H-PAD Notes 3/12/24: Bancroft Prize; links to recent articles of interest

Note: Carolyn “Rusti” Eisenberg, author of one of the articles in the following list and a longtime Steering Committee member of H-PAD and its predecessor, Historians Against the War, has been announced as a winner of the prestigious Bancroft Prize awarded annually by the Organization of American Historians. The award is for her book Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia (Oxford U. Press, 2023).

Links to Recent Articles of Interest

“The American Empire in (Ultimate?) Crisis”

By Alfred McCoy, TomDispatch, posted March 12

“Empires don’t just fall like toppled trees. Instead, they weaken slowly as a succession of crises drain their strength and confidence until they suddenly begin to disintegrate.” Discusses the current crises in Ukraine, Gaza, and the Taiwan Strait. The author teaches history at the University of Wisconsin and has written, among other books, To Govern the Globe: World Orders and Catastrophic Change (Haymarket Books, 2021).

“The Campaign for United Nations Reform”

By Patrick Manning, Contending Voices blog, posted March 5

On the effort, supported by most nations, to eliminate or weaken the great-power veto in the UN Security Council, scheduled to come up for discussion in September. The author is a professor emeritus of World History at the University of Pittsburgh and a past president (2016) of the American Historical Association.

“Is Tehran Winning the Middle East?”

By Juan Cole, TomDispatch, posted March 3

As a result of developments over recent years, notably the ongoing devastation of Gaza, “at remarkably little cost, Iran is unexpectedly winning the battle for regional public opinion and its standing in the Arab world has risen strikingly.” The author teaches Middle East history at the University of Michigan.

“Einstein’s Postwar Campaign to Save the World from Nuclear Destruction”

By Lawrence S. Wittner, Foreign Policy in Focus, posted March 1

An account of Albert Einstein’s efforts to avert the danger of nuclear warfare, from 1946 to his death in 1955. The author is a professor emeritus of history at SUNY Albany and author of Confronting the Bomb: A Short History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement (Stanford U. Press, 2009).

“The CIA in Ukraine: Why Is This Not Seen as a Provocation?”

By Mark Episkopos, Responsible Statecraft, posted February 27

A brief account of CIA activity in Ukraine from 2014 to the Russian invasion in 2022, and an argument that the Agency was crossing limits that had been clearly set forth by the Russian government. The author is a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and teaches history as an adjunct at Marymount University.

“The Neglected History of the State of Israel”

By Rick Perlstein, The American Prospect, posted February 21

Based largely on Eran Kaplan’s 2005 book The Jewish Radical Right: Revisionist Zionism and Its Ideological Legacy, this article briefly traces the Revisionist movement, with its fascist overtones, from its founder Jabotinsky in the 1920s to prime ministers Begin and Netanyahu. The author is a historian of US politics whose most recent book is Reaganland: America’s Right Turn, 1976-1980 (Simon & Schuster, 2020).

“To Seek Peace in Ukraine, Remember the End of the Cold War”

By Anatol Lieven, The Nation, posted February 20

US-Russia relations once seemed so promising after the collapse of the USSR. An honest look at how they soured can help us understand today’s conflicts.The author is a senior fellow of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and author, among other books, of Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry (US Institute for Peace, 1999).

“Crackdown on Palestinian Solidarity Exceeds Reagan-Era Activist Repression”

By Stephen Zunes, Truthout, posted February 14

Compares the extent of repression against opponents of US foreign policies in Central America in the 1980s and in Israel/Palestine today, finding that muzzling of dissent is much harsher today. The author teaches Politics at the University of San Francisco and has written widely on the Middle East.

“3,600+ U.S. Scholars Want ‘Action, Not Expletives’ from Briden”

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, posted February 14

On the petition circulated in early February among academics outraged by the scale of Israel’s assault on Gaza. “Mr. President, you have not only failed to condemn the ongoing massacre in Gaza. You have enabled it.”

“The Real Harvard Scandal: Henry Kissinger Professorship of Statecraft and World Order”

By Carolyn Eisenberg, Common Dreams, posted February 6

Over the past five decades, the evidence has steadily accumulated that Kissinger was a secretive, fiercely competitive, habitually dishonest, ruthless promoter of American dominance in the world, irrespective of the cost to tens of millions of people.” The author teaches history at Hofstra University and wrote the Bancroft Prize-winning Fire and Rain: Nixon, Kissinger, and the Wars in Southeast Asia (Oxford U. Press, 2023).

Thanks to an anonymous reader for flagging some of the articles cited above. Suggestions can be sent to jimobrien48@gmail.com.