobin, associate professor of journalism at Miami University, was recently recognized by the Wall Street Journal for writing one of the five best books on inventions. Tobin’s 2003 book, “To Conquer the Air,” was ranked third, following “Longitude” by Dava Sobel and “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Richard Rhodes. “To Conquer the Air” is the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright in early 20th-century America and the competition they faced from other top inventors of the time, including Alexander Graham Bell and Glenn Curtiss, to be the first aloft…. – Oxford Press, 7-23-10

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • September 17-18, 2010 at Notre Dame University: Conference aims to bring medieval, early modern and Latin American historians together: An interdisciplinary conference to be held at the University of Notre Dame this fall is making a final call for papers to explore the issue surrounding similarities between late-medieval Iberia and its colonies in the New World. “From Iberian Kingdoms to Atlantic Empires: Spain, Portugal, and the New World, 1250-1700” is being hosted by the university’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and will take place on September 17-18, 2010. Medieval News, 4-29-10
  • Jeff Shesol to give Jackson Lecture at the Chautauqua Institution: Historian, presidential speechwriter and author Jeff Shesol will deliver Chautauqua Institution’s sixth annual Robert H. Jackson Lecture on the Supreme Court of the United States. Jeff Shesol will give the Jackson Lecture on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. in Chautauqua’s Hall of Philosophy…. – John Q. Barrett at the Jackson List (6-14-10)
  • Thousands of Studs Terkel interviews going online: The Library of Congress will digitize the Studs Terkel Oral History Archive, according to the agreement, while the museum will retain ownership of the roughly 5,500 interviews in the archive and the copyrights to the content. Project officials expect digitizing the collection to take more than two years…. – NYT, 5-13-10
  • Digital Southern Historical Collection: The 41,626 scans reproduce diaries, letters, business records, and photographs that provide a window into the lives of Americans in the South from the 18th through mid-20th centuries.

ON TV:

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

BOOKS COMING SOON:

  • Richard Toye: Churchill’s Empire: The World That Made Him and the World He Made, (Hardcover), August 3, 2010.
  • Alexander Hamilton: The Federalist Papers, (Hardcover), August 16, 2010
  • Christopher Tomlins, Freedom Bound: Law, Labor, and Civic Identity in Colonizing English America, 1580-1865 (Paperback and Hardcover), September 1, 2010
  • Holger Hoock: Empires of the Imagination: Politics, War, and the Arts in the British World, 1750-1850, (Hardcover), September 1, 2010
  • Anna Whitelock: Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen, (Hardcover), September 7, 2010
  • James L. Swanson: Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse, (Hardcover), September 28, 2010
  • Timothy Snyder: The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (First Trade Paper Edition), (Paperback), September 28, 2010
  • Ron Chernow: Washington: A Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • George William Van Cleve: A Slaveholders’ Union: Slavery, Politics, and the Constitution in the Early American Republic, (Hardcover), October 1, 2010.
  • John Keegan: The American Civil War: A Military History, (Paperback), October 5, 2010
  • Bill Bryson: At Home: A Short History of Private Life, (Hardcover), October 5, 2010
  • Robert M. Poole: On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Robert Leckie: Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War, (Paperback), October 26, 2010
  • Manning Marable: Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, (Hardcover), November 9, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • Elizabeth White: The Socialist Alternative to Bolshevik Russia: The Socialist Revolutionary Party, 1917-39, (Hardcover), November 10, 2010
  • G. J. Barker-Benfield: Abigail and John Adams: The Americanization of Sensibility, (Hardcover), November 15, 2010
  • Edmund Morris: Colonel Roosevelt, (Hardcover), November 23, 2010
  • Michael Goldfarb: Emancipation: How Liberating Europe’s Jews from the Ghetto Led to Revolution and Renaissance, (Paperback), November 23, 2010

DEPARTED:

  • Robert C. Tucker, 92, dies; scholar of Soviet-era politics and history: Robert C. Tucker, 92, whose early State Department assignment in Moscow launched a distinguished career as a scholar of Soviet-era politics and history, notably tracing the enduring impact of Joseph Stalin’s reign, died July 29 at his home in Princeton, N.J. He had pneumonia. His death was confirmed by Princeton University, where he was a professor of politics from 1962 to 1984 and the founding director of the university’s Russian studies program…. – WaPo (7-31-10)
  • Robert C. Tucker, a Scholar of Marx, Stalin and Soviet Affairs, Dies at 92 (NYT): Robert C. Tucker, a distinguished Sovietologist whose frustrations in persuading the authorities in Stalin’s Russia to let his new Russian wife accompany him home to the United States gave him crucial and influential insights into the Soviet leader, died Thursday at his home in Princeton, N.J. He was 92…. – NYT (7-31-10)
  • Peggy Ann Pascoe, 55, historian at the University of Oregon: Peggy Ann Pascoe, 55, of Eugene, Ore., died Friday, July 23, 2010, of ovarian cancer. She taught women’s history at the University of Utah from 1986 to 1996. She was the Beekman Chair of Pacific and Northwest History at the University of Oregon starting in 1996; in 2005 she also became a Professor of Ethnic S tudies at UO… – MT Standard (7-25-10)
  • Historian Carola Hicks Has Died: Carola Hicks, British historian and biographer, has passed away at age 68. Her resume included college professor, research fellow, museum curator, and of course, published author. She has published several nonfiction works…. – mediabistro (7-28-10)
  • Ramon Eduardo Ruiz: Honored scholar wrote a detailed history of Mexico: Pride in his heritage helped spark an interest in history and led Ramon Eduardo Ruiz to a life of teaching, researching and writing about the past…. – SD Union-Tribune (7-26-10)
  • Indian historian, academician dies at 84: The writings of historian A Sreedhara Menon who died here on Friday are the most important references on Kerala history…. – Express Buzz (India) (7-24-10)
  • John P. Gerber, 65, librarian and historian: John Paul Gerber of Quincy, Mass., passed away suddenly on Saturday, June 12, 2010, after a valiant year-long fight against pancreatic cancer…. – Dunn County Record (WI) (7-25-10)
  • ‘Legendary’ SD historian dies at 92: Gilbert Fite devoted a great deal of his life to uncovering and preserving South Dakota history. In doing so, he became a part of it. Fite, 92, a history professor and acclaimed author, died July 13 in Fort Meyers, Fla…. – Mitchell Republic (SD) (7-21-10)
  • George Robert Healy, 87, dies: With real sadness, I share the news that George Robert Healy died on July 8th in Auburn, Maine. He was 87. A marvelous leader and cherished friend to those who worked with him, Dr. Healy was described as “a man Thomas Jefferson would have respected.”… – College of William & Mary (7-15-10)
  • Jim Clifford: Dr. Georgina Feldberg, 1956-2010: The history community lost a great teacher, scholar and active historian this week. I had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Feldberg during my first year at York. She was one of the professors in a graduate course on the history of science, health and the environment. I learned a lot from her as a teacher and from her book, Disease and Class: Tuberculosis and the Shaping of Modern North American Society. A few weeks after I last met with her, I heard she had been diagnosed with cancer. This came as a big shock to all of us in the history of medicine field and particularly to a number of my friends who Feldberg supervised. Sadly, she finally lost her four year long battle with this disease, leaving behind her husband and daughter… – ActiveHistory.ca (7-14-10)

History Buzz February 1, 2010: 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Sit-In in Greensboro

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

  • An act of defiance that changed history: Fifty years ago, African Americans in Greensboro and across the South lived in a separate, but not necessarily equal, society. On Feb. 1, 1960, that started to change. That day, the wall of segregation that divided blacks and whites began to crumble. It happened on South Elm Street in Greensboro…. – News Record, 1-31-10

HISTORY NEWS:

  • FDR Defenders Top List Of Absurd Holocaust Statements: This is one “top ten” list no author wants to find himself on. The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies has just released its annual list of the “ten most absurd statements about the Allies’ response to the Holocaust.” Those who made the 2009 list range from old time Franklin Roosevelt diehards to legitimate historians who should know better. The Wyman Institute publishes the list each year in conjunction with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is commemorated on January 27, the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz…. – Jewish Press, 1-27-10

OP-EDs:

  • Jonathan Zimmerman: GOP due for another purge With the “birthers” making inroads in Congress, paranoia is back in style: So here’s a question for Scott Brown as he prepares to enter the U.S. Senate: Do you believe President Obama was born in the United States? And here’s why it needs to be asked: Many “Tea Party” activists who backed Brown think Obama was born overseas, which would make him constitutionally ineligible to be president. Somehow, these folks insist, the most closely observed man on the planet managed to keep his origins a secret from everyone – except them. In short, they’re paranoid…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 2-2-10

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Jeffrey H. Jackson: Après le Déluge: PARIS UNDER WATER How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910: …Jackson, a professor of history at ­Rhodes College in Memphis, explains in an afterword that he discovered the story of the Paris flood not long before Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, and parallels between the two catastrophes are apparent throughout the book…. – NYT, 1-29-10
  • Jeffrey H. Jackson: Book review: ‘Paris Under Water’ by Jeffrey Jackson PARIS UNDER WATER How the City of Light Survived the Great Flood of 1910WaPo, 1-29-10
  • Christopher Andrew: Smiley’s People: DEFEND THE REALM The Authorized History of MI5 In order to write this compendious but highly readable book, Christopher Andrew, a professor of modern and contemporary history at Cambridge University, and his team of researchers plowed through some 400,000 MI5 files. Marking the 100th anniversary of the service, “Defend the Realm” shines a penetrating light into some of the darkest corners of a secret world. It is not only a work of meticulous scholarship but also a series of riveting and true spy stories…. – NYT, 1-29-10
  • Christopher Andrew: DEFEND THE REALM The Authorized History of MI5 Excerpt – NYT, 1-29-10
  • ANDREW WHEATCROFT on Matthew Carr: Cast Away: BLOOD AND FAITH The Purging of Muslim Spain Who remembers the last survivors of Muslim Spain, whom Spaniards contemptuously called Moriscos (“little Moors”)? Impressive research on them has appeared in the last 30 years, yet until now, none of it has escaped beyond the walls of the academic ghetto. Matthew Carr’s well-balanced and comprehensive book brings the story of their tragic fate to a wider public…. – NYT, 1-29-10
  • Paul Strathern: Book review: ‘The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior’ by Paul Strathern: THE ARTIST, THE PHILOSOPHER, AND THE WARRIOR The Intersecting Lives of da Vinci, Machiavelli, and Borgia and the World They Shaped Five hundred years after his death, Cesare Borgia still ranks as one of history’s most reprehensible figures: ruthless, power-hungry and peacock-vain. But his reputation as a brute obscures the full human dimensions of this duke who sought to reunite Italy and place himself at the head of a new Roman Empire. As Paul Strathern explains in his masterful narrative history, “The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior,” Borgia was also brilliant, handsome, charismatic and well-versed in the classics, “a superb exemplar of the Renaissance man.”… – WaPo, 1-29-10
  • The all-powerful American president Garry Wills, in a new book, says Congress and the courts have become immaterial: It’s time we revised our eighth-grade social studies textbooks. America has no presidency any longer, but a monarchy. Absurd? Historian Garry Wills says it isn’t that far from the truth. So he argues in his new book, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State. An exquisitely researched, passionately written political history, Bomb Power argues that for the last six decades, an increasingly militarized presidency has usurped power once limited to Congress and the courts…. – Philadelphia Inquirer, 2-1-10
  • McGraw-Hill Contemporizes Classic Text ‘From Slavery to Freedom’ to Bring African American History into the 21st Century: Renowned historian and author John Hope Franklin hands down his work to Harvard’s Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham… – PR Newswire

FEATURES:

  • Vince Leggett: Historian seeks Chesapeake Bay’s hidden past: Looking at blacks in history, including Underground Railroad – Baltimore Sun, 1-31-10

QUOTES:

  • Chester Pach: Obama isn’t alone among presidents with first-year frustrations: “People are starting to blame him for things not getting better,” Chester Pach, a presidential historian and a professor at Ohio University. “My guess is that until the economy improves substantially, his ratings are going to stay somewhere between 45 and 55 percent,” or just south of so-so, historically speaking…. – Kansas City Star, 1-30-10
  • Stephen Hess: Obama isn’t alone among presidents with first-year frustrations: Historians say the economy isn’t all that drives these ratings. “A lot has to do with the type of leader you are,” said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institute. Contrary to Reagan’s rosy persona in the face of recession, “Obama, he’s kind of a cool cat,” which may not seem so cool to people losing jobs, Hess said. “In the long term, we might all be thankful for having an intellectual, farsighted president,” Hess said. “But in the short term, people trying to feed their families aren’t so generous.” – Kansas City Star, 1-30-10

AWARDS &APPOINTMENTS:

  • ASU prof to co-host PBS series: Eduardo Obregón Pagán, an associate professor of history and American studies, has been signed as a permanent co-host for History Detectives…. – Latino Perspectives, 2-10

SPOTTED:

  • UT professors offer perspective, predictions about the future: Predicting the future has always fascinated mankind. “Among some, it’s known as the world’s second-oldest profession,” said Michael Stoff, a history professor at the University of Texas. Stoff and three other UT professors headlined a program called “Perspectives on the Future” at the Park City Club in Dallas…. – Dallas News, 1-31-10

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • Museum Review: International Civil Rights Center and Museum Four Men, a Counter and Soon, Revolution: The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is at 132 South Elm Street, Greensboro, N.C.; (336) 274-9199, sitinmovement.org One of the achievements of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, which is opening Monday in that former Woolworth building, is that you begin to understand how such a place became a pivot in the greatest political movement of the 20th century…. – NYT, 1-31-10

ON TV:

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

BOOKS COMING SOON:

  • Andrew Young: The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down (Hardcover) Feb 2, 2010
  • Charles Lachman: The Last Lincolns: The Rise & Fall of a Great American Family (Paperback), February 2, 2010
  • S. M. Plokhy: Yalta: The Price of Peace (Hardcover), February 4, 2010
  • Richard Beeman: Plain, Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution (Paperback), February 9, 2010
  • Philip Dray: Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen (Paperback) February 11, 2010
  • Ken Gormley: The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr (Hardcover), February 16, 2010
  • Susan Wise Bauer: The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade, (Hardcover) February 22, 2010
  • Richard J. Evans: The Third Reich at War (Paperback) February 23, 2010
  • Seth G. Jones: In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (Paperback) April 12, 2010

DEPARTED:

  • Louis R. Harlan, Historian of Booker T. Washington, Dies at 87: Louis R. Harlan, whose definitive two-volume biography of Booker T. Washington convincingly embraced its subject’s daunting complexities and ambiguities and won both the Bancroft Prize and the Pulitzer Prize, died on Jan. 22 in Lexington, Va. He was 87. The cause was liver failure, said his wife, Sadie. – NYT, 1-29-10
  • Howard Zinn, Historian, Is Dead at 87: Howard Zinn, historian and shipyard worker, civil rights activist and World War II bombardier, and author of “A People’s History of the United States,” a best seller that inspired a generation of high school and college students to rethink American history, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. The cause was a heart attack he had while swimming, his family said…. – NYT, 1-28-10
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