History

Hayward unbound

Featured image Below is the complete video of Bill Kristol’s conversation with Steve Hayward about the study of Ronald Reagan and statesmanship. The video is also posted here at Conversations with Bill Kristol. The transcript is posted here. Listen and learn. If you dropped an obnoxious comment about Bill Kristol or Steve Hayward on Steve’s post of the video, I have banned you as a commenter. The same applies here. Quotable quote: »

Your Pre-Election Diversion

Featured image Bill Kristol kindly invited me to sit down recently for one of his “Conversations with Kristol” series to talk about the enduring lessons of Ronald Reagan, and the hows and whys of studying statesmanship. Just the thing to take your mind off the election for a little while, as we don’t talk about Trump or Clinton at all. It’s divided into two segments, each about a half-hour long. Enjoy! And »

Marc Rich revisited

Featured image In his excellent Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents: From Wilson to Obama, Steve Hayward observes of Bill Clinton: “Clinton’s most flagrant abuse of his constitutional power was the pardon.” As Steve recounts, the pardon of Marc Rich represented abuse of authority, gross corruption and ruthless prevarication all in one tidy package. It signfies! With the return of the Marc Rich pardon to the news — courtesy (ahem) of the »

How Do Democracies End?

Featured image Our philosophical-historical lesson for today comes from the late John H. Hallowell, the long-time professor of political science at Duke University. Among his other fine writings is The Moral Foundation of Democracy, published in 1954. In the last chapter of the book, Hallowell reflects on Socrates’s critique of democracy in Book VIII of Plato’s Republic: The transition from democracy to tyranny is described by Plato as a process of both »

What goes around comes around

Featured image A reader points out the irony of Hillary Clinton complaining about timing of the reopening of the FBI investigation. In 1992, the reader reminds me, President Bush was gaining on Bill Clinton as Election Day approached. But just four days before the election, the special counsel, Lawrence Walsh, obtained a new indictment of former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Weinberger had been indicted earlier in the year. But the new »

Stalin? Whodat???

Featured image I think the study of ancient history extends to the advent of the first Clinton administration in 1993 or so. As we all know, and as former Latin students might say, ancient history has fallen into desuetude. I think this may explain the finding reported in Jamie Gregora’s Daily Signal story “This is the percentage of millennials who believe George W. Bush killed more people than Stalin.” I’m sure millennials »

Trump’s refusal to commit to “accepting” defeat — some historical perspective

Featured image Ignorance and anti-Trump bias continue to prevail in the denunciations of Donald Trump’s statement that he doesn’t know yet whether he will “accept” the result of the presidential election. For example, Michael Gerson asserts that Trump’s lack of belief in the fairness of our electoral system “is disqualifying” in a presidential candidate. Gerson notes that the fairness of our electoral system has been “hard-won through a long history of strife »

In defense of Al Gore

Featured image Al Gore is back in the news. Not because of his lame appearances on the campaign trail on behalf of Hillary Clinton (imagine how unenthusiastic young voters must be about Clinton for her to think she needs a 68 year-old has-been to fire them up), but because of Donald Trump’s refusal to say in advance that he will “accept” the results of this year’s election. This generated instant, mindless criticism »

The Rosenberg File, 60 Minutes style (3)

Featured image When I posted part 2 in this series yesterday morning, I did not have a comment from the prominent historian John Earl Haynes on the Rosenberg spy case story broadcast on 60 Minutes this past Sunday evening. Dr. Haynes added his comment in the responses to the post. Dr. Haynes is the co-author with Harvey Klehr of the most important books on the history of American Communism that either didn’t »

Yes, He Was a Nazi [With Comment by John]

Featured image No, I don’t mean the current or any past Republican nominee. I’ll leave that perennial charge to Democratic Party agitprop writers. I refer to Martin Heidegger, often regarded as the most significant philosopher of the 20th century, and certainly one of the main sources of leftist postmodern philosophy, even if many ignorant leftists today don’t know it. Heidegger’s affinity for Nazism has long been disputed by his fans, or at »

The Rosenberg File, 60 Minutes style (2)

Featured image This past Sunday 60 Minutes presented the Rosenberg spy case for dummies — i.e., for viewers with no knowledge of the ancient history it purported to relate. As John Schindler explains, the 60 Minutes story is deficient in critical respects. In February 2015 C-SPAN recorded an outstanding panel at the National Archives including John Earl Haynes, Ronald Radosh, Steven Usdin, Allen Hornblum and Mark Kramer discussing the case. Collectively, these »

The Rosenberg File, 60 Minutes style (1)

Featured image 60 Minutes broadcast its review of the Rosenberg spy case this past Sunday in “The brothers Rosenberg” (the brothers being Michael and Robert Meeeropol). In the hands of 60 Minutes and reporter Anderson Cooper, the case becomes a sob story starring the surviving children of the American leader of a network of Communist spies who sought to facilitate Stalin’s development of atomic weapons. John Schindler exposes the 60 Minutes story’s »

The Rosenberg File revisited

Featured image Tomorrow night 60 Minutes will broadcast a story on the Rosenberg spy case featuring the Rosenbergs’ two sons, Michael and Robert Meeropol. 60 Minutes has posted a preview of the segments here. According to the preview, Michael argues that Ethel Rosenberg was “collateral damage” – framed by prosecutors for a crime she did not commit in an effort to get their father to cooperate with FBI investigators. Robert asserts: “Our »

David Satter: Understanding Putin

Featured image In its September 2009 number GQ carried an interesting article by Scott Anderson on the September 1999 apartment bombings in Russia that left hundreds dead and led to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. The piece profiled former Russian FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin and collected evidence suggesting that the bombings were perpetrated by the FSB rather than by Chechen terrorists. It was the kind of intriguing investigative piece that most publications »

The P-Word Through History

Featured image Okay, that’s a good example of a post title that over-promises. But Paul wrote earlier about Bill Clinton’s use of the now-notorious P-word, and I want to add one bit of evidence as to how leaders–some of them, anyway–talk in private. Lyndon Johnson was notoriously vulgar. Among other things, he took great, and vocal, pride in the size of the presidential unit. But sticking with the subject at hand, history »

Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935

Featured image Jews begin the observance of Yom Kippur at sundown tonight with the Kol Nidre prayer service. A couple of years ago a Christian friend asked to join us at the service. During the service she pointed in our prayer book to an adaptation of the prayer composed by the progressive German Rabbi Leo Baeck for delivery in German synagogues during the Kol Nidre service on October 10, 1935. It is »

Comey: I am not a weasel [Updated With Cartoon]

Featured image FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday deserves the attention of every American who cares about the rule of law, as many opponents of Donald Trump purport to do. C-SPAN has posted its recording of Comey’s testimony here. I clipped the video of Rep. Ron DeSantis’s questioning of Comey (posted here) from the C-SPAN video. In my mind Comey’s testimony recalls the dark days of »