History

Ken Starr’s investigation and Robert Mueller’s — compare and contrast

Featured image E.J. Dionne claims that “the attacks on [Robert] Mueller push us closer to the precipice.” But if we’re close to the precipice now, where were we 20 years ago when Ken Starr was relentlessly attacked by Democrats and their media pals while he investigated Bill Clinton?* Don’t expect an answer from Dionne. He’s not intellectually honest enough even to mention Starr in his rant. But charges of hypocrisy against one »

Worst column of the year?

Featured image Over the years, I’ve probably learned as much, if not more, from George Will as from any columnist or political commentator. These days, his antipathy towards the U.S. president far exceeds mine, but I continue to learn from Will. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to learn from Will’s latest contribution, in which he proclaims Trump the worst president in American history. The column is an embarrassment. I can’t say it’s the worst »

A Whittaker Chambers Xmas

Featured image I was reminded that a friend asked me to recommend a book about Whittaker Chambers as a Christmas gift for her smartly conservative daughter a few years ago. Chambers stands at the center of an incredible drama and four fantastic books about it. There is still much to be learned from Chambers and his case. It occurred to me that some readers might appreciate another look at these recommendations including »

Darkest two hours

Featured image We went to see Darkest Hour last night. The film portrays Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) in May 1940. When Neville Chamberlain stepped down, Churchill became Prime Minister on May 10 and became Great Britain’s war leader. In Five Days in London: May 1940 (1999), John Lukacs focused on these events and took us into the cabinet meetings portrayed in the film. Stick with Lukacs. The film reduces Churchill to a »

AP History repeats itself

Featured image Last year, I wrote about the College Board’s plan to mandate a left-wing framework for the teaching of AP European History, a college-level course for American high school students and the last course in European history that many of them take. I relied on a devastating critique of the AP European History exam (APEH) issued by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) and written by David Randall. Dr. Randall’s key »

The Second World Wars

Featured image Last week I noted that Time has compiled a list of the top 10 non-fiction books of 2017. While conceding I haven’t read any of them, I noted that any such list in which Hillary Clinton and Ta-Nehisi Coates place in numbers 1 and 2 is some kind of a joke. That’s what Time’s list is. I’m thinking about my own top 10 list. It certainly includes Scalia Speaks: Reflections »

Weekend reading

Featured image I want to take the liberty of drawing attention to weekend reading of special interest without commentary from me. I recommend: • Douglas Murray, “The Russian Revolution, 100 years on.” Murray looks back at what Communism wrought and decries its continuing appeal. NRO has posted Murray’s recent cover story along with sidebars by Anne Applebaum, David Pryce-Jones, Noah Rothman, Roger Scruton, and Radoslaw Sikorski assigning notable books for extra credit »

America’s first socialist republic

Featured image Paul A. Rahe holds the Charles O. Lee and Louise K. Lee Chair in the Western Heritage at Hillsdale College and has established himself as one of the country’s most distinguished scholars of history and politics. In view of his study of Republics Ancient and Modern, Professor Rahe is the academy’s foremost authority on the history of republics. Although his more recent work on Soft Despotism was not far from »

Happy Thanksgiving

Featured image We pause to give thanks for Sarah Josepha Hale, the 74-year-old magazine editor who wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same »

It wasn’t “the times” that caused feminists to give Bill Clinton a pass

Featured image Yesterday, in a post called “The Farce of Bill Clinton’s Reckoning,” I discussed the intellectual dishonesty of the many Democrats and feminists who defended Clinton from highly credible (and in at least one case admitted) charges of sexual misconduct. I rejected the defense to this hypocrisy that, when Clinton’s offenses were “litigated” more than 20 years ago, the problem of sexual harassment wasn’t taken nearly as seriously as it is »

History Is Bunk, Indeed

Featured image Henry Ford is reported to have once said, “History is bunk.” Upon Ford’s death, the eminent historian Arnold Toynbee remarked, “Henry Ford is history.” Touché! But I wonder if Henry Ford isn’t having the last laugh on this question, at least when it comes to academic history. I’ve been making mischief for the last few years among academic historians by asking the simple question, “Why is it that nearly all of »

The Ken Burns version, cont’d

Featured image I put everything I had to offer on the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick/Geoffrey Ward documentary The Vietnam War into “Notes on the Ken Burns version.” I think the documentary seeks to fix the record in falsity. To take only one example, as I say in my “Notes,” Burns and his colleagues were apparently unable to find a soldier to recall his service in anything other than shades of disillusion, disgust and »

A word from Victor Davis Hanson

Featured image Basic Books has just published Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars. Matthew Continetti celebrated it in a column here; it is certainly one of the most notable books of the year. Dr. Hanson has graciously accepted our invitation to preview the book for Power Line readers. He writes: The Second World Wars is not a chronological narrative of the conflict, but is organized by themes—e.g., “earth,” “fire,” “air,” “water,” »

Should Boalt Get the Boot?

Featured image Lawyers will know that U.C. Berkeley’s law school has long been known as Boalt Hall, named for John Boalt, a prominent 19th century California lawyer whose estate donated the money for Berkeley to start a law school way back in 1906. But there’s a problem: it seems Mr. Boalt harbored some racist views, in particular against the Chinese. You can read a paper Boalt delivered in 1877 entitled “The Chinese »

The Russian Revolution at 100

Featured image The New York Times has humiliated itself with the series of essays on the hundredth anniversary of the Russian Revolution that it has published under the rubric of Red Century. Michelle Malkin peeked in on it here. I peeked in on it in “The Times revisits the old-time religion” and drew on the great Harvey Klehr’s contribution to the series in “The romance of Soviet stooges.” This week’s New York »

The Ken Burns version, cont’d

Featured image I watched all 18 hours of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick/Geoffrey Ward documentary The Vietnam War. Ten years in the making, it draws on enormous resources to fix our history in falsity. It seeks to endow the war as portrayed by the antiwar left with the status of the authorized version. A credulous consumer of the antiwar literature of the era, I began to get a clue around about the time »

The Ken Burns version, cont’d

Featured image I posted my “Notes on the Ken Burns version” as a placeholder until the time more knowledgeable observers than I published their comments on the updated left-wing version of the Vietnam War. In place of fairness it gives us a pretense of Olympian if sorrowful detachment. In place of a fair representation of the men who fought the war, it gives us voices ranging from disillusion to shame. The Ken »