History

Alan Taylor’s revolution

Featured image From its very beginning in the United States, the Progressive movement has disparaged the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the American Revolution. Take Alan Taylor, for example, who represents the state of the art. Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia. Despite the chair he holds, Taylor is not much of a fan of the American Revolution. The New York Times »

“Shall we wake the president?”

Featured image Our friend Tevi Troy, author of the excellent What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted, has written a new book. It’s called Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office. Tevi is a presidential historian and served as an aide to President George W. Bush. He knows whereof he speaks. The book is just out and I haven’t read it. However, Tevi offers »

A day to be proud…

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) It’s a good book that touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, »

The Oslo disaster

Featured image It is a remarkable fact that Israel has never held a public accounting for the utter disaster that was Oslo. Israel’s then Foreign Minister President Shimon Peres of course won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize (with Prime Minister Rabin and the terrorist butcher Yasser Arafat) for his involvement in the Oslo Accords that resulted in the return of Arafat from his Tunisian exile to rule over the Arabs on the »

Phyllis Schlafly, RIP

Featured image I met the great Mrs. Schlafly only once, when we were speakers together on a Hillsdale College cruise some years ago, and found her perfectly delightful, and still full of brim though she was over 80. I don’t think she got the full honors deserved from conservatives, let alone from the mainstream media and feminists, who have mostly airbrushed her out of the class picture of politically important women. Her »

What serious protest by an athlete looks like

Featured image As folks continue to debate Colin Kaepernick’s unwarranted show of contempt for his country, news comes from Prague of the death of Vera Caslavska, a truly heroic athlete-protester. Here is the obituary by Emily Langer in the Washington Post from which this post is drawn. Caslavska won four gold medals at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City just two months after the Soviet Union invaded her country. Fearing arrest by »

Lies of “Truth” revisited

Featured image This past October 16 the Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country. John and I warned viewers not to take the film at face value in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” On the film’s opening weekend the Star Tribune also carried my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column was published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the »

The worst Democratic presidential nominee until now

Featured image Scott argues that Hillary Clinton is the worst Democratic nominee for president ever. I think Scott has a good case if we confine ourselves to the period since the Civil War. My nominee for the worst nominee in the past 152 years until Hillary is James Cox. He ran for president in 1920 against Warren Harding. Harding, though underrated, was no great shakes. However, America did not err when it »

Why not the worst? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image We are subject to the tyranny of the present. Let’s try briefly to place our current election in historical context for whatever educational and entertainment value it may have. Donald Trump is the worst candidate ever nominated for president by the Republican Party. From John Fremont and Abraham Lincoln to Donald Trump — as the Grateful Dead put it in “Truckin'”: what a long, strange trip it’s been. Who was »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll shouts: I DIDN’T DO IT! She writes: When our Citizen of the World President attended a Pan-American Tinhorn Dictator’s Conference in 2009 (I may not have the name completely right), Obama sat and listened to Daniel Ortega give a 50-minute diatribe about the century of sins of the United States. At the end of that tedious hour, Obama never offered a single rebuttal. Later, he made an idiotic »

Jean Edward Smith’s Burning Bush

Featured image I’m not going to read Jean Edward Smith’s new biography of George W. Bush for three reasons, one of them coming directly from Smith himself. Smith, the acclaimed biographer of John Marshall, Lucius Clay, and Dwight Eisenhower, once advised me: “Never write a biography of a living person.” He gave lots of good reasons for this counsel, many of which can be easily surmised. I was a little surprised, therefore, »

CRB: Hamilton versus history

Featured image Richard Samuelson is learned in the things that interest me. As an undergraduate I read and admired Garry Wills’s Nixon Agonistes. During my senior year I even raised the money to bring Wills to campus to speak about the imminent presidential election of 1972. Studying American literature with James Cox and Noel Perrin that year, I also read the novel Democracy by Henry Adams as well as Adams’s classic autobiography »

Lincoln & the Jews

Featured image One can discover, and learn from, the remarkable character of Abraham Lincoln in studying any aspect of his life. Thus even its narrow byways hold interest if navigated by a serious scholar. One such is Jonathan Sarna, perhaps the most prominent living scholar of American Judaism. A week ago this past Sunday the Jewish Review of Books held its second annual event for supporters and subscribers. This year’s event included »

Chappaquiddick movie heads towards production

Featured image Last December, John wrote about the plan to make a movie about the Chappaquiddick scandal. It was at Chappaquiddick where Ted Kennedy, who was drunk, drove a young campaign worker off a bridge to her death, failed to take reasonable steps that might have saved her, and tried to cover up his culpability. The notion of Hollywood going through with such a project struck me as implausible. It’s easy enough »

Ellison exploits the ignorant

Featured image As the Minnesota’s Fifth District representative in Congress, Keith Ellison has a good gig. He’s a hustler who is accustomed to exploiting the ignorance of voters in a one-party district in a town with a one-party newspaper. Ellison has exploited the ignorance of his constituents in lying repeatedly about his personal history, as I tried to show in “Louis Farrakhan’s first congressman.” Seeking to make himself a player on the »

Kansas City 1976: the last great political convention

Featured image Tevi Troy, writing in the Washington Post, discusses the ways in which technology has changed, and continues to change, political conventions. Tevi’s piece is based on his fascinating essay in National Affairs about the evolution of such conventions. It’s sad that the contested convention vanished from the political landscape before modern high technology had taken hold. Imagine an old-style, multi-ballot convention taking place in our era of high technology — »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »