History Buzz: November 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.

November 26, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
  • How not to cover a campaign – IndyStar.com, 11-23-07
  • Taylor Pensoneau on “Obama Says He Has No Illinois Records”: “Most of those guys do keep this stuff, especially the favorable stuff. They’ve all got egos. It goes in scrapbooks or maybe boxes. I don’t think it’s normal practice to say it’s all discarded.” – AP, 11-14-07
  • See How They Ran – NYT, 11-11-07
BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

  • 26/11/1789 – 1st national Thanksgiving
  • 26/11/1861 – West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virg
  • 26/11/1863 – -Dec 2] Mine Run campaign, VA
  • 26/11/1864 – Confederate troops vacate Sandersville Georgia
  • 26/11/1898 – -27) Snow/ice storm over US; 455 die
  • 26/11/1940 – Nazi Germany began walling off the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw
  • 26/11/1969 – Lottery for Selective Service draftees bill signed by President Nixon
  • 26/11/1973 – Nixon’s personal sec, Rose Mary Woods, tells a federal court she accidentally caused part of 18«-minute gap in a key Watergate tape
  • 26/11/1985 – Random House buys Richard Nixons memoires for $3,000,000
  • 27/11/1863 – -29] Battle at Fort Esperanza Texas
  • 27/11/1868 – Battle at Washita-Gen Custer defeats Cheyennes
  • 27/11/1972 – Pierre Trudeau forms Canadian government
  • 27/11/1990 – Britain’s conservatives chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher
  • 27/11/1863 – -29] Battle at Fort Esperanza Texas
  • 27/11/1868 – Battle at Washita-Gen Custer defeats Cheyennes
  • 27/11/1972 – Pierre Trudeau forms Canadian government
  • 27/11/1990 – Britain’s conservatives chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher
  • 28/11/1745 – -29] French troops attack indians of Saratoga, NY
  • 28/11/1775 – 2nd Continental Congress formally establishes US Navy
  • 28/11/1776 – Washington and his troops cross Delaware River
  • 28/11/1795 – US pays $800,000 and a frigate as tribute to Algiers and Tunis
  • 28/11/1861 – Confederate congress officially admits Missouri to Confederate Army
  • 28/11/1862 – Battle at Cane Hill, Arkansas (475 casualties)
  • 28/11/1864 – 3rd day of Battles at Waynesboro/Jones’s Plantation, Georgia — Battle of New Creek, WV (Rosser’s Raid, Ft Kelly)
  • 28/11/1871 – Ku Klux Klan trials began in Federal District Court in SC
  • 28/11/1916 – 1st (German) air attack on London
  • 28/11/1943 – FDR, Churchill and Stalin met at Tehran to map out strategy
  • 28/11/1986 – Reagan administration exceeds SALT II arms limitations for 1st time
  • 28/11/1990 – Margaret Thatcher resigns as Britain’s PM, replaced by John Majors
  • 29/11/1349 – Jews of Augsburg Germany massacred
  • 29/11/1803 – Dessalines and Christophe declare St Domingue (Haiti) independent
  • 29/11/1812 – Napoleon’s Grand Army crosses Berezina River in retreat from Russia
  • 29/11/1847 – Indians kill Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, 11 settle in Walla Walla Ore
  • 29/11/1863 – Battle of Ft Sanders, TN (Ft Loudon), 8-900 casualities
  • 29/11/1864 – Battle of Spring Hill, TN (Thomason’s Station)
  • 29/11/1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrates hand-cranked phonograph
  • 29/11/1887 – US receives rights to Pearl Harbor, on Oahu, Hawaii
  • 29/11/1916 – US declares martial law in Dominican Republic
  • 29/11/1932 – France signs non-agression pact with Soviet Union
  • 29/11/1933 – 1st state liquor stores authorized (Pennsylvania)
  • 29/11/1963 – LBJ sets up Warren Comm to investigate assassination of JFK
  • 30/11/1630 – 16,000 inhabitants of Venice died this month of plague
  • 30/11/1678 – Roman Catholics banned from English parliament
  • 30/11/1782 – Britain signs agreement recognizing US independence
  • 30/11/1803 – Spain cedes her claims to Louisiana Territory to France
  • 30/11/1804 – Impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase begins
  • 30/11/1864 – Battle of Franklin Tenn: Confederate attack fails, 7,700 casualities
  • 30/11/1864 – Battle of Honey Hill SC (Broad River) 96 dead/665 wounded
  • 30/11/1947 – Day after UN decree for Israel, Jewish settlements attacked
  • 30/11/1967 – Sen Eugene McCarthy begins run for US presidency
  • 01/12/1641 – Mass becomes 1st colony to give statutory recognition to slavery
  • 01/12/1824 – House of Reps begins to end election deadlock between JQ Adams
  • 01/12/1864 – Raid at Stoneman: Knoxville, TN to Saltville, VA
  • 01/12/1878 – 1st White House telephone installed
  • 01/12/1909 – 1st Israeli kibbutz founded, Deganya Alef
  • 01/12/1919 – Lady Nancy Astor sworn-in as 1st female member of British Parliament
  • 01/12/1943 – FDR, Churchill and Stalin agree to Operation Overlord (D-Day)
  • 01/12/1969 – US govt holds its 1st draft lottery since WW II
  • 02/12/1804 – Napoleon Bonaparte crowned emperor of France in Paris by Pope Pius VII
  • 02/12/1812 – James Madison re-elected president of US, E Gerry vice-pres
  • 02/12/1823 – President James Monroe declares his “Monroe Doctrine”
  • 02/12/1840 – William H Harrison elected president of US
  • 02/12/1848 – Franz Josef I becomes emperor of Austria and King of Hungary
  • 02/12/1852 – 2nd French empire established; Louis Napoleon becomes emperor
  • 02/12/1961 – Fidel Castro declares he’s a Marxist, and will lead Cuba to Communism
  • 02/12/1968 – Pres Nixon names Henry Kissinger security advisor
  • 03/12/1775 – 1st official US flag raising (aboard naval vessel Alfred)
  • 03/12/1828 – Andrew Jackson elected 7th president of US
  • 03/12/1847 – Frederick Douglass publishes 1st issue of his newspaper “North Star”
  • 03/12/1868 – Trial of Jefferson Davis starts; 1st blacks on US trial jury
  • 03/12/1878 – Settlers arrive at Petach Tikvah Israel
  • 03/12/1948 – “Pumpkin Papers” come to light (claimed to be from Alger Hiss)
  • 03/12/1953 – Eisenhower criticizes McCarthy for saying communists are in Rep party
  • 03/12/1962 – Edith Spurlock Sampson sworn-in as 1st US black female judge
  • 03/12/1992 – UN Security Council votes unanimous for US led forces to enter Somalia
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • NYT: Holiday Books 100 Notable Books of the Year – NYT, 12-2-07
  • Daniel Walker Howe: Reexamining a neglected era of invention and expansion WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 WaPo, 11-25-07
  • Charles Kaiser on Tom Brokaw: What Happened Here? Tom Brokaw tells the story of a tumultuous decade BOOM! Voices of the Sixties Personal Reflections on the ’60s and Today WaPo, 11-25-07
  • Benjamin J. Kaplan: A Revisionist Historian Looks at Religious Toleration – NYT, 11-24-07
  • Colin Tudge: Seeds, Roots and Leaves THE TREE A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They MatterWaPo, 11-25-07
  • Review: ‘American Creation’ by Joseph Ellis – Chicago Tribune, 11-25-07
  • Joseph Ellis: Plotting the American Revolution while soused The author takes us back in time to the creation of the nation by hell-raisers. American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the RepublicMiami Herald, 11-25-07
  • Joseph Ellis: Our Founding Fascination American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the RepublicNY Sun, 11-23-07
OP-ED:
BLOGOSPHERE:
PROFILED:
FEATURE:
INTERVIEWED:
  • Tom Brokaw’s ‘Boom’ Tells Tales of the Sixties – NPR, 11-19-07
  • Alex Kurzem: Jewish Child Survived Holocaust as Nazi ‘Mascot’ – NPR, 11-19-07
  • Robert Dallek, Summing Up ‘Nixon and Kissinger’ – NPR, 11-16-07
QUOTED:
  • David McCullough on “In 250 years, Pittsburgh has reinvented itself many times”: It rebuilt after floods and adjusted to the decline of the steel industry, said historian David McCullough, who grew up in Point Breeze. “The city didn’t die,” he said. “Great cities don’t die.” – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, PA, 11-25-07
  • Joshua B. Freeman on “To Resolve Strike, Mayor Prefers a Backstage Role”: “If Broadway is really put on long-term ice and he is seen as having failed to aggressively deal with this, there could be some political pressure.” NYT, 11-20-07
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
SPOTTED:
  • Andrew Cayton: ‘When Ohio was the Center of the World’ Professor talks about 19th century Ohio at Historical Society’s annual meeting – Port Clinton News Herald, 11-21-07
  • Michael Beschloss: Eisenhower Missed Opportunity To Address Civil Rights: “He had spent a lot of time in the South … and he had just come to believe that if America was going to change on civil rights it’s never going to come by force of law, it’s going to have to come by natural evolution or attitude.” – The Morning News North Arkansas, 11-19-07
  • Michael Beschloss: How to judge a president – McAlester News, 11-6-07
ON TV: History Listings This Week:

  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past : Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle,” Monday, November 26, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :08 – New York” Monday, November 26, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “A Global Warning?,” Tuesday, November 27, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Wrath Of God :Blizzards: Whiteout!,” Tuesday, November 27, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Wrath Of God :Buffalo Blizzard: Seige and Survival,” Tuesday, November 27, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters :The Next Pompeii?,” Tuesday, November 27, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Stalking Jihad,” Wednesday, November 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Declassified :The Taliban,” Wednesday, November 28, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Declassified :Ayatollah Khomeini,” Wednesday, November 28, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battlefield Detectives :6-Day War,” Wednesday, November 28, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Taj Mahal,” Wednesday, November 28, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History : Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History,” Thursday, November 29, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Wild West Tech :Vigilante Tech,” Thursday, November 29, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Tales of the FBI :The Bureau vs. the Klan.,” Thursday, November 29, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Killing Pablo,” Friday, November 30, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Our Generation :1968 Democratic Convention,” Friday, November 30, @ 6:30pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Wild West Tech,” Marathon Saturday, December 1, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Tom Brokaw: BOOM! #2 — 2 weeks on list – 12-2-07
  • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #9 — 3 weeks on list – 12-2-07
  • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #12 — 7 weeks on list – 12-2-07
  • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #18 – 12-2-07
  • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #19 – 12-2-07
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Joseph Pierro: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman’s Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam, November 26, 2007
  • Suzanne Levine: Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied against War and for the Planet, and Shook up Politics along the Way, November 27, 2007
  • Thomas Keneally: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia, Paperback, December 4, 2007
  • Timothy Naftali: George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993, December 10, 2007
  • The Great Experiment, by Strobe Talbott (S&S, Jan.). How mere tribes became great nations.
  • James J. Sheehan: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?, (Houghton, Jan.). The rejection of violence after World War II redefined a continent. Europe chose material well-being over war.
DEPARTED:
  • Harold J. Berman: 89, Who Altered Beliefs About Origins of Western Law, Dies – NYT, 11-18-07

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 4:50 PM

November 19, 2007

BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

  • 19/11/1620 – Mayflower reaches Cape Cod and explores the coast
  • 19/11/1794 – Jay Treaty, 1st US extradition treaty, signed with Great Britain
  • 19/11/1861 – Julia Ward Howe committed “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to paper
  • 19/11/1863 – Lincoln delivers his address in Gettysburg; “4 score and 7 years…”
  • 19/11/1874 – William Marcy “Boss” Tweed, of Tammany Hall (NYC) convicted of defrauding city of $6M, sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment
  • 19/11/1919 – US Senate rejects (55-39) Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations
  • 19/11/1950 – US General Eisenhower becomes supreme commander of NATO-Europe
  • 19/11/1985 – Pres Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for 1st time
  • 20/11/1789 – New Jersey is 1st state to ratify Bill of Rights
  • 20/11/1815 – Russia, Prussia, Austria and England signs Great Alliance
  • 20/11/1862 – Armies of Mississippi/Kentucky merge as Army of Tennessee under Gen Braxton Bragg
  • 20/11/1866 – Howard University founded (Wash, DC)
  • 20/11/1866 – 1st natl convention of Grand Army of Republic (veterans’ org)
  • 20/11/1910 – Revolution broke out in Mexico, led by Francisco I Madero
  • 20/11/1920 – Nobel Peace Prize awarded to US president W Wilson
  • 20/11/1938 – 1st documented anti-semitic remarks over US radio (by Father Coughlin)
  • 20/11/1945 – 24 Nazi leaders put on trial at Nuremberg, German
  • 20/11/1947 – Britain’s Princess Elizabeth, marries Duke Philip Mountbatten
  • 20/11/1949 – Jewish population of Israel reaches 1,000,000
  • 20/11/1959 – UN adopts Universal Declaration of Children’s Rights
  • 20/11/1975 – Ronald Reagan announced candidacy for Rep nomination for president
  • 21/11/1620 – Pilgrim Fathers reach America: Provincetown Harbor, Mass
  • 21/11/1620 – Mayflower Compact signed by Pilgrims in Cape Cod
  • 21/11/1789 – North Carolina ratifies constitution, becomes 12th US state
  • 21/11/1824 – 1st Jewish Reform congregation forms, Charleston, SC
  • 21/11/1852 – Duke U, founded in 1838 as Union Institute chartered as Normal College
  • 21/11/1877 – Tom Edison announces his “talking machine” invention (phonograph)
  • 21/11/1946 – Harry Truman becomes 1st US president to travel in a submerged sub
  • 21/11/1959 – Jack Benny (violin) and Richard Nixon (piano) play their famed duet
  • 21/11/1963 – JFK flies to Texas
  • 21/11/1973 – Pres Nixon’s attorney, J Fred Buzhardt, reveals presence of 18 minute gap in a White House tape recording related to Watergate
  • 21/11/1974 – Freedom of Information Act passed by Congress over Pres Ford’s veto
  • 22/11/1864 – Battle at Griswoldville, Georgia, ends after 650 casualties
  • 22/11/1930 – 1st US football game broadcast to England (Harvard 13, Yale 0)
  • 22/11/1930 – Elijah Muhammad forms Nation of Islam in Detroit
  • 22/11/1943 – FDR, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek meet to discuss ways to defeat Japan
  • 22/11/1963 – John F. Kennedy is assassinated while travelling through Dallas, Texas in an open-top convertible
  • 22/11/1963 – Lyndon Baines Johnson sworn in as 36th US president
  • 22/11/1990 – Margaret Thatcher announces her resignation as British Prime Minister
  • 22/11/1992 – Wash Post reports Ore Senator Bob Packwood sexually harassed 10 women
  • 22/11/1996 – OJ Simpson takes stand as hostile witness in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against him, saying it is “absolutely not true”
  • 23/11/1765 – People of Frederick County Md refuse to pay England’s Stamp tax
  • 23/11/1783 – Annapolis Maryland, becomes US capital (until June 1784)
  • 23/11/1863 – Battle of Chattanooga and Orchard Knob, TN begins
  • 23/11/1864 – -25] Battle at Ball’s Ferry Georgia (30 casualties)
  • 23/11/1909 – Wright Brothers forms million dollar corp to manufacture airplanes
  • 23/11/1921 – Pres Harding signs Willis Campell Act (anti-beer bill) forbidding doctors prescribing beer or liquor for medicinal purposes
  • 23/11/1936 – 1st issue of Life, picture magazine created by Henry R Luce
  • 23/11/1939 – Nazi Gov of Poland Hans Frank requires Jews to wear a blue star
  • 23/11/1942 – German 4th and 6th Army surrounded at Stalingrad
  • 23/11/1963 – JFK’s body, lay in repose in East Room of White House
  • 23/11/1963 – LBJ proclaims Nov 25 a day of national mourning (for JFK)
  • 24/11/1105 – Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes Talmudic dictionary
  • 24/11/1863 – Battle of Chattanooga, Columbia and Lookout Mt begins in Tennessee
  • 24/11/1869 – American Woman’s Suffrage Association forms (Cleveland)
  • 24/11/1941 – “Life Certificates” issued to some Jews of Vilna, rest exterminated
  • 24/11/1944 – US bombers based on Saipan, begin 1st attack on Tokyo
  • 24/11/1948 – Ireland votes for independence from UK
  • 24/11/1950 – UN troops begin an assault intending to end Korean War by Christmas
  • 24/11/1963 – 1st live murder on TV-Jack Ruby shoots Lee Harvey Oswald
  • 24/11/1974 – Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev signs SALT-2-treaty
  • 25/11/1783 – Britain evacuates NYC, their last military position in US
  • 25/11/1792 – Farmer’s Almanac 1st published
  • 25/11/1864 – Confederate plot to burn NYC, fails
  • 25/11/1864 – Confederate retreat at Sandersville, Georgia
  • 25/11/1867 – US Congress commission looks into “impeachment” of Pres Andrew Johnson
  • 25/11/1913 – Woodrow Wilson’s daughter Jessie marries in White House
  • 25/11/1920 – 1st Thanksgiving Parade (Phila)
  • 25/11/1941 – German Jews in Netherlands declared stateless (lose of nationality)
  • 25/11/1955 – Race segregation forbidden on trains and buses between US states
  • 25/11/1957 – Pres Eisenhower suffers a mild stroke, impairing his speech
  • 25/11/1963 – JFK laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery
  • 25/11/1986 – Oliver North’s sect, Fawn Hill, smuggles documents out of his office
  • 25/11/1986 – Iran-Contra affair erupts, Pres Reagan reveals secret arm deal
  • 26/11/1789 – 1st national Thanksgiving
  • 26/11/1861 – West Virginia created as a result of dispute over slavery with Virg
  • 26/11/1863 – -Dec 2] Mine Run campaign, VA
  • 26/11/1864 – Confederate troops vacate Sandersville Georgia
  • 26/11/1898 – -27) Snow/ice storm over US; 455 die
  • 26/11/1940 – Nazi Germany began walling off the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw
  • 26/11/1969 – Lottery for Selective Service draftees bill signed by President Nixon
  • 26/11/1973 – Nixon’s personal sec, Rose Mary Woods, tells a federal court she accidentally caused part of 18«-minute gap in a key Watergate tape
  • 26/11/1985 – Random House buys Richard Nixons memoires for $3,000,000
  • 27/11/1863 – -29] Battle at Fort Esperanza Texas
  • 27/11/1868 – Battle at Washita-Gen Custer defeats Cheyennes
  • 27/11/1972 – Pierre Trudeau forms Canadian government
  • 27/11/1990 – Britain’s conservatives chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • Charlie Savage, Eric Lane and Michael Oreskes: All the President’s Powers TAKEOVER The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, THE GENIUS OF AMERICA How the Constitution Saved Our Country — and Why It Can Again.NYT, 11-18-07
  • Pauline Maier on Woody Holton: The Framers’ Real Motives A provocative claim that the Constitution was designed to limit democracy and protect investors UNRULY AMERICANS AND THE ORIGINS OF THE CONSTITUTION - WaPo, 11-18-07
  • Joseph J. Ellis: Book Looks at John and Abigail Adams My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John AdamsAP, 11-18-07
  • Tim Cook: Historian gives Canada its first readable history of WW I – Globe & Mail (11-10-07)
  • David Blight: Historian helps bring slave narratives to light – http://fredericksburg.com, 11-13-07
  • Historians writing about WW II find all the questions are about Iraq – Toronto Globe & Mail, 11-10-07
OP-ED:
BLOGOSPHERE:
PROFILED:
FEATURE:
INTERVIEWED:
QUOTED:
  • Harold Holzer on “Honestly, is that really Abe in 3-D?”: “I don’t see any reason to think it’s not Abraham Lincoln. I’m going to start the session by saying, ‘You may have seen the most important Lincoln photographic discovery in 40 years – what do you think?’” – USA Today, 11-17-07
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
EXHIBITIONS / NEW WEBSITES:
SPOTTED:
SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • Nov 19, 2007: 7 P.M. Journalist Tom Brokaw, a longtime anchor of the NBC Nightly News, discusses and signs his new book, Boom!: Voices of the Sixties: Personal Reflections on the ’60s and Today, at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. Tickets are $6 each, or two free with purchase of the book at Politics and Prose Bookstore. – WaPo, 11-18-07
  • Nov 22, 2007: Jay Winik: The University Club of Washington, D.C. will hold its 18th annual “Meet the Author Night and Book Fair” on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1135 16th St. NW. – WaPo, 11-18-07
ON TV: History Listings This Week:

  • History Channel: “Kennedys: The Curse of Power” Sunday, November 18, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :04 – Scotland’s Sin City” Monday, November 19, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Indian Warriors: The Untold Story of the Civil War,” Monday, November 19, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: ” Violent Earth : Nature’s Fury: New England’s Killer Hurricane,” Tuesday, November 20, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters :L.A.’s Killer Quake,” Tuesday, November 20, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “American Eats :Holiday Foods,” Tuesday, November 20, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battlefield Detectives :Native American Wars: The Apache,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battlefield Detectives :Custer at Little Big Horn,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mysteries of the Freemasons :America,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :08 – New York,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Pirates of the Caribbean,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Home for the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving,” Wednesday, November 21, @ 7pm & 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “American Eats: History on a Bun.,” Thursday, November 22, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “More American Eats,” Thursday, November 22, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Inside Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” Thursday, November 22, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Reel To Real : Forrest Gump,” Thursday, November 22, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Chocolate,” Thursday, November 22, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :Presidential Prophecies,” Friday, November 23, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers,” Friday, November 23, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Andrew Jackson,” Saturday, November 24, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Kennedys: The Curse of Power,” Saturday, November 24, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Saturday, November 24, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Tom Brokaw: BOOM! #2 — 1 week on list – 11-25-07
  • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #8 — 2 weeks on list – 11-25-07
  • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #26 – 11-25-07
  • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #27 – 11-25-07
  • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #33 – 11-25-07
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Joseph Pierro: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman’s Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam, November 26, 2007
  • Suzanne Levine: Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied against War and for the Planet, and Shook up Politics along the Way, November 27, 2007
  • Thomas Keneally: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia, Paperback, December 4, 2007
  • Timothy Naftali: George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993, December 10, 2007
  • The Great Experiment, by Strobe Talbott (S&S, Jan.). How mere tribes became great nations.
  • James J. Sheehan: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?, (Houghton, Jan.). The rejection of violence after World War II redefined a continent. Europe chose material well-being over war.
DEPARTED:
  • Gerald D. Feldman: Historian of the Nazis and Finances, Dies at 70 – NYT, 11-15-07
  • Frank Cass: Publisher who built a substantial scholarly publishing business from scratch after the war (Obit. UK) – Times (UK), 11-13-07

Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 10:41 PM

November 12, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
  • Presidential hopeful hasn’t ruled out giving speech about his faith Salt Lake Tribune, 11-11-07
  • Stanley Kutler on “Thompson’s Watergate Role Not as Advertised”: “By having Thompson ask the question, you’re having the president’s own people ask the embarrassing question. So it’s no great heroic task that Fred Thompson takes on. Is this a defining moment for Fred Thompson? Maybe it really was, because for the first time it put him in the public eye. And I think it’s safe to conclude that, having been in the public eye, he kind of liked it.” – NPR, 11-5-07
  • Election 2008 Why Do We Vote on Tuesdays? – NPR, 11-6-07
BIGGEST STORIES: NORMAN MAILER
VETERANS DAY/REMEMBERANCE DAY
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

  • 13/11/1553 – English Lady Jane Grey/bishop Cranmer accused of high treason
  • 13/11/1775 – American Revolutionary forces capture Montreal
  • 13/11/1789 – Ben Franklin writes “Nothing . . . certain but death and taxes”
  • 13/11/1839 – 1st US anti-slavery party, Liberty Party, convenes in NY
  • 13/11/1875 – Harvard-Yale game is 1st college football contest with uniforms
  • 13/11/1921 – US, France, Japan and British Empire sign a Pacific Treaty
  • 13/11/1922 – Black Renaissance begins Harlem NY
  • 13/11/1933 – 1st modern sit-down strike, Hormel meat packers, Austin, Minn
  • 13/11/1956 – Supreme Court strikes down segregation of races on public buses
  • 13/11/1979 – Ronald Reagan in NY announces his candidacy for president
  • 13/11/1986 – US president Reagan confesses weapon sales to Iran
  • 14/11/1732 – 1st US professional librarian, Louis Timothee, hired in Phila
  • 14/11/1832 – 1st streetcar (horse-drawn) (John Mason) debuts in NYC; fare 12 cents rode on 4th Avenue between Prince and 14th Sts
  • 14/11/1906 – Roosevelt becomes 1st US pres to visit a foreign country (Panama)
  • 14/11/1908 – Albert Einstein presents quantum theory of light
  • 14/11/1935 – Nazi’s deprive German Jews of their citizenship
  • 14/11/1942 – -Nov 15th) Japanese/US sea battle at Savo-Island in Guadalcanal)
  • 14/11/1960 – Riot due to school integration in New Orleans
  • 14/11/1968 – Yale University announces it is going co-educational
  • 14/11/1968 – “National Turn in Your Draft Card Day” features draft card burning
  • 15/11/1532 – Pope Clemens VII tells Henry VIII to end relationship with Anna Boleyn
  • 15/11/1660 – 1st kosher butcher (Asser Levy) licensed in NYC (New Amsterdam)
  • 15/11/1763 – Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon begin surveying Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland
  • 15/11/1777 – Articles of Confederation adopted by Continental Congress
  • 15/11/1791 – 1st Catholic college in US, Georgetown, opens
  • 15/11/1864 – Union Major General Sherman burns Atlanta
  • 15/11/1881 – American Federation of Labor (AFL) founded (Pittsburgh)
  • 15/11/1920 – League of Nations holds 1st meeting, in Geneva
  • 15/11/1936 – Nazi-Germany and Japan sign Anti-Komintern pact
  • 15/11/1939 – FDR lays cornerstone of Jefferson Memorial in Wash DC
  • 15/11/1939 – Nazis begin mass murder of Warsaw Jews
  • 15/11/1969 – 250,000 peacefully demonstrate in Wash DC against Vietnam War
  • 16/11/1764 – Native Americans surrender to British in Indian War of Chief Pontiac
  • 16/11/1776 – British troops captured Fort Washington during American Revolution
  • 16/11/1798 – Kentucky becomes 1st state to nullify an act of Congress
  • 16/11/1811 – Earthquake in Missouri caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards
  • 16/11/1824 – NY City’s Fifth Avenue opens for business
  • 16/11/1864 – Union Gen William T Sherman begins march to sea during Civil War
  • 16/11/1907 – Oklahoma becomes 46th state
  • 16/11/1933 – Roosevelt establishes diplomatic relations with USSR
  • 16/11/1945 – Yeshiva College (Univesity), chartered in NY, 1st US Jewish College
  • 16/11/1948 – Operation Magic Carpet – 1st plane from Yemen carrying Jews to Israel
  • 16/11/1950 – US pres Truman proclaims emergency crisis caused by communist threat
  • 16/11/1973 – Pres Nixon authorizes construction of Alaskan pipeline
  • 17/11/1558 – Elizabeth I ascends English throne upon death of Queen Mary
  • 17/11/1798 – -21) Snow storms in New England, 100s die
  • 17/11/1800 – John Adams is 1st pres to move into the White House
  • 17/11/1800 – Congress held 1st session in Wash DC in incompleted Capitol building
  • 17/11/1863 – Lincoln begins 1st draft of his Gettysburg Address
  • 17/11/1863 – -Dec 4th) Battle of Knoxville, TN
  • 17/11/1869 – Suez Canal (Egypt) opens, links Mediterranean and Red seas
  • 17/11/1937 – Britains Lord Halifax visits Germany, beginning of appeasement
  • 17/11/1938 – Italy passes their own version of anti-Jewish Nuremberg laws
  • 17/11/1962 – Pres Kennedy dedicates Dulles Intl Airport outside Wash DC
  • 17/11/1969 – SALT-discussions open in Helsinki Finland
  • 17/11/1973 – Pres Nixon tells AP “…people have got to know whether or not their pres is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook”
  • 17/11/1993 – US House of Representatives approve Nafta
  • 18/11/1793 – Louvre officially opens in Paris
  • 18/11/1805 – Lewis and Clark reach Pacific Ocean, 1st Americans to cross continent
  • 18/11/1805 – Female Charitable Society, first woman’s club in America
  • 18/11/1961 – JFK sends 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam
  • 19/11/1620 – Mayflower reaches Cape Cod and explores the coast
  • 19/11/1794 – Jay Treaty, 1st US extradition treaty, signed with Great Britain
  • 19/11/1861 – Julia Ward Howe committed “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to paper
  • 19/11/1863 – Lincoln delivers his address in Gettysburg; “4 score and 7 years…”
  • 19/11/1874 – William Marcy “Boss” Tweed, of Tammany Hall (NYC) convicted of defrauding city of $6M, sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment
  • 19/11/1919 – US Senate rejects (55-39) Treaty of Versailles and League of Nations
  • 19/11/1950 – US General Eisenhower becomes supreme commander of NATO-Europe
  • 19/11/1985 – Pres Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for 1st time
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • JON MEACHAM on Joseph J. Ellis: Trust and Caution AMERICAN CREATION Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic NYT, 11-11-07
  • ALAN BRINKLEY on Ronald Brownstein: Extreme Politics THE SECOND CIVIL WAR How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized AmericaNYT, 11-11-07
  • Bruce Miroff: McGovern Redux THE LIBERALS’ MOMENT The McGovern Insurgency and the Identity Crisis of the Democratic PartyNYT, 11-11-07
  • Kent State University publishes the final volume of papers from Robert A. Taft – Bedford Times Register, OH, 11-9-07
  • David Kennedy: Sean Wilentz and others complain about his negative review of Paul Krugman’s book – Letters to the Editor of the NYT Book Review, 11-4-07
  • Alan Kramer: His new book is about the birth of a killing culture (WW I) – International Herald Tribune, 11-2-07
OP-ED:
  • Ruth Wisse: American Jews too powerful? Hardly The truth is, they are politically weak: This is historical reason why – Houston Chronicle, 11-11-07
  • Susan Anderson: African-American clout isn’t going anywhere Some say L.A.’s demographics are weakening black influence. History says something else – LA Times, 11-11-07
  • Lisa D. Schrenk: Complains about the undeserved neglect of Chiacgo’s Century of Progress International Exposition – Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE), 11-9-07
  • Allan Lichtman: Crisis and Change in the Christian Right Movement (Part 1) – Britannica Blog, 11-9-07
  • James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn: How to win elections, FDR style – LAT, 11-8-07
BLOGOSPHERE:
PROFILED:
  • Ronald B. Frankum Jr.: Mission overlooked Until new book that shines light on veterans’ humanitarian efforts a half-century ago in Vietnam – Lancaster Newspapers, PA, 11-11-07
  • Bryan Pfaffenberger: University of Virginia Scholar Traces Voting Technology Controversy to the 1890s – Ascribe, 11-7-07
FEATURE:
INTERVIEWED:
QUOTED:
  • Michael Beschloss, Bush will be judged harshly if he used a pretext to attack Iraq: “But he told the American public they were going in for weapons of mass destruction, Beschloss said. If he really believed that, history will understand, he said. But if he only used that as a pretext, historians will judge him. ‘Only President Bush knows that, and that’s why we have to wait 30 or 40 years,’ Beschloss said.” – http://www.normantranscript.com/, 11-6-07
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
EXHIBITIONS / NEW WEBSITES:
SPOTTED:
SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • Nov 12, 2007: Lamar University’s J. Lee Thompson found fascination in British history – and now he’s a world-class scholar and author on the subject. On Monday, Nov. 12, he’ll share that expertise with campus and community as Lamar’s 2007 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer – Lamar University, TX, 11-1-07
  • Nov 13, 2007: Public historian Yolanda Chavez Leyva will present “Voces del Segundo Barrio,” her oral history project in an El Paso, Texas neighborhood where Mexicans and Mexican Americans have resided for several generations, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Willard Reading Room in Zimmerman Library – University of New Mexico, UNM Today, 11-7-07
  • Nov 15, 2007: Paul Preston will deliver a talk entitled “We saw Spain die: Foreign correspondents of the Spanish Civil War” The annual Cunninghame Graham lecture will take place in Lecture Hall B of the David Hume tower on George Square on Thursday at 5.15pm at Edinburgh University. – Scotsman, United Kingdom, 11-10-07
ON TV: History Listings This Week:

  • History Channel: “A Global Warning?” Sunday, November 11, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Wake Island: The Alamo of the Pacific,” Monday, November 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Shootout :WWII Assault on Germany.,” Monday, November 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Shootout :WWII: The Pacific.,” Monday, November 12, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :01 – Hitler’s Underground Lair” Monday, November 12, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Return of the Pirates,” Tuesday, November 13, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Deep Sea Detectives :Great Lakes Ghost Ship,” Tuesday, November 13, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “A Global Warning?,” Tuesday, November 13, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Las Vegas,” Wednesday, November 14, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Ivan the Terrible’s Fortresses,” Wednesday, November 14, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comets: Prophets of Doom,” Friday, November 16, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Braveheart’s Scotland,” Friday, November 16, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels,” Marathon Saturday, November 17, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History,” Saturday, November 17, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Baghdad Diary,” Saturday, November 17, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #4 — 1 week on list – 11-04-07
  • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #21 – 11-04-07
  • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #28 – 11-04-07
  • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #31 – 11-04-07
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • David Lawday: Napoleon’s Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand, November 13, 2007
  • Chad Alan Goldberg: Citizens and Paupers: Relief, Rights, and Race, from the Freedmen’s Bureau to Workfare, November 15, 2007
  • Joseph Pierro: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Ezra A. Carman’s Definitive Study of the Union and Confederate Armies at Antietam, November 26, 2007
  • Suzanne Levine: Bella Abzug: How One Tough Broad from the Bronx Fought Jim Crow and Joe McCarthy, Pissed off Jimmy Carter, Battled for the Rights of Women and Workers, Rallied against War and for the Planet, and Shook up Politics along the Way, November 27, 2007
  • Thomas Keneally: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia, Paperback, December 4, 2007
  • Timothy Naftali: George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993, December 10, 2007
  • The Great Experiment, by Strobe Talbott (S&S, Jan.). How mere tribes became great nations.
  • James J. Sheehan: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?, (Houghton, Jan.). The rejection of violence after World War II redefined a continent. Europe chose material well-being over war.
DEPARTED:

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

November 5, 2007

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
  • Bruce Schulman: “One man’s flip-flop can be another man’s ‘admirable flexibility.’” – NYT, 11-4-07
  • Gil Troy on “EYE ON EDWARDS | A CAROLINAS NATIVE CAMPAIGNS FOR PRESIDENT Casting his vote for kid-friendly campaign” “‘In the age of the modern presidential campaign, the candidate is using anything to get traction.’ He said candidates invoke a one-way street of privacy, in which they invite media scrutiny of their children but only at the candidates’ choosing.” – Charlotte Observer, 11-4-07
BIGGEST STORIES:
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

  • 05/11/1639 – 1st post office in the colonies is set up in Massachusetts
  • 05/11/1854 – Crimean War: British and French defeat Russian force of 50,000
  • 05/11/1871 – Susan B Anthony arrested in Rochester NY and fined $100 for trying to vote for Ulysses S Grant
  • 05/11/1872 – Ulysses S Grant re-elected US president
  • 05/11/1895 – US state Utah accepts female suffrage
  • 05/11/1912 – Woodrow Wilson (D) defeats Theodore Roosevelt (Prog) and Pres Taft (R)
  • 05/11/1917 – Supreme Court decision (Buchanan v Warley) strikes down Lousiville Ky ordiance requiring blacks and whites to live in separate areas
  • 05/11/1940 – Pres FDR (D) wins unprecedented 3rd term beating Wendell Willkie (R)
  • 05/11/1946 – John F Kennedy (D-Mass) elected to House of Representatives
  • 05/11/1968 – Nixon (R) beats VP Humphrey (D) and George C Wallace for presidency
  • 06/11/1860 – Abraham Lincoln (Rep-R-Ill) elected 16th pres
  • 06/11/1861 – Jefferson Davis elected to 6 year term as Confederate pres
  • 06/11/1864 – Battle of Droop Mountain, WV (Averell’s Raid)
  • 06/11/1871 – Pres Grant re-elected
  • 06/11/1879 – Canada celebrates 1st Thanksgiving Day
  • 06/11/1888 – Benjamin Harrison (R-Sen-Ind) beats Pres Grover Cleveland (D), 233 electoral votes to 168, Cleveland received slightly more votes
  • 06/11/1900 – Pres William McKinley (R) re-elected, beating William Jennings Bryan
  • 06/11/1917 – Bolshevik revolution begins with capture of Winter Palace
  • 06/11/1928 – Herbert Hoover (R) beats Alfred E Smith (D) for pres
  • 06/11/1940 – Franklin D Roosevelt re-elected president
  • 06/11/1941 – USA lends Soviet Union $1 million
  • 06/11/1941 – Japanese fleet readies assault on Pearl Harbor
  • 06/11/1956 – Pres Eisenhower (R) re-elected defeating Adlai E Stevenson (D)
  • 06/11/1962 – Nixon tells press he won’t be available to kick around any more
  • 06/11/1962 – Edward M Kennedy 1st elected (Sen-D-Mass)
  • 06/11/1968 – Nixon elected 37th pres of US, defeating Hubert Humphrey
  • 06/11/1973 – Abe Beame elected 1st Jewish mayor on NYC
  • 06/11/1986 – Reagan signs landmark immigration reform bill
  • 07/11/1637 – Anne Hutchinson banished from Mass bay colony as a heretic
  • 07/11/1805 – Lewis and Clark 1st sights Pacific Ocean
  • 07/11/1811 – Battle of Tippecanoe, gave Harrison a presidential slogan
  • 07/11/1820 – James Monroe elected 5th US president
  • 07/11/1848 – General Zachary Taylor elected as president of US
  • 07/11/1864 – 2nd session of congress of Confederate States of America reconvenes
  • 07/11/1876 – Pres Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel J Tilden claim presidential victory Tilden (D) wins election but Electoral college selects Hayes (R)
  • 07/11/1916 – Woodrow Wilson (D) re-elected president
  • 07/11/1917 – October Revolution (Oct 26 OS) in Russia, Lenin seizes power
  • 07/11/1928 – Herbert Hoover (R) elected president
  • 07/11/1944 – FDR wins 4th term in office, defeating Thomas E Dewey (R)
  • 07/11/1955 – Supreme Court of Balt bans segregation in public recreational areas
  • 07/11/1967 – LBJ signs a bill establishing Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • 07/11/1972 – Pres Nixon (R) re-elected defeating George McGovern (D)
  • 07/11/1989 – NYC elects it’s 1st black mayor (Dinkins)
  • 08/11/1701 – William Penn presents Charter of Priviliges
  • 08/11/1731 – In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin opens 1st US library
  • 08/11/1837 – Mount Holyoke Seminary in Mass-1st US college founded for women
  • 08/11/1861 – US removes Confederate officials from British steamer Trent
  • 08/11/1864 – Abraham Lincoln (R) elected to his 2nd term as president
  • 08/11/1892 – Grover Cleveland (D) elected president
  • 08/11/1904 – Pres Theodore Roosevelt (R) defeats Alton B Parker (D)
  • 08/11/1910 – 1st Washington State election in which women could vote
  • 08/11/1929 – NYC Museum of Modern Art opens in Hecksher Building
  • 08/11/1938 – 1st black woman legislator, Crystal Bird Fauset of Phila
  • 08/11/1960 – JFK (Sen-D-Mass) beats VP Richard Nixon (R) for 35th US president
  • 08/11/1966 – Movie actor Ronald Reagan elected governor of California
  • 08/11/1988 – George Bush (R) beats Mike Dukakis (D) for presidency
  • 09/11/1494 – Family de’ Medici become rulers of Florence
  • 09/11/1799 – Napoleon becomes dictator (1st consul) of France
  • 09/11/1862 – US Grant issues orders to bar Jews from serving under him
  • 09/11/1864 – Sherman issues preliminary plans for his “March to the Sea”
  • 09/11/1906 – T Roosevelt is 1st pres to visit other countries (P Rico and Panama)
  • 09/11/1924 – Miriam (Ma) Ferguson becomes 1st elected woman governor (of Texas)
  • 09/11/1938 – Kristallnacht, (Crystal Night) – Germans break windows owned by Jews, Jews forced to wear Star of David
  • 09/11/1984 – Vietnam Veterans Memorial (“3 Servicemen”) completed
  • 10/11/1891 – 1st Woman’s Christian Temperance Union meeting held (in Boston)
  • 10/11/1911 – Andrew Carnegie forms Carnegie Corp (for scholarly and charitable works)
  • 10/11/1933 – Black Blizzard snowstorm-duststorm rages from SD to Atlantic
  • 10/11/1954 – Iwo Jima Memorial (servicemen raising US flag) dedicated in Arlington
  • 11/11/1620 – 41 pilgrims land in Mass, sign Mayflower Compact (just and equal laws)
  • 11/11/1640 – John Pym, earl of Strafford locked in Tower of London
  • 11/11/1647 – Massachusetts passes 1st US compulsory school attendance law
  • 11/11/1778 – Iroquois Indians in NY kill 40 in Cherry Valley Massacre
  • 11/11/1790 – Chrysanthemums are introduced into England from China
  • 11/11/1860 – 1st Jewish wedding in Buenos Aires Argentina
  • 11/11/1864 – Sherman’s troops destroy Rome, Georgia
  • 11/11/1865 – Mary Edward Walker, 1st Army female surgeon, awarded Medal of Honor
  • 11/11/1918 – Armistice Day-WW I ends (at 11 AM on Western Front)
  • 11/11/1921 – Pres Harding dedicates Tomb of Unknown Soldier (Arlington Cemetary)
  • 11/11/1939 – Kate Smith 1st sings Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America”
  • 11/11/1987 – Judge Anthony M Kennedy nominated to Supreme Court
IN THE NEWS:
REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
  • Robert Draper, The Imperial Presidency DEAD CERTAIN The Presidency of George W. Bush, THE TERROR PRESIDENCY Law and Judgment Inside the Bush AdministrationNYT, 11-4-07
  • Jonathan D. Spence: Invasion and Occupation About 350 years ago, a gentleman’s quiet, happy life was suddenly upended RETURN TO DRAGON MOUNTAIN Memories of a Late Ming Man - WaPo, 11-4-07
  • Greg Behrman: Demise of a Metaphor Why the Marshall Plan’s success is not so easy to repeat THE MOST NOBLE ADVENTURE WaPo, 11-4-07
  • Simon Sebag Montefiore: The Young and the Ruthless Stalin was a precocious gangster, robber and arsonist YOUNG STALINWaPo, 11-4-07
  • ‘The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America’ by Ronald Brownstein – Los Angeles Times, CA, 11-4-07
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.: Washington’s ultimate insider – Globe and Mail, Canada, 11-3-04
  • Dana Frank: Historian looks sideways at local landmarks – http://www.santacruzsentinel.com, 10-29-07
OP-ED:
BLOGOSPHERE:
PROFILED:
FEATURE:
INTERVIEWED:
  • Conversation with…Dr. Avinoam Patt Professor says Jewish GIs went beyond the call of duty to help Holocaust victims they liberated – Jewish Ledger, 10-31-07
QUOTED:
  • Frederick Kagan: Says America needs to be heartened by our success in Iraq, and seize a victory – Weekly Standard, 11-5-07
  • Andrew Cumming: Historian says Battle of Britain pilots ‘could not shoot straight’ – Telegraph (UK), 10-30-07
HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
SPOTTED:
SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
  • Nov 6, 2007: Rennard Strickland noted legal scholar and astute historian will return to his hometown to present a lecture at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Muskogee Public Library – Muskogee Daily Phoenix, OK, 11-4-07
  • Nov 6, 2007: 6:30 P.M., J.H. Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the University of Oxford, discusses “Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830″ at the Inter-American Development Bank, Enrique V. Iglesias Conference Center, 1330 New York Ave. NW.
  • Nov 6, 2007: Jill Norgren: Historian to speak Tuesday about first woman presidential candidate at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Gerald R. Ford Museum Auditorium, 303 Pearl St., Grand Rapids.- Grand Haven Tribune, MI, 11-2-07
  • Nov 7, 2007: Gerhard Weinberg: Scholar who discovered sequel to Main Kampf to give lecture “Hitler’s Lost Plan” will be shown at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7 followed by a talk given by Weinberg at Linebaugh Public Library http://www.murfreesboropost.com (10-31-07)
  • Nov 12, 2007: Lamar University’s J. Lee Thompson found fascination in British history – and now he’s a world-class scholar and author on the subject. On Monday, Nov. 12, he’ll share that expertise with campus and community as Lamar’s 2007 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer – Lamar University, TX, 11-1-07
ON TV: History Listings This Week:

  • C-Span2, Book TV : Reese Erlich: The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis Sunday, November 4 @ 7:00pm C-Span2, BookTV
  • History

  • C-Span2, Book TV : The American Idea: The Best of The Atlantic Monthly Authors: Mark Bowden; James Fallow; Christopher Hitchens; William Langewiesche; Robert Vare, Monday, November 5 @ 6:30am C-Span2, BookTV
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest :America’s Loch Ness Monster” Sunday, November 4, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Final Moments: Missing Pieces,” Monday, November 5, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Achilles Heel,” Monday, November 5, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Tragic Sister,” Monday, November 5, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Titanic Tech,” Monday, November 5, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :11 – Dracula’s Underground” Monday, October 29, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree,” Monday, October 29, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Angkor Wat: The Eighth Wonder,” Monday, October 29, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Lincoln Assassination : The Lincoln Assassination,” Tuesday, November 6, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?,” Tuesday, November 6, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :RFK Assassination,” Tuesday, November 6, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Columbus: The Lost Voyage,” Wednesday, November 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :The True Story of Mutiny on The Bounty,” Wednesday, November 7, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Big Build :Viking Longboat,” Wednesday, November 7, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre,” Thursday, November 8, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Digging For The Truth :Pirates: Terror in the Mediterranean,” Thursday, November 8, @ 11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Brothers in Arms: The Untold Story of The 502 : D-Day,” Friday, November 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Human Weapon,” Marathon Saturday, November 10, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Universe : Beyond the Big Bang,” Saturday, November 10, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How the Earth Was Made,” Saturday, November 10, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):
  • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #20 – 11-04-07
  • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #23 – 11-04-07
  • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #28 – 11-04-07
FUTURE RELEASES:
  • Stephen William Berry: House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds, A Family Divided by War (Houghton Mifflin Company, November 5, 2007)
  • M. Stanton Evans: Blacklisted by History: The Real Story of Joseph McCarthy and His Fight against America’s Enemies, (Crown Publishing Group, November 6, 2007)
  • Chad Alan Goldberg: Citizens and Paupers: Relief, Rights, and Race, from the Freedmen’s Bureau to Workfare, November 15, 2007
  • Thomas Keneally: A Commonwealth of Thieves: The Improbable Birth of Australia, Paperback, December 4, 2007
  • The Great Experiment, by Strobe Talbott (S&S, Jan.). How mere tribes became great nations.
  • James J. Sheehan: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?, (Houghton, Jan.). The rejection of violence after World War II redefined a continent. Europe chose material well-being over war.
DEPARTED:

Posted on Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 4:48 PM

Top Young Historians: 74 – John Wood Sweet

Top Young Historians

John Wood Sweet, 41

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor, Department of History, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Area of Research: Early American history, the dynamics of colonialism and on the interplay of religious cultures
Education: Ph.D., History, Princeton University, 1995
Major Publications: Sweet is the author of Bodies Politic: Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830, “Early America: History, Context, Culture,”John Wood Sweet JPG series editors Jack P. Greene and J. R. Pole (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), whicg was a Finalist for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, 2004. and the co-editor with Robert A. Appelbaum of Envisioning an English Empire: Jamestown and the Making of a North Atlantic World, “Early American Studies,” series editors Daniel K. Richter and Kathleen Brown (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005).
Sweet is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including: “Venture Smith and Black Protest in the Early Republic,” in New England Slavery and the Slave Trade, ed. Ira Berlin and Joanne Melish (University of Virginia Press, forthcoming), and “More than Tears: The Ordeal of Abolition in Revolutionary New England,” Explorations in Early American History, vol. 5 (2001), 118-172.
Awards: Sweet is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Belk Fellow, Institute for Arts and Humanities, UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2007;
National Endowment for the Humanities (6 months) and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral (4 months) Research Fellowships, The John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, 2003-2004 ;
Barra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1999-2000;
Mellon Scholar in African-American Studies, Institute for Global Studies in Power, Culture, and History, The Johns Hopkins University. 1995-1996;
Research and Study Assignment, UNC Chapel Hill, Spring 2008;
Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, summer 2007;
Faculty Research Award, Center for African Studies, University of North Carolina, summer 2007;
University Research Council, Faculty Research Award, summer 2007 ($1,500);
Spray-Randleigh Summer Research Grant, UNC Chapel Hill, 2006 ;
. Finalist, Frederick Douglass Book Prize, Gilder-Lehrman Center, Yale University, for Bodies Politic. Junior Faculty Research Award, UNC, 2005;
Research Grant, University Research Council, UNC;
Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, Massachusetts Historical Society (August 2003 and May 2005);
New Course Development Grant, Program in Sexuality Studies, UNC;
Colonial Society of Massachusetts Fellow, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, June-July 2003;
Paul Cuffe Memorial Fellowship in African American Maritime History, Munson Institute, Mystic Seaport, May 2003;
1996-2003 Faculty Grant-in-Aid, The Catholic University of America, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1998, 1996;
2002 Library Research Fellowship, American Philosophical Society, June 2002;
Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, July 2002, June 1991;
First Prize for the Best Essay in Early American Studies published in 1999 or 2000, Colonial Society of Pennsylvania, 2001;
Littleton-Griswold Grant in Legal History, American Historical Association, 2001, 1996;
2000 Philips Fund Grant in Native American Ethnohistory, American Philosophical Society;
David Library of the American Revolution, research fellow, May 2000;
Research Fellowship, Ingenuity and Enterprise Center, R. I. Historical Society, 1996 ;
Visiting Fellowship, John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown University; 1994-1995, also, summer 1996;
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Enrollment Fellowship, 1993-1994 ;
Princeton University Fellowship, 1988-1993;

Additional Info:
Formerly Assistant Professor, Department of History, The Catholic University of America (1996-2003), Visiting Instructor, Department of History, University of California, Davis, Summer 1998, and Lecturer, History Department, Princeton University, Spring 1995.
Sweet is also a member of the Editorial Board for Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (University of Pennsylvania Press).
Sweet was Project Director for “Complete Editions of the Rhode Island Censuses of 1774 and 1782: Letterpress and Electronic Versions,” R.I. Committee for the Humanities and the John Nicholas Brown Center, June-December 1996.

Personal Anecdote

Over the past several years, research for a book about the “lost worlds” of Venture Smith–an African-born man who spent most of his life in eighteenth-century New England–has taken me to a variety of strange and wonderful places. Attempting to expand my horizons as an Early American historian has led me into situations where I verge rapidly from awe and delight to utter disorientation–and worse. On my first trip to West Africa, I made a beeline for Anomabu, a small village on the coast of Ghana, which Smith describes in his Narrative as the place where his coffle arrived at the shore and where he was held for sale in a “castle.” I had visions of visiting the fort, breathing in the dark, damp air of the men’s dungeon, and stepping out through the Door of No Return into the blinding sun and crashing surf. Standing there, with the wet sand between my toes, halfway around the world from my home, I thought, would be about as close as I was ever likely to get to recreating a moment of Venture Smith’s experience.

So, when I arrived at my lodging about a mile from the village, I eagerly set out along the palm-fringed ribbon of white sand beach. As I got closer, children appeared, crying out cheerfully, some of them offering a few words of English, and one of them pausing to squat on the beach and take a dump. I walked on-now, minding my step-attempting to act friendly and not too grossed out by the shit-strewn beach. Soon, the eighteenth-century fort came into view, a grey stone hulk rising out of the haze and the waves, surrounded by busy fishermen working on their long, colorful canoes and hauling huge nets in from the sea. Trying not to get in the way, I stepped gingerly through the tangle of lines (and the chickens and goats) and then waded out onto some rocks in the surf to get a better view of the fort. I was attempting to balance on the wet rocks, keep my camera dry, and take in the view-when I noticed that the people on shore were hollering. At me. And not just the expected cries of obiri and “white man!” Something I was doing had them horrified. I put down the camera, but the clamor continued. As I waded back towards the fort, a young man explained–through a mixture of eloquent gestures and broken English-that I had been treading all over the village’s sacred rocks. Fortunately, it seemed likely that the spirits would be placated by a small offering. I wasn’t about to give up the expensive new sandals he was admiring, so I paid up in cash, put the matter behind me, and forged on to the fort. Soon, I actually was standing in the men’s dungeon, breathing in the dark, dank air, fingering the rusty bolt in the floor where chains were attached, and trying not to disrupt the bats dangling from the barrel-vaulted ceiling. I took in the romance of the moment, feeling that I had arrived somewhere important.

And yet, as I later learned, Venture Smith never did enter that dank dungeon, nor walk through those thick whitewashed walls into the crashing surf. The fort that now stands at Anomabu was built fifteen years after he commenced his middle passage-and the previous fort had been demolished ten years earlier. So, when Venture Smith passed through there was no “castle” there at all. This realization led to another kind of journey, a journey through archives on three continents that has revealed, among other things, that even when the fort wasn’t there, the sacred rocks had been: objects of recurrent tensions among English slave-traders, local leaders, and villagers. Indeed, those sacred rocks, which I didn’t recognize even when I was standing on top of them, have come to seem emblematic of the story I want to recover about colonialism and the nature of modern globalization. Thus, I’ve learned (once again!) that what turns out to be most revealing is often not what I expect to find, but what I stumble across along the way. Soon, I’ll be back in Anomabu. This time I’ll have a more meaningful offering for the rock spirits.

Quotes

By John Wood Sweet

  • “The American North emerged in the early years of the Republic as a region that would be free but not equal. In large part, the North came together in opposition to the South   JPG as the nation divided over the politics of slavery and western conquests. But this conflict has obscured underlying similarities that derived from a shared legacy of colonialism.”… “In many ways, America came to present itself as a white nation when it was, and had been from the start, diverse, hybrid, and multiracial. Behind the fantasy of America as a white nation is another set of agendas, assumptions, and struggles.”… “Resistance to missionary endeavors stemmed from one of the basic problems of imperial ideology, a paradox familiar from other times and places: the danger of the white men’s burden, or the mission civiliatrice, was that the process of civilizing colonized peoples might, in the end, succeed.” — John Wood Sweet in “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • About John Wood Sweet

  • “Superb . . . A useful addition to the literature about people of color in [New England] . . . The major strength of Bodies Politic is that it is based on extensive archival research and a wide reading of secondary literature on Africans and Native Americans. It also presents a significant challenge to hegemonic interpretations that are finally beginning to be addressed by colonial historians . . . Sweet’s yeomanlike work should find a receptive audience among historians, graduate students, and intellectually sophisticated members of the reading public.” — Vernon J. Williams, Jr., History: Reviews of New Books reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “This superb study explores the origins of that ironic definition of democracy as ‘universal freedom and racial inequality’ . . . Sophisticated and engaging . . . Highly recommended.” — Choice reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “A fascinating picture of the interactions between English settlers, African slaves, and Native Americans in New England during the colonial era and early Republic.” — Catherine Molineux, Common-Place reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “It is difficult to imagine that anyone interested in the ways race was produced and articulated in early America and woven into every fiber of the national fabric would not depend upon and be grateful for Sweet’s work.” — Rebecca Blevins Faery, New England Quarterly reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “An ambitious and persuasive account of the ways that the political inclusion of some groups and not others connected the colonial era through the Revolution to the early American republic.” — Serena Zabin, Journal of American History reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “At once detailed and sweeping, social and political, archival and synthetic . . . This book is the best application yet to early American history of postcolonial theory.” — Bruce Dain, American Historical Review reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “Sweet’s brilliant micro-history of the tangled web of race relations in the North dynamically juxtaposes Native American, African American and Anglo-American experiences through a series of case studies.” — Alan Rice, Journal of American Studies reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “Sweet’s regional history points us away from northern exceptionalism and toward a more honest appraisal of colonialism and its legacies as a national phenomenon . . . Bodies Politic truly is the best ‘multicultural’ history of early New England yet to appear not least because of Sweet’s refusal to equate race and culture.” — David Waldstreicher, Reviews in American History reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “He emphasizes that the public was never simply Euro-American, and that categories for, and uses of, racial identity emerged out of complicated socio-cultural negotiations and changed with time and personal background. Bodies Politic is remarkably successful in grounding these assertions in detailed, well-told reconstructions of individual lives and community events.” — Joshua Piker, History Compass reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “Bodies Politic is brilliant and eloquent-a refreshingly original analysis of how the legacy of colonialism shaped the emergence of a democratic nation.” — Christine Leigh Heyrman University of Delaware and author of Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “This book recasts our vision of early New England. Informed by the insights of post-colonial theory and based on prodigious archival research, it offers a bracing challenge to the current historiography of early America. In the wake of Bodies Politic, it will be impossible to think of New England as a place unmarked by difference and exempt from the nation’s original sins of slavery and racism.” — Robert Gross, University of Connecticut reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “John Sweet presents New England as it was: a multiracial and thoroughly conflicted scene. Sex and humor play leading roles in this fine, fresh depiction of the most American of American regions.” — Nell Irvin Painter, Princeton University reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “In subtle and ingenious ways, Bodies Politic recovers the textures of real people doing real things-of African Americans, Native Americans, and Euro-Americans interacting to create the racial formation of the early nineteenth-century North.” — Daniel K. Richter, University of Pennsylvania reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “Ambitious, detailed, and provocative, this is the best multicultural history of early New England I have read.” — Joseph A. Conforti, University of Southern Maine reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “Sweet offers scholars a capacious history of race in the North and a primer for thinking about the relationship between ‘cultures’ and identities . . . Bodies Politic is deeply researched and richly detailed.” — Catherine Kelly, William and Mary Quarterly reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″

  • “Superb . . . A useful addition to the literature about people of color in [New England] . . . The major strength of Bodies Politic is that it is based on extensive archival research and a wide reading of secondary literature on Africans and Native Americans.” — History: Reviews of New Books reviewing “Bodies Politic Negotiating Race in the American North, 1730-1830″
  • “His classes are not easy but if you want to get better at writing & research he’s your best choice. You get what you put in if you show effort he will push you to get better. Overall he knows the subject & offers excellent feedback on your writing. He also has a good sense of humor and knows how to keep your attention.”… “Great Professor knows his subject, class was fun.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, November 18, 2007 at 5:47 PM

    Top Young Historians: 73 – Todd Shepard

    Top Young Historians

    Todd Shepard, 38

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Assistant Professor, Department of History, Temple University, from Fall 2005;
    Associate Professor, Department of History, Johns Hopkins University, from Spring 2008.
    Area of Research: 20th-century France, Modern Imperialism, Sexuality, Modern European and colonial North African history, with special attention to the period of decolonization, and histories of race, gender, and sexuality.
    Education: Ph.D. in Modern European History, Rutgers University, January 2002.
    Major Publications: Shepard is the author of The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2006); a French translation will be published by Payot in September 2008, the winner of the 2006 J. Russell Major Prize given by the American Historical Association (for the best work in English on any aspect of French history), and the author of Voices of Decolonization (A Brief History with Documents), under consideration, Bedford/St. Martin’s. Shepard is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles and reviews including, among others: “Une république française ‘post-coloniale.’ La fin de la guerre d’Algérie et la place des enfants des colonies dans la cinquième république,” Contretemps 16 (May 2006); “From Douai to the USA,” in Why France? American Historians Reflect on their Enduring Fascination, eds. Laura Lee Downs and Stéphane Gerson (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007); (under contract for translation into French, Paris: Le Seuil, forthcoming fall 2007); “Pieds Noirs, Bêtes Noires: Anti-`European of Algeria’ Racism and the Close of the French Empire,” in Algeria 1800-2000: Identity, Memory Nostalgia, ed. Patricia M.E. Lorcin (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2006), and “‘La bataille du voile’ pendant la guerre d’Algérie,” in Le foulard islamique en questions, ed. Charlotte Nordmann (Paris: Editions Amsterdam, 2004), pp. 134-141.
    Awards: Shepard is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship of the American Council of Learned Societies for 2006-2009;
    Chercheur associé (Affiliated Researcher), Centre de Recherches Historiques (Ehess, Paris), January 2007-December 2007;
    Fellow in Residence, Columbia University’s Institute for Scholars at Reid Hall, Paris, January 2007-December 2007;
    Junior Faculty Summer Research Grant, University of Oklahoma, 2002, 2003, 2004;
    Faculty Enrichment Grant, University of Oklahoma, 2002, 2003, 2004;
    Excellence Fellowship, Rutgers University, 1993-1999.
    Additional Info:
    Formerly Coordinator, European Studies Program, School of International and Area Studies, University of Oklahoma, Fall 2003-2005; Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oklahoma, Fall 2001-2005; Visiting Assistant Professor (maître de conférence invité), Université de Paris X/Nanterre, 2000-2001, and Coordinator, NEH Summer Teaching Institute “Women’s and Gender History in Global Perspective,” Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, 1999-2000.

    Personal Anecdote

    It was “theory”-signifiers, signifieds, fractured subjects, discourses, and the like-that led me to study history. The ways that historians used evidence–the “texts” they cobbled together, often with archivists’ help– seemed to me ideal terrain on which to grapple with the big debates about universalism, difference, disjuncture, and identity that drew me to graduate school. When I began working on the Algerian Revolution as a “French revolution,” I quite quickly saw that here was a topic that would allow me to keep thinking about questions that mattered. (Let me note that it also meant that, rather than trekking from American archive to American archive, as I had planned, I eventually would be able to do my research in Paris.) All this to say that, while I knew and appreciated France, I did not begin graduate studies obsessed with its past, the glorious and ignominious episodes, or its famous or unknown men and women.

    I soon realized that my choice of topic was quite timely: the French government has a “thirty-year rule” for opening up most official archives and, since the war had ended in 1962, the years when I began graduate school saw many new sources become available. French commentators also invoke a “thirty-year rule” that governs public discussion of unseemly events from the French past (think Vichy, for example); the intensity of the last decade of debates in France about the Algerian War comforts this claim. This meant that I not only had access to great sources, but I was studying them in a context when a lot of people-politicians, talking heads, as well as taxi-drivers and new friends-thought that knowing more about what had been once been minimized as “the events in Algeria” was important.

    I had decided, however, that I didn’t want to talk too much about what I was discovering. On the one hand, I was not so keen on studying “memory,” an approach that dominated work on the Algerian War in France and in the U. S., so I thought that sticking close to my sources required not getting distracted by what people now thought about what happened then. On the other hand, I was going to explore this topic not just because everyone was talking about it, but because the evidence would make clear how the methodologies I had learned (from mentors like Bonnie G. Smith, Joan W. Scott, and Henry Abelove) could reveal things about the past that those who claimed to find truth in the archives had missed. I was sure that the text that emerged from the archives had things to say beyond rendering a primary source verdict on the debates that had wracked the French body politic during the late 1950s and 1960s, such as torture and terrorism, and had reemerged in late ’90s/early 21st-century France.

    Yet what eventually allowed me to make sense of much of the evidence I had seen, what made me feel I could, was encountering people who cared deeply and personally about the war among French and Algerians, one in particular. I don’t know the name of the woman I talked to at a bar in Paris one weekend afternoon. She was in her 60s, it was summer 2000, the bar was mainly gay, and the young men she had come with struck up a conversation with my friends and I. When I made some mention of my line of work, she started talking about her memories of Algeria, a place she had last seen in 1962. One of the reasons I avoided talking to people in France about my work was that “pieds noirs,” a name given to the European settlers who had left Algeria in 1962, had a reputation as particularly racist, somewhat like certain stereotypes of white Southerners. My sources, however, suggested that the settlers, for a brief moment, had embraced an anti-racist politics to explain why Algeria should remain part of France; this went against common sense, and I wanted to think about what I’d found without having the pieds noirs of today ruining it.

    This woman told a story I still ponder, not because it was representative or even necessarily accurate, but because it allowed me to take the risk of writing about what the sources suggested. She said that the last months of French Algeria were the most intense moments of her life, when she and her friends had been convinced that a revolution they were part of was changing Algeria and that nothing would be the same as before—except that it would remain French. They had been wrong; one acquaintance had been executed for terrorism; she had never discussed what she had experienced with anyone who hadn’t been there, including her husband and children… until our conversation. The lesson she took from her story was that getting caught up in trying to change the world was the best thing one could do; she hoped that French and Algerian young people would continue to think that things could change for the better. This was certainly not the whole story. It can’t be easily reconciled with the accounts of women and men who recount their opposition to the war, or who tell of the suffering and disdain they, like so many Algerians, endured under colonialism. There was a lot going on.

    I still like my history driven by abstract discussions and fixated on sources. I, however, am now far more aware that finding a starting point, a narrative, that also speaks to people who care about the history at hand, can start new conversations. These, I hope, do something besides reassuring people that they were right, that their memories are the whole story.

    Quotes

    By Todd Shepard

  • The “tide of History” consensus associated these choices with “republican values” (liberty, equality, fraternity, and the Rights of Man) while dissociating republican institutions from what France had done in Algeria. A France without Algeria signified a clean victory for republican values and not evidence that putting values premised in universalism into practice, institutionalizing them in French republics, had depended on denying THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking  of France GIFrights to certain people: in this case, “Muslims.” It was under the guise of ending empire that the French government redefined the nation’s boundaries to exclude Algerian “Muslims,” sidelining republican “color-blindness” rather than confronting republican racism. In the name of fighting against “colonialist” OAS terrorism, presidential primacy trumped legislative authority and the exercise of new executive powers reduced individual liberties; “exceptional” methods used to crush Algerian nationalists, rather than be repudiated, reshaped metropolitan practices. In 1962, most French institutions and people chose to purge their past and present signs that empire mattered, rather than either reinventing or repudiating the universal in defining themselves. The French invention of decolonization, that is, helped circumscribe what lessons could be drawn, in the West as in the former colonies, about the role of colonialism in state institutions and national pasts. This made it more difficult to address such tensions in the future. Understanding how this happened moves us beyond analyses of colonialism or the results of decolonization as simply positive or negative, to focus instead on how both still inform world history. — Todd Shepard in “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • About Todd Shepard

  • “Although he acknowledges that France’s ‘civilizing mission’ never lived up to its press notices, Todd Shepard is probably correct when he notes that the war exposed once and for all the conceit that France’s ‘Republican universalism’ could unite peoples of different races, cultures, and languages around a single vision of national unity.” —- Douglas Porch, Times Literary Supplement, September 21, 2007 review of “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “A detailed, inventive, and engaging analysis of the debates surrounding the thorny issue of who could be French and under what conditions that arose as eight years of armed conflict drew to a close.” — French History reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “With the tremendous interest in French colonialism and identity, in the relationship of the former colonies to the French nation and in colonial and postcolonial discourses, Todd Shepard’s timely and significant work will be of interest to a wide range of scholars. Using Algeria as a case study, Shepard shows how the history of French imperialism and anti-imperialism was rewritten after Algerian independence by bureaucrats, politicians, and journalists in such a way as to present decolonization as ‘a predetermined end point’ that was inevitable, rather than as the failure of a genuine project of national integration in the colonies.” — Modern and Contemporary France reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “The need for historically specific accounts of decolonization has arguably never been more urgent. The Invention of Decolonization illuminates how ‘the end of French Algeria’ reconfigured the social, sexual, and political orders of postwar France. Todd Shepard thereby joins the story of the Algerian War and its aftermath not just to histories of postcolonialism, but as provocatively to contemporary debates about national belonging, racialized citizenship, confessional politics, and state-sponsored efforts at remembrance, repatriation, and reconciliation.” -— Antoinette Burton, Professor of History and Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “Todd Shepard’s examination of the way representations of Judaism, sexual orientation, and gender figured into political debates about decolonization is pathbreaking. Shepard makes a compelling analysis of how the war in Algeria and efforts to resolve the issues it raised were crucial to the making of the Fifth Republic. His excellent book is exemplary of new developments in conceiving and writing the history of France and Algeria.” -— Donald M. Reid, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “Todd Shepard’s powerful book shows both how the decolonization of Algeria became thinkable in metropolitan France and why the French failed to come to terms with the contradictions inherent to the republican project, as they simultaneously distanced themselves from responsibility for the war. Shepard convincingly reveals the war’s crucial role in recasting definitions of French identity and citizenship, which continue to shape current debates about racial inequality, exclusion, assimilation, immigration, and the place of Islam in France.” -— Caroline Ford, University of California, Los Angeles reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “Todd Shepard, in this highly original and well-researched account, uncovers how France, attempting to hold together its empire after World War II, tried to become more inclusive—extending citizenship rights and a form of affirmative action to Muslim Algerians, only to reverse itself after losing Algeria in 1962. Abolishing by fiat Muslims’ citizenship rights, now acting as if ‘colony’ and ‘metropole’ were necessarily starkly separated, France redefined itself as a singular nation in a more unambiguous and more exclusionary manner than had been the case before.” -— Frederick Cooper, New York University, author of “Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History” reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • “The Algerian War has attracted huge attention in France during the last ten years. Most historians, however, have assumed that their task is simply to describe the workings of an apparently unstoppable process and they have, to a large extent, concentrated on the behavior of the French army. Todd Shepard’s book approaches this debate from a new angle. Partly by looking through a wide lens—one that encompasses everything from Brigitte Bardot to Gaston Monnerville—and partly by taking the arguments in defense of Algérie Française seriously, he shows how departure from Algeria helped to create a new idea of Frenchnesss. This is an important book with implications for the current state of France as well as for many aspects of French history between 1830 and 1962.” -— Richard Vinen, King’s College, London reviewing “THE INVENTION OF DECOLONIZATION The Algerian War and the Remaking of France”
  • Posted on Sunday, November 11, 2007 at 9:31 PM

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