History

My dad and Hubert Humphrey

Featured image Scott’s Father’s Day tribute to his dad includes a picture of his father and Hubert Humphrey. Scott noted that the picture was taken not long after Humphrey had led the charge to retake the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party from the Communists between 1946 and 1948. Around the same time as that picture was taken, my father, a socialist, was a leader in the movement to wrest control of certain union locals in »

Color him father

Featured image I wrote this on Father’s Day several years ago. It is a post that struck a chord with at least a few readers. I amplified it last year and am taking the liberty of reposting these reflections in honor of the day. My father was a thoughtful man in his own way. In the last years of his life he recited for me the things for which he was most »

Why Juneteenth?

Featured image Steve Silbiger, a longtime observer of Joe Biden, sent me the following message: Biden is living proof of how much progress the United States has made on racial discrimination. The man who ran for President on a Southern strategy in which he claimed that “Delewareans were on the side of the South in the Civil War” has signed a bill that creates a Federal law commemorating the effective end of »

My new hero

Featured image I have a new hero. He’s Walter E. Hussman Jr., an Arkansas newspaper publisher. Hussman, a major donor to the University of North Carolina, raised objections to UNC awarding tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones. Hannah-Jones is the author of the 1619 project, a radical reinterpretation of American history that has been rejected by leading historians, including liberal ones and even socialists. Hussman says he didn’t threaten to stop donating to the »

D-Day at 77

Featured image My Dartmouth classmate John Floberg recently retired after a distinguished career in neurology. We took Professor Peter Bien’s freshman seminar on Politics and the Novel together during our first term at the college. John is originally from Chicago but we reconnected in the Twin Cities through Power Line 40 years after our studies with Professor Bien. Following in a family tradition, John served as a commissioned Navy officer after our »

Tangled up in Tulsa

Featured image President Biden traveled to Tulsa to deliver a speech on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. I can’t find an official White House version of the speech President Biden delivered in Tulsa yesterday. Rev has posted an unofficial transcript here. I have embedded the Guardian News video at the bottom. The speech mixed its memorial purpose with low Democratic politics while giving no hint of remarkable progress made »

“We are all Jews here”

Featured image Last week Tablet published Professor Patrick Henry’s remembrance of Roddie Edmonds, the former Army master sergeant who saved the Jews in his ranks from plans the Nazis had in store for them as prisoners of war. Professor Henry takes the title of his column from Edmonds’s memorable assertion to the unhappy Nazi commandant of the prison camp: “We are all Jews here.” It is a moving and inspirational story. In »

America’s honor

Featured image In observance of Memorial Day 2007 the Wall Street Journal published a brilliant column by the late 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 »

CRB: Winston is back!

Featured image We continue our preview of the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books with Andrew Roberts’s review of a clutch of new books on, or bearing on, Winston Churchill. Roberts’s review is titled “Winston is back!” Subhead: “Churchill was filled to the brim with a love of life.” The heading of Roberts’s review is the message signalled to the fleet upon Churchill’s return to the Admiralty in 1939. »

University of Michigan Memory Hole

Featured image These days, statues are coming down and buildings and monuments are being re-named as leftists scour the historical record for evidence of nonconformity with today’s conventional wisdom. Generally, I have little sympathy for this project, in part because I scoff at the idea that our forebears were less moral than we are. I do make exceptions, however: there is a statue of former Governor Floyd B. Olson on the grounds »

The Rhyme of Leftist History

Featured image The current scene keeps bringing back to mind the old saying attributed (incorrectly) to Mark Twain: history doesn’t repeat itself—but it rhymes. Right now the country seems to be repeating the cycle of the 1960s, when liberals in power gave us reckless spending that stoked inflation, social engineering like “model cities” and busing, degraded law enforcement with soft-on-crime policies contributing to a massive crime wave, and race riots that elicited »

Regarding JFK

Featured image Yesterday, Steve wrote about how the left has turned on John Kennedy. To me, the wonder is that it didn’t turn on him years ago. Kennedy’s presidency might have been liberal as that term was understood at the time, but it wasn’t “progressive.” In fact, today it might reasonably be considered conservative. Kennedy gave Americans a big tax cut on the theory that this would stimulate the economy. It did. »

JFK on the Rocks

Featured image One trait of the progressive left is that its contempt for the past leads it sooner or later to turn on their own previous heroes. The environmental left has long detested Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal for things like the massive dams on the Columbia River and elsewhere, along with other big infrastructure projects. The so-called “anti-racist” left attacks FDR for perpetuating segregation in housing (with some justice in this case). »

The Worst Class Evah?

Featured image Daniel Pipes graduated from Harvard in 1971, the same year in which Paul and I graduated from Dartmouth. To Daniel’s misfortune, one of his college classmates was Chuck Schumer. Schumer, the next year, was one of my law school classmates. Happily, I have no recollection of ever having met him. Daniel writes: “The worst class ever”: that’s how Nathan Pusey, Harvard’s then-president, described my undergraduate cohort of 1971. What a »

Nancy Pelosi’s white privilege

Featured image Nancy Pelosi’s father, Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., was mayor of Baltimore during the 1950s. Like most politicians of that era — including the two most influential ones, President Eisenhower and Lyndon Johnson — D’Alesandro did not want to burn his bridges with either side of the civil rights divide. (The exceptions to this rule tended to be from the deep south or the firmly liberal north.) Thus, D’Alesandro’s record on race »

Learning from the Rosenwald Schools

Featured image Booker T. Washington formed an incredibly productive partnership with Sears magnate Julius Rosenwald dating to 1911. It started with Rosenwald’s donations of shoes and hats for industrial school students in the South. In 1913 Washington recruited Rosenwald to join the board of the Tuskegee Institute. As Robert Norrell writes in Up From History: The Life of Booker T. Washington (2011), “By that time, Rosenwald and his wife were enamored of »

Speaking of genocide

Featured image It is news of a kind that President Biden has now recognized atrocities against Armenians as “genocide.” The Associated Press has three reporters with a byline (including the excellent Matthew Lee) on its story covering this development. As the AP notes at the top, the genocide in issue is a matter of history. It was perpetrated by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire in the early twentieth century. You might »