History Buzz: February 2007

History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

February 26, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • B. Carmon Hardy on “Polygamy A Feature In Romney Family Tree Great-Grandfather Had 5 Wives”: polygamy was “a very important part of Miles Park Romney’s family. Now, very gradually, as you moved farther away from it, it became less a part of it. But during the time of Miles Park Romney, it was an essential principle of the Romney family life.” – Boston Channel.com, 2-25-07
BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
  • 26/02/1732 – 1st mass celebrated in 1st American Catholic church, Philadelphia
  • 26/02/1848 – Marx and Engels publish “Communist Manifesto”
  • 26/02/1869 – 15th Amendment guaranteeing right to vote sent to states
  • 26/02/1870 – 1st NYC subway line opens (pneumatic powered)
  • 26/02/1933 – Golden Gate Bridge ground-breaking ceremony held at Crissy Field
  • 26/02/1962 – US Supreme court disallows race separation on public transportation
  • 27/02/1670 – Jews expelled from Austria by order of Leopold I
  • 27/02/1801 – Washington DC placed under Congressional jurisdiction
  • 27/02/1827 – 1st Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans
  • 27/02/1864 – 6th and last day of battle at Dalton, Georgia (about 600 casualties)
  • 27/02/1864 – Near Andersonville GA, rebels open a new POW camp “Camp Sumpter”
  • 27/02/1869 – John Menard is 1st black to make a speech in Congress
  • 27/02/1872 – Charlotte Ray, 1st Black woman lawyer, graduated Harvard U
  • 27/02/1877 – US Electoral College declares R Hayes winner presidential election
  • 27/02/1900 – Boer General Cronj‚ surrenders to English in Pardenberg, South-Africa
  • 27/02/1922 – Supreme Court unanimously upheld 19th amend woman’s right to vote
  • 27/02/1942 – 1st transport of French Jews to nazi-Germany
  • 27/02/1949 – Chaim Weizmann becomes 1st Israeli president
  • 27/02/1950 – General Chiang Kai-shek elected president of Nationalist China
  • 27/02/1951 – 22nd amendment ratified, limiting president to 2 terms
  • 27/02/1972 – Pres Nixon and Chinese Premier Chou En-lai issued Shanghai Communique
  • 27/02/1998 – Britain’s House of Lords agree’s to end 1,000 years of male preference by giving a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first born son
  • 28/02/1692 – Salem witch hunt begins
  • 28/02/1704 – Indians attack Deerfield, Mass, kill 40, kidnap 100
  • 28/02/1708 – Slave revolt, Newton, Long Island NY, 11 die
  • 28/02/1778 – Rhode Island General Assembly authorizes enlistment of slaves
  • 28/02/1847 – US defeats Mexico in battle of Sacramento
  • 28/02/1854 – Republican Party formally organized at Ripon, Wisc
  • 28/02/1879 – “Exodus of 1879″ southern blacks flee political/economic exploitation
  • 28/02/1961 – JFK names Henry Kissinger special advisor
  • 28/02/1972 – Pres Richard Nixon ends historic week-long visit to China
  • 01/03/1562 – Blood bath at Vassy: Gen de Guise allows 1200 huguenots murder
  • 01/03/1692 – Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba arrest for witchcraft (Salem, MA)
  • 01/03/1780 – Penn becomes 1st US state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only)
  • 01/03/1781 – Continental Congress adopts Articles of Confederation
  • 01/03/1845 – President Tyler signs a resolution annexing the Republic of Texas
  • 01/03/1864 – Rebecca Lee (US) becomes 1st black woman to receive a medical degree
  • 01/03/1875 – Congress passes Civil Rights Act; invalidated by Supreme Ct, 1883
  • 01/03/1932 – Charles Lindbergh Jr (20 months), kidnapped in NJ; found dead May 12
  • 01/03/1940 – 12th Academy Awards – “Gone with the Wind,” R Donat and V Leigh win
  • 01/03/1945 – FDR announces success of Yalta Conference
  • 01/03/1961 – President Kennedy establishes the Peace Corp
  • 01/03/1974 – Watergate grand jury indicts 7 presidential aides
  • 02/03/1776 – Americans begin shelling British troops in Boston
  • 02/03/1807 – Congress bans slave trade effective January 1, 1808
  • 02/03/1836 – Republic of Texas declares independence from Mexico
  • 02/03/1853 – Territory of Washington organized after separating from Oregon Ter
  • 02/03/1855 – Aleksandr Romanov becomes tsar of Russia
  • 02/03/1865 – Freedman’s Bureau founded for Black Education, 1865
  • 02/03/1867 – Congress passed the 1st Reconstruction Act
  • 02/03/1877 – Rutherford B Hayes (R) declared president despite Samuel J Tilden (D) winning the popular vote, but is 1 electoral vote shy of victory
  • 02/03/1915 – Vladmir Jabotinsky forms a Jewish military force to fight in Palestine
  • 02/03/1923 – Time magazine debuts
  • 02/03/1974 – Grand jury concludes Pres Nixon is involved in Watergate cover-up
  • 02/03/1991 – UN votes in favor of US resolutions for cease fire with Iraq
  • 03/03/1801 – 1st US Jewish governor, David Emanuel, takes office in Georgia
  • 03/03/1803 – 1st impeachment trial of a federal judge, John Pickering, begins
  • 03/03/1805 – Louisiana-Missouri Territory forms
  • 03/03/1817 – Mississippi Territory is divided into Alabama Territory and Mississippi
  • 03/03/1820 – Missouri Compromise passes, allowing slavery in Missouri
  • 03/03/1837 – US president Andrew Jackson and Congress recognizes Republic of Texas
  • 03/03/1845 – 1st time, US Senate overrides presidential (Tyler) veto
  • 03/03/1849 – Territory of Minnesota organizes
  • 03/03/1862 – Battle of New Madrid MO-captured by Union forces
  • 03/03/1865 – Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands established
  • 03/03/1869 – University of South Carolina opens to all races
  • 03/03/1871 – Congress changes Indian tribes status from independent to dependent
  • 03/03/1877 – Rutherford B Hayes is sworn in as the 19th president
  • 03/03/1885 – Congress passes Indian Appropriations Act (Indians wards of fed govt)
  • 03/03/1887 – Anne Sullivan begins teaching 6 year old blind-deaf Helen Keller
  • 03/03/1911 – 1st US federal cemetery with Union and Rebel graves opens, Missouri
  • 03/03/1913 – Ida B Wells-Barnett demonstrates for female suffrage in Washington DC
  • 03/03/1918 – Treaty of Brest-Litovsk: Germany, Austria and Russia sign
  • 03/03/1923 – US Senate rejects membership in Intl Court of Justice, The Hague
  • 03/03/1931 – “Star Spangled Banner” officially becomes US national anthem
  • 03/03/1972 – Sculpted figures of Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee, and Stonewall Jackson are completed at Stone Mountain Georgia
  • 03/03/1992 – Pres Bush apologizes for raising taxes after pledging not to
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • JOHN LEWIS GADDIS on Margaret MacMillan: Great Leap Forward NIXON AND MAO The Week That Changed the WorldNYT, 2-25-07
  • Orville Schell on Margaret MacMillan: Nixon’s Balancing Act A realist president’s bold trip brought America and China together to counter the Soviets – NIXON AND MAO The Week That Changed the World, First Chapter – NYT, 2-25-07
  • Kenneth T. Jackson, Robert Caro: Making No Little Plans – NYT, 2-25-07
  • Margaret MacMillan: NIXON AND MAO The Week That Changed the World WaPo, 2-25-07
  • David A. Clary: Writer explores Lafayette’s bonds Adopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship That Saved the RevolutionFayObserver.com, Fayetteville NC, 2-26-07
  • John Patrick Diggins: Revisits the legacy of The Great Communicator Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of HistoryExaminer.com, 2-23-07
  • Andrew Roberts: Newsweek celebrates his history of English-speaking peoples – Evan Thomas in a two-page spread in Newsweek, 2-26-07
OP-ED:
PROFILED:
INTERVIEWED:
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin: Deconstructing Abraham Lincoln’s Administration – NPR, 2-19-07
FEATURE:
  • Underground Railroad may be resurrected UD grad students hope to make the route taken by runaway slaves a historic highway – The News Journal, DE, 2-24-07
QUOTED:
  • Joseph McCartin on “Union choice may have a chance”: “The Democratic majorities make this a very different environment. Last year, it was more symbolic. This year, there are some real possibilities…. In order to bring any heat to bear on the Senate, you have to get the bill through the House,” he said. “In order to hold the Democratic presidential candidates’ feet to the fire, you have to get it through the House. Ultimately, this is preparation for the fight which is going on down the road. I believe the labor movement looks at this as a two-year project.” – Philadelphia Inquirer, PA, 2-26-07
  • James Hoopes on “As the times have changed, so has the need for a watch”: “It’s that we live in an increasingly synchronized world. You don’t really relieve all the stress unless you get out of the world where time synchronization is so important.” – Houston Chronicle, TX, 2-25-07
SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
ON TV:
  • C-Span2, Book TV : Book TV presents Jeffrey Rosen, “The Supreme Court” & Jan Crawford Greenburg, “Supreme Conflict”, Sunday, February 25 at at 10:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “RACE TO THE MOON” Monday, February 27, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Star Wars: Empire of Dreams,” Sunday, February 25, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Little Ice Age: Big Chill :Little Ice Age: Big Chill,” Monday, February 26, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Wrath Of God :Blizzards: Whiteout!,” Monday, February 26, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Ramesses: Visions of Greatness,” Monday, February 26, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :The Maya: Death Empire,” Monday, February 26, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “USS Constellation: Battling for Freedom,” Tuesday, February 27, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Deep Sea Detectives :Slave Ship Uncovered!,” Tuesday, February 27, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Hunting Bonnie & Clyde,” Tuesday, February 27, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nixon: A Presidency Revealed” Wednesday, February 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :JFK & the Crisis Crusader” Wednesday, February 28, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Return of the Pirates,” Thursday, March 1, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :The Mysteries of Devil’s Triangles.,” Thursday, March 1, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :Ship of Gold,” Thursday, March 1, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Doomsday 2012: The End of Days,” Thursday, March 1, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights: The Greatest Air Battles,” Friday, March2, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth,” Marathon Saturday, March 3, @ 8-11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier,” Saturday, March 3, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History of Sex,” Marathon Saturday, March 3, @ 8-11pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #11 (5 weeks on list) – 3-04-07
  • Dinesh D’Souza: THE ENEMY AT HOME, #18 – 3-04-07
NEW ON THE WEB:
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Cultural History : This website presents ongoing research into the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and its cultural history. The song was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map. The song has also p layed an important role in the Civil Rights and folk revival movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and in contemporary elementary school education.
  • SoldierStudies.org: New online database archive for the preservation of Civil War correspondences, is a searchable database of soldiers and their correspondences.
EXHIBITIONS:
  • Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers by Rik van Glintenkamp: In recognition of International Polar Year, the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announces a unique exhibition celebrating intrepid explorers and their travels to the farthest “ends” of the Earth. Opens January 26, 2007 – Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperCollins Publishers), February 6, 2007
  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007
DEPARTED:

Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 8:16 PM

February 19, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Allan Lichtman on “Obama Set For Big Jewish Push”: “There’s no Democrat who has locked in the Jewish vote, It’s wide open…. He’s well educated, he has sterling intellectual credentials and he seems to have struck the right note on a lot of issues…. The winner in this race is going to be the last person to make a mistake. First-time candidates are mistake-prone.” – NY Jewish Week, 2-16-07
BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
  • 19/02/1807 – VP Aaron Burr arrested in Alabama for treason; later found innocent
  • 19/02/1878 – Thomas Alva Edison patents gramophone (phonograph)
  • 19/02/1881 – Kansas becomes 1st state to prohibit all alcoholic beverages
  • 19/02/1919 – Pan-African Congress, organized by W E B Du Bois (Paris)
  • 19/02/1941 – Nazi raid Amsterdam and round up 429 young Jews for deportation
  • 19/02/1942 – FDR orders detention and internment of all west-coast Japanese-Americans
  • 19/02/1945 – US 5th Fleet launches invasion of Iwo Jima against the Japanese
  • 19/02/1963 – USSR informs JFK it’s withdrawing several thousand troops from Cuba
  • 19/02/1986 – US Senate ratifies UN’s anti-genocide convention 37 years later
  • 20/02/1547 – King Edward VI of England was enthroned following death of Henry VIII
  • 20/02/1792 – US postal service created; postage 6›-12«›, depending on distance
  • 20/02/1809 – Supreme Court rules federal govt power greater than any state
  • 20/02/1839 – Congress prohibits dueling in District of Columbia
  • 20/02/1861 – Dept of Navy of Confederacy forms
  • 20/02/1869 – Tenn Gov W C Brownlow declares martial law in Ku Klux Klan crisis
  • 20/02/1933 – House of Reps completes congressional action to repeal Prohibition
  • 20/02/1941 – 1st transport of Jews to concentration camps leave Plotsk Poland
  • 20/02/1953 – US Court of Appeals rules that Organized Baseball is a sport and not a business, affirming the 25-year-old Supreme Court ruling
  • 20/02/1962 – John Glenn is 1st American to orbit Earth (Friendship 7)
  • 21/02/1764 – John Wilkes thrown out of Engl House of Commons for “Essay on Women”
  • 21/02/1792 – Congress passes Pres Succession Act
  • 21/02/1804 – 1st locomotive, Richard Trevithick’s, runs for 1st time, in Wales
  • 21/02/1857 – Congress outlaws foreign currency as legal tender in US
  • 21/02/1862 – Confederate Constitution and presidency are declared permanent
  • 21/02/1862 – Texas Rangers win Confederate victory at Battle of Val Verde, NM
  • 21/02/1874 – Benjamin Disraeli replaces William Gladstone as English premier
  • 21/02/1885 – Washington Monument dedicated (Wash DC)
  • 21/02/1895 – NC Legislature, adjourns for day to mark death of Frederick Douglass
  • 21/02/1916 – Battle of Verdun in WW I begins (1 million casualties)
  • 21/02/1943 – Dutch RC bishops protest against persecution of Jews
  • 21/02/1965 – Black nationalist leader Malcolm X is assassinated.
  • 21/02/1972 – Richard Nixon becomes 1st US president to visit China
  • 22/02/1495 – French King Charles VIII enters Naples to claim crown
  • 22/02/1630 – Indians introduce pilgrims to popcorn, at Thanksgiving
  • 22/02/1819 – Spain renounces claims to Oregon Country, Florida (Adams-On¡s Treaty)
  • 22/02/1821 – Spain sells (east) Florida to United States for $5 million
  • 22/02/1854 – 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • 22/02/1856 – 1st national meeting of Republican Party (Pittsburgh)
  • 22/02/1861 – On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln’s inauguration
  • 22/02/1864 – -27] Battle at Dalton Georgia
  • 22/02/1889 – Pres Cleveland signs bill to admit Dakotas, Montana and Washington state
  • 22/02/1900 – Hawaii became a US territory
  • 22/02/1924 – 1st presidential radio address (Calvin Coolidge)
  • 22/02/1967 – 25,000 US and S Vietnamese troops launched Operation Junction City, offensive to smash Viet Cong stronghold near Cambodian border
  • 23/02/1455 – Johannes Gutenberg prints 1st book, Bible (estimated date)
  • 23/02/1836 – Alamo besieged by Santa Anna; entire garrison eventually killed
  • 23/02/1861 – Pres-elect Lincoln arrives secretly in Wash DC to take office
  • 23/02/1861 – By popular referendum, Texas becomes 7th state to secede from US
  • 23/02/1883 – Alabama becomes 1st US state to enact an antitrust law
  • 23/02/1945 – US Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima, famous photo and statue
  • 23/02/1947 – Gen Eisenhower opens drive to raise $170M in aid for European Jews
  • 23/02/1967 – US troops begin largest offensive of Vietnam War
  • 23/02/1997 – Scientists in Scotland announced they succeeded in cloning an adult mammal, producing a lamb named “Dolly”
  • 24/02/1803 – Supreme Court 1st rules a law unconstitutional (Marbury v Madison)
  • 24/02/1836 – 3,000 Mexicans attack 182 Texans at Alamo, lasts 13 days
  • 24/02/1848 – King Louis-Philippe abdicates, 2nd French republic declared
  • 24/02/1864 – -Feb 25] Battle of Tunnel Hill, GA (Buzzard’s Roost)
  • 24/02/1868 – 1st US parade with floats (Mardi Gras-Mobile Alabama)
  • 24/02/1868 – House of Reps vote 126 to 47, to impeach President Andrew Johnson
  • 24/02/1944 – Argentina coup by Juan Peron minister of war
  • 24/02/1949 – Israel and Egypt sign an armistice agreement
  • 24/02/1991 – US and allies begin a ground war assault on Iraqi troops
  • 25/02/1793 – 1st cabinet meeting (At George Washington’s home)
  • 25/02/1804 – Jefferson nominated for president at Democratic-Republican caucus
  • 25/02/1862 – Paper currency (greenbacks) introduced in US by Pres Abraham Lincoln
  • 25/02/1870 – Hiram Revels, is sworn in as 1st black member of Congress (Sen-R-MS)
  • 25/02/1919 – League of Nations set up by Paris Treaty
  • 25/02/1941 – February strike against persecution of Jews, in Amsterdam
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • Harriet A. Washington: Unequal treatment The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the PresentNYT, 2-18-07
  • Harriet A. Washington: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present, First Chapter – NYT, 2-18-07
  • Marcus Rediker: New book shows that pirate ships could be a refuge for slaves – http://www.jdnews.com, 2-13-07
  • Alexander Rose: The Setauket Spies see the light of day Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy RingNewsday, NY, 2-16-07
  • David A. Bell: The idealistic origins of total war – Adam Gopnik in the New Yorker, 2-5-07
OP-ED:
PROFILED:
INTERVIEWED:
FEATURE:
QUOTED:
  • Donald Ritchie, associate Senate historian on “A Divided House Denounces Plan for More Troops”: “There is a long tradition of Congressional dissent during wartime, but I don’t know that it’s ever formalized itself the way this is shaping up. Taking a stand in opposition to a commander in chief’s decision on a war policy, that’s unusual.” – NYT, 2-17-07
SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • David McCollough: Prize winning historian visits ISU – WJBC News, IL, 2-16-07
  • Thomas G. Alexander: Historian discusses 1857 massacre – Deseret News, UT, 2-17-07
  • February 25, 2007:James McPherson, a Civil War historian and the Pulitzer Prize-win ning author of “Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era,” will be the speaker Feb. 25 during the annual benefit dinner for the Westminster Foundation at Princeton, the Presbyterian Campus Ministry at Princeton University. The evening will begin at 6 with a reception, followed by dinner and program at 6:30. – Trenton Times, NJ, 2-15-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM – http://www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch/
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand knox.VillageSoup.com, ME, 10-29-06
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
ON TV:
  • C-Span2, Book TV : General Assignment: Robert Caro, Reflections on Robert Moses, Sunday, February 18 at 10 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : Andrew Roberts, author of “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900″ and Chalmers Johnson, author of “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic “, Author Call-In Programs with Andrew Roberts and Chalmers Johnson, Sunday, February 19 at 12 am – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, Book TV : John Barletta, Riding with Reagan: From the White House to the Ranch, Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 am – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “NEW YORK UNDERGROUND” Monday, February 19, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Star Trek Tech,” Sunday, February 18, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Star Wars: Empire of Dreams,” Sunday, February 18, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How William Shatner Changed the World ,” Monday, February 19, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier,” Monday, February 19, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Fort Knox: Secrets Revealed,” Tuesday, February 20, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Hunting Bonnie & Clyde,” Tuesday, February 20, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Godfathers” Wednesday, February 21, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Weird Weapons :The Allies” Wednesday, February 21, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: ” Weird Weapons :The Axis” Wednesday, February 21, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Weapons of Mass Destruction” Wednesday, February 21, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comets: Prophets of Doom,” Thursday, February 22, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Lost Dinosaurs of Egypt,” Thursday, February 22, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Braveheart’s Scotland,” Thursday, February 22, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Secret Societies,” Thursday, February 22, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Nazi Prophecies,” Thursday, February 22, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers,” Friday, February 23, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Dogfights: The Greatest Air Battles,” Friday, February 23, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Star Trek: Beyond the Final Frontier,” Saturday, February 24, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Quest for Dragons,” Saturday, February 24, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #5 (3 weeks on list) – 2-18-07
  • Dore Gold: THE FIGHT FOR JERUSALEM, #17 – 2-18-07
  • Dinesh D’Souza: THE ENEMY AT HOME, #32 – 2-18-07
NEW ON THE WEB:
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Cultural History : This website presents ongoing research into the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and its cultural history. The song was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map. The song has also p layed an important role in the Civil Rights and folk revival movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and in contemporary elementary school education.
  • SoldierStudies.org: New online database archive for the preservation of Civil War correspondences, is a searchable database of soldiers and their correspondences.
EXHIBITIONS:
  • Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers by Rik van Glintenkamp: In recognition of International Polar Year, the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announces a unique exhibition celebrating intrepid explorers and their travels to the farthest “ends” of the Earth. Opens January 26, 2007 – Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperCollins Publishers), February 6, 2007
  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007

Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 7:54 PM | Top
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February 12, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Richard Norton Smith on “Obama will announce candidacy at historic venue”: “Lincoln came out of the wilderness, figuratively and politically, and to some degree the same can be said of Obama. Somebody who looked at his resume in 1860 might well have questioned the experience he had, particularly given the perilous times that were ahead. But he had a genius for advocacy. He had a voice.” – Chicago Tribune, 2-10-07
  • Timothy Walch on “Bush keeps away from trail White House focuses on end-of-term goals”: “It’s very hard, I think, psychologically and politically, for somebody who has been the most powerful person in the world to begin gradually to detach themselves from power.” – Concord Monitor, NH, 2-8-07
BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
  • 12/02/1733 – Georgia founded by James Oglethorpe, at site of Savannah
  • 12/02/1793 – 1st US fugitive slave law passed; requires return of escaped slaves
  • 12/02/1825 – Creek Indian treaty signed. Tribal chiefs agree to turn over all their land in Georgia to the government and migrate west by Sept 1, 1826
  • 12/02/1865 – Henry Highland Garnet, is 1st black to speak in US House of Reps
  • 12/02/1873 – Congress abolishes bimetallism and authorizes $1 and $3 gold coins
  • 12/02/1909 – National Assn for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) forms
  • 12/02/1915 – Cornerstone laid for Lincoln Memorial in Wash DC
  • 12/02/1924 – President Calvin Coolidge makes 1st presidential radio speech
  • 12/02/1950 – Sen Joe McCarthy claims to have list of 205 communist govt employees
  • 12/02/1962 – Bus boycott starts in Macon, Georgia
  • 13/02/1566 – St Augustine, Florida founded
  • 13/02/1635 – Oldest US public institution, Boston Latin School founded
  • 13/02/1861 – Abraham Lincoln declared president
  • 13/02/1864 – Miridian Campaign fighting at Chunky Creek and Wyatt, Mississippi
  • 13/02/1895 – Moving picture projector patented
  • 13/02/1907 – English suffragettes storm British Parliament and 60 women are arrested
  • 13/02/1957 – Southern Christian Leadership Conference organizes in New Orleans
  • 13/02/1968 – US sends 10,500 additional soldiers to Vietnam
  • 14/02/1130 – Jewish Cardinal Pietro Pierleone elected as anti-pope Anacletus II
  • 14/02/1689 – English parliament places Mary Stuart/Prince Willem III on the throne
  • 14/02/1848 – James K Polk became 1st pres photographed in office (Matthew Brady)
  • 14/02/1876 – A G Bell and Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor
  • 14/02/1896 – Theodor Herzl publishes “Der Judenstaat”
  • 14/02/1949 – 1st session of Knesset (Jerusalem Israel)
  • 14/02/1962 – 1st lady Jacqueline Kennedy conducts White House tour on TV
  • 14/02/1971 – Richard Nixon installs secret taping system in White House
  • 15/02/1851 – Black abolitionists invade Boston courtroom rescueing a fugitive slave
  • 15/02/1861 – Ft Point completed and garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger)
  • 15/02/1862 – Grant’s major assault on Ft Donelson, Tennessee
  • 15/02/1879 – Congress authorizes women lawyers to practice before Supreme Ct
  • 15/02/1903 – 1st Teddy Bear introduced in America, made by Morris and Rose Michtom
  • 15/02/1918 – 1st WW I US army troop ship torpedoed and sunk by Germany, off Ireland
  • 15/02/1929 – St Valentine’s Day massacre (Chicago)
  • 15/02/1933 – Pres-elect Franklin Roosevelt survives assassination attempt
  • 15/02/1965 – Canada replaces Union Jack flag with Maple Leaf
  • 16/02/1741 – Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine (2nd US Mag) begins publishing
  • 16/02/1760 – Native American hostages killed in Ft Prince George SC
  • 16/02/1864 – Battle of Mobile, AL – operations by Union Army
  • 16/02/1914 – 1st airplane flight (LA to SF)
  • 16/02/1917 – 1st synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid
  • 16/02/1959 – Fidel Castro named himself Cuba’s premier after overthrowing Batista
  • 17/02/1621 – Miles Standish appointed 1st commander of Plymouth colony
  • 17/02/1801 – House breaks electoral college tie, chooses Jefferson pres over Burr
  • 17/02/1865 – -18] Battle of Charleston SC
  • 17/02/1865 – Columbia SC burns down during Civil War
  • 17/02/1870 – Mississippi becomes 9th state readmitted to US after Civil War
  • 17/02/1915 – Edward Stone, 1st US combatant to die in WW I, is mortally wounded
  • 17/02/1933 – US Senate accept Blaine Act: ending prohibition
  • 17/02/1933 – 1st issue of “Newsweek” magazine published
  • 17/02/1938 – 1st public experimental demonstration of Baird color TV (London)
  • 17/02/1943 – Dutch churches protest at Seyss-Inquart against persecution of Jews
  • 17/02/1949 – Chaim Weitzman elected 1st president of Israel
  • 17/02/1964 – US House of Reps accept Law on the civil rights
  • 17/02/1969 – Golda Meir sworn in as Israel’s 1st female prime minister
  • 17/02/1972 – President Nixon leaves Washington DC for China
  • 18/02/1503 – Henry Tudor created Prince of Wales (later Henry VIII)
  • 18/02/1688 – Quakers conduct 1st formal protest of slavery in Germantown, Pa
  • 18/02/1861 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery Ala
  • 18/02/1865 – Union troops force Confederates to abandon Ft Anderson, NC
  • 18/02/1865 – Evacuation of Charleston, SC; Sherman’s troops burn city
  • 18/02/1927 – US and Canada begin diplomatic relations
  • 18/02/1970 – US president Nixon launches “Nixon-doctrine”
  • 18/02/1988 – Anthony M Kennedy, sworn in as Supreme Court Justice
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
OP-ED:
PROFILED:
INTERVIEWED:
FEATURE:
QUOTED:
  • Douglas Brinkley: New Orleans’ future bleak, historian says – Hattiesburg American, MS, 2-11-07
  • Douglas Brinkley “New Orleans’ future bleak”: “The act of not doing enough is a policy; it’s a decision….(The government’s) answer is, ‘Don’t live below sea level. Don’t live in the Lower Ninth (Ward), don’t rebuild – move to Hattiesburg. It’s an unfortunate confluence that when New Orleans needs a great leader, there’s a void…. The reason you would do it (rebuild) is because you believe the heritage places like Gulfport and Biloxi and New Orleans are important … and that if the Italians can save Venice, surely the United States can save these places, but you have to believe in culture to make that happen.” – Hattiesburg American, MS, 2-11-07
SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin: Historian gives audience reasons why Lincoln was great leader – http://www.venturacountystar.com, 2-7-07
  • February 13, 2007: Paul F. Boller Jr.: Historian takes a playful look at our country’s leaders Scholar nudges politics aside to examine how U.S. presidents spent their free time at 7:30 p.m., Eureka College – Peoria Journal Star, IL, 2-11-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM – http://www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch/
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand knox.VillageSoup.com, ME, 10-29-06
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
  • Asif A. Siddiqi: His book “Challenge To Apollo” (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2000), was named one of the “Five Best” books on outer space in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in its Dec. 30th issue. – Fordham University, 2-9-07
  • Philip Nicolosi: Teacher wins Paul Gagnon Prize – AHA Blog, 2-8-07
ON TV:
  • C-Span2, Book TV : 2006 Miami Book Fair: Thomas Evans “The Education of Ronald Reagan,” Sunday, February 11 at 8:10 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Visits NEW ORLEANS” Monday, February 12, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Alaska: Dangerous Territory, ” Sunday, February 11, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :New Maya Revelations,” Monday, February 12, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :The Aztecs,” Monday, February 12, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre” Wednesday, February 14, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nixon: A Presidency Revealed,” Thursday, February 15, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Thursday, February 15, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Presidents,” Marathon 1789-1945 Saturday, February 17, @ 11am-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nixon: A Presidency Revealed,” Saturday, February 17, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :An Alien History of Planet Earth,” Saturday, February 17, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Save Our History :The Search for George Washington,” Saturday, February 17, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #5 (3 weeks on list) – 2-18-07
  • Dore Gold: THE FIGHT FOR JERUSALEM, #17 – 2-18-07
  • Dinesh D’Souza: THE ENEMY AT HOME, #32 – 2-18-07
NEW ON THE WEB:
  • Follow the Drinking Gourd: A Cultural History : This website presents ongoing research into the song “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and its cultural history. The song was supposedly used by an Underground Railroad operative to encode escape instructions and a map. The song has also p layed an important role in the Civil Rights and folk revival movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and in contemporary elementary school education.
  • SoldierStudies.org: New online database archive for the preservation of Civil War correspondences, is a searchable database of soldiers and their correspondences.
EXHIBITIONS:
  • Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers by Rik van Glintenkamp: In recognition of International Polar Year, the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announces a unique exhibition celebrating intrepid explorers and their travels to the farthest “ends” of the Earth. Opens January 26, 2007 – Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperCollins Publishers), February 6, 2007
  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007
DEPARTED:
  • Nelson W. Polsby: 72, Author and a Scholar of Politics, Dies – NYT (2-9-07)
  • J. Merton England: National Science Foundation Historian Was 91 – WaPo, 2-5-07

Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 9:15 PM

February 5, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

  • Tom Schwartz on “Sources Say Obama Will Announce 2008 Bid February 10″: “Lincoln was able to use that space to accept the Republican nomination to run for the Senate, and eventually that led to a series of debates which have become the gold standard for political discourse in this country. There’s symbolism everywhere.” – All Headline News, 2-1-07
BLACK HISTORY MONTH:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
  • 05/02/1649 – Prince of Wales becomes king Charles II
  • 05/02/1778 – Articles of Confederation ratified by 1st state, South Carolina
  • 05/02/1861 – Louisiana delegation except Mr Bouligny withdraws from Congress
  • 05/02/1865 – Battle of Hatcher’s Run, VA (Armstrong’s Mill, Dabney’s Mill)
  • 05/02/1930 – 5th Aliyah to Israel begins
  • 05/02/1937 – FDR proposes enlarging Supreme Court, “court packing” plan failed
  • 05/02/1969 – US population reaches 200 million
  • 06/02/1862 – Gen Ulysses S Grant captures Fort Henry in Tennessee
  • 06/02/1862 – Ulysses S Grant begins military campaign in Mississippi
  • 06/02/1865 – Robert E Lee appointed Confederate General in Chief
  • 06/02/1899 – Spanish-American War ends, peace treaty ratified by Senate
  • 06/02/1918 – Britain grants women (30 and over) vote
  • 06/02/1933 – 20th Amendment goes into effect: Pres term begins in Jan not March
  • 06/02/1956 – U of Alabama refuses admission to Autherine Lucy (because he’s black)
  • 06/02/1974 – US House of Reps begins determining grounds for impeachment of Nixon
  • 06/02/1978 – Muriel, wife of late Hubert Humphrey (Sen-D-Minn) takes his office
  • 07/02/1569 – King Philip II forms inquistion in South America
  • 07/02/1795 – 11th Amendment to US Constitution ratified, affirms power of states
  • 07/02/1839 – Henry Clay declares in Senate “I had rather be right than president”
  • 07/02/1862 – Federal fleet attack on Roanoke Island NC
  • 07/02/1864 – Federal troops occupy Jacksonville, Florida
  • 07/02/1950 – Sen Joe McCarthy finds “communists” in US Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 07/02/1956 – Autherine Lucy, 1st black admitted to U of Alabama, is expelled
  • 07/02/1962 – President Kennedy begins blockade of Cuba
  • 07/02/1964 – Beatles land at NY’s JFK airport, for 1st US tour
  • 07/02/1973 – Senate creates Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities
  • 07/02/1983 – 1st female secretary of transportation sworn-in (Elizabeth Dole)
  • 08/02/1622 – King James I disbands the English parliament
  • 08/02/1690 – French and Indian troops set Schenectady settlement NY on fire
  • 08/02/1837 – 1st VP chosen by Senate, Richard Johnson (Van Buren admin)
  • 08/02/1861 – Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Ala
  • 08/02/1865 – 1st black major in US army, Martin Robinson Delany
  • 08/02/1887 – Dawes Act passed (indians living apart from tribe granted citizenship)
  • 08/02/1894 – Enforcement Act repealed, making it easier to disenfranchise blacks
  • 08/02/1904 – Russo-Japanese War begins
  • 08/02/1915 – “Birth of a Nation” opens at Clune’s Auditorium in LA
  • 08/02/1940 – Lodtz, 1st large ghetto established by Nazis in Poland
  • 08/02/1942 – Congress advises FDR that, Americans of Japanese descent should be locked up en masse so they wouldn’t oppose the US war effort
  • 08/02/1944 – 1st black reporter accredited to White House, Harry McAlpin
  • 08/02/1969 – Last edition of Saturday Evening Post
  • 08/02/1971 – South Vietnamese troops invade Laos
  • 08/02/1973 – Senate names 7 members to investigate Watergate scandal
  • 09/02/1775 – English Parliament declares Mass colony is in rebellion
  • 09/02/1825 – House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams 6th US president
  • 09/02/1861 – Tennessee votes against secession
  • 09/02/1861 – Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens elected president and VP of CSA
  • 09/02/1942 – Daylight Savings War Time goes into effect in US
  • 09/02/1943 – FDR orders minimal 48 hour work week in war industry
  • 09/02/1950 – Sen Joseph McCarthy charges State Dept infested with 205 communists
  • 09/02/1964 – 1st appearance of Beatles on “Ed Sullivan Show” (73.7 million viewers)
  • 10/02/1676 – Wampanoag Indians under King Philip kill all men in Lancaster Mass
  • 10/02/1763 – Treaty of Paris ends French-Indian War, surrendering Canada to England
  • 10/02/1840 – British queen Victoria marries her cousin Albert von Saksen-Coburg
  • 10/02/1855 – US citizenship laws amended all children of US parents born abroad granted US citizenship
  • 10/02/1890 – Around 11M acres, ceded to US by Sioux Indians opens for settlement
  • 10/02/1934 – 1st Jewish immigrant ship to break the English blockade in Palestine
  • 10/02/1954 – Eisenhower warns against US intervention in Vietnam
  • 10/02/1967 – 25th Amendment (Presidential Disability and Succession) in effect
  • 10/02/1989 – Ron Brown chosen 1st black chairman of a major US party (Democrats)
  • 11/02/1531 – Henry VIII recognized as supreme head of Church in England
  • 11/02/1752 – Pennsylvania Hospital, the 1st hospital in the US, opened
  • 11/02/1768 – Samuel Adams letter, circulates around American colonies, opposing Townshend Act taxes
  • 11/02/1790 – Society of Friends petitions Congress for abolition of slavery
  • 11/02/1811 – Pres Madison prohibits trade with Britain for 3rd time in 4 years
  • 11/02/1861 – US House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
  • 11/02/1861 – President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield IL to Wash DC
  • 11/02/1945 – Yalta agreement signed by FDR, Churchill and Stalin
  • 11/02/1953 – Pres Eisenhower refuses clemency appeal for Rosenberg couple
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • DAVID OSHINSKY on Arthur Allen: Preventive Medicine VACCINE The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest LifesaverNYT, 2-4-07
  • NIALL FERGUSON on Rupert Smith: Ameliorate, Contain, Coerce, Destroy THE UTILITY OF FORCE The Art of War in the Modern WorldNYT, 2-4-07
  • Rupert Smith: THE UTILITY OF FORCE The Art of War in the Modern World, First Chapter – NYT, 2-4-07
  • Andrew Hussey: Paris Confidential PARIS The Secret HistoryNYT, 2-4-07
  • Maya Jasanoff on Robert and Isabelle Tombs: The Love-Hate Relationship Britain and France have loathed each other and learned from each other – THAT SWEET ENEMY The French and the British From the Sun King to the Present Wa Po, 2-4-07
  • David Laskin on Gary Krist: Blood on the Tracks In 1910, scores of people died when a wave of snow crushed two stuck trains THE WHITE CASCADE The Great Northern Railway Disaster And America’s Deadliest AvalancheWa Po, 2-4-07
  • Wesley K. Clark on Evan Thomas: The Battle for the Pacific A thrilling new history of an epic 1944 clash SEA OF THUNDER Four Commanders and the Last Great Naval Campaign 1941-1945Wa Po, 2-4-07
  • Olivier Wieviorka: Whites-only liberation of Paris – New Zealand Herald, 2-1-07
OP-ED:
PROFILED:
INTERVIEWED:
FEATURE:
  • Diary of Saad Eskander, Director of the Iraq National Library and Archive, posted online by British library – http://www.bl.uk, 1-29-07
QUOTED:
  • Daniel Pipes “Professor says radical Islam is the threat”: “Like the Fascists we defeated in 1945 and the Communists we disempowered in ’91, radical Islamists draw from the best of their society in terms of good families, wealth and education. Their frustration now is with their position in the world. They used to be at the forefront of world society in scholarship, money and respect. And they believe that the only way they can achieve that again is to impose Sharia law across the world.” – Malibu Times, CA, 1-31-07
SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • Douglas Brinkley: Lauded historian to speak at USM, Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in the R.C. Cook University Union, Rooms B and C on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus – Hattiesburg American,MS, 2-2-07
  • February 25, 2007: William Leuchtenburg “The White House Looks South: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson” at 5 PM – http://www.unctv.org/ncbookwatch/
  • February 14, 2007: Eric Foner, “American Reconstruction (1865-1877)” Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, Time to be announced, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
  • Feb. 23 to 25, 2007: John Gillingham: Camden Conference marks its 20th anniversary, Feb. 23 to 25, 2007, at the Camden Opera House – 8-15-06 – Sold-out Camden Conference offers satellite seating at Strand knox.VillageSoup.com, ME, 10-29-06
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
ON TV:
  • C-Span2, Book TV : Book TV presents After Words: Eric Klinenberg, author of “Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America’s Media” interviewed by Ben Scott, Sunday, February 4 at 9:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
  • PBS: The American Experience: “THE LIVING WEAPON” Monday, February 5, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
  • History Channel: “Who Wrote The Bible?, ” Sunday, February 4, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Sex in The Bible, ” Sunday, February 4, @ 9:30pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Saddam and the Third Reich” Monday, February 5, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :King Tut: Secrets Revealed,” Monday, February 5, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Iran: The Next Iraq?,” Monday, February 5, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special :Eighty Acres of Hell” Wednesday, February 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Weird U.S. :Roadside Distractions” Wednesday, February 7, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Guns of the Civil War.” Wednesday, February 7, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters :Slave Catchers, Slave Resisters,” Thursday, February 8, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: ” Tales of the FBI :The Bureau vs. the Klan,” Thursday, February 8, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Wild West Tech :The Gunslingers,” Thursday, February 8, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Exorcism: Driving Out the Devil.,” Thursday, February 8, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “American Vesuvius,” Friday, February 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Iran: The Next Iraq?,” Friday, February 9, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Lost Evidence :Sicily,” Friday, February 10, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “USS Constellation: Battling for Freedom,” Saturday, February 10, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “True Caribbean Pirates,” Saturday, February 10, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #6 (2 weeks on list) – 2-11-07
  • Dinesh D’Souza: THE ENEMY AT HOME, #19 – 2-11-07
  • Evan Thomas: SEA OF THUNDER, #30 – 2-11-07
NEW ON THE WEB:
  • SoldierStudies.org: New online database archive for the preservation of Civil War correspondences, is a searchable database of soldiers and their correspondences.
EXHIBITIONS:
  • Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers by Rik van Glintenkamp: In recognition of International Polar Year, the Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announces a unique exhibition celebrating intrepid explorers and their travels to the farthest “ends” of the Earth. Opens January 26, 2007 – Harvard Museum of Natural History, Harvard University
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Chalmers Johnson: Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic [American Empire Project], (Henry Holt & Company, Incorporated), February 6, 2007
  • Geoffrey Perret: Commander in Chief: How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power into a Threat to America’s Future (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), February 6, 2007
  • Benton Rain Patterson: With the Heart of a King: Elizabeth I of England, Philip II of Spain, and the Fight for a Nation’s Soul and Crown (St. Martin’s Press), February 6, 2007
  • Andrew Roberts: History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900, HarperCollins Publishers), February 6, 2007
  • Margaret MacMillan: Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World, (Random House Adult Trade Publishing Group), February 13, 2007
  • John McManus: Alamo in the Ardennes: The Untold Story of the American Soldiers Who Made the Defense of Bastogne Possible, (Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated), March 2007
DEPARTED:

Posted on Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 8:42 PM

Top Young Historians: 45 – Fredrik Logevall

Top Young Historians

Fredrik Logevall, 43

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Professor of History at Cornell University and, in 2006-07, Leverhulme Professor at the University of Nottingham and Mellon Senior Research Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge.
Area of Research: U.S. Foreign Relations, International History
Education: PhD, History, Yale University, May 1993
Major Publications: Logevall has published numerous books and articles on U.S. foreign policy in the Cold War era, including Fredrik  Logevall JPG Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam (1999) and The Origins of the Vietnam War (2001). He is also the editor of Terrorism And 9/11: A Reader, (Houghton Mifflin, 2002); and the co-author of A People and A Nation: A History of the United States (7th ed, 2005), co-editor of the Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, and co-editor of The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis (2007). He is also the co-editor of Nixon in the World: American Foreign Relations, 1969-1977 (with Andrew Preston; Oxford University Press) whih will be published in 2008. Logevall is currently at work on an international history of the struggle for Indochina after 1940.
Awards: Logevall is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Mellon Senior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge, 2006-2007;
Leverhulme Professor, University of Nottingham, September 2006-June 2007;
George W. Morgan Lecturer, Thomas Watson Institute, Brown University, April 2006;
Stuart L. Bernath Lecture Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2003;
UC Regents’ Humanities Faculty Fellowship, 2003;
Warren F. Kuehl Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2001;
Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize (co-winner), Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2000;
W. Turrentine Jackson Book Award, Pacific Coast Branch, American Historical Association, 2000;
Choice Outstanding Academic Book, 2000;
The Charles Griffin Lectureship, Vassar College, 2000;
UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Prize for the Humanities and Fine Arts, 1998;
Outstanding Faculty Member Award (UCSB Residence Halls), 1996;
Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Faculty Grant, 1995, 1996, 2000;
Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation Moody Research Grant, 1994;
Stuart L. Bernath Article Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 1994;
Whiting Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1992-93;
W. Turrentine Jackson Article Prize, Pacific Coast Branch, AHA, 1992;
MacArthur Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1991-92.
Additional Info:
Prior to coming to Cornell, he taught at UC Santa Barbara, where he co-founded the Center for Cold War Studies.

Personal Anecdote

One day in the fall of 1989 I was in the library going through back issues of scholarly journals when I came upon an essay by Walter LaFeber, now my colleague at Cornell. LaFeber asserted that an American scholar of either U.S. foreign policy or international relations is hindered by an “occupational hazard.” He or she is supposed to act as an outsider in analyzing the policy or the system but in reality is an inhabitant of, and indeed has grown to intellectual maturity in, a nation that has dominated global affairs in the post-1914 era. LaFeber cited another Cornellian, Carl Becker, who believed that the professor’s obligation is to “think otherwise,” but LaFeber noted that such an obligation can be difficult to fulfill when the scholar is also a citizen of the world’s leading hegemonic power. It is a problem to act as an outsider when one operates at the center of the system.

Wow, I thought, LaFeber was suggesting that I, a Swede who had also lived for some years in Canada and who was just beginning my doctoral studies in U.S. foreign relations history, potentially had a small advantage over those American intellectual heavyweights whose books and articles I was encountering in my classes. Perhaps I could heed more easily than they Becker’s call to “think otherwise.”

Over the years I continued to think LaFeber’s assertion had merit, and I still think it does, even though I too now live in the center of the system. An outsider perspective can often be an insightful one-though of course there’s no guarantee. At the very least it will be a different perspective, and I have no doubt that my own foreign heritage and upbringing have shaped my research on U.S. foreign relations in significant ways. It has made me interested in comparative questions, in exploring notions of American exceptionalism (in the sense of difference, not superiority). Why, for example, did the Manichean anti-communism permeating much of American political discourse after 1945 have no real counterpart anywhere else in the Western world-including in my native Sweden, one of the most Americanized countries in Europe? (Only in the United States among the Western democracies, Eric Hobsbawm has noted, was the “communist world conspiracy” a serious element in domestic politics.) What was the effect of this difference on foreign policy-making in the U.S. and in Europe, on perceptions of the Soviet threat, on the willingness to enter negotiations with communist adversaries?

Likewise, my interest in the Vietnam War-which has been the focus of much of my scholarly research-grew in part out of that war’s divisive impact on politics in neutral Sweden, a country about as far removed from the scene of the fighting as it was possible to be. Though too young to have any real memories of the demonstrations and counter-demonstrations in Stockholm and other cities (Sweden was the first Western nation to extend diplomatic recognition to North Vietnam), I developed early on a deep interest in the conflict, and a desire to learn why it happened and whether it could have been avoided.

Ultimately, of course, having an outsider perspective does not require being foreign- born or raised. Carl Becker hailed from Waterloo, Iowa, the heart of Middle America. Walter LaFeber, similarly, is the proud son of Walkerton, Indiana. Yet from the start both showed in their work a marvelous capacity to question the received wisdom, to dig deeper, to think otherwise. It’s a standard all of us who love history should strive to meet.

Quotes

By Fredrik Logevall

  • And there is this, finally, to say about America’s avoidable debacle in Vietnam: something very much like it could happen again. Not in the Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in  Vietnam JPG same place, assuredly, and not in the same way, but potentially with equally destructive results. This is the central lesson of the war. The continued primacy of the executive branch in foreign affairs – and within that branch of a few individuals, to the exclusion of the bureaucracy — together with the eternal temptation of politicians to emphasize short-term personal advantage over long-term national interests, ensures that the potential will exist. . . . If future Vietnams are to be prevented, the American people and their representatives in Congress will have to meet their responsibilities no less than those who make the ultimate decisions. Otherwise, American soldiers will again be asked to kill and be killed, and their compatriots will again determine, afterward, that there was no good reason why. — Fredrik Logevall in “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • About Fredrik Logevall

  • “Logevall’s book amounts to one of the most effective indictments of the Americanization of the Vietnam War that has yet been written.” — salon.com reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “Thorough and nuanced, and expressed with admirable clarity. Rarely is diplomatic history so well written these days.” — New York Times Book Review reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “Those who think Vietnam was a ‘tragedy’ owe it to themselves to factor ‘contingency’ out of the historical record. Fredrick Logevall has written a great book. Vietnam studies will never be the same. May he win all the prizes.” — Philadelphia Inquirer reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “The finest history to date of America’s decisions to escalate war in Vietnam. . . . More than just a Vietnam book, Choosing War offers a rare and beautifully crafted example of how to study a turning point in history.” — Foreign Affairs reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “Masterful. . . . Logevall presents a vivid and tragic portrait of the elements of U.S. decision-making on Vietnam from the beginning of the Kennedy administration through the announcement of the American ground war in July 1965. In the process he reveals a troubling picture of top officials in both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations persisting in efforts to boost the fortunes of sucessive governments of South Vietnam, even while they acknowledged that their chances for success were remote. In addition, he places the decision-making squarely in the international context.” — Robert D. Schulzinger, author of “A Time for War: The United States and Vietnam, 1941-1975″ reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “Stunning in its research and highly sophisticated in its analysis, Choosing War is far and away the best study we have of Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the conflict in Vietnam.” — George C. Herring reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “In this fine book, Fredrick Logevall offers the first detailed examination of why diplomacy failed to head off the Vietnam War. Grounding himself in documentary research and other sources from several countries, Logevall comes closer than anyone ever has to explaining what happened. His clear writing and deep analysis may well change our understanding of Vietnam as a quagmire.” — John Prados, author of “The Hidden History of the Vietnam War” reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • “A rising star among a new generation of historians, Fredrik Logevall has written the most important Vietnam book in years. By explaining the international context of that tragic conflict, Choosing War provides startling answers to the question, Why did the war happen? Controversial yet fair, this account challenges the reader to think through John F. Kennedy’s and Lydon B. Johnson’s individual responsibility for Vietnam. The effect is compelling, unforgettable history.” — Timothy Naftali, co-author of “One Hell of a Gamble:” Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964 reviewing “Choosing War The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam”
  • In this important book an impressive international group of historians sheds fresh light on the First Indochina War. The years 1945 to 1954 are not just a crucial, formative period for the Vietnamese-American relationship, but also a significant chapter in the international history of the twentieth century. This work will prove most welcome to scholars and general readers alike. — Robert J. McMahon, Ohio State University reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • The  First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis JPG A fresh collection of stimulating and impressive essays on the First Vietnam War. Lawrence and Logevall have brought together the leading scholars of the period in what will be essential reading for anyone interested in colonialism and the early Cold War. — Robert K. Brigham, Vassar College reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • A splendid collection of essays based on sources from across the world and covering a wide range of topics. An indispensable addition to the literature on the First Vietnam War. — George C. Herring, University of Kentucky reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • The First Vietnam War beautifully illustrates the complex interplay between the emerging Cold War, the disintegrating colonial order, and the vibrant social, political, and cultural forces inside Indochina. The volume confirms the promise of the new international history?-multi-archival, multi-national, and multi-causal. — Melvyn P. Leffler, University of Virginia reviewing “The First Vietnam War: Colonial Conflict and Cold War Crisis”
  • “Really good professor, always willing to help, leads very interesting and thought-provoking discussions for the history honors seminar.”… “Great guy, very nice. Really enjoys history a lot, you can tell. Always runs out of time but is so passionate. Get him as your section leader.”… “He is very clear and concise…lectures are interesting and well-organized. He is always willing to meet with students. Definitely one of the best profs I’ve had at Cornell!!”… “Great teacher. He is clear, concise, and articulate. He keeps the class interesting (be sure you get him for section).”… “Best class I have ever taken and quite possibly the most inspiring professor I have ever had the privalege to learn from! Logevall is clearly passionate about his students and his subject and I was sorry when the quarter came to an end. Do not let the opportunity to take his class pass you by; his class alone is well worth your entire tuition!”… “The best class I took at UCSB. I became a history teacher because of Logevall! Fabulous class!”… “Outstandig professor of US History and Vietnam War in particular. Excellent lectures. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, February 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM

    Top Young Historians: 44 – Sarah E. Igo

    Top Young Historians

    Sarah E. Igo, 36

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania, 2001-present.
    Area of Research: Modern American cultural, intellectual, and political history
    Education: Ph.D. in History, Princeton University, November 2001.
    Major Publications: Igo is author of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, January 2007), Sarah E. Igo JPG which has received press attention in venues such as the New York Times, National Public Radio, C-SPAN’s Book TV, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, New York Sun, Atlantic Monthly, Democracy Journal, and Reason Magazine. Igo is currently working on a book, tentatively entitled The Known Citizen, charting the recent cultural history of privacy, examined through legal debates, technological innovations, professional codes, and recastings of familial and domestic life.
    Awards: Igo is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    President’s Book Award, Social Science History Association, for an “especially meritorious” first book, 2006;
    Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, Visiting Fellow, 2006-2007;
    Thornbrough Award, for the best article of the year in the Indiana Magazine of History, 2005;
    John C. Burnham Early Career Award, jointly awarded by the Forum for the History of Human Science and the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 2004;
    Institute for Advanced Study (School of Social Science), Member, 2004-2005;
    American Council of Learned Societies, Andrew W. Mellon Junior Faculty Fellowship, 2004-2005;
    Trustee’s Council of Penn Women, Summer Faculty Research Fellowship, 2004;
    Dissertation Prize, Forum for the History of Human Science, 2004;
    Richard S. Dunn Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, 2003;
    National Young Faculty Leaders Forum, Invited Member, Harvard University, 2002-present;
    Princeton Society of Fellows of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Dissertation Fellowship, 1999-2001;
    Whiting Foundation in the Humanities, Dissertation Fellowship, 1999-2000;
    University Center for Human Values, Graduate Prize Fellowship, 1999-2000;
    Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Summer Grant, 1998, 1999, 2000;
    Davis Merit Prize, Princeton University Department of History, 1995-1997;
    Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, Graduate Fellowship, 1995-1996;
    Class Marshal, Harvard College, 1991;
    John Harvard Award, Academic Achievement of Highest Distinction, Harvard College, 1990-1991.

    Additional Info:
    Formerly Instructor in History and Social Science, Phillips Academy, Andover, 1992-1995.
    Igo has also worked as a Historical Consultant for “U.S. Politics, 1980-2000,” for CBS News/Schlessinger Media, 2001, and “The First Measured Century: One Hundred Years of Social Science,” Public Broadcasting Service, 2000.

    Personal Anecdote

    In graduate school I often envied my fellow students, who spent years at a stretch in Berlin, Shanghai, or Mombasa, soaking up other cultures, cuisines, and landscapes alongside their work in the archives. As an Americanist, I had no such luck. In fact, my research wound up taking me to what some might consider the most mundane of locations: the U.S. Midwest.

    During my travels in America’s “heartland,” however, I had some of my most wonderful experiences as an historian. In Bloomington, Indiana, where I was reading Alfred Kinsey’s correspondence (in an adults-only archive where most researchers were flipping not through dusty letters but 1920s German porn magazines and the like!), an archivist took the time to take me on a tour of the college town’s used book stores, and to share her stories about working in an institute named for one of the more controversial scientists of the twentieth century. In Muncie, Indiana—a community better known as “Middletown” via Helen and Robert Lynd’s social surveys of 1929 and 1937—I got to stroll the streets of a city that most Americans know only through a classic sociological text, and to see firsthand how that survey still colored locals’ sense of their history seventy years later. I’ll never forget the generosity of one of the archivists there, who not only tracked down all kinds of sources for me, but tracked me down, the night before I left town, at the house where I was staying, in order to hand over one last sheaf of materials.

    The charm of the seemingly mundane has turned out to be a theme of my career thus far. How certain ideas, conventions, categories, languages, and ways of knowing became matter-of-fact aspects of American culture has been, for me, a persistent source of fascination. Trained as an intellectual and cultural historian, I’ve been most fascinated by what “ordinary,” anonymous people believe: how they come to their frameworks for understanding the social world, and why those frameworks change. Indeed, this led me in my first book to examine the political and epistemological authority of the “average,” “typical,” and “normal” in the mid-twentieth-century United States. In this case, by looking at citizens’ arguments over statistical information about “ourselves” in the public sphere, I hoped to get as close as possible to everyday styles of thinking that were undergoing challenge from social scientific modes of inquiry.

    Such broad shifts in imagination and perception, or what I sometimes call popular intellectual history, also animate my current book project on modern privacy, in which I aim to track the changing status of “what’s public” and “what’s private” from the perspective not of legal authorities or the state, but (dare I say it) of “average” citizens. As I tell my students at Penn (some of whom are at first skeptical about the value of cultural history), ideas that are widely shared—and assumed or believed without being articulated directly—are extremely powerful. They form the structures of conviction that underlie the “harder stuff” of history: actions, laws, and events. In other words, the mundane carries a deep significance for those who choose to look at it.

    Quotes

    By Sarah E. Igo

  • “Surveyors’ aggregating technologies, by their very nature, placed new cultural emphasis on the center point, the scientifically derived mean and median. They helped shift the ground under the concept of normality, so that its meaning more and more lined up with quantified averages—although not without a fight from those who feared The  Averaged American JPG this would upend religious, ethical, or cultural values. This was a tendency perhaps inherent to statistical techniques, evident as early as the 1830s in the Belgian Adolphe Quetelet’s famous search for “the average man,” that “fictitious being, for whom every thing proceeds conformably to the medium results obtained for society in general.” The drive to determine the average was part empirical quest, part cultural preoccupation. Its calculators did not always take care, as did Quetelet, to highlight its fictional qualities. In 1947, for example, Newsweek could announce that there was a “shadowy figure beginning to emerge” from the day’s public opinion polls, which it promptly labeled the “American Majority Man.” Such composite types, placeholders for the nation itself, flowed easily from social scientific tables and graphs. And they took root in places far afield from statisticians’ counting machines. Especially during decades of economic crisis and war, social scientific findings about “typical Americans” and the search for a coherent Americanism in the culture at large were symbiotic. Even if it was never particularly accurate or representative, invoking a “mass subject” to stand in for the whole could play a vital role in consolidating the national public. — Sarah E. Igo in “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public” (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007)
  • About Sarah E. Igo

  • “Briskly written, forcefully argued and broad in scope, The Averaged American falls into a category occupied by works like Paul Starr’s Social Transformation of American Medicine and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s Midwife’s Tale, Pulitzer Prize-winning books by academics whose reach extended beyond the ivory tower… Igo does for social statistics what Louis Menand’s Metaphysical Club did for American pragmatism, providing a narrative intellectual history of the field.” — Scott Stossel, New York Times Book Review reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “The Averaged American turns the history of quantitative social research into a fascinating human story of interviewers probing and cajoling and of citizens who at times were desperate to give information about themselves and who sometimes welcomed, sometimes protested the new statistical characterizations of “normal” American opinions and behavior.” — Theodore M. Porter, author of “Karl Pearson: The Scientific Life in a Statistical Age” reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “In her strikingly bold and original The Averaged American, Sarah Igo captures the wonderfully rich and complicated relationships between surveys and those surveyed as she shows how this interaction helped create a mass public. We can see how those surveyed yearned for and understood their roles in the survey process–as well as the creation of expectations of what it meant to live as ‘typical’ or ‘average’ respondents/citizens in a mass society.” — Daniel Horowitz, Smith College reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “A brilliant and probing inquiry into one of the subtlest but most significant developments of our time: the cultural construction of a mass society. The Averaged American illuminates the ideological uses of quantitative social research with extraordinary verve and acuity.” — Jackson Lears, editor of Raritan and author of “Something for Nothing: Luck in America” reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “The Averaged American is an engaging, impressively researched history of the social scientific quest to conjure that ever-elusive “American” public: what “we” think, what “we” believe, how “we” will vote, how “we” behave. Igo shows how, despite their shaky claims to objectivity, inclusiveness, or even accuracy, surveys gradually gained acceptance as a new, more “scientific” way of knowing modern America, with consequences this important and never more relevant book challenges us to confront.” — Alice O’Connor, University of California, Santa Barbara reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “Few scholars of twentieth century America have been able to navigate the complexities associated with simultaneous change in multiple institutions–media, social science, the marketing industry, and community life. Igo does so with tremendous imagination and panache: The Averaged American demonstrates how numbers can transform both the texture of everyday life and the very course of a nation.” — Susan Herbst, Provost, The University at Albany, State University of New York reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “[Igo] investigates how, in our poll-saturated culture, with its insatiable appetite for social facts, our ideas about who we are, what we want, and what we believe are all shaped by and perceived through survey data…Her reflections on the origins, trajectory, and subsequent social impacts of demographic research and its characterization of what constitutes the ‘median, average, typical, and normal’ are insightful. An important contribution to the early history of the information society and politics of knowledge.” — Theresa Kintz, Library Journal reviewing “The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public”
  • “Prof. Igo is one of the most brilliant people you will ever meet. She brings a wealth of knowledge, a clear and engaging teaching style, a unique critique and analysis as well as dynamism.”…. “Prof. Igo is my favorite history professor! She is engaging, lucid, interesting and excellent at synthesizing our comments.” …”Dr. Igo is brilliant, and uses her intelligence to make the class seem smarter than we are.”… “The instructor considers our ideas seriously. She runs a class where there is constant interchange of ideas and we feel comfortable posing new ideas. Most impressive is that the instructor participates alongside us rather than standing outside the seminar.” …”Prof. Igo is the best teacher I have had at Penn for any subject. She … really knows and cares about all her students.”… “Dr. Igo is incredible. She is one of those rare people who understands the importance of her job. She seems to take joy in learning and helping people to the best of her ability.”… “This is the kind of education that is at the Ivy-league level. This course was VERY intellectually stimulating.”… “You can tell she really likes to teach.”… “Prof Igo knows how to work a crowd.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 7:56 PM

    Top Young Historians: 43 – Jason Sokol

    Top Young Historians

    Jason Sokol, 29

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University
    Area of Research: U.S. Since 1945, Political History, Civil Rights Movement
    Education: Ph.D, University of California, Berkeley, History, May 2006
    Major Publications: Sokol is author of There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (Alfred A. Knopf, Aug. 2006). Jason Sokol JPG He is currently working on The Northern Mystique: Politics and Race From Boston to Brooklyn, 1960-2006, the following book chapter: “To Fulfill These Rights: Governors and the Politics of Race, North and South (1954-2006),” in David Shreve, ed., A More Perfect Union: Governors and American Public Policy, 1901-2008, (University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming in 2008).
    Awards: Sokol is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    There Goes My Everything selected as one of the 10 best books of 2006, Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World;
    James Kettner Graduate Prize, For best dissertation, UC-Berkeley History Dept., 2006;
    Jacob K. Javits Fellow, 2001-2005;
    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, UC-Berkeley, 2003;
    Heller Grant, UC-Berkeley History Department, 2003;
    Phi Beta Kappa and Highest Honors in History, Oberlin College, 1999;
    Comfort Starr Prize, For excellence in history, Oberlin College, 1999;
    George and Carrie Life Fund, For excellence in American history, Oberlin College, 1999;
    Michael Magdoff Award, For best paper on civil rights in the U.S., Oberlin College, 1999;
    Christopher Dahl Prize, For best essay in Philosophy, Oberlin College, 1998 and 1999;
    Nancy Rhoden Prize, For best essay in Ethics, Oberlin College, 1998.
    Additional Info:
    In 2005 Sokol served as a Non-Resident Fellow at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. In that capacity, he worked on assorted television projects dealing with African- American History.
    Sokol has appeared on the following Radio broadcasts; Weekend All Things Considered (NPR), Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC), Michaelangelo Signorile Show (Sirius), John Batchelor Show (ABC), Morning Edition (WMOT Nashville), Afternoon Magazine (WILL Urbana), Morning Show (WAOK Atlanta), Local All Things Considered (WFCR Amherst), Jon Rothman Show (KGO San Francisco), Alvin Jones Show (WCBQ Raleigh), Paul Edwards Program (WLQV Detroit), and has also appeared on Book TV (C-Span 2).
    Additionally Sokol has a background in journaliam having worked as Editorial Intern, The Nation, New York, NY, Fall-Winter, 1999; Intern, New Haven Advocate, New Haven, CT, Summer 1998; and as a Staff Writer/Intern, Springfield Union-News, Springfield, MA, Summer 1995, Summer 1997.

    Personal Anecdote

    In April 2001, Berkeley faculty members and graduate students strapped on their sneakers, goggles, and knee braces and hit the basketball court. I am proud to say that I co-founded the “Historians’ Classic,” and prouder still that the tradition persisted after I left the Bay Area. Days before the inaugural game, rumors flew about which historians would display their skills. Arguments flared over how to even out the teams. The event ultimately drew together professors from various fields – Waldo Martin, Jon Gjerde, Margaret Chowning, Peter Zinoman, and Bill Taylor among them – along with a gaggle of graduate students. After I passed along the leadership torch, the quality of the post-game barbecue improved – and so did the t-shirts. Because of the Classic, I now own a shirt that depicts Abraham Lincoln blocking George Washington’s shot.

    The whole idea was to lure historians out of their offices and into the Berkeley sunshine – to foster some departmental spirit and celebrate the school year’s end. One other goal was just as plain. In organizing a basketball game among professional historians, I was attempting, however lamely, to join the wildest of my childhood fantasies with a fast approaching future.

    I doubt very many of us can state that our original dream was to become a historian. Mine certainly was not; I wanted to be a basketball player. My hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts may possess several problems endemic to small Northeastern cities – poverty, a loss of jobs, escalating crime and racial tension – but it will always boast the Basketball Hall of Fame. My friends and I trumpeted that fact with both mockery and pride. In retrospect, I think that my childhood in Springfield’s well-integrated schools – and basketball courts – sparked my interest in America?s racial past.

    I am five-feet eight-inches tall (on a good day), and I did not confront the implications of this reality until early in high school. Even in college, I played briefly for Oberlin’s basketball team. We won just a single game during my senior year. I warmed the bench for the worst team in the conference. I attended classes and practice by day, and wrote my honors thesis in the evening. As one career dream finally faded, another displaced it. I hurled myself into my new passion, and I feel as though I only recently came up for air.

    The civil rights movement long captivated me with tales of inspiring heroes, austere racists, and prodigious feats. Entering graduate school, I assumed I would write a dissertation on one more local struggle or another unknown individual. But ultimately, I sought to craft a study that would rethink the black freedom struggle in light of its interracial impact and its influence on everyday life. I believed that only this added perspective enabled us to see the civil rights movement for the wide-ranging social and political revolution that it was. I explored how the plights of whites and blacks informed one another, and found the heart of the story in the tensions and ambiguities on both sides.

    When I talked before southern audiences about my book, many inquired why someone with my background would write on white southerners. I explained that I had a deep interest in how race shaped politics and society, and that the history of the South was so rich in this area. I felt a deep connection to these southern stories. I also knew that they were national stories, not simply regional ones. And in the back of my mind, I always wanted to learn more about race and politics in the North ? to understand my own roots, as well.

    My next project will begin in Massachusetts, whose voters elected Ed Brooke to the Senate in 1966. During that campaign, many white citizens (and 97 percent of the Bay State was white) pictured their politics as somehow beyond race. Of course, the Boston busing crisis of the 1970s soon exposed the opposite truth. In the years since, Massachusetts politicians have come to embody all of American liberalism’s perceived faults – just as many of the Bay State’s mid-sized cities, like Springfield, have struggled through the underside of the “urban crisis.” From 1991 to 2006, this famously liberal bastion elected Republican governors. Deval Patrick now graces Beacon Hill. He holds the hopes of Northeastern liberals and African-Americans alike. This saga blends political history, urban history, and civil rights – and in a very real way, this history is my own.

    While it is true that I never really aspired to become a scholar when I was younger, I think that all of us — at some point — decide to become historians. In the end, we all want to know where we come from.

    Quotes

    By Jason Sokol

  • The civil rights movement possessed a rare ability to transform all it touched. When African-Americans struggled for civil rights, they also struck at the very foundations of southern life. The civil rights movement altered race relations, subverted traditions, ushered in political change, transformed institutions, and even turned cities upside down. The impact of the civil rights movement differed from person to person, family to family, town to town. In the end, few escaped its long reach. Change seeped into life – in ways whites had barely conceived and scarcely contemplated. There Goes My Everything JPGMost white southerners identified neither with the civil rights movement nor its violent resisters. They were fearful, silent, and often inert. The age of civil rights looked different through their eyes. Few white southerners ever forgot the day they first addressed blacks as “Mr.” or “Mrs.”; the times their maids showed up to work, suddenly shorn of the old deference; the day they dined in the same establishments as black people; the process by which their workplaces became integrated; the autumn a black man appeared on the ballot; or the morning white children attended school with black pupils. Taken together, these changes amounted to a revolution in a way of life.

    Experiences overwhelmed words, events swallowed ideas, and a whole society struggled to catch up with the civil rights movement’s rapid march. Some white southerners embraced the novel aspects of this world; others refused to accept the nascent social order; still more walked gingerly across its threshold. Jason Sokol in “There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975″

    About Jason Sokol

  • “It’s difficult not to approach Sokol’s book with sheer astonishment that it has been written by one so young…but in truth, just about any scholar in the field would be happy to claim There Goes My Everything as his or her own work.” — Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World (One of Jonathan Yardley’s 10 best books of the year.)
  • “It’s as eye-opening a look at race relations in the Civil Rights Era as anything this side of Dr. King’s own Letter From a Birmingham Jail.” — Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reviewing There Goes My Everything
  • “A young historian provides a fascinating and remarkably empathetic assessment of how white southerners experienced the civil-rights movement.” — The Atlantic reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “There Goes My Everything is a richly documented, often compellingly dramatic narrative, whose strength is its absence of polemic….It’s not that Mr. Sokol is sympathetic to bigots, but that he understands their humanity, that the roots of hatred and ignorance can be deep and obscure. It’s a book that celebrates a change brought about by striking at those roots.” — The Dallas Morning News reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “This is one of the few books about the civil rights movement of the United States that gets it right….Sokol weaves historical analysis with firsthand accounts. The result is simply stunning….It is an important book and one that deserves to be read by every American.” — Tucson Citizen reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “The major premise of this book is extraordinarily important. Sokol recognizes that the full dimensions of the civil rights movement can only be grasped if Southern whites…are incorporated into the master narrative. His book, therefore, points the way to a fuller, more satisfying history of one of the most important dramas of 20th Century America.” — James Ralph, Chicago Tribune reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Sokol offers a rich, varied story of how different individuals reacted to the revolutionary changes surrounding them. It is a complex…story told very well. There Goes My Everything belongs on the same bookshelf with the other outstanding works on the most wonderful and transforming movement of twentieth century America.” — Lucas A. Powe, Jr., University of Texas Law School reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Sokol is an elegant, engaging writer, and he approaches his subjects with empathy, if not always sympathy.” — Nashville Scene reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “His book spills with complex and nuanced stories culled from oral histories, newspaper archives, unpublished letters…details piled upon details told with a storyteller’s skill. It takes you from classrooms to soda fountains to church pews.” — Springfield (Mass.) Republican reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Jason Sokol’s book…is an ambitious attempt to describe the attitudinal changes that the civil rights revolution engendered in white southerners….He has many interesting and insightful things to say.” — Nicholas Lemann, The New Republic reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Sokol handles the material so well — the personalities and the large stakes found in the smallest of places….’There Goes My Everything’ is stark in its portrayal of racism and spirited in its celebration of large and small victories toward freedom for all.” — Minneapolis Star-Tribune reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “To his credit, Sokol…never judges his subjects, and instead concentrates on exploring the book’s chief theme…the divide between conscious, moral choice and human fallibility.” — San Francisco Chronicle reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “An apt and even arresting narration of the ways that the white South included hard and soft racism, iron certainty and deep doubt.” — David Roediger, The Chronicle of Higher Education reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “In focusing largely on the perspectives of common men and women across the states of the former Confederacy–businessmen, teachers, ministers, housewives, small-town politicians, officers of the law–he makes visceral the convulsions produced when most everything white southerners believed about blacks proved mistaken… Sokol’s case study of the 9th Ward, in particular his portrayal of those parents who braved ranting mobs to enroll their white children in integrated schools, vividly captures the turmoil of a community divided against itself…Thanks to Jason Sokol, we now have a richer understanding of the hard, soul-searching journey undertaken by southern whites to get on the right side of black freedom.” — Weekly Standard reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Jason Sokol…is determined that we not forget how far the South had to go to expel the poison of racism. He does not rely on…memory to remind us how widespread such thinking was, but presents his evidence – oral histories from libraries and universities across the South, books and articles on the civil rights era, and a paper trail of apparently thousands of records left from the period… He means to let no skeptic get away unpersuaded.” — Roy Reed, The Wilson Quarterly reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “His book is remarkably prescient….the depth and nuance of what Sokol does capture in his new book is nothing short of breathtaking.” — Tuscaloosa News reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “There Goes My Everything is a story neither of triumph nor tragedy — though it contains both — but a story whose most insistent moral is that there’s more of the story left to be told.” — Daniel Oppenheimer, Valley Advocate (Mass.) reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “The marvelous There Goes My Everything…is eminently readable, sometimes surprising, often blunt…and thoroughly excellent…This is an important and overdue book.” — Blue Ridge Business Journal (Va.) reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Jason Sokol…offers a deeply researched and superbly written chronicle….It is a sensitive, nuanced, and balanced look at how Southern whites dealt with one of the most remarkable…social revolutions of modern times….Readers looking for moral certainties or for reinforcement of popular stereotypes of white Southerners will find Sokol’s account disappointing—and this is precisely the book’s strength.” — American Heritage reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “This exceptionally well-balanced first book by Cornell University Professor Jason Sokol….shows there is no stereotyping that fits the varied responses of Southern whites….Sokol explains, outlines and gives clarity to the nuances.” — Decatur (Ala.) Daily reviewing “There Goes My Everything”
  • “Jason Sokol did an excellent job. It is evident that he has a passion and talent for history, and I think it resonated throughout the class. He covered and surpassed my expectations.”… “Jason Sokol taught me more in an eight week summer seminar than I have learned in most long, full length courses. I honestly enjoyed coming to class twice a week even in the middle of summer vacation. Thanks for reminding me why I enjoyed history.”… “I found Jason to be very engaging and knowledgeable about his subject. I was fascinated by the material and looked forward to every class meeting. This was my favorite class at Berkeley.”… “He was thought provoking and insightful. The material comes easy to him but he doesn’t show that off or condescend.”… “I think his greatest value as an instructor was his willingness to be open-minded about our ideas.”… “Jason has been an excellent instructor. He’s probably one of the most intelligent young scholars I have met at the Berkeley campus. He set a new standard for me on how to write well.” — Anonymous Students
  • // <![CDATA[// Posted on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 9:13 PM

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