Newsletter #2, November 19, 2018
As a preface to this H-PAD Newsletter, we want to suggest that, with the midterm elections, the struggle against Trumpist authoritarianism has entered a new phase. It is not that the elections in and of themselves caused the change. The elections were in many ways the product of two years of sometimes-dispersed, sometimes-massive popular resistance that has had broad effects. And it’s not that the elections themselves have changed everything; they of course haven’t, although it is becoming clearer and clearer that there was a kind of “blue wave.” Still, they have not only changed the balance of power in the government (with the Democrats in possession of the House, an increased number of state governments, and many new regional and local offices) but have changed the political atmosphere in much of the country. And they have significantly wounded the Trump regime.
We all know that the Democratic Party is contradictory, and ultimately a pillar of the established order. However, it also true that the disruption of Republican political hegemony, and the emergence of serious insurgents among the Democrats, has opened space, and provided resources for the broader resistance struggle. But even beyond this, the elections have dramatically demonstrated that we can win victories. Even Trump seems to have noticed, although who knows what gets past his megalomaniacal delusions. And among these victories is the dramatic emergence of women, especially young women of color, in the leadership of this new movement.
We do, however, have to note the advances made by right-wing authoritarianism – and, indeed, fascism – many places around the world. The victory of Jair Bolsonaro in the presidential election in Brazil is particularly distressing in this regard. When we think about the current phase of the struggle, we have to factor this in, too.
So what does all of this mean for H-PAD? Basically, we need to continue to rethink the question of the most effective roles for us as radical historians and intellectuals in this ongoing, changing, critical struggle.
H-PAD at the AHA Annual Meeting
Chicago, January 3-6, 2019
Our AHA panel: Join H-PAD and MARHO (Middle Atlantic Radical Historians Organization/Radical History Review) at the upcoming AHA conference from 10:30 am to 12:00 on Friday, January 4 for this exciting panel. We are living in dangerous times, and we, as historians, have a role to play in resisting the attacks against Blacks, Latinos, women, the LGBTQ community, workers, and those foreign nations and peoples the Trump regime dislikes and attacks. We will also talk about ways to work in solidarity with those forces that are leading the fight to expand democracy, social justice, and economic equality in the United States and around the world. The panelists are Daniel Bessner, University of Washington, whose work focuses on what a left foreign policy would look like; Bruce Cumming, University of Chicago, who specializes in modern Korean history; Nancy MacLean, Duke University, the author of Democracy in Chains, among other books; Barbara Ransby, who recently authored Making All Black Lives Matter; and Barbara Weinstein, past AHA president and expert on Brazil and the recent election of Jair Bolsonaro. Following remarks from the panelists, we will open the session to Q & A and discussion. Join us!
Our AHA H-PAD Meeting: You are also invited to attend our H-PAD meeting to discuss our work and plans—and getting involved: Stevens C-8, Hilton Chicago, Saturday, 12 to 1:30 p.m.
Our AHA Table: H-PAD and Radical History Review will have a joint table 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, January 4. Come by and join us, and pick up some leaflets to pass around and post!
Remembering Jesse Lemisch, 1936-2018
H-PAD is among the sponsors of a memorial event on Thursday, December 6 for Jesse Lemisch, a pioneering radical historian who was a co-founder of H-PAD’s predecessor, Historians Against the War, in 2003. The event will take place at New York University’s Tamiment Library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Following the scheduled speakers, there will be time for comments from the floor and informal socializing. More information, along with an RSVP form, is available at https://events.nyu.edu/#!view/event/event_id/219096
U.S. Foreign Policy History & Resource Guide Web Site
The latest essay on the U.S. Foreign Policy History & Resource Guide (http://peacehistory-usfp.org/) looks deeply into the origins of U.S. involvement in the World War One, unpacks President Woodrow Wilson’s idealistic justifications for entering it, and chronicles the efforts of European and U.S. peace advocates to prevent the war. Authored by Charles F. Howlett, Jeremy Kuzmarov, and Roger Peace, the essay ( is written for the general public and students, synthesizing the work of many historians. The website is sponsored by the Peace History Society and Historians for Peace and Democracy.
The website is unique in seeking to integrate three academic approaches: progressive “revisionist” history (http://peacehistory-usfp.org/united-states-participation-in-world-war-one/) critiques of foreign policy), interdisciplinary peace and justice studies (normative value orientation), and global history (non-nationalistic perspective). Information about the value-based perspective of the website can be found on the Home page . Please share the WWI essay and the website with friends, associates, students, teachers, professors, and educational and activist organizations.
Call for Papers (Submitted by The Peace History Society)
Commemorating Violent Conflicts and Building Sustainable Peace
An International Conference at Kent State University
Commemorating the May 4, 1970 shooting by the Ohio National Guard of Kent State Students during a demonstration against the US wars in Vietnam and Cambodia and the occupation of the Kent State campus by the Ohio National Guard
October 24-26, 2019, Kent, OH, USA
Sponsored by The School of Peace and Conflict Studies of Kent State University, The Peace History Society, The Peace Studies Section of the International Studies Association
Call for Papers; Abstracts due by February 15, 2019; For more information:
What you can do. Ways to get involved
Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
And please consider sending a donation: https://www.historiansforpeace.org/donate/