History

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 »

Those Angry Days

Featured image Earlier this year I finished reading Lynne Olson’s Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941. I recommend the book unreservedly. There is so much intensely interesting history in the book. Much of the interest derives from the incredible cast of characters that populates the book. The Century Group, with which I was previously unfamiliar, alone supplies a panoply. The text runs over 450 pages »

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 »