Neither King nor Prelate: Religion
and the New Nation, 1776-1826
Edwin S. Gaustad
A while back I lamented the fate of philosophers. Today, I’m expressing my sympathies for historians.
I’ve always loved history; if I had known, or encountered, some of the more recent historiography I might even have chosen it as my major. The siren song of quantification, though, drew me across campus though the underlying motivation was the same: to help me Continue reading
67 Shots: Kent State and the End
of American Innocence
The first unsupervised business trip I ever went on with a client took me from New York to Tampa, Florida. But I went by way of Ohio to pick up Larry so we could work on the plane.
You’re riveted, aren’t you?
Here’s what I discovered at dinner that night. The mild-mannered man sitting across from me, deacon in his Continue reading
“The Paranoid Style in American Politics”
Americans are a famously ahistorical people. And so, like a bad dream scripted by George Santayana, the same tropes, for better and for worse, keep turning up.
The rhetoric in these parts has been ugly for the past couple of years and its pace seems to have accelerated since the calendar turned. What, I have found myself Continue reading
Part of Our Time: Some Ruins and Monuments of the Thirties
If print media are dinosaurs then newspapers are apatosauruses .
But I grew up with these now-lumbering beasts. We were a two-paper a day household and my first job was delivering the now long-defunct Long Island Press, a broadsheet like the Times. Our competitor was Newsday.
I don’t know why we were a Press household. We also took the Daily News and that was the paper I preferred–it had better (and more) comics, including Bill Gallo in the sports section. Like Newsday, it was Continue reading
The Tupac Amaru Rebellion
Charles F. Walker
What do a dead rapper, a failed group of urban guerillas and colonial era insurrectionists have in common? Stick around, you’ll find out.
History grabbed hold of my imagination more strongly than fantasy ever did. And if it happened in the western hemisphere I was on top of it. I honestly can’t keep all the dynastic nonsense and interminable warring of Europe Continue reading
This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly
Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff
Long ago I took a class in economic history. It was taught in the history department, by visiting faculty not terribly well versed in economics.
Let me qualify that last bit. Not terribly well versed in the quantitative, equation-driven neo-classical post-Samuleson economics most often taught in the Econ Continue reading
A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food
James E. McWilliams
New England Boiled Dinner. Can there be four more fearsome words in the English language? I grew up in a boiling household and the idea of enshrining that flavor-destroying technique in the name of the meal strikes terror in my tummy.
So you can imagine my confusion when confronting a litany of the typical New England kitchen garden circa 1700 or so. This is just a patial list of things I didn’t expect to see: leeks, currants. mint, asparagus. artichokes, basil, garlic, Continue reading