History Buzz June 22, 2009: The State Department Improves the Office of the Historian







  • Thomas Sugrue: Responds to criticism of his book, citing the myth of the white backlash Sweet Land of Liberty Democracy (6-15-09)
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr respond to their critics: While we were writing Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, based on Alexander Vassiliev’s notebooks, we anticipated a hostile reaction from battered but still rancorous remnants of the pro-Communist left in the academic world and partisan pundits. Together they have denied for more than fifty years that Soviet espionage in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s had much significance, denounced claims linking the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) with Soviet espionage, and proclaimed the innocence of many of those identified as Soviet agents…. – Washington Decoded (6-10-09)
  • Martin Kramer: Khalidi’s impact on Obama – Sandbox (6-13-09)
  • Deborah Lipstadt was at Holocaust Museum when shooting took place: I write this from my office in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where I have been privileged to have had a fellowship for the past semester. Up until Wednesday at 12:50 p.m., it had been a perfect visit. Everything a scholar could hope for: exceptional scholarly resources and a magnificent museum staff…. – Deborah Lipstadt in a commentary at CNN.com (6-12-09)
  • Garry Wills has nice things to say about Bill Buckley – Atlantic (7-1-09)


  • Gillian Gill: Married With Children WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals NYT, 6-21-09
  • Gillian Gill: WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals, Excerpt – NYT, 6-21-09
  • Donald McRae: Darrow for the Defense THE LAST TRIALS OF CLARENCE DARROW WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Clay Risen: HISTORY A Country Shaken A NATION ON FIRE America in the Wake of the King Assassination WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Karen Greenberg: Before Guantanamo Was Above the Law THE LEAST WORST PLACE Guantanamo’s First 100 Days WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Frank Gannon on Kevin Mattson: Days of ‘Malaise’ Ah, the Jimmy Carter era: presidential scolding, gas lines, Studio 54 and the ‘killer rabbit’ WSJ, 6-20-09
  • David Beito, Linda Royster Beito: Say bias has excluded civil rights leader T.R.M. Howard from pantheon Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power Harper’s (6-11-09)


  • Allan Brandt talks about the decline of big tobacco: “My own view is that in many ways, the tobacco industry invented the kind of special-interest lobbying that has become so characteristic of the late 20th- and earlier 21st-century American politics,” said Allan Brandt, dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Today obviously, that lobby is much less powerful and successful than it was a generation ago,” said Brandt, author of “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America.”… – CNN (6-19-09)
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom “Debunking the Shanghai myth”: Thus says noted historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom, who debunks the “East meets West” image of Shanghai. This label fails to capture the multitude of Western voices and Chinese viewpoints facing off and converging there, argues the author of Global Shanghai 1850-2010: A History In Fragments, published this year. “Global” Shanghai today is as much a hotpot for East-meets-East as West-meets-West. Yet, Professor Wasserstrom, who teaches history at the University of California, Irvine, himself was once victim to what he calls the “fairy tale versions of Shanghai”. He confesses to having felt “let down” during his first two visits to Shanghai in the 1980s, when he was confronted with “the contrast between the drab city I found…and the exciting one I had conjured up in my imagination”. Malaysian Insider, 6-21-09


  • Bradley R. Simpson “Historian Claims West Backed Post-Coup Mass Killings in ’65”: Speaking on the opening day of an international conference in Singapore to discuss arguably the darkest chapter in Indonesia’s history, Bradley R. Simpson, an assistant professor at Princeton University and an expert on Indonesia, said that the US and British governments did everything in their power to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings…. – http://thejakartaglobe.com (6-17-09)
  • Kathryn Olmsted: UC Davis historian catalogs US secrets, lies and conspiracies Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 Press Release (6-17-09)


  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “Historian says Golden Horseshoe started path to success”: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., began his ascent as a renowned historian by winning what he would later call the “the Nobel Prize of eighth graders in West Virginia,” the Golden Horseshoe…. – Charleston Daily Mail, 6-19-09
  • Patricia McMahon Houser: An assistant professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University, is Putnam’s new county historian…. – The Journal News, 6-4-09



  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09


  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Violent Earth: Nature’s Fury: New England’s Killer Hurricane” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Heavy Metal” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Crumbling of America” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How Bruce Lee Changed the World” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked ” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Waters of Death” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past: Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rome: Engineering an Empire” – Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hippies ” – Friday, June 19, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s Tech” Marathon- Friday, June 19, 2009 at 4-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battle 360” Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 3-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8-11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” – Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon- Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 2-7pm ET/PT



  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • Michael McMenamin: Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, July 1, 2009
  • Elinor Burkett: Golda (Reprint), July 1, 2009
  • Mike Evans (Editor): Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, July 7, 2009
  • Roger S. Bagnall: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, July 14, 2009
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World (Reprint), July 14, 2009
  • Buzz Aldrin: Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, July 23, 2009
  • Alice Morse Earle: Child Life in Colonial Times (Paperback), July 23, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Paperback), September 8, 2009
  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009


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