History

Colin Powell’s self-serving distortion of Balkan history

Featured image In his 1995 autobiography, Colin Powell tried to justify America’s refusal to intervene in the Balkan Wars by claiming that these wars were driven by “ancient hatreds” in a “thousand year-old hornet’s nest.” I’d call this a misreading of history, except that Powell probably was not reading history. Maybe he picked up this trope at a cocktail party. In any case, the clash between Croats and Serbs in the 1990s »

Quiz for the Day

Featured image As I was preparing my class notes for today (topic: How to Understand the Declaration of Independence), I realized that we are nigh upon the 200th anniversary of an obscure but fascinating court case out of Maryland in 1819—fascinating not simply for the closing argument, but for who made it. The case involved a Methodist minister named Jacob Gruber who had delivered an abolitionist sermon to an audience of some »

Dartmouth Celebrates a Dark Moment (with comment by Paul)

Featured image Dartmouth News reports that the college is celebrating an event that happened 50 years ago, on June 7, 1969: As part of the yearlong 250th anniversary commemoration, Dartmouth is revisiting various turning points in its history. On Friday, the clock turns back 50 years to the afternoon of May 7, 1969, when students who opposed the Vietnam War occupied the Parkhurst administration building. Paul and I, both Communists at the »

The Pathetic Joe Biden

Featured image I suppose the headline for this entry might need to become a regular Power Line series between now and election day. It was as predictable as the sunrise that Biden’s long-time support of the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for elective abortion, would crumple under pressure from the Abortion Absolutists who now control Democratic Party dogma. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that he crumpled so quickly. Get used »

Trump commemorates D-Day

Featured image This morning President Trump commemorated the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied northern France by Allied forces. Trump joined French President Emmanuel Macron in honoring the attending veterans of the battle and their fallen colleagues at the site of the invasion just above the beaches of Normandy. I have posted the text of the president’s eloquent and moving speech below the video, which really has to be seen. »

The ordeal of Omaha Beach

Featured image Reader Patti Kruse wrote us a few years ago asking us to persist in our annual remembrance of the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches. “My dad landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day,” she told us. “He was one of the fortunate ones, as he was never physically injured and managed to survive from D-Day all the way through the Battle of the Bulge and V-E Day. He rarely spoke »

David Garrow explains

Featured image Historian and Spectator USA Life & Arts editor Dominic Green interviews historian David Garrow on his most recent findings deriving from recently disclosed documents reflecting the FBI’s surveillance of Martin Luther King. I have embedded the podcast below. In his related Spectator USA column, Green asks whether media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, and the Guardian suppressed and/or disparaged Garrow’s »

Edmund Morris, RIP

Featured image When I interviewed Michael Deaver, one of Ronald Reagan’s senior aides from his days as governor and into his second presidential term, in the course of writing my two-volume Age of Reagan book project, he confessed that recommending Edmund Morris be Reagan’s official biographer was the second-biggest mistake he ever made in Reagan’s service. Immediately your mind will run to the obvious question, which I duly asked: What was your biggest »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a brilliant column by Peter Collier to mark the occasion. The column remains timely and is accessible online here. I don’t think we’ll read or hear anything more thoughtful or appropriate to the occasion today. With the kind permission of Peter himself, here it is: Once we knew who and what to honor on Memorial Day: those who had »

17 years: 17 thoughts

Featured image It was 17 years ago this weekend — 17 years ago today, I think, but maybe tomorrow — that John Hinderaker went to Blogger and set up Power Line. On Memorial Day that weekend he gave me a call and invited me to contribute. We’ve moved on from Blogger, but we’re still here. Survival has its charms; many sites have come and gone or gone off the deep end over »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 125: The Antidote to Howard Zinn? “Land of Hope” with Wilfred McClay

Featured image Lo and behold, I opened up this morning’s Wall Street Journal to see a weekend interview with this week’s guest, historian Wilfred M. McClay of the University of Oklahoma, about his brand new book Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. In the course of our conversation, we cover not only what’s wrong (but also partly right) about Howard Zinn, but how Bill got the audacious idea »

Passings

Featured image Another busy, travel-heavy week, so I wasn’t able to post a proper obituary notice for John Lukacs, who passed away early this week at the age of 95. The first Lukacs book I read as an undergraduate way back in 1980 was The Passing of the Modern Age, followed shortly by 1945: Year Zero, and I was hooked. (Both of these books hold up extremely well after 40 years.) Lukacs »

“Traitors, searchers after novelty, and those who err out of light mindedness”

Featured image Reading Paul Kengor’s piece “Is Ilhan Omar a Communist?” and Scott Johnson’s post “Wave of the Future” made me think about Maria Theresa, the Habsburg Empress. I’ll explain why momentarily, but first a word about Maria Theresa. She reigned from 1740 until 1780, and was an incorrigible anti-Semite. But that’s not what made me think of her when I read about Ilhan Omar. Maria Theresa was an excellent ruler, one »

An Antidote to Leftist History Textbooks

Featured image Paul wrote earlier this week here and here about the case of an AP history textbook, By the People: A History of the United States, whose leftist bias is so egregious that you’d be better off having your kid not take AP history at all.  That textbook is not, sadly, a rare example of leftist bias in primary school textbooks. Is there any remedy available? We’re very happy to report »

The ideologue who wrote the textbook calling Trump and his supporters “racists”

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the AP U.S. History textbook By the People that calls President Trump and his core supporters “racists” and suggests that the president is “mentally unstable.” Today, I want to write about James W. Fraser, the author of this egregiously biased left-wing book. Stanley Kurtz blew the whistle on Fraser a year ago. Rereading Stanley’s piece made my blood boil, just as it was simmering down. Fraser »

Palestinian Jesus? Please

Featured image Before Easter fades too far into the rear-view mirror, I want to note this stunningly ignorant op-ed in the New York Times: “As a Black Child in Los Angeles, I Couldn’t Understand Why Jesus Had Blue Eyes.” The author decries the Western tradition of depicting Jesus as a white man, and adds: Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin. As the Daily Wire correctly »

AP U.S. History textbook calls Trump “racist,” questions his mental stability

Featured image I have written repeatedly about the hard-left bias in the teaching of AP American History. I finally got tired of writing such posts and abandoned the beat. But now, I learn that, beginning in 2020, many Advanced Placement students will be using an American History textbook that suggests President Trump is mentally ill and that depicts him and many of his supporters as racists. The book asserts that “[Trump’s] not »