History

CRB: Land of the free

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books has just published its new (Fall) issue. The magazine has moved to a new site with a new URL (claremontreviewofbooks.com). Celebrating its twentieth year of publication in its second life, the editors have made the new issue freely accessible for the next few days. They hope to entice readers to become subscribers (subscribe here). This week I am previewing a few reviews and essays from »

Poll: Democrats consider Obama a better president than George Washington

Featured image Last month, I noted with dismay that, in a survey, a majority of Republicans deemed Donald Trump a better president than Abraham Lincoln. It’s only fair for me to note, with even more dismay, that most Democrats who participated in a new survey deemed Barack Obama a better president than George Washington. The survey comparing Obama and Washington is from Monmouth University. It found that among Democratic voters, the “Father »

Charles Kesler: Our political stalemate

Featured image Charles Kesler is the Dengler-Dykema Distinguished Professor of Government at Claremont-McKenna College and editor of the Claremont Review of Books. We hope to preview the forthcoming issue of the magazine over the rest of this week. This column appears as the Editor’s Note in the issue and is reprinted with permission. Professor Kesler writes: Despite his reputation as a disrupter, Donald Trump has not been able to break the political »

Paul Volcker, RIP

Featured image News this morning of the passing of Paul Volcker, the chairman of the Federal Reserve during the key period from 1979 – 1987 when inflation was wrung out of the American economy, a painful though necessary move whose long-run benefits we are still experiencing today. The Reuters obituary notice today says: Volcker was appointed Fed chairman by a Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, and then reappointed by a Republican, Ronald Reagan. »

A hearing highlight

Featured image Watching the law professors testify before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, I was grateful for my education at the University of Minnesota Law School. I never had a teacher at the school who was as visibly suffused with self-love and moral certitude as Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, or Michael Gerhardt. Not even close. We didn’t have to contend with Trump Derangement Syndrome back then, of course, but I never had »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 156: Breaking Down the ‘1619 Project,’ Part 5, with Lucretia

Featured image This episode is appearing several days late because of the holiday week and because I was felled over the weekend with a nasty early season case of bronchitis, but it features “Lucretia,” Power Line’s international woman of mystery, joining me once again to resume our series critiquing the “1619 Project.” This time we take up the examples of Alexander Stephens, Booker T. Washington, and W.E. B DuBois, among other thinkers, »

A Footnote to Transatlantic Slavery, Visualized

Featured image Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute was inspired by our post Slavery? We Were a Footnote to create an animated chart on his site, Carpe Diem. Mark’s animated chart is taken from the same database at SlaveVoyages.org that we discussed in our post. The animation traces the trans-Atlantic slave trade over time, and reflects the fact that statistically, the American colonies and, later, the U.S. played only a minor »

Slavery? We Were a Footnote

Featured image Liberals are trying to rewrite American history, teaching our children that the only thing that ever happened here–until they came along a year or two ago!–was slavery. The New York Times’s 1619 Project, which is being enthusiastically adopted by the nation’s public schools, is the culmination of years of left-wing propaganda. The liberals’ task is made easier by the fact that world history is mostly terra incognita to America’s young »

American’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 »

The Power Line Show. Ep. 155: Looking Back at the Great Society, with Amity Shlaes

Featured image More than 50 years after Lyndon Johnson launched the “Great Society” and its “war on poverty” that its architects said would eliminate all poverty in America in ten years, we still have poverty and a legacy of failed experiments in social engineering (Model Cities, anyone?) Author Amity Shlaes is out this week with her latest book, Great Society: A New History, that gives us a fine-grained look into numerous aspects »

So Long, Sacagawea

Featured image The City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia has voted to remove a statue of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and Sacagawea, their Shoshone interpreter, from a street in the city: The city council voted to direct city staff to create a plan for the removal of the West Main Street statue commemorating the Lewis and Clark expedition during a work session Friday. *** At the work session, councilors discussed the statue with »

History’s sting in the tail

Featured image Abe Greenwald has written a thoughtful essay for Commentary called “The failure at the end of history.” The “end of history” refers to Francis Fukuyama’s optimistic notion from 30 years ago that, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, we had reached “the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Greenwald summarizes his thesis as follows: In »

The Fall of the Wall, 30 Years Later

Featured image The fall of the Berlin Wall on this day 30 years ago was the most spectacular moment of the end of the Cold War, but in fact only represented the mid-point in the “last sad chapter” of this bizarre story, as Ronald Reagan once put it.  The occasion of remembering the last day of the Wall is a fitting time to recall the broader sweep of events that surrounded it. »

The Best Years of Our Lives

Featured image When I walked into Spaulding Auditorium to see The Best Years of Our Lives as an undergrad, I had never even heard of the film. When I walked out three hours later, I couldn’t believe I had never heard of it. It is a great film with a lot of truth and a big heart in it. TCM is playing the film as part of its Veterans Day lineup on »

A day to be proud of Rick Rescorla

Featured image Yesterday President Trump awarded a posthumous Presidential Citizens Medal to Rick Rescorla. Rescorla’s beloved wife, Susan, and his two children were on hand. The White House tweeted out several notes on the event including a live stream of the 17-minute ceremony. I have embedded the C-SPAN video below. FOX News reports on the award and related White House ceremony here. Rescorla was preeminently a hero of 9/11. We recall him »

Reunion in Jerusalem

Featured image We are instructed that whoever saves a single life is considered to have saved the whole world. We have a sort of case study in the Times of Israel/AP story by Aron Heller on Melpomeni Dina’s reunion with the surviving siblings she saved and their 40 descendants: “One by one, the 40 descendants of a group of Israeli siblings leaned down and hugged the elderly Greek woman to whom they »

Bukovsky’s dissent

Featured image Vladimir Bukovsky died this past Sunday at his home in Cambridge (UK) at the age of 76. The New York Times obituary is here; the brief AP obituary is here. The Vladimir Bukovsky site has much more. Bukovsky was of course the incredibly brave dissident who spent 12 years in prisons, psychiatric hospitals, and labor camps before his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1976. His memoir — To Build »