History

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, »

Can the left do without identity politics?

Featured image Anis Shivani argues in Slate that it’s time for the left to give up on identity politics because this approach is dragging down the progressive agenda. He acknowledges, however, that it’s too late for such a change of course. I agree. It would take decades for decades worth of indoctrination to be undone. I also question Shivani’s premise to this extent: it may well be that, for all of its »

Romanticizing the Detroit riots

Featured image This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots of 1967. Michael Barone reminds us that the rioting went on for six nights, with some 2,500 stores looted and burnt, some 400 families displaced, and property damage estimated at around $300 million in 2017 dollars. Forty-three people, many of them innocent bystanders, were killed. More than 1,000 people were wounded. Even so, the riots were always going to be »

Terry McAuliffe changes his tune on statues

Featured image Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is a slippery customer. In 2015, McAuliffe favored keeping Virginia’s monuments to Confederate leaders, arguing that “these are part of our heritage.” “Leave the statues and those things alone,” he told MSNBC. But just two years later, McAuliffe supports local governments that want to take statues of Robert E. Lee and others down. How does he explain this shift? He did so yesterday by telling Jake »

Statue of Limitations (2)

Featured image Further to my comments the other day about the issues emerging from Charlottesville, a few more observations and interrogatories: It is understandable that Democrats would be agitating to remove Confederate-honoring statues. After all, it is their history that they need to make go away. You know, things like this: I won’t vouch for the accuracy of the histogram below (after all, it was produced by a hate group, the Southern »

Trump defends monuments to Confederates

Featured image Today, President Trump tweeted: Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. I disagree that taking down statues of and monuments to Confederate generals and soldiers rips apart the history and culture of our country. Our history doesn’t change when a monument is removed. And how we view history inevitably changes from generation to generation, »

What was Dunkirk?

Featured image Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk is the blockbuster film depicting the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from France over four days in late May 1940. British, French and Canadian troops had been cut off by the German Army. In his history of the war, Gerhard Weinberg writes that “it looked as if Great Britain would lose nearly its whole army including the professional officers who would be »

Statues of Limitation

Featured image So we seem to be on our way to tearing down every statue related to the Democratic Party’s largest achievement in American history—the Confederate States of America. Funny how the Confederate battle flag, and now statues, didn’t start to come down until Republicans became ascendant in southern states. Democrats who had a monopoly grip on the South for decades had lots of time to take these steps, but didn’t. You’d »

A monument falls in Durham

Featured image The crazed left has an uncontrollable urge not just to vent, but to destroy. The latest manifestation is the destruction in Durham, North Carolina of a monument to Confederate soldiers (“the boys who wore gray”). I have no problem with removing monuments to Confederate generals and soldiers if that’s what the public wants. The monuments were erected because those in control of the political process at the time considered them »

Thomas Jefferson: Useful again, for a few days

Featured image Charlottesville, scene of a hate rally and of awful violence this weekend, was the home town of Thomas Jefferson. Virginia’s liberal governor Terry McAuliffe was among those who invoked Jefferson when condemning the alt-right. McAuliffe said: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about »

Never enough, Yale edition

Featured image Wherever craven liberal authorities hold sway, the quest to bring our past into conformity with the wave of our totalitarian leftist future continues with token resistance, it any at all. Yale University presents a useful case in point. At NRO Kyle Smith notes that “Yale’s determination to take a giant jar of Wite-Out to history has reached a new level of fatuousness.” Smith points to the Yale Alumni Magazine report »

The Story Behind the Roto-Broil 400

Featured image Burnt Toast is a podcast about food. I normally wouldn’t hear it, but my wife urged me to listen to this episode. Burnt Toast had done a podcast on the Roto-Broil 400, one of the premier kitchen devices of the early 1960s. The Roto-Broil remains a cult item that is still in use in some homes. After that podcast, the producer received a message that led to a follow-up, which »

“Would I have done the same?”

Featured image Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin made a big impact on me. The subject of Larson’s book is the American ambassador to Germany, William Dodd, and his daughter, Martha, from the time Dodd was offered the ambassador’s job by President Roosevelt in 1933 to the Night of the Long Knives in May 1934. Dodd was something like Roosevelt’s fourth choice »

“Trump goes rogue”

Featured image That’s the title of this New York Times op-ed by Matthew Continetti. He cites the firing of Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus, and says it sends the following message: After six months of trying to behave like a conventional Republican president, he’s done. His opponents now include not only the Democrats, but the elites of both political parties. This is a reasonable interpretation of where Trump is. The question is »

Friedrich Engels, “icon” of the modern left

Featured image Andrew Stuttaford at NRO informs us that a statue of Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s writing partner and and benefactor, has been erected in Manchester, England. The Manchester Evening News gushes: Iconic socialist thinker, Friedrich Engels has returned to Manchester[,] 150 years after he left. As part of the Manchester International Festival, a statue will be officially unveiled of the German writer, in Tony Wilson Place, this Sunday. Tony Wilson, by »

Netanyahu in Paris

Featured image French President Emmanuel Macron hosted yet another prominent leader when Benjamin Netanyahu came to Paris this weekend. Netanyahu’s visit struck a more serous note than President Trump’s. The Israeli Prime Minister wasn’t in Paris for a parade. Instead, the occasion was the 75th anniversary of a Holocaust roundup in Paris in which thousands of Jews were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe. The occasion was also »

The Scandal of the Liberal Mind

Featured image Some years ago the evangelical scholar Mark Noll wrote an influential book titled The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. It was a critique of the lack of intellectual seriousness and depth among his fellow evangelicals, and a clarion call to for evangelical thinkers to step up their game. Christianity Today named it the “Book of the Year” in 1994, and it provoked far-reaching and long-lasting discussion among evangelicals. I wonder »