History

Don’t Know Much About History, Hillary Edition

Featured image We have commented a number of times about Barack Obama’s below-average knowledge of history. But he is not alone: his would-be successor in the White House, Hillary Clinton, wouldn’t fare well in a high school American history class, either. The Free Beacon covers her book-promoting appearance with Rahm Emanuel. Note that her blunder isn’t a mere slip of the tongue, but rather part of an extended analogy that she draws »

Revisionist history on hold

Featured image D-Day seems to have been well commemorated in France on its 70th anniversary. President Obama apparently saw fit to chew gum while Queen Elizabeth II was welcomed and during the playing of the Marseillaise. But as far as I can tell, the Europeans behaved with dignity and gratitude, as well they should. There is, though, an unflattering revisionist history of the Normandy invasion that has gained some currency in France. »

Normandy 2014 [Updated]

Featured image The 70th anniversary of D-Day has rightfully drawn a great deal of attention. Coincidentally, my youngest child, a high school junior, went on a school trip to England and France over spring break, in March, with members of her European history class. (When I was in high school we went on a school trip, too; as I recall, it was an afternoon in Sioux Falls.) One of the highlights of »

The ordeal of Omaha Beach

Featured image Seventy years ago today our fellow Americans and their allies stormed the beaches of Normandy to vanquish the Nazis’ supposed thousand-year regime. In his D-Day message to the troops, General Eisenhower declared: “We accept nothing less than full victory!” The landing was necessary if the war was to be won. In 1984 President Reagan called it “a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.” Yet success was far from inevitable. Eisenhower »

CRB: Mucking around

Featured image We welcome the publication of the Spring issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) this week. In keeping with custom our friends at the Claremont Institute have allowed us to preview three pieces I chose for our readers. We began on Monday with CRB senior editor William Voegeli’s essay “The Redskins and Their Offense.” Yesterday we highlighted “Whistleblowers and traitors,” Hudson Institute senior fellow Gabriel Schoenfeld’s review of »

A Less-Is-More Presidency? (And Who Ruined It in the First Place?) [with comment by Paul]

Featured image A few days ago George Will devoted a column to advocating that a good presidential candidate—and by extension a good president—would be someone who talked less and promised less: All modern presidents of both parties have been too much with us. Talking incessantly, they have put politics unhealthily at the center of America’s consciousness. Promising promiscuously, they have exaggerated government’s proper scope and actual competence, making the public perpetually disappointed »

A mistake was made

Featured image As to the identity of the leaker of Valerie Plame’s identity in days of yore, word appears not to have penetrated the Los Angeles Times. Reader Curt Massie writes: You won’t believe this (or maybe you will). The LA Times claims that Scooter Libby “leaked” the name of Valerie Plame. As we all know the leak came from Richard Armitage. I wonder how a mistake like that got by all »

Was Greenwald justified?

Featured image The case of Edward Snowden is important in more ways than one. He has massively violated the espionage laws of the United States and done great damage to our national security. Glenn Greenwald has been one of Snowden’s most prominent journalistic conduits and in my view shares Snowden’s culpability for the violation of the espionage laws. I made this case in principle when James Risen and the New York Times »

The Great Society’s greatest achievement isn’t so great

Featured image The Washington Post is running a series called “The Great Society at 50.” At times, the project seems like an effort on behalf of progressivism to revive the reputation of a shockingly bad liberal president, just as the buzz around Thomas Piketty’s new book seems like an effort to revive shockingly bad economic doctrine. It happens that my father had a ringside seat for the launch of the Great Society »

Gabriel Kolko, RIP

Featured image About 10 days back I flagged for a pick Ron Radosh’s obituary of Martin Sklar, a Marxist-inspired historian whose works on the rise of the regulatory state in the late 19th century were ironically popular with conservatives and libertarians.  Funny thing about some Marxists; they often stumbled across the truth, but, to borrow Churchill’s line about Stanley Baldwin, dusted themselves off and carried on as though nothing had happened.  Actually »

Brown v. Board and court worship

Featured image Those who believe the Supreme Court should take an “activist” approach often cite Brown v. Board of Education as an example of the Court’s ability to do good where other institutions and the body politic come up short. It’s a decent example, but not sufficient to make the general case. Keep in mind first that before giving us Brown, the Court gave us Plessy v. Ferguson. It upheld, by a »

A tour de megaforce

Featured image Terry Teachout traces his interest in Louis Armstrong to the time his mother called him in from outdoors to see Armstrong sing (probably “Hello, Dolly”) on the Ed Sullivan Show. His mother beckoned him with the sage admonition, “He won’t be around forever.” By the same token, if you are in the vicinity of New York City, or visiting some time soon, I urge you to come in and see »

When hell was in session

Featured image Admiral Jeremiah Denton died yesterday at the age of 89. Admiral Denton served seven-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi during the Vietnam War. Denton’s name should be known by every American. In captivity he gave something beyond the last full measure of devotion, if that is possible. His is a story of almost unbelievable endurance, courage and patriotism. Here is a short course courtesy of the Denton »

A word from Edmund Levin

Featured image Edmund Levin is the author of A Child of Christian Blood: Murder and Conspiracy in Tsarist Russia – The Beilis Blood Libel, just published by Schocken Books. The book is about the 1913 trial in Kiev of the Russian Jewish factory worker Mendel Beilis on a charge of ritually murdering a Christian boy and draining his blood to make Passover matzo. Mr. Levin wrote the book as a labor of »

Peace, they say: Nordlinger vs. Lundestad

Featured image The Nobel Peace Prize Forum was held in Minneapolis on the campus of the University of Minnesota over the weekend. Yesterday was Global Day. I’m not sure what made it Global Day, but it was. However, I am sure what the highlight of the day was. It was previewed in the Star Tribune here. At noon Geir Lundestad, director of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, debated National Review senior »

CRB: Digging up a new past

Featured image The new issue of the Claremont Review of Books that we have been featuring this week includes pieces by Charles Murray, Harvey Mansfield, Walter Russell Mead, John Bolton, Joseph Epstein, Michael Nelson, and many others. The new issue lives up to my billing of the CRB as providing a virtual education in politics with each issue, if a reader thinks through the implications of the arguments made in the issue’s »

CRB: Schoolmaster to the world

Featured image Was our twenty-eighth president nuts? Reviewing A. Scott Berg’s new biography of Woodrow Wilson in the just-released Winter edition of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here for $19.95), Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell finds little evidence to doubt it. That Wilson’s sanctimonious pabulum (“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for!”— shoot, strike that—”Sometimes people call me an idealist…well, that is the way I know I am an »