Links to Recent Articles of Interest
By Jamelle Bouie, New York Times, posted October 16
Based on work by Eric Foner and other historians, the Times columnist argues that that the Civil War and Reconstruction made radical changes in the meaning of the Constitution. As Foner put it, the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments “created a fundamentally new document with a new definition of both the status of blacks and the rights of all Americans.”
By Jack Rakove, Washington Post, posted October 16
“History shows that the original text is far more complex than the legal doctrine might indicate.” The author teaches history and American Studies at Stanford University. His book Original Meanings: Politics and Ideas in the Making of the Constitution won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in history.
By Daniel Geary, Camilla Schofield, and Jennifer Sutton, Boston Review, posted October 16
“The simultaneous success of Trump and Brexit was no coincidence: white supremacist politics are international in scope and often share entwined histories.” Daniel Geary and Camilla Schofield teach history at Trinity College Dublin and the University of East Anglia, respectively; Jennifer Sutton is an independent scholar with a PhD in history from Washington University.
By Ruth Ben-Ghiat, NYR [New York Review of Books] Daily, posted October 15
“Authoritarians from Mussolini onward have seen colleges as holdouts of liberal democracy–and attacked them relentlessly.” The author teaches history and Italian studies at New York University.
Republicans' “campaign to take over the federal and state courts” threatens “a long and deeply embedded tradition of upholding vital public health regulations.” The author teaches law and history at Yale University and is the author of American Contagions: Epidemics and the Law from Smallpox to Covid-19 (Yale U. Press, forthcoming October 27).
By Stephen Wertheim, New York Times, posted October 15
“Eighty years ago, the United States made a tragic decision to pursue global supremacy. The project has outlived its purpose.” The author is a staff member of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and author of Tomorrow the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy (Harvard U. Press, forthcoming October 27).
By Nűkhet Varlik, The Conversation, posted October 14
A warning against expecting the complete eradication of the coronavirus. The author teaches history at Rutgers University and specializes in the early modern history of medicine and health in the Mediterranean world.
“Military Bases Never Go Unused”
By David Swanson, Let's Try Democracy blog, posted October 13
A review essay on David Vine's new book The United States of War: A Global History of America's Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State (U. of California Press, October 2020). David Swanson is a prolific antiwar writer and radio commentator and campaign coordinator of RootsAction.org.
By Hank Reichman, Academe Blog, posted October 13
On threats by the administration of Collin College in Texas to discipline historian L. D. Burnett for her tongue-in-cheek characterization of Vice President Pence as a “demon” (in a blog entry on the Harris-Spence debate).Hank Reichman is a professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay and is the Chair of the AAUP's Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure. On this episode, see also October 16 commentary on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education website.)
“My Memories of Voter Suppression”
By Lawrence Wittner, History News Network, posted October 12
A historian's personal account of working for voting rights in Louisiana in the summer of 1962, The author is a professor emeritus of history at SUNY Albany.
By Jeffrey L. Gould, Against the Current, posted September 10
Another personal experience account by a historian, this one drawing lessons from the author's highly varied experiences in labor and solidarity movements from the mid-1960s to the late '80s in the US, Italy, and Central America. The author now teaches history at Indiana University.
Thanks to Kevin Young and an anonymous reader for flagging some of the above articles. Suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.