Top Young Historians: 48 – Ari Kelman

Top Young Historians

Ari Kelman, 37

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor of History, University of California, Davis, 2005-present.
Area of Research: The Politics of Memory, Civil War and Reconstruction, The Built Environment, Environmental History, U.S. Borderlands, U.S. South, Native American, Historical Geography.
Education: Ph.D. History, Brown University, May 1998.
Major Publications: Kelman is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Ari  Kelman JPG Orleans, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003, 2006) which received the 2004 Abbott Lowell Cummings Award. He is currently working on A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek, (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, under contract). Kelman has also authored a number of scholarly essays in the Journal of American History, Suburban History, and Historical Geography He also authored book chapters including; “New Orleans’s Phantom Slave Insurrection of 1853: Racial Anxiety, Urban Ecology, and Human Bodies as Public Spaces.” In Andrew Isenberg (ed.), The Nature of Cities: New Directions in Urban Environmental History, (University of Rochester Press, 2006).
Awards: Kelman is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
The Huntington/National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar, 2005. “The Redemptive West: Nationhood and Healing in the Post-Civil War American West”;
National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, 2004-2005;
Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation Research Fellowship, 2004-2005;
Colorado State Historical Fund Education Grant, 2004-2005;
Abbot Lowell Cummings Award, 2004. Presented for A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans;
Colorado Endowment for the Humanities Program Grant, 2002;
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Publishing Subvention Grant, 2001-2002;
National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute, 1999. “The Built Environment \ of the American Metropolis, Public and Private Realms”;
Martha Joukousky Dissertation Prize, 1998. Runner-up;
John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization Fellowship, 1997;
American Historical Association Littleton-Griswold Research Grant, 1996;
Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Fellowship, 1995;
University of Denver Learning Effectiveness Program Teaching Award, 2002;
Brown University President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1995.
Additional Info:
Formerly Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at the University of Denver, 2000-2005, and Reach for Excellence Honors Professor and Assistant Professor of History and Geography, at the University of Oklahoma, 1998-2000.
Kelman has been involved in a number of public history and documentary projects. He was the Principal Series Advisor and On-Camera Commentator for “New Orleans,” for PBS, The American Experience Documentary Series, 2005-2007; Series consultant for “Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America”, for The History Channel, 2004-2006. Kelman was , On- and off-air consultant on BBC Radio for “Katrina” and “When the Music Stopped” radio documentaries, 2005.
He has also written for a number newspapers and magazines including The Nation, House and Garden, Slate, The Christian Science Monitor, and the Baltimore Sun among others. .

Personal Anecdote

My career has become a case study in historical contingency.

On August 28th, 2005, I was settling into a new job in the history department at UC Davis. Throughout the day, I organized notes for my current book project, on the politics of memory surrounding the Sand Creek Massacre. Then, late in the afternoon, as I sifted through a transcribed oral history, the phone rang, startling me. It was the first time someone called me in my new office; I hadn’t even known the phone worked. When I picked up, a breathless journalist from the New York Times asked if I could comment on the hurricane bearing down on New Orleans. The storm’s name was Katrina, he said, and it looked like a real “whopper.” I answered first that I didn’t “do” New Orleans anymore, and second, I hadn’t paid much attention to Katrina, which seemed to be tracking along a relatively benign path. “The city,” I quipped, “had weathered worse.”

By the next morning, when the Times reporter called back, generously offering me a do-over, it was clear that I had been wrong twice over: I still “did” New Orleans, and the city had never seen a more destructive hurricane. Another thing was clear as well: my career had taken a rather sudden turn. Like I said, historical contingency.

Prior to Katrina, I enjoyed a pretty ordinary academic life. My first book, A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, died a dignified scholarly death: it won a prize, got me a job and tenure, and occupied a place of honor on my parents’ bookshelf. Then, after the storm, it was reborn, and with it a new stage in my career. I would be an [Author ID1: at Wed Feb 28 15:13:00 2007 ]instapundit and then a public intellectual, whatever that means. I appeared on TV once and wasn’t good; I have the perfect face for print. I did a slew of radio interviews, which went somewhat better. Apparently especially in Australia, from whence a disembodied voice explained, I had become a “media sensation on par with The Wiggles.” And I wrote essays published in middlebrow and glossy periodicals, including a short piece in “House and Garden.” My graduate advisors must have been so proud.

Overall, it was a surreal and discomfiting experience. In part because New Orleans remained under water, then soggy, and finally dry but desolate. I felt removed from the suffering and guilty writing about suffering secondhand. But also because I had my first experience working outside of the geological timeframe typical of academic publishing. Not only did I have to meet deadlines of hours or days instead of months or years, but I often got feedback from readers immediately after my essays appeared in print.

Now, I’ve just returned from another trip to New Orleans, where I led a tour of a city in which disaster voyeurism may be the only booming industry. And some day soon, I’ll get back to writing about Sand Creek. But I, and my career, will never be the same. I’ve become a better historian, more attuned to unpredictable winds of change.

Quotes

By Ari Kelman

  • When Bienville gazed at the Mississippi’s muddy waters, he did not contemplate the power of fluvial tectonics, of accretion and erosion, or the difference between the river’s deltaic and flood plains. He saw only a magnificent system of watery roads, A  River and Its City  The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans JPGa tapestry of commercial empire woven from the strands of the river system’s watercourses. Bienville read the geography of the Mississippi Valley as surely as we might read a map, and he saw the unmistakable imprint of divine providence. Viewing God and what he called “Nature” as parts of a whole, Bienville perceived the river as a gift, a treasure map carved into the continent. For several reasons, his perceptions made sense. Before our era of paved roads, rails, or air travel – all technologies circumventing the vagaries of geography – rivers served as highways of commerce. And the Mississippi system provided the most magnificent collection of highways in the world, including more than 15,000 miles of navigable streams, a system shaped like a large funnel with its spout pointed at New Orleans. In Bienville’s mind, this strategic location guaranteed that from the capillaries of backcountry brooks, to the veins of larger tributary rivers like the Ohio and the Missouri, and finally to the artery of the trunk stream itself, commerce, the economic lifeblood of the continent, would inevitably flow downstream on the Mississippi system to market at New Orleans. – Ari Kelman in “A River and Its City The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans”
  • About Ari Kelman

  • “New Orleans’s Mississippi levee is the key to unraveling the historical dialectic between a great river and an essentially amphibious city. It is also the monumental space of New Orleans’s past, where dark plots and heroic dreams remain forever entangled.” — Mike Davis, author of “Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster”
  • “A pioneering environmental history of the evolving relationship between one of the nation’s old and most exceptional cities and our greatest river. It is a fascinating story.” — William Cronon, author of “Nature’s Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West”
  • “Kelman makes elegant sense of a story as tangled as the Louisiana bayous and tells his tale with a verve to rival that of New Orleans itself.” — John R. McNeill, author of “Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World”
  • “Deeply researched and compellingly written, Kelman’s book should be required reading for a nation in shock that its fabled Crescent City will require hundreds of billions to rebuild. . . . Planners embarking on the next phase of shaping the urban- nature interface can ill afford not to learn the lessons of this particular history.” — Philip J. Ethington, American Historical Review
  • “Kelman’s writing style makes the interaction between the inhabitants of New Orleans and nature come alive. His interdisciplinary approach, masterful use of primary sources, and balanced argumentation place his monograph with the best studies in environmental history. The book’s readability and length make it a good choice for classroom use.” — George S. Pabis writing in Journal of Southern History.
  • “Although Kelman’s book will probably be categorized as environmental history, its intellectual grandfathers are political philosopher Jurgen Habermas and historians of property law such as Harry Scheiber and James Willard Hurst. Close comparators are Roy Rosensweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, “The Park and the People: A History of Central Park,” Mary Ryan, “Civic Wars: Democracy and Public Life in the American City during the Nineteenth Century,” and Peter Baldwin, “Domesticating the Street: The Reform of Public Space in Hartford.” That it stands up well in comparison is a measure of Kelman’s accomplishment. – Carl Abbott writing in The Western Historical Quarterly.
  • “Ari Kelman’s book is an engaging environmental history heavy with legal overtones that detail the complex and ever changing relationship of New Orleans with the Mississippi River. It is a readable and well-written addition to the serious literature concerning the Crescent City and riverfront adaptation and redevelopment generally.” — Ralph E. Thayer writing in Technology and Culture.
  • “Kelman is an excellent writer who has done extensive research into New Orleans history. He has unearthed numerous details that enhance his story.” — Edward F. Haas writing in Journal of American History.
  • “He loves what he teaches, has a great sense of humor, and keeps you interested. What more could you ask for?”… “One of my favorite lecturers ever! Kelman’s class was highly entertaining and informative. Good sense of humor, willing to help and engage students.”… “I am only halfway through his Civil War class, and I can already say that this is my favorite class I have taken. Professor Kelman is an amazing lecturer, and very helpful with his papers. Everyone should take him…he is hilarious, and lectures are never boring…he is an incredible teacher.” … “A great lecturer who really knows his stuff.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 8:12 PM

    History Buzz: March 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.

    March 26, 2007

    PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
      Presidential Campaign 2008 Watch

    • Robert Dallek on “Revealing All Before Anyone Else Can”: “The public has greater sympathy now for someone in politics who is struggling with health concerns. People in this country: they go through divorces, they have their psychological and health problems. They want to see that in their candidates, too.” – NYT, 3-25-07
    • Matthew Dallek on “Nowadays, a Candidate Can Seem Too Experienced”: “You would think that post-9/11, there would be this almost World War II idea of the federal government as functional and wise, protecting us with its focus on the greatest threats. But people still have that general anti-Washington feeling, and the sense that Washington still doesn’t work.” – NYT, 3-18-07
    • Joan Hoff on “Romney birthday shows GOP age spread”: “I think we’re expecting people to run for president in their 50s and 60s. By that time, they’ve had other life experiences that make people think they’re seasoned and experienced. McCain is past that mark, and by the same token, age may be a factor against Barack Obama, although a lot of other things go along with his age, including his relative lack of experience.” – AP, 3-11-07
    • Steve Gillon on “Presidential candidates reflect changing face of America”: “Presidential elections won’t lead the way; they’ll follow the change. In our presidential elections, we tend to elect figures who are reassuring. . The election of a woman president or an African-American president will be the last hurdle, not the first.” – USA Today, 3-12-07
    • Douglas Brinkley on “Family Strains: Do They Really Effect Presidential Candidates?”: “It’s a real first strike against the candidate, puts them in a deep dark hole right off the bat.” – ABC News, 3-6-07
    • Gil Troy on “Senator Clinton wants to be known simply as ‘Hillary’”: “There are very few people in our popular culture universe who are defined by one name — Cher, Oprah, Madonna. If you are up in that stratosphere, like Hillary Clinton is, why not play to your strength and exploit that for all its worth. I think it emphasizes the fact that — let’s not kid ourselves — hers has been a celebrity candidacy from the start. She is very much cashing in her celebrity chips and running.” – Canada.com, 3-1-07
    BIGGEST STORIES:
    • Theodore C. Sorensen: Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., 1917-2007 An appreciation of the historian, activist and writer who played a central role in defining modern American liberalism – American Prospecf, 04-04-07
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 03-26-1945 – The battle of Iwo Jima ended; about 22,000 Japanese troops were killed or captured in the fighting and more than 4,500 U.S. troops were killed.
    • 03-26-1979 – In a ceremony at the White House, President Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Begin of Israel signed a peace treaty ending 30 years of war between the two countries.
    • 03-26-1982 – Groundbreaking ceremonies for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial took place in Washington, DC.
    • 03-26-2000 – Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia.
    • 03-27-1794 – Congress authorizes the construction of six frigates, including the Constitution (Old Ironsides), for the U.S. Navy.
    • 03-27-1866 – President Andrew Johnson vetoed a civil rights bill which later became the 14th amendment.
    • 03-27-1958 – Nikita Khrushchev became Soviet premier and first secretary of the Communist Party.
    • 03-28-1797 – Nathaniel Briggs patented a washing machine.
    • 03-28-1939 – The Spanish Civil War ended.
    • 03-29-1867 – The North America Act was passed by the British parliament, creating the dominion of Canada.
    • 03-29-1951 – Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty of passing atomic secrets to the Russians and were sentenced to death.
    • 03-29-1971 – Lt. William Calley was convicted of murdering 22 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre.
    • 03-29-1973 – The last U.S. troops left South Vietnam.
    • 03-30-1856 – The Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Crimean War.
    • 03-30-1867 – A treaty for the purchase of Alaska from Russia for the sum of $7.2 million, approximately two cents an acre, was submitted to the U.S. Senate.
    • 03-30-1870 – The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution went into effect, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race.
    • 03-30-1981 – President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest by John Hinckley as he left a Washington hotel.
    • 03-31-1492 – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain expelled Jews who would not accept Christianity.
    • 03-31-1889 – The Eiffel Tower in Paris officially opened.
    • 03-31-1917 – The United States took possession of the Virgin Islands.
    • 03-31-1918 – Daylight Saving Time went into effect in the United States.
    • 03-31-1949 – Newfoundland became Canada’s tenth province.
    • 03-31-1959 – The Dalai Lama, fleeing Chinese repression of an uprising in Tibet, arrived at the Indian border and was granted political asylum.
    • 03-31-1968 – President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election
    • 04-01-1789 – Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first Speaker of the House of Representatives.
    • 04-01-1933 – The Nazi persecution of Jews began in Germany with a boycott of Jewish businesses.
    • 04-01-1945 – American forces landed on Okinawa during World War II.
    • 04-01-1970 – President Nixon signed a bill into law banning cigarette ads from radio and television.
    • 04-01-1979 – Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    • 04-01-2003 – Pvt. Jessica Lynch was rescued by U.S. commandos in a raid on an Iraqi hospital.
    • 04-01-2004 – President Bush signed the “Laci Peterson” bill making it a separate federal crime to harm a fetus during an attack on the mother.
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    OP-ED:
    PROFILED:
    INTERVIEWED:
    FEATURE:
    QUOTED:
    • Frederick Kagan on “Violence slashed as troop surge hits Baghdad”: “It is very early days but I’m very encouraged by what is happening. America only has two brigades out of five there and we haven’t even started our major operations yet. I had not expected this little resistance.” – Times (of London), 3-19-07
    • Adam Hochschild: End trade inequality to atone for slavery – Reuters (3-21-07)
    • Ron Radosh, Ellen Schrecker, Harvey Klehr, Peter Carroll: Cited by NY Sun in story about NYU’s presentation on American communist movement – NY Sun Editorial, 3-22-07
    • Ilan Pappe: The History of Israel Reconsidered – Speech at Tokyo University, 3-11-07
    • David McCullough: Founding Fathers’ Lessons are Timeless – www.depauw.edu/news, 3-18-07Speech downloadable, MP3s
    SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • C-Span2, Book TV : History on Book TV: Zachary Karabell, Peace Be Upon You: The Story Of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence Sunday, March 25 at 8pm – C-Span2, BookTV
    • C-Span2, Book TV : Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic Sunday, March 25 at 10pm – C-Span2, BookTV
    • PBS: The American Experience: “The Carter Family” Monday, March 19, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
    • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries” Sunday, March 25, @ 8-11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Samurai,” Monday, March 26, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Apollo 13: Triumph on the Dark Side.,” Monday, March 19, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Stonehenge of The Americas,” Monday, March 26, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery,” Tuesday, March 27, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “UFO Files :The Pacific Bermuda Triangle,” Tuesday, March 27, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Atlantis,” Tuesday, March 27, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :Alaska’s Bermuda Triangle,” Tuesday, March 27, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Mysteries of the Freemasons :The Beginning and America,” Wednesday, March 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Presidential Prophecies,” Wednesday, March 28, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Dark Ages,” Thursday, March 29, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: ” History’s Mysteries :Zombies,” Thursday, March 29, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Vampires Secrets,” Thursday, March 29, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Last Stand of The 300,” Friday, March 30, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Battlefield Detectives :Custer at Little Big Horn,” Friday, March 30, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Mail Call” Marathon, Saturday, March 31, @ 1-5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Flight 93,” Saturday, March 31, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Titanic’s Final Moments: Missing Pieces,” Saturday, March 31, @ 10pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #12 (8 weeks on list ) – 4-1-07
    NEW ON THE WEB:
    • U.S. Intellectual History blog: The editors of the weblog post news and information, short essays, book reviews and provocative conversation-starting questions, all in the area of U.S. intellectual history. – http://www.us-intellectual-history.blogspot.com
    EXHIBITIONS:
    • “The White House Meets the Bulldozer:” A traveling exhibit from the White House Historical Association, on display through April 22 at the Greensboro Public Library gallery. The exhibit covers the Truman restoration. – Greensboro News Record, NC, 3-17-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Taylor Branch: Book on Bill Clinton Emerges From 8 Years of Tapes – NYT, 3-21-07
    • Harold R. Winton: Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes, (University Press of Kansas), March 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
    • Earl Black: Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics, (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), March 2007
    • Brian Steidle: The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • Kenneth B. Pyle: Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • John Smith: Captain John Smith: Writings: with Selected Narratives of the Exploration and Settlement of Virginia, (Penguin Group (USA)), March 2007
    • Robert Daniels: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia, (Yale University Press), March 2007
    • Patrick J. Jung: The Black Hawk War of 1832, (University of Oklahoma Press), March 2007
    • William Dalrymple: Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857, (Knopf Publishing Group), March 27, 2007
    • Jonathan M. Elukin: Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish- Christian Relations in the Middle Ages, (Princeton University Press), April 2007
    • Philip Morgan: The Fall of Mussolini: Italians and the War, 1940-1945, (Oxford University Press), April 2007
    • Richard Croker: The Boomer Century 1946-2046: How America’s Most Influential Generation Changed Everything, (Springboard Press), April 2007
    • R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President’s Life After the White House, (Nelson Current), April 2007
    • Stephen F. Hayes: Cheney: A Revealing Portrait of America’s Most Powerful Vice President, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Michael Stephenson: Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Saul Friedlander: Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Vol. 2, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 10, 2007
    • Georgina Howell: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Lynne Olson: Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Robert Dallek: Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 24, 2007
    • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 2007
    • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
    • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
    DEPARTED:

    Posted on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at 7:41 PM

    March 19, 2007

    BIGGEST STORIES: St. Patrick’s Day
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:
    • 03-19-1853 – During the Taiping Rebellion in China, the rebels captured Nanking and renamed it T’en-ching (Heavenly Capital).
    • 03-19-1920 – The United States Senate voted down signing the Treaty of Versailles for the second time.
    • 03-19-2003 – Operation Iraqi Freedom is launched with air strikes on Baghdad, the beginning of the war with Iraq (March 20 in Iraq).
    • 03-20-1602 – The Dutch East India Company was established. During its 196-year history, it became one of the world’s most powerful companies.
    • 03-20-1852 – Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was published.
    • 03-20-2003 – Ground troops entered Iraq and a second round of air strikes against Baghdad was launched.
    • 03-21-1556 – The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was burned at the stake as a heretic.
    • 03-21-1804 – The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, was officially put forth.
    • 03-21-1963 – Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, a harsh maximum security jail which once housed gangster Al Capone, closed.
    • 03-21-1965 – Martin Luther King, Jr., led the start of a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
    • 03-22-1765 – The Stamp Act was enacted on the American colonies by Britain.
    • 03-22-1820 – U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur was killed in a duel with dishonored former Chesapeake captain James Barron.
    • 03-22-1895 – Auguste and Louis Lumiere first demonstrated motion pictures using celluloid film in Paris.
    • 03-22-1972 – Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment and sent it to be ratified by the states. The amendment would fail to get the required 38 states to ratify it.
    • 03-23-1775 – Patrick Henry declared “Give me liberty, or give me death.”
    • 03-23-1806 – Lewis and Clark began their return journey east.
    • 03-23-1983 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposed a space-based missile defense system called the Strategic Defense Initiative or “Star Wars.”
    • 03-24-1603 – Queen Elizabeth I died at age 69 after ruling England for more than 40 years.
    • 03-24-1934 – The Philippine Islands in the South Pacific were granted independence by President Franklin D. Roosevelt after nearly 50 years of American control.
    • 03-24-1999 – NATO begins launching air strikes in an attempt to force Serbia to cease hostilities against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.
    • 03-25-1634 – Maryland was founded by settlers sent by the late Lord Baltimore.
    • 03-25-1894 – Jacob Sechler Coxey and his “army” of unemployed men began their march from Ohio to Washington, DC.
    • 03-25-1911 – A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York City killed 145 workers.
    • 03-25-1931 – The Scottsboro boys were arrested in Alabama.
    • 03-25-1965 – The 25,000-person Alabama Freedom March to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks, led by Martin Luther King Jr., ended its journey from Selma on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala.
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    • Nigel Hamilton: Whose Life Is It? BIOGRAPHY A Brief History NYT, 3-18-07
    • Ralph Pite: THOMAS HARDY The Guarded Life – NYT, 3-18-07
    • Allan M. Brandt: Blowing Smoke How Big Tobacco convinced generations of Americans to light up THE CIGARETTE CENTURY The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of The Product That Defined America WaPo, 3-18-07
    • Elizabeth Jacoway: Showdown Over Segregation Did sexual fears fuel the 1957 crisis over letting black students into Little Rock’s Central High? TURN AWAY THY SON Little Rock, the Crisis That Shocked The Nation WaPo, 3-18-07
    • Diana Ahmad: Opium Debate Is Topic of Historian’s Latest Book – Newswise, 3-15-07
    • Gary Joiner: Historian has busy start to year ‘Virtual book signings’ are a new twist on old sales tactic – Shreveport Times, LA, 3-15-07
    • Robert Dallek: New book on Nixon & Kissinger promises revelations – Publisher’s Weekly, 3-12-07
    OP-ED:
    PROFILED:
    INTERVIEWED:
    FEATURE:
    QUOTED:
    • George Herring on “Hagel, McCain – Different Paths From Vietnam To Iraq”: “The Army enlisted people on the ground see the complexity of the war, the difficulty of it, the futility of it at some points – endless patrols in search of an elusive enemy, capturing a piece of territory and immediately vacating it. In a broad sense, I would say they might have a more acute sense of the limits of military power.” Free Internet Press, NY, 3-18-07
    • John Dittmer on “Letter written by reputed Klansman a peek into his past”: “These people were religious fanatics. Yes, they were racist, but they didn’t think of themselves as bad people. They thought of themselves as doing God’s will when they murdered people.” – AP, 3-17-07
    SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    • March 19, 2007: Jeremy Black will present “War and Society in the Atlantic World,” at the University of Southern Mississippi Monday as a guest of the Department of History’s Center for the Study of War and Society, 6:30 p.m. in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 102 – Hattiesburg American, MS, 3-16-07
    • March 20, 2007: Alan Brinkley, The Harlem Renaissance, McLain Auditorium, MHS – Larchmont Gazette, NY, 11-29-06
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    ON TV:
    • C-Span2, Book TV : Book TV presents David Cannadine, “Mellon: An American Life”, Monday, March 19 at 12:40am – C-Span2, BookTV
    • PBS: The American Experience: “Hijacked” Monday, March 19, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
    • History Channel: “Last Days on Earth” Sunday, March 18, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Tsunami 2004: Waves of Death,” Sunday, March 18, @ 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : The Kings: From Babylon to Baghdad,” Monday, March 19, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Apollo 13: Triumph on the Dark Side.,” Monday, March 19, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “UFO Files :Texas’ Roswell,” Monday, March 19, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Lost Treasures of Petra,” Monday, March 19, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :Napoleon: Steel Monster,” Monday, March 19, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Deep Sea Detectives :Loch Ness: Great Monster Mystery,” Monday, March 19, @ 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels : Private Collections,” Tuesday, March 20, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Investigating History :The JFK Assassination.,” Tuesday, March 20, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries :Ancient Computer?,” Tuesday, March 20, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : Warrior Queen Boudica,” Wednesday, March 21, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Da Vinci & the Handgun,” Wednesday, March 21, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Castles & Dungeons,” Wednesday, March 21, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Sahara,” Thursday, March 22, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • >

    • History Channel: “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Friday, March 23, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History,” Thursday, March 22, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Dogfights :09 – Hell Over Hanoi,” Friday, March 23, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth” Marathon, Saturday, March 24, @ 1-5pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #16 – 3-25-07
    • Eric Metaxas: AMAZING GRACE, #23 – 3-25-07
    NEW ON THE WEB:
    • U.S. Intellectual History blog: The editors of the weblog post news and information, short essays, book reviews and provocative conversation-starting questions, all in the area of U.S. intellectual history. – http://www.us-intellectual-history.blogspot.com
    EXHIBITIONS:
    • “The White House Meets the Bulldozer:” A traveling exhibit from the White House Historical Association, on display through April 22 at the Greensboro Public Library gallery. The exhibit covers the Truman restoration. – Greensboro News Record, NC, 3-17-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Harold R. Winton: Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes, (University Press of Kansas), March 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
    • Earl Black: Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics, (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), March 2007
    • Brian Steidle: The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • Kenneth B. Pyle: Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • John Smith: Captain John Smith: Writings: with Selected Narratives of the Exploration and Settlement of Virginia, (Penguin Group (USA)), March 2007
    • Robert Daniels: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia, (Yale University Press), March 2007
    • Patrick J. Jung: The Black Hawk War of 1832, (University of Oklahoma Press), March 2007
    • William Dalrymple: Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857, (Knopf Publishing Group), March 27, 2007
    • Jonathan M. Elukin: Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish- Christian Relations in the Middle Ages, (Princeton University Press), April 2007
    • Philip Morgan: The Fall of Mussolini: Italians and the War, 1940-1945, (Oxford University Press), April 2007
    • Richard Croker: The Boomer Century 1946-2046: How America’s Most Influential Generation Changed Everything, (Springboard Press), April 2007
    • R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President’s Life After the White House, (Nelson Current), April 2007
    • Stephen F. Hayes: Cheney: A Revealing Portrait of America’s Most Powerful Vice President, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Michael Stephenson: Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Saul Friedlander: Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Vol. 2, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 10, 2007
    • Georgina Howell: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Lynne Olson: Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Robert Dallek: Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 24, 2007
    • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 2007
    • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
    • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
    DEPARTED:
    • Benis Frank: Marine Corps Historian And Veteran (Obit.) – WaPo, 3-15-07

    Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 9:18 PM

    March 12, 2007

    ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, JR.:
    BIGGEST STORIES:
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 12/03/1350 – Orvieto city says it will behead and burn Jewish-Christian couples
    • 12/03/1664 – 1st naturalization act in American colonies
    • 12/03/1860 – Congress accepts Pre-emption Bill: free land in West for colonists
    • 12/03/1888 – The Great Blizzard of ’88 struck the northeastern U.S. (400 die)
    • 12/03/1930 – Mohandas Gandhi began his 200-mile march to protest the British salt tax.
    • 12/03/1933 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the first of his nation-wide “fireside chats” on radio.
    • 12/03/1938 – “Anschluss” took place when Hitler incorporated his homeland of Austria into the Third Reich
    • 12/03/1945 – NY is 1st to prohibit discrimination by race and creed in employment
    • 12/03/1947 – President Truman established the “Truman Doctrine” to aid in the containment of Communism
    • 12/03/1993 – Janet Reno was sworn in as the first female attorney general of the United States.
    • 12/03/2002 – The color-coded terror alert system was unveiled by Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge.
    • 13/03/1639 – Cambridge College was renamed Harvard University.
    • 13/03/1656 – Jews are denied the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam
    • 13/03/1852 – “Uncle Sam” cartoon appeared for the first time in N.Y. Lantern weekly.
    • 13/03/1861 – Jefferson Davis signs bill authorizing use of slaves as soldiers
    • 13/03/1868 – The Senate began President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial.
    • 13/03/1918 – American Red Magen David (Jewish Red Cross) forms
    • 13/03/1925 – Tennessee passed a bill prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools.
    • 13/03/1943 – Failed assassin attempt on Hitler during Smolensk-Rastenburg flight
    • 13/03/1972 – Britain and China resumed full diplomatic relations after 22 years; Britain withdrew its consulate from Taiwan.
    • 14/03/1629 – England granted a royal charter to Massachusetts Bay Colony
    • 14/03/1644 – England grants patent for Providence Plantations (now Rhode Island)
    • 14/03/1689 – Scotland dismisses Willem III and Mary Stuart as king and queen
    • 14/03/1743 – The first town meeting was held in Boston, Massachusetts, at Faneuil Hall.
    • 14/03/1794 – The cotton gin was patented by Eli Whitney.
    • 14/03/1923 – Pres Warren G Harding becomes 1st pres to pay taxes
    • 14/03/1964 – Jack Ruby was found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy.
    • 14/03/1967 – JFK’s body moved from temporary grave to a permanent memorial
    • 14/03/1990 – The Soviet Congress voted Mikhail Gorbachev into the newly-created and powerful position of president.
    • 14/03/2003 – Start of weekend of protests against war in Iraq that are attended by millions
    • 15/03/44 B.C. – On the “Ides of March,” Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the senate house by a group of conspirators led by Cimber, Casca, Cassius, and Marcus Junius Brutus.
    • 15/03/1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first visit to the Western Hemisphere.
    • 15/03/1820 – Maine became the 23rd state.
    • 15/03/1917 – Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia, is forced to abdicate his throne (March 2, old style calendar).
    • 15/03/1965 – President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress for legislation guaranteeing every American the right to vote.
    • 16/03/1850 – Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter was published.
    • 16/03/1935 – Adolf Hitler cancelled the military clauses of the Treaty of Versailles.
    • 16/03/1968 – The My Lai massacre occurred in Vietnam.
    • 16/03/1968 – New York Senator Robert Kennedy announced his intention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.
    • 16/03/1985 – U.S. journalist Terry Anderson was kidnapped in Beirut; he was not released until December 4, 1991 after 2454 days in captivity.
    • 16/03/1988 – Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North and Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter of the National Security Council are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States for their role in the Iran-contra affair.
    • 17/03/1762 – The first St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City.
    • 17/03/1776 – British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
    • 17/03/1870 – Wellesley Female Seminary (later Wellesley College) received its charter from the Massachusetts legislature.
    • 17/03/1942 – Gen. Douglas MacArthur became supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.
    • 17/03/1969 – Golda Meir was sworn in as prime minister of Israel.
    • 17/03/2003 – President Bush delivered an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein: leave Iraq within 48 hours or face an attack.
    • 18/03/1584 – Russian czar Ivan IV, or Ivan “The Terrible,” died at age 53.
    • 18/03/1766 – After months of American protests, Britain repealed the Stamp Act.
    • 18/03/1925 – The most violent single tornado in U.S. history, the “Tri-State Tornado,” hit Missouri, Indiana, and Illinois, killing 689 people and injuring 13,000 others.
    • 18/03/1963 – The Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that public defenders must be provided for indigent defendants in felony cases.
    • 18/03/1965 – Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov made the first spacewalk.
    • 18/03/1990 – The biggest art theft in U.S. history occurs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The works, including pieces by Vermeer and Rembrandt, were never recovered.
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    • Tony Judt on Michael Burleigh: Defender of the Faith SACRED CAUSES The Clash of Religion and Politics, From the Great War to the War on TerrorNYT, 3-11-07
    • Kurt Andersen: A 19th-Century Turn HEYDAY, Historical Fiction – NYT, 3-11-07
    • Michael A. Lerner: Raging Thirst DRY MANHATTAN Prohibition in New York CityNYT, 3-11-07
    • American Schemers On the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, several new books tell the harrowing tale behind the myth (Karen Ordahl Kupperman: THE JAMESTOWN PROJECT, Benjamin Woolley: SAVAGE KINGDOM The True Story of Jamestown, 1607, and the Settlement of America, Tim Hashaw: THE BIRTH OF BLACK AMERICA The First African Americans and the Pursuit of Freedom at Jamestown) – WaPo, 3-11-07
    • Zbigniew Brzezinski: When a Leader Missteps, a World Can Go Astray SECOND CHANCE Three Presidents and the Crisis of American Superpower3-6-07
    OP-ED:
    PROFILED:
    INTERVIEWED:
    FEATURE:
    QUOTED:
    • David Blight on “Douglass Memorial Sparks Debate on Art vs. History”: “The Underground Railroad is one of the deepest American historical myths. It is a story of escape; it is a story from slavery to freedom. The problem has been: How do we carve through the enormous folklore and mythology of this story to get to the real stories of real fugitive slaves?” – NPR, 3-5-07
    SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • C-Span2, Book TV : Book TV presents After Words: Martha Raddatz, author of “The Long Road Home,” interviewed by Col. Thomas Hammes, author of “The Sling and the Stone”, Sunday, March 11 at 6:00 pm and at 9:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
    • PBS: The American Experience: “Miss America” Monday, March 12, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
    • History Channel: “Jonestown Paradise Lost” Sunday, March 11, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Cults: Dangerous Devotion,” Sunday, March 11, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : Nazi America: A Secret History,” Monday, March 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :666: The Sign of Evil,” Monday, March 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :Amityville: Horror or Hoax?,” Monday, March 12, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “UFO Files :The Day after Roswell,” Monday, March 12, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Secrets of the Mummies,” Monday, March 12, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :China,” Monday, March 12, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Julius Caesar’s Greatest Battle,” Monday, March 12, @ 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Blood Diamonds,” Tuesday, March 13, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The True Story of Black Hawk Down,” Tuesday, March 13, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries :Egyptian Warfare,” Tuesday, March 13, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Man, Moment, Machine :Al Capone & the Machine Gun Massacre,” Tuesday, March 13, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Weird U.S. :This Odd House,” Wednesday, March 14, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels” Marathon, Wednesday, March 14, @ 6-12pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Mega Disasters: San Francisco Earthquake,” Thursday, March 15, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Days That Shook The World :Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand/Last Day in Hitler’s Bunker,” Thursday, March 15, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Churchill’s Secret Bunkers,” Thursday, March 15, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Knights Templar,” Thursday, March 15, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Earth’s Black Hole,” Thursday, March 15, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Irish in America,” Saturday, March 17, @ 3pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : Paddy Whacked: The Irish Mob,” Saturday, March 17, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Celebrating the Green: The History of Saint Patrick’s Day,” Saturday, March 17, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers,” Saturday, March 17, @ 8pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #16 (7 weeks on list) – 3-18-07
    • Eric Metaxas: AMAZING GRACE, #24 – 3-18-07
    • Jan Crawford Greenburg: SUPREME CONFLICT #26 – 3-18-07
    • Margaret MacMillan: NIXON AND MAO #34 – 3-18-07
    NEW ON THE WEB:
    • U.S. Intellectual History blog: The editors of the weblog post news and information, short essays, book reviews and provocative conversation-starting questions, all in the area of U.S. intellectual history. – http://www.us-intellectual-history.blogspot.com
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Harold R. Winton: Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes, (University Press of Kansas), March 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
    • Earl Black: Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics, (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), March 2007
    • Brian Steidle: The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • Kenneth B. Pyle: Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • John Smith: Captain John Smith: Writings: with Selected Narratives of the Exploration and Settlement of Virginia, (Penguin Group (USA)), March 2007
    • Robert Daniels: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia, (Yale University Press), March 2007
    • Patrick J. Jung: The Black Hawk War of 1832, (University of Oklahoma Press), March 2007
    • John Crossan: God and Empire: Jesus against Rome, Then and Now (Harper San Francisco), March 13, 2007
    • William Dalrymple: Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857, (Knopf Publishing Group), March 27, 2007
    • Jonathan M. Elukin: Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish- Christian Relations in the Middle Ages, (Princeton University Press), April 2007
    • Philip Morgan: The Fall of Mussolini: Italians and the War, 1940-1945, (Oxford University Press), April 2007
    • Richard Croker: The Boomer Century 1946-2046: How America’s Most Influential Generation Changed Everything, (Springboard Press), April 2007
    • R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President’s Life After the White House, (Nelson Current), April 2007
    • Stephen F. Hayes: Cheney: A Revealing Portrait of America’s Most Powerful Vice President, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Michael Stephenson: Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Saul Friedlander: Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Vol. 2, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 10, 2007
    • Georgina Howell: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Lynne Olson: Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Robert Dallek: Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 24, 2007
    • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 2007
    • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
    • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
    DEPARTED:
    • Winthrop D. Jordan: NYT obituary – NYT, 3-8-07
    • David Rattray: His vivid accounts of the Zulu wars live on despite his murder – Times (UK), 3-8-07

    Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 5:57 PM

    March 5, 2007

    ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, JR.:
    • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s Legacy – HNN
    • Douglas Brinkley remembers Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. – LAT, 3-4-07
    • WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR: R.I.P., my longtime foe in less than mortal exchanges – Houston Chronicle
    • Revered Intellectual, Historian Schlesinger Dies at 89 – Harvard Crimson, 3-1-07
    • Robert Dallek: Remembrances Colleague Recalls Historian Arthur Schlesinger – NPR, 3-1-07
    • Interviews: Arthur Schlesinger on the Cuban Missile Crisis – NPR, 3-1-07
    • Historian Arthur Schlesinger Dies – NPR, 3-1-07
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 05/03/1461 – Henry VI was deposed by Duke of York during War of the Roses
    • 05/03/1496 – English king Henry VII hires John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) to explore
    • 05/03/1770 – Boston Massacre, British troops kill 5 in crowd. Crispus Attackus becomes 1st black to die for American freedom
    • 05/03/1868 – US Senate organizes to decide charges against Pres Andrew Johnson
    • 05/03/1946 – Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech (Fulton Missouri)
    • 06/03/1836 – 3,000 Mexicans beat 182 Texans at the Alamo, after 13 day fight
    • 06/03/1857 – Dred Scott Decision: Supreme Court rules slaves cannot be citizens
    • 06/03/1861 – Provisionary Confederate Congress establishes Confederate Army
    • 06/03/1865 – President Lincolns 2nd Inaugural Ball
    • 06/03/1981 – Walter Cronkite signs-off as anchorman of “CBS Evening News”
    • 06/03/1991 – Following Iraq’s capitulation in the Persian Gulf conflict, Pres Bush told Congress that “aggression is defeated. The war is over”
    • 07/03/1530 – King Henry VIII’s divorce request is denied by the Pope Henry then declares that he, not the Pope, is supreme head of England’s church
    • 07/03/1644 – Massachusetts establishes 1st 2-chamber legislature in colonies
    • 07/03/1774 – British close port of Boston to all commerce
    • 07/03/1778 – Capt James Cook 1st sights Oregon coast, at Yaquina Bay
    • 07/03/1847 – US General Scott occupies Vera Cruz Mexico
    • 07/03/1862 – Battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Day 2, Gens McCulloch and McIntosh killed
    • 07/03/1876 – Alexander Graham Bell patents telephone
    • 07/03/1918 – Pres Wilson authorizes US Army’s Distinguished Service Medal
    • 07/03/1936 – Hitler breaks Treaty of Versailles, sends troops to Rhineland
    • 07/03/1965 – Alabama state troopers and 600 black protestors clash in Selma
    • 08/03/1862 – Naval Engagement at Hampton Roads, VA CSS Virginia, Jamestown and Yorktown vs USS Cumberland, Congress and Monitor
    • 08/03/1862 – Battle of Elkhorn Tavern ends with Confederate withdrawal – Confederate ironclad “Merrimack” launched
    • 08/03/1943 – 335 allied bombers attack Neurenberg
    • 08/03/1964 – Malcolm X leaves Black Muslim Movement
    • 08/03/1983 – Pres Reagan calls the USSR an “Evil Empire” – House Foreign Affairs Com endorses nuclear weapons freeze with USSR
    • 09/03/1522 – -16] Marten Luther preaches his Invocavit
    • 09/03/1841 – US Supreme Court rules Negroes are free (Amistad Incident)
    • 09/03/1864 – Ulysses S Grant is appointed commander of Union Army
    • 09/03/1916 – General Fransisco “Poncho” Villa invades US (17 killed)
    • 09/03/1918 – Russian Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party
    • 09/03/1933 – Congress is called into special session by FDR, and began its “100 days”
    • 09/03/1942 – Construction of the Alaska Highway began
    • 09/03/1954 – Edward R Murrow criticizes Sen Joseph McCarthy (See it Now)
    • 09/03/1961 – Sputnik 9 carries Chernushka (dog) into orbit
    • 09/03/1988 – President Reagan presides at unveiling of Knute Rockne stamp
    • 10/03/1578 – Queen Elizabeth I gives Johan Casimir œ20,000 to aid Dutch rebellion
    • 10/03/1629 – King Charles I dissolved Parliament; he called it back 11 years later
    • 10/03/1681 – English Quaker William Penn receives charter from Charles II, making him sole proprietor of colonial American territory Pennsylvania
    • 10/03/1849 – Abraham Lincoln applies for a patent; only US president to do so
    • 10/03/1862 – US issues 1st paper money ($5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1000)
    • 10/03/1864 – Red River campaign LA
    • 10/03/1865 – Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, NC
    • 10/03/1876 – 1st telephone call made (Alexander Graham Bell to Thomas Watson)
    • 10/03/1969 – James Earl Ray pleads guilty in murder of Martin Luther King Jr
    • 10/03/1972 – 1st black US political convention opens (Gary Indiana)
    • 10/03/1982 – Pres Reagan proclaims economic sanctions against Libya
    • 11/03/1302 – Romeo and Juliet’s wedding day, according to Shakespeare
    • 11/03/1665 – NY approves new code guaranteeing Protestants religious rights
    • 11/03/1789 – Benjamin Banneker with L’Enfant begin to lay out Washington DC
    • 11/03/1861 – Confederate convention in Montgomery, adopts constitution
    • 11/03/1862 – 12] Gen Stonewall Jackson evacuates Winchester Virginia Army of the Potomac. Gen Henry Halleck is named general-in-chief
    • 11/03/1888 – Great blizzard of ’88 strikes NE US
    • 11/03/1941 – FDR signs Lend-Lease Bill (lend money to Britain)
    • 11/03/1942 – 1st deportation train leaves Paris for Auschewitz Concentration Camp
    • 11/03/1954 – US Army charges Senator Joseph McCarthy used undue pressure tactics
    • 11/03/1985 – Mikhail S Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet leader
    • 11/03/2004 – Terrorists explode simultaneous bombs on Madrid’s rail network ripping through a commuter train and rocking three stations, killing 190
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    • James M. McPherson: An eye-opening march through the Civil War This Mighty Scourge: Perspectives on the Civil WarBoston Globe, 3-5-07
    • Geoffrey Perret: Presidents Behaving Badly in Age of Unwinnable Wars COMMANDER IN CHIEF How Truman, Johnson, and Bush Turned a Presidential Power Into a Threat to America’s FutureNYT, 2-27-07
    • Book Review: Historians In Trouble by Jon Weiner – Blogger News Network, 3-1-07
    OP-ED:
    PROFILED:
    INTERVIEWED:
    FEATURE:
    QUOTED:
    • Jesús F. de la Teja on “Texans mark 171st year of independence”: “Let’s face it: Most of our national holidays don’t get the observance they once did. Even if the signing of Texas independence took place before places like El Paso were part of the state, it doesn’t mean that this isn’t important or it isn’t to be commemorated. There are, in fact, many ways in which that event so long ago is very much relevant to our lives today.” – El Paso Times, TX, 3-1-07
    • Historians cited in front-page NYT story about IRB’s – NYT, 2-28-07
    SPOTTED & SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • C-Span2, Book TV : History on Book TV: Jeremy Schaap, “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics,” Sunday, March 4 at at 7:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
    • C-Span2, Book TV : After Words: After Words: John Patrick Diggins, author of “Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, And The Making Of History” interviewed by George Will, Sunday, March 4 at at 9:00 pm – C-Span2, BookTV
    • PBS: The American Experience: “The Pill” Monday, March 5, 2007 at 9pm ET – PBS
    • History Channel: “The Plague” Sunday, March 4, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Barbarian Battle Tech,” Sunday, March 4, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Dark Ages,” Sunday, March 4, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Seven Wonders of the World,” Monday, March 5, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians II :Vandals,” Monday, March 5, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Machu Picchu: Lost City of the Inca,” Monday, March 5, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians :Huns & Vikings,” Monday, March 5, @ 10 and 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians II :Saxons,” Tuesday, March 6, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians :Mongols & Goths,” Tuesday, March 6, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Mountain Men,” Wednesday, March 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Horrors at Andersonville Prison: The Trial of Henry Wirz,” Wednesday, March 7, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians II :Franks” Wednesday, March 7, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Barbarians II :Lombards,” Wednesday, March 7, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “True Story of the Bridge on the River Kwai,” Thursday, March 8, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Last Stand of The 300,” Thursday, March 8, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Las Vegas,” Friday, March 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds,” Marathon Saturday, March 10, @ 1-5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Dark Ages,” Saturday, March 10, @ 8pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Michael B. Oren: POWER, FAITH, AND FANTASY #8 (6 weeks on list) – 3-11-07
    • Jan Crawford Greenburg: SUPREME CONFLICT #20 – 3-11-07
    • Margaret MacMillan: NIXON AND MAO #28 – 3-11-07
    • Eric Metaxas: AMAZING GRACE, #35 – 3-11-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Harold R. Winton: Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes, (University Press of Kansas), March 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
    • Earl Black: Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics, (Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group), March 2007
    • Brian Steidle: The Devil Came on Horseback: Bearing Witness to the Genocide in Darfur, (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • Kenneth B. Pyle: Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (Perseus Publishing), March 2007
    • John Smith: Captain John Smith: Writings: with Selected Narratives of the Exploration and Settlement of Virginia, (Penguin Group (USA)), March 2007
    • Robert Daniels: The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia, (Yale University Press), March 2007
    • Patrick J. Jung: The Black Hawk War of 1832, (University of Oklahoma Press), March 2007
    • John Crossan: God and Empire: Jesus against Rome, Then and Now (Harper San Francisco), March 13, 2007
    • William Dalrymple: Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi, 1857, (Knopf Publishing Group), March 27, 2007
    • Jonathan M. Elukin: Living Together, Living Apart: Rethinking Jewish- Christian Relations in the Middle Ages, (Princeton University Press), April 2007
    • Philip Morgan: The Fall of Mussolini: Italians and the War, 1940-1945, (Oxford University Press), April 2007
    • Richard Croker: The Boomer Century 1946-2046: How America’s Most Influential Generation Changed Everything, (Springboard Press), April 2007
    • R. Emmett Tyrrell: The Clinton Crack-Up: The Boy President’s Life After the White House, (Nelson Current), April 2007
    • Stephen F. Hayes: Cheney: A Revealing Portrait of America’s Most Powerful Vice President, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Michael Stephenson: Patriot Battles: How the War of Independence Was Fought (HarperCollins Publishers), April 3, 2007
    • Saul Friedlander: Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Vol. 2, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 10, 2007
    • Georgina Howell: Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shaper of Nations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Lynne Olson: Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), April 17, 2007
    • Robert Dallek: Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power, (HarperCollins Publishers), April 24, 2007
    • Orville Vernon Burton: The Age of Lincoln, (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), June 2007
    • Gabor Boritt (Editor): Slavery, Resistance, Freedom, (Oxford University Press, USA), June 2007
    • William C. Davis: Virginia at War 1862 (Editor) (University Press of Kentucky), June 2007
    DEPARTED:

    Posted on Sunday, March 4, 2007 at 7:42 PM

    Top Young Historians: 47 – Laurent Dubois

    Top Young Historians

    Laurent Dubois, 36

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Associate Professor of History, Michigan State University
    Area of Research: Caribbean, French, Comparative Slavery and Emancipation
    Education: Ph.D. in Anthropology and History, University of Michigan, August 1998
    Major Publications: Dubois is the author of A Colony of Citizens: Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804, (published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by the University of North Carolina Press, 2004), winner of the 2005 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition,  winner of the 2005 David Pinkney Prize, Society for French Historical Studies, winner of the 2004 Prize in Atlantic History, American Historical Association, winner of the 2004 John Edwin Fagg Prize, American Historical Association. He is also the author of Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution, (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), A Best Book of 2004, Non-Fiction, Los Angeles Times, A Notable Book of 2004, Christian Science Monitor, First Runner-Up, Best Book, Adult Non-Fiction, Society of Midland Authors, 2004-2005. Dubois is also the co-author with John Garrigus of Slave Revolution in the Caribbean: A History in Documents, (Bedford Press, 2006). Dubois also has two of his book published in French: Les Vengeurs du Nouveau Monde: Histoire de la Revolution haïtienne (Rennes: Les Perséides, 2005). Translatation of Avengers of the New World by Thomas Van Ruymbeke, with Preface by Jean Casimir, and Les esclaves de la République: l’histoire oubliée de la première émancipation, 1789-1794 (Paris: Calmann- Lévy, 1998), This was a translation of a part of his dissertation, with some new introductory and concluding material Dubois wrote in French.
    Dubois is currently working on a number of book projects; A History of the Caribbean, with Richard Turits (under contract with University of North Carolina Press), “Give Me the Banjo!”: America’s Instrument from Africa to America (manuscript in preparation), and Zidane, Thuram and the Empire of French Soccer, (manuscript in preparation).
    Awards: Dubois is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    Research Grant, Intramural Research Grant Program, Michigan State University 2005-06;
    Research Grant, French Ministère d’Outre-Mer 2005-06;
    Fintz Excellence in Teaching Award 2004;
    M.S.U. Teacher-Scholar Award 2002;
    Research Grant, Intramural Research Grant Program, Michigan State University 2001-02;
    Seed Grant, Institute on Race, Urbanization, and Social Injustice, Michigan State University 2001;
    Ford Africanist Fellow, W.E.B DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University 1998-99;
    Columbia Society of Fellows (declined) 1998;
    Fulbright Advanced Student Grant (France) 1996-97;
    Lurcy Education Trust Fellowship 1996-98;
    Rackham Graduate School Regent’s Fellowship 1992-96;
    Council for European Studies Pre-Dissertation Grant 1994-95;
    National Science Foundation Ethnology Training Grant 1993;
    Afro-American Studies Senior Thesis Award, Princeton University 1992.
    Additional Info:
    Dubois was interviewed for the BBC Documentary “Race Across Time,” January 2007.
    He was a Visiting Assistant Professor Department of Afro-American Studies, Harvard University, 1999.
    He was also the Co-Coordinator, France and the French Atlantic Research Team, ACLS Collaborative Research Network, which brought together scholars working in the U.S., Paris and the Université Antilles-Guyane, Martinique 2001-03.

    Personal Anecdote

    I did much of the research for my book A Colony of Citizens in Aix-en-Provence. I initially arrived in Aix essentially by chance. A graduate student in a program in Anthropology and History, I was planning on doing a dissertation about contemporary Caribbean healers in metropolitan France. As I was finishing up my second year in graduate school, I learned about an opening as the assistant for a study abroad program in Aix-en-Provence. I knew the French colonial archives were there, and jumped at the chance to spend what my father quickly dubbed “A Year in Provence.” I wasn’t renovating a beautiful old house: I lived in a tiny room in a French dorm, though with a nice view of Mont Saint-Victoire. My job was to help culture-shocked and frequently hung-over undergraduates navigate the French university system. But I was lucky to have as my boss Edris Makward, a specialist on African literature who gave me plenty of time to work in the archives.

    One sunny September morning I arrived at the archives optimistically, and quickly realized I had no idea what to do. But there was one part of the history of the Caribbean that particularly intrigued me: the revolutionary period of slave revolts and emancipation. I had read about in the period in two novels by Alejo Carpentier and Daniel Maximin, and I also knew that if I wanted to pursue my interest in questions of citizenship and belonging in France it was reasonable to follow the well-trodden path back to the French Revolution.

    I asked the archivist whether I might find any information about this topic. He told me confidently: “No.” It was a useful lesson about French bureaucracy, where no is almost always the first answer to any query, by institutional and philosophical necessity. Actually, of course, there are cartons and cartons, registers and registers, of material that deals directly with the topic I was interested in, more than I could ever get through in my entire life. But life, and particularly my year in Aix, was short. Where to begin?

    There was, at that time, one large table for all researchers to work at, and one electrical plug near it. There were several other researchers who, like me, were using laptops, all of which needed to be plugged in. The man who engineered a solution to this problem – by bringing in a jerry-rigged multi-plug configuration – was Stewart King, a student at Johns Hopkins University, who was doing a dissertation on free people of color in Saint-Domingue. When I told him with what must have exuded bewilderment about what I was interested in, he responded with a grace and generosity that was remarkable, and transformative.

    He showed me how, from notarial registers, he was drawing out information about the social networks, economic life, and military service of free people of color. He showed me the database he was constructing. Thanks to Stewart, I suddenly had a research strategy, and I got to work.

    Quotes

    By Laurent Dubois

  • A Colony of Citizens  Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804  JPG “[I]ntegrating the history of the Americas, and the Caribbean in particular, into both studies of European history and the history of empire . . . can help us appreciate one of the major implications, and ironies, of the story I tell here: Central aspects of the universalism presented by imperial powers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (as well as in the world order of twenty-first) as products of Europe’s intellectual heritage in fact originated in the colonial Caribbean. . . . The challenges posed by colonial insurgents in the Americas – the most revolutionary of them the enslaved rebels of the French Caribbean – created a democratic culture that was later presented as a gift from Europe and a justification for expanding imperialism.” — Larent Dubois in “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″
  • About Laurent Dubois

  • “Laurent Dubois’s Colony of Citizens is a complex, fascinating story of slave resistance in the Caribbean. The book is deeply researched in French archival sources, in ethnographical and anthropological sources and even in maps and imaginative fiction. With a focus on how the Haitian Revolution spread to Guadaloupe, Dubois transforms a seemingly local story into a much larger one ­ about how the French Revolution itself was in part rooted in the slave systems of the West Indies. Dubois convincingly shows that slaves and free persons of color interpreted and converted republicanism to their own ends ­ the claim of citizenship in the French empire ­ only to have their freedom crushed again in re-enslavement.” — David W. Blight, director of the Gilder Lehrman Center, commented on “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″ on the occassion of Laurent Dubois winning the 2005 Frederick Douglass Prize
  • “A Colony of Citizens, based on much original research, at last enables us to assess the true importance of battles in the Eastern Caribbean.” — The Nation reviewing A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804
  • “Dubois convincingly argues that no history of the Age of Revolution or of human rights is adequate without including the actions of enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Caribbean, who fought for emancipation and against racism. An important, thoughtful, and eloquent book. . . . Highly recommended.” — Choice reviewing “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″
  • “A Colony of Citizens is the leading edge of a new wave of historical work on slavery and slave resistance in the Caribbean. Using the widest possible range of archives and manuscripts, Laurent Dubois offers a compelling account of slave emancipation in the era of the French Revolution–and more tragically, of Napoleon’s reimposition of slavery. This rich and nuanced work restores the colonial story of slavery and emancipation to its rightful place as one of the most significant moments in the history of revolution, democracy, and human rights.” — Lynn Hunt, University of California, Los Angeles reviewing “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″
  • “Imaginatively crafted and deeply probing in argument and interpretation, A Colony of Citizens focuses on the French colony of Guadeloupe to explore the role of enslaved Africans and their descendants in imagining and creating new worlds of universal freedom. In this very important book, Laurent Dubois demonstrates how the dynamic for change in societies and empires can be powerfully influenced by the agency of an underclass who make their own way upward and forward. The book throws much-needed light on the quite complex relations among slavery, revolution, race, ideology, and freedom during a critically significant era in world history.” — David Barry Gaspar, Duke University reviewing “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″
  • “Adroitly linking the dramatic black revolutions of Guadeloupe and Saint Domingue, Laurent Dubois neatly balances the local and Atlantic dimensions and stakes a claim to the centrality of those revolutions to the history of empire and democracy.” — David Geggus, University of Florida reviewing “A Colony of Citizens Revolution and Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804″
  • “In this exhaustively researched and valuable account, Laurent Dubois, a history professor at Michigan State, looks back to the founding of Haiti… Dubois, writing in an accessible style and with a wide-ranging focus, has done an impressive job depicting the tumultuous founding of Haiti. Readers wanting to place the Caribbean nation’s current struggles in a larger historical context will find Dubois an eminently worthwhile resource.” — Chuck Leddy, Christian Science Monitor reviewing “Avengers of the New World The Story of the Haitian Revolution”
  • “A stern and brilliant new book…The Haitian Revolution, in all its ugliness and brutality, was the response of the oppressed, indentured and enslaved to their unjust condition. And it is this whirling and chaotic world that Dubois so vividly brings to life in Avengers of the New World and so accurately deconstructs…Dubois starts this book about war with chapters about love, death, books and graveyards. His discussions of interracial love affairs and the attitudes of slaves both toward death among slaves and toward death among masters are riveting and eloquent. Indeed, Dubois’ literary sensibility informs the book from start to finish, so that at its beginning as well as its end, the reader feels as if the story must be fiction, yet it is not… Dubois calls Haiti a nation ‘founded on ashes,’ and he has written splendidly about the fires, both political and cultural, that lit up the land during the days of revolution and that are still, in a sense, burning today.” — Amy Wilentz, Los Angeles Times Book Review reviewing “Avengers of the New World The Story of the Haitian Revolution”
  • “There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of books about the Haitian Revolution, but only a handful are indispensable. Avengers of the New World joins that select company. A powerful narrative informed by the latest research, it digs beneath ready-made notions–whether of purely heroic rebels or of implacable caste hatreds– to bring to light the forging of new identities and new ideals.” — Robin Blackburn, The Nation reviewing “Avengers of the New World The Story of the Haitian Revolution”
  • “How well Dubois wears the mantle of this exciting area of study. His engaging analysis of the social forces at play in Saint Domingue (now Haiti) at the turn of the nineteenth century reveals this conflict to be of wider significance than we may previously have thought…Dubois’s masterful grasp of the “contorted human relationships” that define the period renders his study infinitely relevant to our global society…With his help, we may yet come to understand the far-reaching impact of this amazing revolution and the true meaning of Haiti’s beloved motto: L’Union fait la force.” — Patti M. Marxsen, French Review reviewing “Avengers of the New World The Story of the Haitian Revolution”
  • Interview with Laurent Dubois, Winner of the $25,000 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, HNN, 12-05-05

    // <![CDATA[// Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    Top Young Historians: 46 – Aaron Sachs

    Top Young Historians

    Aaron Sachs, 37

    Basic Facts

    Aaron Sachs is this week’s Top Young Historian!

    Teaching Position: Assistant Professor of History and American Studies, Cornell University
    Area of Research: 19th century US, Intellectual history, Environmental history
    Education: Ph.D., American Studies, Yale University, 2004
    Major Publications: Sachs is the author of The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration Aaron Sachs JPG and the Roots of American Environmentalism(Viking, August 2006); based on his dissertation, The Humboldt Current: Avant-Garde Exploration and Environmental Thought in 19th-Century America. A paperback version of the book is due out from Penguin in August 2007. There is also a British version of the book: The Humboldt Current: A European Explorer and His American Disciples (Oxford University Press, February 2007).
    Awards:
    Sachs is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    Andrew W. Mellon Short-Term Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society, 2006-7;
    Humanities research grant, Society for the Humanities, Cornell University, Summer, 2006;
    John Addison Porter Prize (for PhD dissertation), Yale University, 2005;
    George Washington Egleston Historical Prize (for PhD dissertation), Yale University, 2005;
    Prize Teaching Fellowship, Yale University, 2003-4;
    Mrs. Giles Whiting Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-4;
    Graduate Affiliate Fellowship, Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, 2003-4;
    John F. Enders Research Fellowship, Yale University, 2002;
    Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, 1998-2002;
    Huntington Library Research Fellowship, 2001-2;
    Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers and Borders Research Grant, Yale University, 2001-2;
    Beinecke Library Research Fellowship, 2001;
    Honorary Mellon Fellowship, 1998-9;
    Project Censored Award in U.S. journalism, for an article on Nigerian playwright and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, 1997;
    Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, 1992;
    Best Senior Thesis in History and Literature, Harvard University, 1992.
    Additional Info:
    Sachs is a member of the Advisory Board for the website “Humboldt in the Net” www.uni-potsdam.de/u/romanistik/humboldt/index_eg.html, fall 2004-present.
    Sachs was also a former environmental journalist, and a regular contributer to the magazine “World Watch.”

    Personal Anecdote

    When I was a senior in college, I wrote my honors thesis in History and Literature without really thinking about who would read it. I considered it a historical research project, a creative writing project, a thought-piece about where the environmental movement was going, and a collaboration of sorts with my adviser, who over the course of about two years had become a close friend. In short, I considered it a true “essay”: not a comprehensive or definitive study (if such a thing has ever existed), but simply an attempt. Little did I know that, a couple of months later, I would be initiated into that strange academic rite so misleadingly referred to as “peer review.”

    I’ll never forget the Reader’s Report on top of the pile. It was penned by someone who had won the Pulitzer Prize in History—twice. And it seemed to me to be, well, kind of mean-spirited. Fifteen years later, I’ve of course seen much nastier, but what struck me at the time was how rule-bound the writer’s perspective was. Apparently, there was a Code of Conduct for Academic History Writing, and I had ripped it up and trampled on it. My sins were many, but the one that this particular reader simply could not abide, the one that compelled him to rail against me for the bulk of his Report, the one that confirmed ineluctably my identity as an arrogant, pretentious, indulgent, opposite-of-tough-minded Student Who Would Not Be Governed, was my use of the first person. The thesis, by way of reference, was 139 pages long. I had used the first-person singular exactly four times.

    Now, I don’t want to pretend to have been more naive than I actually was, and I should certainly note that my adviser warned me about all the rules I was breaking (and then, excellent adviser that he was, encouraged me to do whatever I wanted). But, ever since 1992, I have been continually shocked at the virulence with which academics will lash out at those who break what they perceive to be The Rules. Honestly, I have always thought that it was part of the job of an intellectual and a writer to question professional assumptions and to push the limits of whatever genre one might be working in. But I guess if you attempt to write history using what Gibbon called “the most disgusting of pronouns,” you are automatically lacking good taste and fostering the general breakdown of “objectivity.”

    With all due respect to my interlocutors, I have been asking for 15 years why it is that academic historians insist either on erasing their personas or on turning to the ridiculously royal-sounding “we” or the awkward, self-deluding formality of “the author,” but not once have I gotten a compelling answer. Needless to say, then, ever since I received that first Reader’s Report, I have been trying to use the first-person singular in my historical writing as often as possible. This practice has generated its share of rejection, scorn, and misunderstanding, but it has also allowed me to maintain a sense of self in the all-too-impersonal world of academia, and I also think it has made me a better teacher. Certainly, my students seem to appreciate the encouragement I give them to develop their own personal relationship to essay topics rather than simply prove they have understood the course readings in a particular way.

    I’ll readily admit that I sometimes use the first person rather selfishly. I hope that it adds a layer of depth to my analysis, but what I care about most is that it allows me to tap different aspects of what I take to be my core identity. Or, if you were my therapist, you might say that the first person allows me to express my schizophrenia. I enjoy being a historical scholar, but I also want to be a teacher, an environmental activist, and a writer of creative non-fiction—preferably, all in the same essay, however short or long. I doubt I’ll ever succeed at wearing all of those hats simultaneously, but no set of rules is going to keep me from the head-spinning joy of trying.

    Quotes

    By Aaron Sachs

  • Follow Humboldt up the river, watch as that jaguar pokes its head out of the forest to drink: you’ll stare into its eyes, and suddenly you’ll sense The Humboldt Current JPG both its viciousness and its innocence. Better than any modern writer I’ve come across, Humboldt captures the miraculousness and bafflement that have characterized my own wildlife sightings and my immersions in unfamiliar natural worlds. He understands how experience can undermine any classic understandings of natural beauty or peacefulness, how a landscape can be “at once wild and tranquil, gloomy and attractive.” He grants nature its own separate reality, acknowledges that its workings are vastly complicated and utterly different from our own, yet reminds us that this is where we come from. — Aaron Sachs in “The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism” (Viking, 2006)
  • About Aaron Sachs

  • “Through the lives of Americans who followed or echoed Humboldt, this fascinating, insightful book gives us a brilliant new account of U.S. geography and ecology, exploration and eccentricity.” –Felipe Fernández-Armesto, Prince of Asturias Professor at Tufts University, and Professorial Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London.
  • “In this magnificent book, Aaron Sachs re-introduces us to a forgotten giant, Alexander von Humboldt, who cast an extraordinary spell over our Victorian ancestors and inspired some of the most heroic adventures in American science. Humboldt, Sachs reminds us, was a revolutionary figure whose bold vision of global ecology and human fellowship remains as urgent as ever.” — Mike Davis, author of “Planet of Slums”
  • “In this groundbreaking book, Aaron Sachs plucks from relative obscurity the nineteenth-century Prussian scientist Alexander von Humboldt and demonstrates his profound, lasting influence on many aspects of American culture, including literature, art, science, and environmentalism.” — David S. Reynolds, author of “John Brown, Abolitionist”
  • “The Humboldt Current is a dazzling debut performance by a young scholar-writer of extraordinary gifts. The book itself is a gift–or carefully researched, and beautifully expressed, and deeply humane, understanding. This is one of those rare works in which historical learning makes a lasting difference on our way of seeing both past and present worlds.” — John Demos, author of “The Unredeemed Captive”
  • “Alexander von Humboldt is always in season. Aaron Sachs gives us a heartfelt meditation on an engaging gallery of American Humboldtians.” — Stephen J. Pyne, author of “How the Canyon Became Grand”
  • “Alexander von Humboldt was one of my heroes, as were the explorer-scientists of the American West, and writers such as Whitman and Thoreau, precursors of cosmic consciousness and American environmentalism. But it never occurred to me to bring them all together in one all-encompassing, yet detailed, narrative. That is left to Aaron Sachs in a work of striking originality, meticulous scholarship, and deep humanist sympathy.” — Yi-Fu Tuan, author of “Escapism”
  • “As a work of history, The Humboldt Current is impressive. It is smartly conceived nd superbly written. Most important, it argues persuasively that the course of American empire was ‘many-sided and intensely contested’ (18), even by those whose explorations led the way.” — Gregory Summers, U Wisconsin-Stevens Point, in “History: Reviews of New Books,” Vol. 34 (Summer 2006)
  • “Sachs creates a different relation between past and present that is quite un-Whiggish and quite liberating. The book is smart, closely observed, lively, and full of sharply etched characters, who carry his story…. Sachs narrates the lives of these men movingly and well, and he is aware of their contradictions and their struggles.” — Richard White, Stanford U., in “Raritan,” Vol. 26 (Fall 2006)
  • “Sachs has a huge agenda to push: overthrowing white, Anglo-Saxon dominance, capitalism, and imperialism, and debunking the leading figures in the history of nature preservation. His book is original, ambitious, provocative, at times enthralling…. As a history of exploration, it is brilliant, imaginative, and bold. Like the great Humboldt, Sachs has taken us to new worlds, given us new meanings.” — Donald Worster, U. Kansas, in “The American Scholar” (Autumn 2006)
  • “The book’s greatest achievement lies in its deeply impressive scope, its integration not just of science and exploration, but also of the art, literature, and politics of the 19th century. In this, the author achieves a unity and harmony of vision not unlike that of Humboldt himself.” — Kirkus Reviews (June 1, 2006)
  • “It’s a safe assumption that Napoleon’s derision was born less out of comfortable superiority than of bitter jealousy. Napoleon ruled France, but Humboldt, the central figure in Aaron Sachs’s ambitious first book, “The Humboldt Current,” was the toast of all of Europe, as well as a subject of great admiration in the fledgling country across the sea….Sachs, who teaches history and American studies at Cornell University, argues that Humboldt left an indelible mark not just on American science but also on American history…. Sachs’s subjects are strong, and he describes them in extensive detail.” — Candice Millard in the “New York Times Book Review”
  • “Sachs is clearly smitten with his subject, and his enthusiasm bubbles over in the lively chapters he devotes to Humboldt’s life…. Sachs has done something worthy of gratitude: He has reintroduced a 19th century sage to a generation that sorely needs his wisdom. Given the precarious state of our planet, we would have done well to remember Humboldt sooner and better.” — Judith Lewis in the “Los Angeles Times”
  • The Humboldt Current is an astonishingly good piece of writing and research, and an essential piece of American naturalist history that has been too long in coming. Science and history buffs and the lay reader will equally enjoy this outstanding book.” — “Science Book Reviews,” September 14, 2006
  • “Highly skilled discussion leader. Lots of reading, but really interesting and fresh material. Interested in helping students develop writing skills and encourages taking “intellectual risks” in papers (ex. lots of self-reflective writing). This class was by far the coolest class I’ve taken here yet: included a weekend-long backpacking field trip!”… “Sachs is obviously passionate about what he is teaching and makes the topic interesting.”… “Sachs really is interested in what he is teaching, and it shows. Class is lively and he really is interested in what students have to add to discussion and even lecture. One of my favorites for sure.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 at 8:10 PM

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