History

Take a Lemon

Featured image CNN’s Don Lemon played the fool — okay, he did his thing as usual — in conversation with Strelmark president and “Royal Watcher” Hilary Fordwich. Lemon packs slavery, reparations, the empire, and the monarchy into his boffo question. Fordwich dispatches it in a baloney meets the grinder moment. Lemon was unprepared to engage beyond the shibboleths. That must be why this highly satisfying video has gone viral. Quotable quote: “It’s »

Jan Karski’s message

Featured image Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal ran Charles Isherwood’s review of a new one-man play depicting the career of Jan Karski. Isherwood’s review ran under the headline “‘Remember This: The Lesson of Jan Karski’ Review: Dramatically Bearing Witness.” Karski’s name should be known far and wide and it’s good to be reminded of him, though I would find the moralizing that frames the play annoying. Turning the play and »

The Past and the Furious, with Bill Maher

Featured image I think it is possible that Power Line was first to the story last month of historian James Sweet calling out politicized “presentism” in academic history, and, noting the Twitter backlash from the left, predicting that his groveling apology tour was certain to follow. Which it did—in less than 24 hours. The major media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and others, all picked up »

Ken Starr dies at 76

Featured image Judge Kenneth Starr has died today at the age of 76. I have to borrow from Jake Bleiberg’s AP obituary: At age 37, he became the youngest person ever to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where Chief Justice John Roberts and justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia also had served. From 1989-93, Starr was the solicitor general in the »

Queen Elizabeth’s Death, As Seen In America

Featured image On Saturday evening (Sunday in Australia), I appeared live on Sky News’ Outsiders program to talk about how Americans have responded to the passing Queen Elizabeth II. We also talked about demands for “reparations” and the merits of the British Empire. It is a short segment, only around six minutes, but you may find it of interest: »

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, »

God Save the Queen

Featured image Queen Elizabeth II, a jeep and truck mechanic during World War II, crowned during the second premiership of Winston Churchill, was the last living link to the senior leadership of World War II, even as Mikhail Gorbachev’s passing last week represented the last link to the senior figures of the Cold War (with the partial exception of Lech Walesa, who is still with us). I got to see the Queen »

Democrats and the F-Bomb

Featured image Citizens who were shocked at the bitter partisanship and presumption of Joe Biden’s Philadelphia speech should recognize that such rhetoric has a long pedigree in the Democratic Party, stretching all the way back to before the Civil War. In the runup to the Civil War in the 1850s, Democrats liked to call Lincoln’s new anti-slavery party “the Black Republicans,” a transparent appeal to latent racial bigotry. Likewise, Stephen Douglas and »

In Depth with Steven Hayward

Featured image Steve Hayward had his mojo working for his appearance on C-SPAN 2’s In Depth series yesterday. C-SPAN’s John McArdle interviewed Steve in a well-produced two-hour show reviewing Steve’s career and the books he has written including, most recently, M. Stanton Evans: Conservative Wit, Apostle of Freedom and Patriotism Is Not Enough: Harry Jaffa, Walter Berns, and the Arguments That Redefined American Conservatism. McArdle was well prepared with good questions. The »

A Footnote on Reagan & Gorbachev

Featured image When Gorbachev became general secretary in 1985, Reagan wrote in his diary that he was “too cynical” to believe reports that Gorbachev was a “different kind” of Soviet leader. Gorbachev thought Reagan was “a dinosaur,” fully slavish to America’s capitalist class. But by degrees they warmed to each other personally, ironically by means of bitter and direct philosophical arguments in their unprecedented five face-to-face meetings over the next three years that »

Remembering Mikhail Gorbachev [Updated]

Featured image I was sorry to learn of Mikhail Gorbachev’s death today. Some time around 2000 Gorbachev was the Annual Dinner speaker for my organization, Center of the American Experiment. It was an epic event; we drew a crowd of 2,000 to the field house at the University of Minnesota. I was the chairman of American Experiment’s board at that time, so my daughters greeted Gorbachev at the airport and presented him »

King of the Wild Frontier

Featured image Davy Crockett was one of the great crazes of the 1950s, driven by a Disney movie and, as I recall, television show. My older brother and I owned, and frequently wore, coonskin caps, as did many of the boys in our neighborhood. Crockett was, of course, a real person who among other things represented a Tennessee district in Congress before being killed at the Alamo. This is straight from InstaPundit. »

Who owns German history?

Featured image Dr. Scott Jensen is the Republican gubernatorial candidate running against Governor Tim Walz. He is a former state senator and leader of the opposition to the authoritarian Walz Covid regime that did so much damage to Minnesota. I support his candidacy without reservation. Jensen appeared with the rest of the slate of Republican candidates for Minnesota’s constitutional offices before our local chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition this past Tuesday »

History Is Bunk After All

Featured image Henry Ford is reported to have said, “History is bunk.” When Henry Ford died in 1947, the legendary historian Arnold Toynbee is reported to have said, “Henry Ford is history.” Who knows whether either quip is authentic. This exchange comes to mind in following the latest sequel to the disgrace in academic history that we have covered here and here over the last few days. As noted in our last »

Two Reagan anecdotes

Featured image Last week the Wall Street Journal published Phil Gramm’s column “Reagan’s lessons in economic leadership.” Gramm took the occasion of President Biden’s signing of the absurdly named and and absurdly destructive Inflation Reduction Act to recall “two previously untold examples of his extraordinary leadership and humanity that I witnessed during the making of the Reagan Revolution.” Gramm’s anecdotes arise from the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981. Gramm provides this necessary »

Update: ‘Is History History?’ Answer: Sadly, Yes

Featured image In yesterday’s post about the entirely reasonable article by James Sweet on “Is History History?”, I ended with “Cue Prof. Sweet’s apology tour (and perhaps the removal of the article) in three, two. . .” It didn’t even take 24 hours. This from Prof. Sweet today: Message from James H. Sweet (August 2022) Aug 19, 2022 –  My September Perspectives on History column has generated anger and dismay among many »

The Latest in Renaming Mania

Featured image Liberals understand that whoever controls the past controls the future, and whoever controls the present controls the past. Thus their efforts to constantly rewrite America’s history. Disputes over statues, historical monuments, names of elementary schools and so on all arise from this basic insight on the part of the Left. Here is the latest from my neck of the woods: “Minneapolis’ Patrick Henry High School to get a new name.” »