History

Woodstock @ 50

Featured image Forget asking about citizenship status on the next Census. I’ve always wanted to have the Census ask: “Were you at Woodstock in 1969?” The event was such an icon for the appalling baby boomer generation (to which I sadly belong) that I estimate that you’d get 5 million Yes responses to the question. Maybe that many people believe they were there by astral projection during an acid trip or something. »

Grand strategy in WWII

Featured image The Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson convened an all-star panel of historians to discuss something like the grand strategy of the allies in World War II. Included on the panel ore Stalin biographer Stephen Kotkin, Roosevelt expert David Kennedy, and Churchill biographer Andrew Roberts. This is an exhilarating discussion from beginning to end. Having now taken it in its entirety, I recommend it for the sheer pleasure of the thing — »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 137: Burke, Lincoln, and the Politics of Prudence with Greg Weiner

Featured image “Prudence” is not just something Dana Carvey liked to lampoon back when President George H.W. Bush was in office. Rather, it is the highest and most essential quality of those superb human beings we used to call “statesmen” before political science and history banished both terms in a fit of egalitarian madness that has yet to abate in our leading intellectual circles. One antidote to this narrowing of our horizons »

Misrepresenting Woodstock

Featured image The music festival at Woodstock 50 years ago was a big deal. There had never been anything quite like it in America before — not in terms of size or caliber of performers (though Monterrey Pop might not have been too far behind in terms of the latter). But with the 50th anniversary approaching, it was inevitable that precincts of the mainstream media would make Woodstock out to be more »

Smearing Reagan, Again

Featured image Normally I don’t ever jump to the step-and-fetchit demands of our many lefty trolls, but I’ll make an exception for the story rocketing around right now that way back in 1971 Governor Reagan made a crude racist comment in a private conversation with (checks notes). . . Richard Nixon.  You can listen to the audio here (about the halfway mark). Here’s how Timothy Naftali (a nasty piece of work whom »

More Leftist Moonbattery Over the Moon

Featured image Not content to leave things well enough alone, The Nation decided to go into full clown mode with this Tweet and article: Is the underlying article as bad as this Tweet suggests? You make the call: Within the United States, launch sites can exploit marginalized populations as well. For instance, industry and government agencies in the Mojave Desert region—one of the nation’s oldest sites for space activities—employ locals as manufacturers »

The Moon @ 50

Featured image Lots of deserved recollections on the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing over the last few weeks and months. There’s not much need to repeat the main themes of the scientific marvel or adventurous spirit of that glorious enterprise. Some political aspects of Apollo, however, have not received sufficient attention. Specifically, the liberal attitude toward the moon landing is emblematic of how American liberalism had lost confidence in itself »

Harvey Klehr: The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole

Featured image Harvey Klehr is the Andrew W. Mellon professor emeritus of politics and history at Emory University, and co-author, with John Haynes, of The Secret World of American Communism, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, and In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage. Tomorrow is the official publication date of Professor Klehr’s new book, The Millionaire Was a Soviet Mole: The Twisted Life of David Karr. We invited Professor Klehr to bring »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 133: Andrew Roberts Unplugged, on Brexit, Churchill, Trump, and Historiography

Featured image One of my teachers in graduate school, the great constitutional historian Leonard Levy, insisted that “a history must serve its readers with explanations that suit the horizons of their curiosity and with writing that entertains and stirs them.” No one exemplifies that vivid style of biography and history better than Andrew Roberts. I caught up with Andrew in San Francisco this week, where we had a wide-ranging conversation about Churchill, »

Ross Perot, RIP

Featured image Ross Perot has passed away. Perot was a hugely successful businessman, but will be remembered, of course, mainly for his presidential campaign, as a third party candidate in 1992. It was a remarkable run. At times, if I recall correctly, polling placed Perot in the same tier as his opponents, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In the end, Perot captured 19 percent of the vote. That’s truly exceptional for »

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 »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Featured image On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. In his speech Douglas sounded the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and »

Herbert Meyer, RIP

Featured image Very sad news this evening of the passing of Herbert Meyer, one of the genuine heroes of the Cold War for his service in the CIA under President Reagan. It was Meyer who, in a famous memo to Reagan in November 1983 when things were very tense with our intermediate-range missile deployments in Europe, wrote: “if present trends continue, we are going to win the Cold War.” Over eight vivid »

Joe Biden mangles the past

Featured image William Faulkner wrote: “The past is never dead; it’s not even past.” The past certainly isn’t past for Joe Biden. He can’t stop talking about it. One suspects he’s still living in the distant past. The latest example is his over-the-top statement comparing the election of President Trump to the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. Biden stated: I think what’s happening now is, I think that Donald »

Yelling “Fire” in a Crowded River: The Cuyahoga Story at 50

Featured image As mentioned in our podcast with Jonathan Adler yesterday, today is the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire in Cleveland. The fire continues to be a prominent and compelling image of man’s relationship to the environment. Immortalized in song (Randy Newman’s “Burn On” and R.E.M’s “Cuyahoga”), and fodder for countless Cleveland-bashing jokes from standup comics, the incongruously short-lived fire (it was put out in about 20 minutes, causing »

Yad Vashem schools AOC

Featured image Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to be among the intellectual leaders of the Democratic Party despite, or on account of, the near daily demonstration of her nescience. I don’t think she can safely be ignored. She recently opined: “The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are: concentration camps.” Israel’s Yad Vashem doesn’t wade into American politics, but it made an exception in »

VDH recommends

Featured image While the academic study of military history is in a state of sickness unto death in the academy, it lives because of its popularity with the American people. In his terrific essay “Why study war,” Victor Davis Hanson observes: The university’s aversion to the study of war certainly doesn’t reflect public lack of interest in the subject. Students love old-fashioned war classes on those rare occasions when they’re offered, usually »