Top Young Historians: 78 – Paul A. Kramer

Top Young Historians

Paul A. Kramer, 39

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor, University of Iowa, August 2007-.
Area of Research: 20th century US history, the United States in the world, US empire, comparative imperial history, and the politics of race and gender.
Education: Ph. D. Princeton University, Department of History, January 1998.
Major Publications: Kramer is the author of The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006) [reprinted by Ateneo de Manila University Press, Paul A. Kramer  JPG Quezon City, 2006).] Winner of the 2007 Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and 2007 James A. Rawley Prize, Organization of American Historians. He is currently working on Imperial Reconstructions: Racial Regimes and U. S. Globality in the 20th Century.
Kramer is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including: “Race, Empire and Transnational History,” in Alfred McCoy, ed., Transitions in the Imperial State (forthcoming); “Race-Making and Colonial Violence in the U. S. Empire: The Philippine-American War as Race War,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 30, No. 2 (April 2006), 169-210; “Decolonizing the History of the Philippine-American War,” preface to Leon Wolff, Little Brown Brother: How the United States Purchased and Pacified the Philippine Islands at the Century’s Turn (New York: History Book Club, 2006), ix-xviii; “The Darkness that Enters the Home: The Politics of Prostitution during the Philippine-American War,” in Ann Stoler, ed., Haunted by Empire: Geographies of Intimacy in North American History (Durham: Duke University Press, 2006), 366-404; “Empires, Exceptions and Anglo-Saxons: Race and Rule Between the British and U. S. Empires, 1880-1910,” Journal of American History, Vol. 88 (March 2002), pp. 1315-53. Republished in Julian Go and Anne Foster, eds., The U. S. Colonial State in the Philippines: Global Perspectives ( Durham: Duke University Press, 2003); “White Sales: The Racial Politics of Baltimore’s Jewish-Owned Department Stores, 1935-1965,” in Enterprising Emporiums: The Jewish Department Stores of Downtown Baltimore (Baltimore: Jewish Museum of Maryland, 2001), 37-66; ““Making Concessions: Race and Empire Revisited at the Philippine Exposition, St. Louis, 1901-1905,”” Radical History Review, Vol. 73 (Winter 1999), pp. 74-114.
Awards: Kramer is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
Finalist, National Book Award, Social Sciences Category, Manila Critics Circle, Philippines, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines, 2007;
Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2007-8;
Fellowship, National Humanities Center, 2007-8 [declined];
Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, 2007;
James A. Rawley Prize, The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines, Organization of American Historians, 2007;
American Studies Association (ASA) Delegate to “Framing American Studies in a Trans-Pacific Context,” colloquium of the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), Nagoya, Japan, June 2006;
Fellowship through Johns Hopkins University to attend the School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University, ” Theories of Race and Resistance,” June-July 2003;
Sadie Feldman Lecturer, Jewish Museum of Maryland, December 2001;
Dean’s Summer Incentive Grant for research in the Philippines, Johns Hopkins University, July 2000;
Shriver Center Grant for Service Learning, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Summer 2000;
Bernath Article Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR), March 2000;
Fulbright Research Grant on Philippine-American Relations, Spring 2000;
Kenan Grant for innovative teaching, Johns Hopkins University, Fall 1999;
Invited Faculty Instructor, Cuban-American History Seminar, “Raza, Nación y Ciudadanía en Cuba, 1860-1920,” Cienfuegos, Cuba, June 1999;
Dean’s Summer Incentive Grant for research in Spain, Johns Hopkins University, July 1999;
Andrew Mellon Fellowship, Princeton University, Summer-Fall 1997. Andrew Mellon Travel Grant, Princeton University, Summer 1996;
Short-Term Research Fellowship, Newberry Library, Spring 1996;
Finalist, Pelzer Prize Competition, Journal of American History, 1996, 1997;
Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship, 1995-6.
Additional Info:
Formerly Visiting Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, January 2006-May 2007; Associate Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University, May 2004-July 2007; Assistant Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University, September 1998 – May 2004; Lecturer, Princeton University, American Studies, Spring 1998.
Co-Editor, “The United States and the World: Transnational Histories, International Perspectives” series, Cornell University Press, 2005-present; Co-Editor, American Foreign Relations Since 1600: A Guide to the Literature (Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations), chapter on the Spanish-Cuban-American War, the Philippine- American War and U. S. Imperialism, 2004-present.

Personal Anecdote

When you work on long-suppressed histories of violence and disenfranchisement, it can be off-putting to see them resurface as somebody’s aspiration. I came to this realization very abruptly one October morning in 2003, as I sat down to rest beneath the clattering schedule board at Manhattan’s Penn Station, unburdening myself of a half-dozen overflowing bags from The Strand-maybe you know this particular relief?-and opening up the Sunday New York Times. There, right on the front page, George W. Bush had an outbreak of historiography. Speaking before the Philippine legislature at the start of a six-nation trip through Southeast Asia, Bush invoked a peculiar Philippine-American past. “America is proud of its part in the great story of the Filipino people,” he proclaimed. “Together our soldiers liberated the Philippines from colonial rule. Together we rescued the islands from invasion and occupation.”

Bush’s move here was familiar enough to any student of U. S. imperial history-writing: to smother into oblivion a brutal and protracted U. S. war against the Philippine Revolution (1899-1902) and 47 years of formal U. S. colonial rule by sandwiching them between two would-be liberatory bookends, the war against Spain (1898) and the war against Japan (1941-5). But if Bush’s strategy was recognizable, the use of this usable past was new: sanitized in this way, the Philippine-American past could help sanction a new imperial future in the shape of a global “war on terror.” Invoking José Rizal, the Philippines’ national martyr, at one moment, and Saddam Hussein in another, Bush hailed the universality of “freedom” (at least in its neo-conservative variety) and the need for nations to “earn” it in battle against “grave and gathering danger.” The historical success of the Philippine-American experiment in gun-point democratization vindicated the ongoing Iraq invasion, a project in which, in a neat symmetry, Philippine troops and medics now participated. In turn, the sinister invocation of Saddam’s “mass graves” and “torture rooms” contributed to a century’s work erasing those once operated by conquering U. S. troops in the Philippines itself.

What were the historian’s responsibilities at such a moment? The question had not presented itself so urgently when I set out in the mid-1990s to investigate the racial politics of early 20th century Philippine-American colonialism. Indeed, my chosen dissertation topic had earned me some gentle ribbing from grad-school colleagues: in a post-Cold War world, what was this particular past going to be useful for? At the same time, though, pioneering intellectual currents, crossed with ongoing U. S. interventions, were making U. S. imperial power more visible-and more richly legible-to a wider range of scholars than ever before: to American Studies scholars urged to build empire into their “domestic” critiques by scholars like Amy Kaplan; to diplomatic historians, guided towards cultural analysis by historians like Emily Rosenberg; to cultural historians inspired to see the politics of difference, and particularly structures of race and gender, through lenses provided by colonial and post-colonial studies. It was a fascinating crossroads of influences to set up shop at.

The question I found myself asking was how, in the early 20th century, at a moment when racial imaginaries saturated global politics, including U. S. international politics, Americans had come to terms with colonial rule over Filipinos, a people with whom they had had virtually no prior experience. Given my training in U. S. history, my initial hypothesis was predictably “Americanist”: that U. S. colonial officials, merchants, missionaries and journalists had “exported” prior racial understandings (of African-Americans, Native Americans and Asian-Americans, in particular) to comprehend the Philippines and its peoples. This interpretation, I now recognize, conveniently aligned the past I was studying with patterns that my largely nation-bound education had prepared me to recognize and, perhaps unconsciously, with the established job categories I imagined myself applying for. If Americans simply witnessed the “same difference” in the Philippines, it demonstrated that U. S. empire could be comprehended without intellectually departing from the conventional canons of U. S. historical understanding. Entirely legible within “national” terms, the world could be “annexed” to U. S. categories without fundamentally challenging them.

But the deeper I dove into the archival boxes, the less the world appeared to organize itself in this way. Far from tracking the seamless incorporation of the Philippines into older frameworks, I confronted profound arguments-among and between divergent groups of Americans and Filipinos-over the racial character of the Philippine population and the relevance of this question to matters of power and sovereignty. I witnessed new, imperial racial formations emerging from the specific, historical dynamics of colonial conquest and rule. As Americans engaged in heated debate amongst themselves-were Filipinos uniformly “savages” and in need of permanent, violent suppression, as the U. S. military held, or backward “children” in need of disciplinary “tutelage,” as civilian officials and missionaries believed-collaborating Filipino elites came to play a decisive role in framing the racial terms of Philippine-American colonial state-building. The result of this charged and uneven dialogue was a racial state whose principal dividing line was an essentially religious one, separating Hispanicized Catholics from “non-Christian” animists and Muslims. As I attempted to trace this race-making process across national histories, it became clear to me that it could not simply be “annexed”: embedded in both U. S. and Philippine pasts, it required me to find a way to narrate a history between them. It was going to involve learning Philippine history, with the help of a rich historiography and patient colleagues. And it was going to require paying careful attention to the varied and paradoxical ways that, as the U. S. rose as a world power in the 20th century, it became increasingly subject to the constraints and mandates of a global history. This would be the goal, however incompletely realized, of my first book.

But was my version of the U. S. imperial past obliged to answer George W. Bush’s? Historical training and years of scouring archives had made me-and continue to make me-suspicious of streamlined historical analogies and genealogies, even those that hope to connect a critical past to a contemporary politics that I support. Faced with the journalist’s question to historians-isn’t the past you study just like the present I’m writing about on deadline?-one becomes painfully aware of the price of shaving history’s ragged eccentricies down to “precedents,” “parallels” and, perhaps most dangerously, “lessons.” The Vietnam War, for example, had allowed the Philippine-American War to resurface in historical debate in the 1970s and 1980s and, in important ways, the earlier war would never again sink as far in the wells of American forgetting. But during both the Vietnam War and its aftermath, the search for analogies constrained as much as it enabled this scholarship, on both the right and left. In the face of the vast egotism of the present, the persistent but periodical assertion of a history’s “relevance” ultimately serves to deny it its own “weight.” Tethered to “exceptional” moments in the present, such histories are built to vanish.

As I revised my book and, in the post-9/11 period, became involved in the anti-war movement on my campus, and as Bush undertook his own effort at past-making, the question took shape with rising immediacy. What was I to do with McKinley’s and Roosevelt’s exceptionalist war waged in the name of “civilization”? With American publics learning their Southeast Asian cultural and religious anthropology by military means? How was I to make sense of extreme, racialized brutality by U. S. forces, including late-Victorian versions of “water-boarding”? How to read a refusal of Filipino self-government on the malleable grounds of intractable, racial-cultural failings, and a Philippine “nation-building” project characterized by an endless regress of “benchmarks”? How, ultimately, was I to interpret a denial of “empire” predicated on an occupation’s permanently temporary character?

Inevitably, struggles over the neo-imperial present were raising certain elements of the past into sharper relief for me. And I wanted my work, in whatever miniscule way, to contribute to those struggles. But I did not want to surrender to them or their terms, either. My answer-a highly imperfect one, worked out more in the practice of writing than as a set principle-was to acknowledge but also to resist the force of the present, to write both playfully and darkly in a critical counterpoint between past and present. This meant acknowledging the often eerie resemblances that I observed, but-backing away from rigid analogy or direct lineage-also respecting the history’s infinite distinctiveness. After all, it is from that limitless idiosyncrasy, the puzzling pasts that frustrate both the historian’s standard frames of reference and the journalist’s eternal present, that vital possibilities can emerge.

Quotes

By Paul A. Kramer

  • This book is about the articulation of race and empire in the making of Philippine-American colonial history. Like works that precede it, it argues that race as a mode of power and knowledge was a core element in the making of formal colonialism in the Philippines. But breaking from earlier accounts, it suggests that the intersections of race and empire were contingent, contested, and transnational in scope. Race was the site The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the  Philippines JPG of intense struggle in Philippine-American colonial history, between Filipinos and Americans, between actors in metropole and colony, between actors inside and outside the colonial state. This struggle was, at its narrowest, transpacific in scope, involving participants not only in the United States and the Philippines but in Europe and its colonial outposts. These struggles were never detached from their political contexts: rather, the colonial racial-formation process was intimately tied to broader shifts in colonial politics, which it decisively shaped and by which it was shaped in turn. (pp. 4-5) Paul A. Kramer in “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “The Philippines and the United States were, prior to the late-nineteenth century, part of each other’s ‘boondocks.’ This term, originally bundok, a Tagalog word for mountain or remote area, was brought into U. S. consciousness by soldiers returning from guerrilla war, layered with connotations of bewilderment and confusion. The existence of this word-for a liminal, border region-tells us something about the history that followed. The word crossed over into American English at the very moment that Philippine and U. S. histories became inexorably internal to each other. Its very presence in English suggests, in brief, precisely why neither Philippine nor U. S. history can afford to conceive of the other as boondocks, as marginal to their core concerns. Historians are only now beginning to trade the myriad complex transits that surround this small linguistic crossing, by moving beyond the conventional conceptual borders of the Philippines and the United States, which for over a century have not captured their connected histories. This work will have succeeded if it points the way towards an elusive goal: a history without boondocks.” (pp. 33-4).” — Paul A. Kramer in “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • About Paul A. Kramer

  • “This commendable transnational history should serve as a welcome invitation to both Americans and Filipinos to scale each other’s boondocks, so that in these ‘remote areas’ of misunderstanding, which have caused many wounds in the past, lasting healing may finally take place.” — Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines is richly illustrated, clearly written, and full of vivid conceptualized terms. . . . The skillful way in which Kramer interweaves cultural, social, military, and political narratives makes his book a standard-setter in international history. It is a must-read for historians interested in imperial culture, racial formation, comparative empires, and nationalism, as well as those with area-studies interests in Philippine and US history.” — International History Review reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “The Blood of Government is a very important work. . . . It [approaches] its subject in a fresh and provocative way.” — American Historical Review reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “Blood of Government does valuable work in laying out the intricacies of racial (re)formations in the service of and against colonialism. . . . This book has much to offer those interested in Phillipine-American relations as well as postcolonial studies, and, surprisingly, given its length, leaves one wishing for more.” — Journal of American History reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “At every stage of Kramer’s analysis, the reader is made aware of the Filipino side of the story of U.S.- Philippine relations. . . . Kramer delves deeply into the Filipino past in order to reconstruct how they (in particular, their elites, ilustrados, and the revolutionaries, the Katipunan) viewed themselves when they encountered Americans.” — Akira Iriye, Harvard University reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “The Blood of Government is a groundbreaking study of the complex history of American colonial rule in the Philippines. Kramer reinterprets the concept and practice of race as a rich and complex framework for political and cultural inquiry into the history of imperialism. He demonstrates persuasively how colonial relations were not a one-way imposition of power from metropolis to periphery, but consisted of genuine contacts and interactions, forged by violence, conflict, collision, and collaboration.” — Amy Kaplan, author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “In The Blood of Government, Paul Kramer makes a compelling argument about the deep ties that bind imperial with domestic U.S. history on the one hand, and U.S. colonialism with Filipino nationalism on the other. Lucidly written and empirically grounded, Kramer’s book draws on both classic and more recent scholarship on the gendering and racialization of the modern state, applying these to a place that has often been bypassed by historians of comparative colonialism and nationalism. A much needed and innovative intervention into the scholarship on the American empire and the Philippine nation-state, it also marks a critical addition to the growing literature on the history of America’s current imperial moment.” — Vicente L. Rafael, University of Washington reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • “This is an impressive book. Kramer takes his time, writes in an accessible but deeply learned manner, bringing to bear his expertise on the subject and perhaps staking a claim for the study of U. S. Empire as having a complexity, allure, and integrity that has only been granted to post-colonies of the former British Empire. In doing so, Kramer helps to anchor post-colonial studies of U. S. Empire in the Philippines. Of these, Kramer’s is thus far the most ambitious in scope and also the most transnational, examining developments in the United States metropole that put Philippine studies in dialogue with transnational American studies. These chapters are lively, entertaining even, no less for Kramer’s commitment to Filipino voices, largely nationalist writings and newspapers written in Spanish, which he himself translates and quotes in the text, as much as in-depth readings of archival sources on U. S. imperialists and anti-imperialists, U. S. colonial officials pro- and anti-Philippine independence, and U. S. periodical literature.” — Augusto Espiritu reviewing “The Blood of Government Race, Empire, the United States, and the Philippines”
  • The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States, and the Phillippines (The University of North Carolina Press, 2006) is a thorough and highly original dissection of the self-conscious construction of racial identities and ideologies within the context of the racial dynamics of imperialism and the impact on the construction and perpetuation of racism in America and around the globe. For his research, Kramer draws upon sources in the U.S. and the Philippines over a long period. This allows him to analyze the densely complex historical and ideological circumstances that converged to help transform racial identities within their specific social, cultural, political, and intellectual circumstances and constraints. Kramer thus contributes to our broader understanding how race works within an international context, far from America’s shores while at the same time helping us see the significance of race beyond Asian American history, or the traditional preoccupation with American blacks as the alpha and omega of discussions. His work has broad implications for understanding the repeated redefinition and refinement of racial identities and distinctions in the service of American imperialism and American society. — James A. Rawley Prize (OAH)
  • “The 2007 Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize is awarded to Paul A. Kramer’s The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines (North Carolina, 2006). Kramer’s study of race and empire in Philippine-American colonial encounters during the early twentieth century is impressive in both scope and theoretical sophistication. He complicates our understanding of race and racial ideology as it manifested itself in the global arena, showing the dynamic processes through which race became constantly re-configured in imperial encounters between metropole and colony. Kramer adds a new dimension to the historiography of race and foreign relations by showing that empire did not simply project western ideas of racism outward, but that through the process of empire-making race itself became reconfigured in the metropole. In addition, by drawing extensively on Spanish and Filipino sources, he is able to restore agency to the subjects of western imperialism. Employing these materials Kramer argues against the notion that Americans simply transferred domestic racial ideologies onto the Philippines, suggesting American ideas about how to govern Filipinos reflected a complex mix of domestic and transnational factors. Breaking out of U.S.-centered analyses, he shows that the Philippines was not a blank slate on which Americans imposed their vision of racial hierarchy. Instead, Filipino nationalists traveling between Manila and Madrid before 1898 established ideologies of race and nation that U.S. policymakers needed to accommodate. The challenges of governing a diverse archipelago further transformed U.S. race thinking. Turning back to the United States, he also demonstrates how these colonial experiences influenced concepts of race in U.S. politics and culture, leading by the 1930s to a growing movement for decolonization.
    Kramer’s supple and nuanced argument is transnational in scope, yet always keenly attuned to national variations and contexts. Provocative and deeply researched, Blood of Government makes a major contribution to the scholarship of U.S. imperialism. — Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize (SHAFR)
  • “Engaging lecturer and very helpful outside of class.”… “Smart, capable, easy-going. An excellent teacher.” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 9:49 PM

    History Buzz: December 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.

    December 17 & 24, 2007

    PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    • Leo Ribuffo on “Politicians fail History 101 Facts don’t always align with the point a contender hopes to make”: “I have lower expectations, I don’t think political speeches are expected to accurately represent the past. … One of the problems with real history is it’s too complicated to get into a political speech or a newspaper article.” – St. Petersburg Times, FL, 12-20-07
    BIGGEST STORIES 2007:
    • Brendan Simms: Five bright ideas that illuminated 2007 Britain’s greatness was built on European engagement – The Observer, UK, 12-23-07
    BIGGEST STORIES CHRISTMAS:
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 24/12/1814 – Treaty of Ghent (end of US-Britain’s War of 1812) signed
    • 24/12/1818 – “Silent Night” composed by Franz Joseph Gruber; 1st sung next day
    • 24/12/1851 – Fire devastates Library of Congress in Wash, destroys 35,000 volumes
    • 24/12/1864 – Battle of Gordonsville, VA
    • 24/12/1865 – Several Confederate veterans form Ku Klux Klan in Pulaski, Tn
    • 24/12/1935 – National Council of Negro Women forms
    • 24/12/1943 – FDR appoints Gen Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces
    • 24/12/1997 – 1st time a Channukah candle is officially lit in Vatican City
    • 25/12/0001 – 1st Christmas, according to calendar-maker Dionysus Exiguus
    • 25/12/0337 – Earliest possible date that Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
    • 25/12/0352 – 1st definite date Christmas was celebrated on Dec 25th
    • 25/12/1066 – William the Conqueror, crowned king of England
    • 25/12/1651 – Massachusetts General Court ordered a fine (five shillings) for “observing any such day as Christmas”
    • 25/12/1776 – Washington crosses Delaware and surprises and defeats 1,400 Hessians
    • 25/12/1868 – Despite bitter opposition, Pres A Johnson grants unconditional pardon to all persons involved in Southern rebellion (Civil War)
    • 26/12/1620 – Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, MA
    • 26/12/1776 – George Washington defeats Hessians at Trenton
    • 26/12/1848 – 1st gold seekers arrive in Panama en route to SF
    • 26/12/1862 – -Dec 28th) Battle of Dumfries, VA
    • 26/12/1947 – Heavy snow blankets Northeast, buries NYC under 25.8″ of snow in 16 hrs That same day, LA set a record high of 84ø F
    • 26/12/1982 – TIME’s Man of the Year is a computer
    • 27/12/1825 – 1st public railroad using steam locomotive completed in England
    • 27/12/1862 – Battle of Elizabethtown, KY
    • 27/12/1862 – Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, MS (Chickasaw Bayou)
    • 28/12/1065 – Westminister Abbey opens in London
    • 28/12/1832 – John Calhoun becomes 1st VP to resign (differences with Pres Jackson)
    • 28/12/1864 – Battle of Egypt Station, MS
    • 29/12/1778 – English troops occupy Savannah, Georgia
    • 29/12/1845 – Texas admitted as 28th state
    • 29/12/1862 – Battle of Chichasaw Bayou: confederate armies defeat Gen Sherman
    • 29/12/1890 – US 7th Cavalry massacre 200+ captive Sioux at Wounded Knee, SD
    • 29/12/1944 – Gen Eisenhowers train returns to Versailles
    • 29/12/1947 – Ship carrying Jewish immigrants driven away from Palestine
    • 29/12/1948 – Canada recognizes Israel
    • 30/12/1835 – After gold discovery in Ga, Cherokees forced to move across Miss R
    • 30/12/1853 – Gadsden Purchase 45,000ý mi (120,000ý km) by Gila River from Mexico for $10 million, area is now southern Arizona and New Mexico
    • 30/12/1933 – -50øF (-46øC) in Bloomfield, Vermont (state record)
    • 30/12/1941 – Winston Churchill addresses Canadian parliament
    • 30/12/1963 – Congress authorizes Kennedy half dollar
    • 30/12/1972 – Pres Nixon halts bombing of North Vietnam and announces peace talks
    • 30/12/1977 – Carter holds 1st news conf by US pres in Eastern Europe (Warsaw)
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    • Martin Meredith: HISTORY SOUTH AFRICA Imperial Hubris A debilitating war and shocking betrayal created South Africa DIAMONDS, GOLD, AND WAR The British, The Boers, and The Making of South Africa - WaPo, 12-23-07
    • Jason Roberts on Tim Jeal: BIOGRAPHY EXPLORERS The Great Opportunist Don’t presume you know the strange truth about Henry Morton Stanley STANLEY The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest ExplorerWaPo, 12-23-07
    • Dear Diary, I Think I’m in Love The confessions of Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr – The Weekly Standard, 12-31-07
    • David Anthony: Prof explores mystery in book The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern WorldOneonta Daily Star, NY, 12-22-07
    • John J. DiIulio Jr.: Take It on Faith GODLY REPUBLIC A Centrist Blueprint for America’s Faith-Based FutureNYT, 12-16-07
    • John J. DiIulio Jr.: GODLY REPUBLIC A Centrist Blueprint for America’s Faith-Based Future, First Chapter – NYT, 12-16-07
    • Margaret A. Hogan and C. James Taylors: As a Nation Was Born, They Wrote and Wrote MY DEAREST FRIEND Letters of Abigail and John AdamsNYT, 12-11-07
    OP-ED/LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
    BLOGOSPHERE:
    PROFILED:
    FEATURE:
    INTERVIEWED:
    QUOTED:
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    EXHIBITIONS / NEW WEBSITES:
    SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    • Jan 10, 2008: National Archives Hosts Public Symposium on Slave Trade Act Thursday, January 10, 2008, 9 AM – 5:30 PM William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. – UrbanMecca.com, FL, 12-9-07
    • Jan 14, 2008:Timothy Naftali: Author of GEORGE H.W. BUSH, American Enterprise Institute Washington, DC, 5:30 PM
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • PBS: “Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency” Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 9 p.m.
    • C-Span2, BookTV: In Depth – Author Nell Painter, Sunday, January 6, from 12-3 PM ET – C-Span2, BookTV
    • History Channel: “The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth,” Sunday, December 23, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Sunday, December 23, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Banned from The Bible II,” Monday, December 24, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Christmas Truce” Monday, December 24, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “American Eats :Holiday Foods” Monday, December 24, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Bible Tech” Monday, December 24, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Nostradamus: 500 Years Later” Monday, December 24, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Decoding The Past :The Other Nostradamus.” Monday, December 24, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “UFO Files,” Marathon Tuesday, December 25, @ 2-6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Christmas Tech,” Tuesday, December 25, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Christmas Tech,” Tuesday, December 25, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “UFO Files,” Marathon Wednesday, December 26, @ 2-6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Sin City of the West,” Wednesday, December 26, @ 0pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels : Walt Disney World,” Thursday, December 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :Da Vinci’s World,” Thursday, December 13, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The True Story of Charlie Wilson,” Friday, December 28, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “History’s Mysteries :The Mysteries of Devil’s Triangles,” Friday, December 28, @ 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “1968 with Tom Brokaw,” Saturday, December 15, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :60’s Tech,” Saturday, December 15, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Last Stand of The 300,” Saturday, December 29, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special :The True Story of Hannibal,” Saturday, December 29, @ 10pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Tom Brokaw: BOOM! #2 — 5 weeks on list – 12-23-07
    • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #14 — 10 weeks on list – 12-23-07
    • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #15 — 6 weeks on list – 12-23-07
    • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #26 – 12-23-07
    • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #30 – 12-23-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Keith Boeckelman: Barack Obama, the New Face of American Politics, December 28, 2007
    • Judith Herrin: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, December 28, 2007.
    • Rudy Tomedi: General Matthew Ridgway, December 30, 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.
    • John Dickie: Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food, January 8, 2008.
    • Mark Puls: Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution, February 5, 2008.
    • Fidel Castro: Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, February 5, 2008.
    • Brian McGinty: Lincoln and the Court, February 15, 2008.
    • H. David Stone: Vital Rails, February 28, 2008.
    • John Fea: The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America ( U of Pennsylvania Press), February 29, 2008
    • James Donovan: A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn – the Last Great Battle of the American West (REV), March 24, 2008.
    • Scott McClellan: What Happened, April 28, 2008
    DEPARTED:

    Posted on Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 9:12 PM

    December 10, 2007

    PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    • Making Mormon history An influential religion struggles with how to tell the story of its past – Boston Globe, 12-8-07
    • Romney Seeks to Put the Mormon Question to Rest – NPR, 12-7-07
    BIGGEST STORIES:
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 10/12/1520 – Martin Luther publicly burned papal edict demands he recant
    • 10/12/1864 – General Sherman’s armies reach Savannah and 12 day siege begins
    • 10/12/1869 – Women suffrage (right to vote) granted in Wyoming Territory (US 1st)
    • 10/12/1898 – Spanish-American War ends; US acquires Philippines, PR and Guam
    • 10/12/1906 – Pres Theodore Roosevelt (1st American) awarded Nobel Peace Prize
    • 10/12/1915 – Pres Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Galt
    • 10/12/1919 – Nobel peace prize awarded to US president Wilson
    • 10/12/1931 – Jane Addams (1st US woman) named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize
    • 10/12/1936 – King Edward VIII abdicates throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson
    • 10/12/1978 – In Oslo, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat accept 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
    • 11/12/1620 – 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock (12/21 NS)
    • 11/12/1792 – France’s King Louis XVI went on trial, accused of treason
    • 11/12/1816 – Indiana becomes 19th state
    • 11/12/1901 – Marconi sends 1st transatlantic radio signal, Cornwall to Nfld
    • 11/12/1906 – US president Roosevelt attacks abuses in the Congo
    • 11/12/1909 – Colored moving pictures demonstrated at Madison Square Garden, NYC
    • 11/12/1916 – David Lloyd George forms British war govt
    • 11/12/1917 – 13 black soldiers hanged for alleged participation in Houston riot
    • 11/12/1931 – Brit Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Ireland, Newfoundland
    • 11/12/1936 – King Edward VIII marries Mrs Wallis Simpson; abdicates throne Duke of York becomes King George VI
    • 11/12/1941 – Japanese attack Wake Island (only failed WW II-landing)
    • 11/12/1961 – JFK provides US miltary helicopters and crews to South Vietnam
    • 11/12/1961 – Adolf Eichmann is found guilty of war crimes, in Israel
    • 13/12/1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to go around world
    • 13/12/1769 – Dartmouth College in New Hampshire received its charter
    • 13/12/1774 – 1st incident of Revolution-400 attack Ft William and Mary, NH
    • 13/12/1843 – “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens published, 6,000 copies sold
    • 13/12/1862 – Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (Marye’s Heights)
    • 13/12/1903 – Wright Bros make 1st flight at Kittyhawk
    • 13/12/1918 – Wilson, becomes 1st to make a foreign visit as president (France)
    • 13/12/1920 – League of nations establishes Intl Court of Justice in The Hague
    • 13/12/1949 – Knesset votes to transfer Israel’s capital to Jerusalem
    • 13/12/1966 – 1st US bombing of Hanoi
    • 14/12/1774 – Mass militiamen successfully attacked arsenal of Ft William and Mary
    • 14/12/1819 – Alabama admitted to Union as 22nd state
    • 14/12/1863 – Battle of Bean’s Station-Confederacy repulses Union in Tenn
    • 15/12/1791 – Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gave its approval
    • 15/12/1791 – 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania
    • 15/12/1874 – 1st reigning king to visit US (of Hawaii) received by Pres Grant
    • 15/12/1877 – Thomas Edison patents phonograph
    • 15/12/1916 – French defeat Germans in WW I Battle of Verdun
    • 15/12/1938 – Groundbreaking begins for Jefferson Memorial in Wash DC
    • 15/12/1939 – “Gone With the Wind” premieres in Atlanta
    • 15/12/1948 – Former state dept official Alger Hiss indicted in NYC for perjury
    • 15/12/1964 – Canada adopts maple leaf flag
    • 16/12/1431 – King Henry VI of England crowned king of France
    • 16/12/1631 – Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages and kills 4,000
    • 16/12/1653 – Oliver Cromwell sworn in as English Lord Protector
    • 16/12/1689 – English Parliament adopts Bill of Rights after Glorious Revolution
    • 16/12/1773 – Big tea party in Boston harbor-indians welcome (Boston Tea Party)
    • 16/12/1864 – Battle of Nashville ends after 4400 casualities
    • 16/12/1944 – Battle of Bulge begins in Belgium
    • 16/12/1950 – Truman proclaims state of emergency against “Communist imperialism”
    • 16/12/1980 – Pres-elect Reagan announces Alexander Haig as secretary of state
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    OP-ED/LETTER TO THE EDITOR:
    PROFILED:
    FEATURE:
    INTERVIEWED:
    QUOTED:
    • Michael Gannon: Pearl Harbor has lessons: “Pearl Harbor is a lesson in preparedness and it is a lesson, also, in . . . letting down its officers in the field,” Gannon said. “The tragedy . . . on 9/11 has been generally perceived by the American people as worse than what happened in Pearl Harbor. The destruction was greater than the military losses in Pearl Harbor. In terms of loss of life is concerned, they were pretty much the same.” – http://www.gainesville.com, 12-7-07
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    EXHIBITIONS / NEW WEBSITES:
    SPOTTED:
    SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    • Jan 10, 2008: National Archives Hosts Public Symposium on Slave Trade Act Thursday, January 10, 2008, 9 AM – 5:30 PM William G. McGowan Theater, National Archives Building Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. – UrbanMecca.com, FL, 12-9-07
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • History Channel: “1968 with Tom Brokaw,” Sunday, December 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Andrew Jackson,” Monday, December 10, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Revolution :11 – Becoming a Nation” Monday, December 10, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Revolution :12 – Road to the Presidency” Monday, December 10, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Revolution :13 – A President and His Revolution” Monday, December 10, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “History Rocks :The ’60s” Monday, December 10, @ 10pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “History Rocks :The ’60s” Monday, December 10, @ 11pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels : Engineering Disasters,” Tuesday, December 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Aftershock: Beyond The Civil War,” Wednesday, December 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Guns of the Civil War,” Wednesday, December 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :Lincoln Assassination,” Wednesday, December 12, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :12 – Secret Pagan Underground,” Wednesday, December 12, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “1968 with Tom Brokaw,” Wednesday, December 12, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : Beyond The Da Vinci Code,” Thursday, December 13, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Engineering An Empire :Da Vinci’s World,” Thursday, December 13, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :Da Vinci Tech,” Thursday, December 13, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “1968 with Tom Brokaw,” Saturday, December 15, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Modern Marvels :60’s Tech,” Saturday, December 15, @ 7pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Plague,” Saturday, December 15, @ 8pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Vampires Secrets,” Saturday, December 15, @ 10pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Tom Brokaw: BOOM! #3 — 3 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #12 — 4 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #13 — 8 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #27 – 12-9-07
    • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #30 – 12-9-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • Timothy Naftali: George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993, December 10, 2007
    • Jessie Childs: Henry VIII’s Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, December 10, 2007
    • Keith Boeckelman: Barack Obama, the New Face of American Politics, December 28, 2007
    • Judith Herrin: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, December 28, 2007.
    • Rudy Tomedi: General Matthew Ridgway, December 30, 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.
    • John Dickie: Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food, January 8, 2008.
    • Mark Puls: Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution, February 5, 2008.
    • Fidel Castro: Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, February 5, 2008.
    • Brian McGinty: Lincoln and the Court, February 15, 2008.
    • H. David Stone: Vital Rails, February 28, 2008.
    • James Donovan: A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn – the Last Great Battle of the American West (REV), March 24, 2008.
    • Scott McClellan: What Happened, April 28, 2008
    DEPARTED:

    Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 10:29 PM

    December 3, 2007

    PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:
    BIGGEST STORIES:
    • Arthur Schlesinger Jr.: NY library acquires Schlesinger papers – Reuters, 11-26-07
    HNN STATS THIS WEEK:
    THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: This Week in History:

    • 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
    • 03/12/1953 – Eisenhower criticizes McCarthy for saying communists are in Rep party
    • 03/12/1992 – UN Security Council votes unanimous for US led forces to enter Somalia
    • 04/12/1563 – Council of Trent holds last session, after 18 years
    • 04/12/1619 – America’s 1st Thanksgiving Day (Va)
    • 04/12/1783 – Gen Washington bids officers farewell at Fraunce’s Tavern, NYC
    • 04/12/1816 – James Monroe (VA), elected 5th pres, defeating Federalist Rufus King
    • 04/12/1833 – American Anti-Slavery Society formed by Arthur Tappan in Phila
    • 04/12/1836 – Whig party holds its 1st national convention, Harrisburg, Pa
    • 04/12/1844 – James K Polk elected 11th president of US
    • 04/12/1851 – Pres Louis Napolean Boaparte forces crush a coup d’etat in France
    • 04/12/1918 – Pres Wilson sails for Versailles Peace Conference in France, 1st chief executive to travel outside US while in office
    • 04/12/1943 – -Dec 6] 2nd conference of Cairo: FDR, Churchill and Turkish pres Inonu
    • 05/12/1349 – 500 Jews of Nuremberg massacre during Black Death riots
    • 05/12/1496 – Jews are expelled from Portugal by order of King Manuel I
    • 05/12/1792 – George Washington re-elected US pres
    • 05/12/1804 – Thomas Jefferson re-elected US pres/George Clinton vice-pres
    • 05/12/1831 – Former Pres John Q Adams takes his seat as member of House of Reps
    • 05/12/1832 – Andrew Jackson re-elected president of US
    • 05/12/1837 – Uprising under William Lyon Mackenzie in Canada
    • 05/12/1935 – National Council of Negro Women forms by Mary McLeod Bethune (NYC)
    • 05/12/1955 – Historic bus boycott begins in Montgomery Alabama by Rosa Parks
    • 06/12/1768 – 1st edition of “Encyclopedia Brittanica” published (Scotland)
    • 06/12/1820 – US president James Monroe re-elected
    • 06/12/1849 – Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery in Maryland
    • 06/12/1862 – Pres Lincoln orders hanging of 39 Santee Sioux indians
    • 06/12/1865 – 13th Amendment is ratified, abolishing slavery
    • 06/12/1876 – US Electorial College picks Rep Hayes as pres (although Tilden won)
    • 06/12/1877 – Washington Post publishes 1st edition
    • 06/12/1904 – Theodore Roosevelt confirms Monroe-doctrine (Roosevelt Corollary)
    • 06/12/1923 – 1st presidential address broadcast on radio (Pres Calvin Coolidge)
    • 06/12/1973 – Gerald Ford sworn-in as 1st unelected VP, succeeds Spiro T Agnew
    • 07/12/1787 – Delaware becomes 1st state to ratify constitution
    • 07/12/1808 – James Madison elected US pres/George Clinton vice-pres
    • 07/12/1836 – Martin Van Buren elected 8th president
    • 07/12/1877 – Thomas A Edison demonstrates the gramophone
    • 07/12/1917 – US becomes 13th country to declare war on Austria during World War I
    • 07/12/1941 – Japanese attack Pearl Harbor (a date that will live in infamy)
    • 07/12/1987 – Gorbachev arrives in US for a summit meeting
    • 08/12/1776 – George Washington’s retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ
    • 08/12/1863 – Abraham Lincoln announces plan for Reconstruction of South
    • 08/12/1863 – Pres Lincoln offers amnesty for confederate deserters
    • 08/12/1886 – American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions Samuel Gompers elected AFL president
    • 08/12/1987 – President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles
    • 09/12/1958 – Robert H W Welch Jr and 11 other men meet in Indianapolis to form anti-Communist John Birch Society
    • 09/12/1961 – SS Col Adolf Eichmann found guilty of war crimes in Israel
    • 10/12/1520 – Martin Luther publicly burned papal edict demands he recant
    • 10/12/1864 – General Sherman’s armies reach Savannah and 12 day siege begins
    • 10/12/1869 – Women suffrage (right to vote) granted in Wyoming Territory (US 1st)
    • 10/12/1898 – Spanish-American War ends; US acquires Philippines, PR and Guam
    • 10/12/1906 – Pres Theodore Roosevelt (1st American) awarded Nobel Peace Prize
    • 10/12/1915 – Pres Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Galt
    • 10/12/1919 – Nobel peace prize awarded to US president Wilson
    • 10/12/1931 – Jane Addams (1st US woman) named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize
    • 10/12/1936 – King Edward VIII abdicates throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson
    • 10/12/1978 – In Oslo, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat accept 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
    IN THE NEWS:
    REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:
    OP-ED:
    BLOGOSPHERE:
    PROFILED:
    • Simon Schama: My secret recipe to bring the past to life Simon Schama brought the history of Britain to TV. Now, he is turning his focus on the US – as the nation prepares to vote – Independent, UK
    • John Ernst: Writer, teacher makes history come alive – MSU The Trail Blazer Online, KY, 11-29-07
    FEATURE:
    INTERVIEWED:
    QUOTED:
    • Yoshimi Yoshiaki: Japanese historian says most “comfort women” were Korean: “The fact that Korean and Chinese women showed high rates for diseases attests to the fact that the soldiers mainly took advantage of women from colonized regions. It also shows there was sharp discrimination toward foreign woman especially.” http://www.kois.go.kr, 11-29-07
    HONORED, AWARDED, AND APPOINTMENTS:
    EXHIBITIONS / NEW WEBSITES:
    • 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue: Return of a Long-Dormant Island of Grace – NYT, 12-1-07
    SPOTTED:
    SPEAKING EVENTS CALENDAR:
    • Dec 3, 2007: At 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, Dr. Peter Kraemer, of the Office of the Historian at the U.S. State Department, will give a lecture in Sweet Briar College’s library Browsing Room. The lecture is titled, “The Foundations of Cold War Foreign Policy: How Philanthropy Fought (and Was Seen as) the Red Menace.” – SBC News, VA, 11-29-07
    • Dec 5, 2007: Joseph J. Ellis, will be the featured speaker in the Vermont Humanities Council’s next edition of its “First Wednesdays” program, which will take place Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the First Congregational Church in Manchester Village. – Manchester Journal, VT, 11-30-07
    • Dec 5, 2007: The fourth annual Joan Coffey Symposium will be held in the Olson Auditorium at Sam Houston State University at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The speaker, Dr. David Tal from Syracuse University, will discuss past, present and future issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict in an address titled “Israel in the Middle East — an Historian Point of View.” – Huntsville Item, TX, 11-30-07
    ON TV: History Listings This Week:

    • C-Span2, BookTV: After Words: Sir David Frost author of “Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews” interviewed by Timothy Naftali, Director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Monday, December 3 at 3am – C-Span2, BookTV
    • C-Span2, BookTV: History Head and Heart: American Christianities Authors: Rev. Alan Jones; Garry Wills, Monday, December 3 at 5;45am – C-Span2, BookTV
    • History Channel: “Kennedys: The Curse of Power,” Monday, December 3, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Building the Titanic” Monday, December 3, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Hillbilly The Real Story,” Tuesday, December 3, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Secret U.S. Bunkers,” Tuesday, December 4, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Hell: The Devil’s Domain,” Wednesday, December 5, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Lost City of Aphrodite,” Wednesday, December 5, @ 9pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Special : The Real Tomb Hunters: Snakes, Curses, and Booby Traps,” Thursday, December 6, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Lost Worlds :Herod the Great,” Thursday, December 6, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld :07 – Catacombs of Death,” Thursday, December 6, @ 6pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Tora, Tora, Tora: The Real Story of Pearl Harbor,” Friday, December 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The Other Tragedy at Pearl Harbor,” Friday, December 7, @ 4pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Conspiracy? :FDR and Pearl Harbor,” Friday, December 7, @ 5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Our Generation :Woodstock,” Friday, December 7, @ 6:30pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “Mega Disasters,” Marathon Saturday, December 8, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
    • History Channel: “The History of Sex,” Marathon Saturday, December 8, @ 8-11pm ET/PT
    SELLING BIG (NYT):
    • Tom Brokaw: BOOM! #2 — 3 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • Joseph J. Ellis: AMERICAN CREATION #12 — 4 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • Geoffrey C. Ward: THE WAR #13 — 8 weeks on list – 12-9-07
    • David Halberstam: THE COLDEST WINTER #27 – 12-9-07
    • Rick Atkinson: THE DAY OF BATTLE #30 – 12-9-07
    FUTURE RELEASES:
    • 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
    • Jessie Childs: Henry VIII’s Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, December 10, 2007
    • Keith Boeckelman: Barack Obama, the New Face of American Politics, December 28, 2007
    • Judith Herrin: Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire, December 28, 2007.
    • Rudy Tomedi: General Matthew Ridgway, December 30, 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.
    • John Dickie: Delizia!: The Epic History of the Italians and Their Food, January 8, 2008.
    • Mark Puls: Henry Knox: Visionary General of the American Revolution, February 5, 2008.
    • Fidel Castro: Fidel Castro: My Life: A Spoken Autobiography, February 5, 2008.
    • Brian McGinty: Lincoln and the Court, February 15, 2008.
    • H. David Stone: Vital Rails, February 28, 2008.
    • James Donovan: A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn – the Last Great Battle of the American West (REV), March 24, 2008.
    • Scott McClellan: What Happened, April 28, 2008
    DEPARTED:

    Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 10:06 PM

    On This Day in History… December 17, 1862: Grant Issues General Order No. 11 Against the Jews

    By Bonnie Goodman, HNN, 12-11-07

    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. She blogs at History Musings

    On this day in history… December 17, 1862, Union General Ulysses S. Grant issues General Order Number 11, expelling Jews from areas of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

    General Order Number 11 stands out in American history as the first instance of a policy of official anti-Semitism on a large scale. The anti-Semitic order had deeper roots; many Northerners and Union army officials harbored anti-Jewish resentments. Jews in Union occupied Southern cities and towns faced the brunt of this prejudice. As Berthram Wallace Korn explains in his authoritative work, American Jewry and the Civil War (1951): “Some of the most prominent people in the Union were imbued with prejudice against the Jews.” (Korn, 164) It was this anti-Semitism within the ranks of the Union army that led to General Grant’s General Order No. 11 that called for all Jews to be expelled in his district, which covered the states of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky.

    Underlying the order was a negative image of the Jewish merchant and the belief that Jews were part of an black market in Southern cotton. Although at war, the North and South still relied on each other economically. The North especially needed the South’s surplus cotton for the production of military tents and uniforms. The Union army would have implemented a ban on trade with the South completely; President Abraham Lincoln preferred a limited trade in cotton. The Battle of Shiloh made this trade possible by opening up the Mississippi River down to Vicksburg. This soon became very profitable for both sides; army officers, treasury agents, and individual speculators became involved, although Jews were distinctly a minority.

    Army officers especially took advantage of the moneymaking possibilities to such a great extent that Lincoln complained, “the army itself is diverted from fighting rebels to speculating in cotton.” Although neither side prohibited the trade, President Lincoln ordered that all of the cotton that was traded had to be licensed by the Treasury Department and the army. Each army commander was responsible for the cotton trade in their respective areas. General Ulysses S. Grant was the commander of the Department of the Tennessee, and therefore responsible for the licenses in that area. The limited trade in cotton and the overwhelming need for cotton in the Northern army led to soaring prices. This prompted many traders to bribe officials to be able to sell cotton without a permit. Jesse Grant, Grant’s father, took a prominent role in trading cotton and obtaining permits.

    By the fall of 1862, trading was getting out of hand. Grant was annoyed that requests for licenses were distracting him from planning the capture of Vicksburg. Grant was getting an abundance of requests for licenses, and when Grant’s father sought them for a group of Cincinnati merchants, among whom were some Jews, the general issued his order. Although some of the traders were Jewish, most were not. Among the high ranks of the Union Army the words “Jew,” “profiteer,” “speculator” and “trader” all meant the same thing (Feldberg, 118), while the Union commanding General Henry W. Halleck lumped together “traitors and Jew peddlers.” Grant concurred, describing Jews as “the Israelites,” an “intolerable nuisance.” It was because of old European prejudices and anti-Semitism that Jews were singled out. As in Europe, Jews were made scapegoats. History was repeating itself, but it this time it was in America.

    On November 9 and 10, Grant sent his commanders in Jackson, Tennessee, orders that “no Jews are to be permitted to travel on the railroad southward [into the Department of the Tennessee] from any point.” Grant also noted his disdain for Jews to C.P. Wolcott, Assistant Secretary of the Army. He claimed Treasury regulations were being violated “mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders.” (Feingold, 93) However, the illegal trading of cotton continued and Grant continued to believe it was the fault of the Jewish merchants. On December 17, 1862, he issued Order 11:

    The Jews, as a class violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department and also department orders, are hereby expelled from the department [the "Department of the Tennessee," an administrative district of the Union Army of occupation composed of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi] within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order. Post commanders will see to it that all of this class of people be furnished passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners, unless furnished with permit from headquarters. No passes will be given these people to visit headquarters for the purpose of making personal application of trade permits.

    The order implied that all Jews in the region were speculators and traders, which they were not. Despite this, Grant’s subordinates carried out the order around his headquarters in Holly Springs and also Oxford, Mississippi, and Paducah, Kentucky where the Jews of these communities had to evacuate from their residences within a 24 hour period. In Holly Springs, the Jewish traders in the area had to walk 40 miles to evacuate the area. Thirty Jewish families who had been long time residents of the town also had to evacuate even though none of them engaged in the cotton speculation and two of them had been veterans of the Union Army.

    The order caused an uproar and was criticized by both the Jewish community under Union command, and non-Jews in opposition to the Union’s Republicans. The anti-Semitic order was a shock for a Jewish community that had been rarely discriminated against. Democrats and others opposed to the administration believed the order represented another example of Lincoln’s willingness to trample on civil liberties. Peace Democrats complained that the Republicans were more concerned with the rights of blacks than of Jews, who were white. Jewish leaders organized protest rallies in St. Louis, Louisville and Cincinnati, while the leaders of the Jewish communities in Chicago, New York and Philadelphia sent telegrams to Lincoln protesting the order.

    Residents of the expelled Jewish communities denounced the order. Cesar Kaskel, a merchant and president of the Paducah Union League, sent a telegram to Lincoln condemning Grant’s actions as an “enormous outrage on all laws and humanity, … the grossest violation of the Constitution and our rights as good citizens under it.” (Feldberg, 119) Kaskel also led a delegation to Washington to meet with Lincoln directly. He arrived in Washington just two days after the Emancipation Proclamation became law. Kaskel met with the influential Jewish Republican, Adolphus Solomons, and was accompanied to the White House by Cincinnati Congressman John A. Gurley. They showed Lincoln documents proving that the Jews who had been expelled from their homes were upstanding citizens not involved in cotton speculation.

    Lincoln ordered General Halleck, General in Chief of the Army, to revoke the order immediately. Halleck wrote to Grant on January 4, “A paper purporting to be General Orders, No. 11, issued by you December 17, has been presented here. By its terms, it expells [sic] all Jews from your department. If such an order has been issued, it will be immediately revoked.” Grant complied three days later, but mass evacuation of the Jewish communities in Holly Springs and Oxford, Mississippi, and Paducah, Kentucky had already been carried out.

    The Jewish community was grateful to President Lincoln for his swift revocation. On January 7, Rabbis Isaac M. Wise and Max Lilienthal of Cincinnati, Martin Bijur of Louisville, and Moses Strauss of Baltimore led delegations to Washington to express their gratitude to the President. Lincoln tried to make amends to the Jewish community. He said he had been surprised by Grant’s order and said he did not discriminate between Jews or Gentiles and would not allow any American to be discriminated against based on their religion. Lincoln told them he believed that “to condemn a class is, to say the least to wrong the good with the bad. I do not like to hear a class or nationality condemned on account of a few sinners.”

    General Order No. 11 was a rare instance of officially ordered anti-Semitism in American history, but just the fact that an order was signed and implemented punishing a religious community, as historian Henry Feingold states, “without due process of law,” put a spot on America’s reputation of religious tolerance. (Feingold, 94) It was an act more reminiscent of the anti-Semitism Jews endured in Europe for centuries, where without reason Jewish communities were expelled from towns and countries at a moment’s notice. The order revealed a disdain for Jews by high ranking officials in the Union army among them Grant, William T. Sherman, and H. W. Halleck. It demonstrated that Jews in both the North and South were not sheltered from official anti-Semitism even in the safe haven of America.

    Sources and further reading:

    Henry L. Feingold, Zion in America: The Jewish Experience from Colonial Times to the Present, (Twayne Publishers, 1974).

    Michael Feldberg, Blessings of Freedom: Chapters in American Jewish History, (KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 2002).

    Bertram Wallace Korn, American Jewry and the Civil War, (Jewish Publication Society of America, 1951).

    Meyer Weinberg, Because They Were Jews: A History of Anti-Semitism, (Greenwood Press, 1986).

    Top Young Historians: 77 – Timothy J. Naftali

    Top Young Historians

    Timothy J. Naftali, 45

    Basic Facts

    Position: Director, Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives and Records Administration, July 2007- Current
    Area of Research: American Government and Politics, Cold War, Foreign Policy, Intelligence and Espionage
    Education: Ph.D., History, Harvard University, 1993
    Major Publications: Nafatli is the author of George H. W. Bush, (New York: Times Books, 2007); Khrushchev’s Cold War: The Inside Story of An American Adversary co-author with Aleksandr Fursenko, (New York: Norton, 2006); Timothy  J. Naftali JPG Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism, (New York: Basic Books, 2005); US Intelligence and the Nazis co-author with Richard Breitman, Norman Goda, and Robert Wolfe, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005); US Intelligence and the Nazis co-author with Richard Breitman, Norman Goda, and Robert Wolfe, (Washington, DC: National Archives Trust Fund, 2004); The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, Volume 1, ed., (New York: W.W. Norton, 2001); Timothy J. Naftali JPG The Presidential Recordings: John F. Kennedy, Volume 2, ed., co-editor with Philip Zelikow, (New York: W. W. Norton, 2001; and “One Hell of a Gamble”: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-1964, co-author with Aleksandr Fursenko), New York: W.W. Norton, 1997.
    Naftalu is also the author of numerous articles, book chapters and reviews which have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Contemporary Austrian Studies, The Cold War International History Project Bulletin, Diplomatic History, Journal of American History, and the popular media including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, among others.
    Awards: Naftali is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    Duke of Westminster’s Medal for Military Literature (with Aleksandr Fursenko), 2007;
    Principal Investigator, “Why Terrorists Stop,” Two-year grant from the Smith Richardson Foundation, 2006-Present;
    Principal Investigator, Three-year grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, 2003-2006;
    Sesquicentennial Fellowship, University of Virginia, 2003-2004;
    Akira Iriye Prize for International History (with Aleksandr Fursenko), 1997-1998;
    Olin Fellowship in National Security, International Security Studies, Yale University, 1996-1998;
    Research Fellowship, Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 1996;
    Charles Warren Fellowship for Studies in American History, Harvard University, 1995;
    Fellowship in National Security, John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, Harvard University, 1991-1993;
    National Intelligence Study Center Prize for best student paper, 1992;
    Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Security, (3 Semesters), 1990-91;
    John Addison Porter Prize for best essay in American History by an upperclassman, Yale 1983.
    Additional Info:
    Naftali is currently General Editor, Presidential Recordings Series, 2003 – Current;
    Historical Consultant, Nazi War Crimes and Imperial Japanese Government Records Interagency Working Group, National Archives and U.S. Department of Justice, 1999- Current Naftali is formerly Director, Nixon Presidential Materials Project, National Archives and Records Administration, October 2006 – July 2007;
    Associate Professor, General Faculty and the History Department, University of Virginia, 1998 – 2006;
    Director, Presidential Recordings Program and Kremlin Decision-Making Project, The Miller Center of Public Affairs, 1999- 2006;
    Instructor, Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre), 2003 – 2006;
    Historical Consultant, National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (9/11 Commission), 2003-2004;
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Yale University, 1996-1998;
    Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Hawai’i, 1993-97.

    Personal Anecdote

    Among my favorite anecdotes involves a weird and nerdy coincidence. In February 1984, not too long out of College, I made my first visit to what was then called the Public Record Office in Kew, outside London. As I awaited the train at the end of my day, I noticed that the evening newspapers carried the headline “Andropov dies.” The Soviet leadership had reached a point where it was as decrepit as the Soviet economy. Timothy J. Naftali JPG That was my last trip to the PRO for a little over a year.

    My next visit came on March 10, 1985. Sure enough as I reached the train station to catch the tube home, I saw the headline of the newspaper lying on the platform: “Chernenko Dies.” I don’t know what possessed me, but I then burst into laughter that I know the other passengers found unsettling and distinctly disrespectful to the dead. Thereafter I used to kid that Gorbachev’s friends were asking me never to return to the PRO. It would be mischievous to now claim that because I never returned to the PRO, the Cold War ended and, well, you know the rest. But I did go back to the PRO plenty of times and, of course, and fortunately Mr. Gorbachev is still with us.

    Quotes

    By Timothy J. Naftali

  • After years of studying the intelligence and security world I have come to believe less in the efficiency of conspiracies than I do in the inefficiency of government. Most of the supposed conspiracies of modern American Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism JPG history dissolve when you examine them closely. The Roosevelt administration would have had advance warning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had not interservice rivalry and overclassification of intelligence led to a decision to focus on the wrong Japanese communication channel. Japanese diplomats had not been told about the attack; Japanese admirals, on the other hand, had been. Unfortunately, US intelligence had chosen to break the Japanese diplomatic cipher instead of that of the Japanese Admiralty. In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald exploited a last-minute change by the US Secret Service in the route of the presidential motorcade through central Dallas. Oswald had delusions of grandeur and was looking to kill someone famous. A few weeks earlier he had shot at Edwin Walker, a prominent right-wing extremist. Now he would have a chance to use his marksmanship against an even more famous man, John F. Kennedy. Certainly there have been real conspiracies in US history — Watergate and Iran-Contra come to mind — but our society is open enough that we eventually hear about them. Someone is bound to leak to Bob Woodward. — Timothy J. Naftali in “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “I’m not a veteran of the Nixon wars, I’m a Gen Xer. My passion is for history and getting the story out . . . . I’m a scholar. I want to see things released, and I want people to have a chance to use them…. That period was phenomenal in American history. You’ve got all the lunar landings. You’ve got the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season, you’ve got Ali versus Frazier. You’ve got some of the greatest movies ever made, you know, ‘Godfather’ I and II. It’s a great and interesting period in American culture and politics. And what an opportunity to be able to help make that public history come alive. That’s how I look at it.” — Timothy Naftali speaking to the Washington Post upon being named the first director of the Nixon Library
  • About Timothy J. Naftali

    “Masterful…. Blind Spot is an excellent reminder of the value of unbiased scholarship in an environment of poisonous political partisanship.” — The New Republic review of “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”

  • “Blind Spot is that rare phenomenon: a great work of original research on a subject of great importance that is also lucidly written.” — Wall Street Journal review of “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “An engaging and impressively comprehensive history of American counterterrorism…. [It] should become essential reading as we chart our way forward.” — Commentary review of “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “An engrossing narrative of mistakes, missed opportunities, and the occasional triumph, Blind Spot surprises and enlightens. Timothy Naftali’s provocative analysis of US counterterrorism should force a profound reappraisal of our current efforts. This important and fascinating work is necessary reading for policymakers and the public alike.” — Fareed Zakaria, author of “The Future of Freedom” reviewing “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “You are going to want to read this book. With Blind Spot, Timothy Naftali has done everyone interested in the history of U.S. efforts to fight terrorism a great favor: he has combed through all the archives, interviewed all the key participants, and dug up a great many stories that have never seen the light of day before and put them all in one terrifically readable place. The result is a book that weaves the full tapestry of American efforts against the world’s worst terrors, illustrating both the revealing details as well as the larger image of America’s long unwillingness to take this threat seriously until the horror of 9/11 forced us to do so. Anyone who wants to understand that story will be well-rewarded by starting with this smart, splendid book.” — Kenneth M. Pollack, author of “The Threatening Storm,” former director for Persian Gulf Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council reviewing “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “In this fascinating, well-researched, and important book, Timothy Naftali has done an excellent job of using the lessons to history to illuminate one of the central issues of our time.” — Michael Beschloss, author of “The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945″ reviewing “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “The best book yet on U.S. counterterrorism. America’s current problems can be properly understood only if they are put in long-tern perspective, and Tim Naftali does this brilliantly. Blind Spot is a must-read.” — Christopher Andrew, author of “The Sword and the Shield” reviewing “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “The blind spot in Timothy Naftali’s important book was the inability of American presidents, despite frequent warning, to recognize the danger posed by Osama Bin Laden. That a huge failure occurred has been obvious since 9-11, but Naftali, a leading scholar of American intelligence organizations, has something bigger on his mind than the now-familiar missed clues and failures to communicate. In this deeply researched book certain to spark controversy, Naftali argues that successful intelligence campaigns against Nazi and Soviet spies prove the United States knows how to run counter-terror operations. But until 9-11 the blind spot kept American presidents and the American people alike from seeing that the time had come to make hard decisions to fight new enemies already gathering to strike.” — Thomas Powers, author of “Heisenberg’s War and The Man Who Kept Secrets” reviewing “Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism”
  • “The 41st president’s political persona was the stuff of greatness, argues this entry in the American Presidents series. Historian Naftali (Khrushchev’s Cold War) credits Bush less with principles than with George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st  President, 1989-1993 JPG “tendencies” toward flexibility, realism and a moderate Republican version of decency. In his foreign policy, these qualities helped him nudge communism toward a soft collapse and build an international alliance to eject Saddam Hussein from Kuwait; domestically they led him to a budget compromise with Democrats, in which he acquiesced to unpopular tax hikes for the good of the nation. Bush’s flexibility had a dark side, the author notes, that came out in his repeated tactical embrace of racial politics, from his opposition to civil rights legislation during his 1964 Senate run to the 1988 Willie Horton ads, and in his public support for Reaganomics despite deep private misgivings. Naftali forthrightly dissects Bush’s misdeeds-especially his role in the Iran-Contra scandal-but he’s less skeptical about the substance of Bush’s policies, which he pointedly contrasts with Bush Jr.’s failures; he credits Bush’s wars in Panama and Kuwait with helping America “overcome the burden of Vietnam,” without wondering whether this paved the way for the son’s misadventure in Iraq. Naftali’s is a brisk, useful, but not always penetrating overview of a pivotal presidency. — Publisher’s Weekly review of “George H. W. Bush: The American Presidents Series: The 41st President, 1989-1993″
  • “The Cuban missile crisis was the climax of the cold war’s truly perilous time, the years 1960 through 1962 when each superpower felt itself being relentlessly tested by the other … Until now, however, we haven’t had a good up-close look at large and vital parts of the drama: the thinking and motives of the Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev; the interplay between Moscow and Havana; the degree of risk that the Kremlin was willing to run … This detailed account may not altogether fill the gap, but it comes fairly close. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.” — John Newhouse, The New York Times Book Review reviewing “One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964″
  • “A magnificent achievement. ["One Hell of a Gamble"] is scholarly without being pedantic, full of revelations, and frightening.” — Los Angeles Times review of “One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964″
  • An absorbing, at times riveting, inside tour of the highest echelons of three governments. — Philadelphia Inquirer review of “One Hell of a Gamble: Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy, 1958-1964″
  • “As the Nixon Library prepares to join the other 11 Presidential libraries that are part of the National Archives system, I am very pleased that Timothy Naftali has agreed to take on this important new position. Professor Naftali’s experience, energy, and vision will invigorate this new national resource and help the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum quickly become a major center for research and learning. As the representative of a younger generation of scholars, he will be able to set a new tone for a national center to study the Nixon era. With the eventual transfer of 44 million pages of textual records and the more than 3,000 hours of Presidential tape recordings of the Nixon Administration which are currently housed at the National Archives College Park facility, the Nixon library will prove to be a treasure trove for historians and the general public who are interested in the life, legacy and era of President Nixon.” — Allen Weinstein, the archivist of the United States
  • “Tim Naftali, (whom) everybody respects and who is a serious scholar and who is committed to openness and accuracy, will do his best to make sure the Nixon people deliver on their promises.” — David Greenberg, author of “Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image.”
  • “As a distinguished Cold War historian and an eloquent advocate of public history, Tim Naftali is an ideal choice as the first director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. We look forward to welcoming him and his colleagues to Yorba Linda, and we pledge to support his exciting ideas for programs and exhibits.” — John H. Taylor, executive director of the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace Foundation, which opened the private Nixon Library in 1990.
  • “We are pleased that the National Archives has looked to the Miller Center for leadership of this important national assignment. Tim Naftali’s strong academic credentials, expertise on Cold War issues and guidance of the Presidential Tape Recordings program at the Miller Center provide unquestioned indicators of his energetic leadership of the nation’s newest presidential library. We congratulate Dr. Naftali and wish him well.” — Gerald Baliles, director of the Miller Center and former Governor of Virginia
  • “Tim Naftali is an excellent choice to head the Nixon Presidential library. In my association with Mr. Naftali, on the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, I found him to be an outstanding scholar and an energetic advocate for the people’s right to know. I congratulate Allen Weinstein on his choice.” — Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor
  • “Tim Naftali has been a great addition to the Miller Center. While we are sad to lose him, we are proud that this brilliant scholar will lead the Nixon Presidential Library when it becomes a part of the National Archives.” — former Governor of Virginia A. Linwood Holton, Jr. who was instrumental in the founding of the Miller Center
  • “Best lecturer I’ve ever had, awesome class, lectures are extremely well put together and engaging. Subject material is interesting enough on its own, but he really brings it to life”… “Great speaker. Also a very good writer; uses his books with the class and they are all good reads.”… “Great teacher . . . who is leaving UVA.” — Former Students
  • Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 9:08 PM

    Top Young Historians: 76 – Amy S. Greenberg

    Top Young Historians

    Amy S. Greenberg, 39

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Professor of American History, joint appointment in the Women’s Studies program, The Pennsylvania State University (PSU)
    Area of Research: The social, cultural, and political history of the United States, 1789-1865; gender history and constructions of masculinity; American territorial expansionism and Manifest Destiny, Latin America and the United States; urban history.
    Education: Harvard University Ph.D. History 1995
    Major Publications: Greenberg is the author of Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005); Amy S. Greenberg JPG Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City (Princeton University Press, 1998) and is currently working on The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848) in American Culture and Memory. Greenberg is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including among others: “Domesticating the Border: Manifest Destiny and the Market in the United States-Mexico Border Region, 1848-1854,” in Disrupted Boundaries: Consumption in the United States-Mexico Borderlands, Alexis McCrossen, ed. (Forthcoming from Duke University Press, 2008); “Fayaway and Her Sisters: Gender, Popular Literature, and Manifest Destiny in the Pacific, 1848-1860″ in “Whole Oceans Away”: Melville and the Pacific, Jill Barnum, Wyn Kelley and Christopher Sten, eds. (Kent State University Press, 2007); “Pirates, Patriots, and Public Meetings: Antebellum Expansionism and Urban Culture.” Journal of Urban History 31 (July 2005): 634-650. “The Origins of the American Municipal Fire Department: Nineteenth-Century Change from an International Perspective,” in Municipal Services and Employees in the Modern City: New Historic Approaches, Michèle Dagenais, Irene Maver, and Pierre-Yves Saunier, eds. (Ashgate Press, 2003), 47-65.
    Awards: Greenberg is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    The Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1999. University award given to top instructors of undergraduates in the Pennsylvania State University System;
    The Kent Forster Memorial Award for Excellence in Research and teaching, 1998, awarded by the Penn State History Department to an outstanding junior faculty member;
    Junior Faculty Semester Research Leave, Fall 1998, awarded by the Dean of Liberal Arts;
    Derek Bok Center Awards for Excellence in Teaching, Fall 1991, Spring 1992, Fall 1992, Harvard University awards based on student evaluations of teaching performance;
    Gilder Lehrman fellowship at the New-York Historical Society, June 2005;
    Archibald Hanna, Jr. Fellow, the Beinecke Library, Yale, May, 2003;
    Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellow, the Huntington Library, July – August, 2002;
    W. M. Keck Foundation Fellow, the Huntington Library, May, 2000;
    Institute for Arts and Humanistic Studies, Research Grant, 1999, Penn State University;
    Global Fund Grant for International Conference Travel, 1998, Penn State University;
    Office of Research and Graduate Studies Faculty Support Grants for Research, Spring 1996, Spring 1997;
    Eliot Fellowship for Dissertation Completion, 1995, awarded by Harvard University for exceptional dissertation progress;
    Mellon Foundation, Graduate Society Fellowship finishing year dissertation grant, 1994-1995.
    Additional Info:
    Formerly Acting Director, Richards Civil War Era Center, PSU, 2005-2006, Visiting Scholar, Department of History, University of California at Berkeley, Fall 2002, and Co-Director, Program in American Studies, PSU, 1998-2000.

    Personal Anecdote

    Although in the abstract I agree with the premise that all writing is autobiographical, years of deep thought haven’t yet allowed me to make the link in the case of my own work. I seem to be drawn, in my historical writing, to violent young men with serious problems with authority and/or borderline sociopathic tendencies. Urban volunteer firemen who regularly get into street battles with gang members and other firemen, filibusters and their supporters who attempt to invade neighboring countries for fun and profit, Gold Rush travelers who raise the American flag in Panama in the 1850s, and now Mexican-American War soldiers. Not only do I not see myself in them, I wouldn’t even like to have them over for dinner (except to mine them for research purposes, of course).

    While my work has focused on the evolution of masculine norms in antebellum America, it wasn’t my original intent to study gender. After my dissertation adviser died four months into my first year of graduate school, I stumbled through classes and comps, less focused on history than on my outsider status as a Southern Californian at Harvard, unable to accept the reality that winter boots, tights, and heavy overcoats were not optional in January. I started looking at urban volunteer firemen, a group of rowdy men who protected antebellum America’s cities from the constant threat of fire without pay, after reading an account of their working-class republican ethos. I must admit I was attracted to a group that proudly proclaimed their own social norms and found a way to command respect from the emerging middle class whose property their protected. After compiling a database of firemen and their occupations (like a good social historian), I was, I admit, shocked and dismayed to find that a substantial portion of these “working-class” firemen were actually merchants and clerks. This was when I began to play around with the idea that what bound these men together was not working-class ideology, but some vision of manhood that was, in its own way, equally radical and deviant and important to those who proclaimed it.

    A number of San Francisco volunteer firemen left their firehouses in the 1850s to follow the adventurer William Walker, first to Sonora Mexico, and then to Nicaragua, so I followed them into the filibustering project. I found the same celebration of martial masculinity in the ports of Central America and at urban public meetings in support of filibusters like Walker and Narciso Lopez (who repeatedly tried to take over Cuba). Most of the filibusters got their initial taste for imperial adventuring in Mexico in 1847, so now I find myself in their company once again, reading letters from somewhat under-socialized men who have an investment in the physical domination of those they consider their inferiors. I find my undergraduates have less of a problem understanding these guys than I might have imagined before entering the world of Big Ten football.

    Quotes

    By Amy S. Greenberg

  • Manifest Destiny did not mean the same thing to all Americans. Some Americans, who supported a martial vision of masculinity, advocated an aggressive expansionism that supported territorial acquisitions Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire JPG through force of arms, and particularly through filibustering. Other Americans, advocates of a more restrained vision of manhood. . . . believed America’s Manifest Destiny would best be accomplished through the proliferation of her superior political and religious forms. . . . In other words, competing gender ideals at home shaped very different visions of American expansionism. Gendered visions of women and men abroad, from Latin America to the islands of the Pacific, justified and reinforced particular practices of manhood and womanhood in the United States. . . . Hegemonic American masculinity, this study will attempt to show, was actually made manifest through the process of antebellum territorial expansionism. — Amy S. Greenberg in “Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire”
  • About Amy S. Greenberg

  • “Amy Greenberg’s fascinating account casts new light on Manifest Destiny expansionism by showing how martial conceptions of manhood animated the enthusiasm for territorial annexation in the 1850s. Filibustering, she finds, stemmed not only from economic and political ambitions but from widespread male desires for adventure and romance. Although more restrained visions of manhood also influenced expansionist ambitions, particularly in Hawaii, Greenberg demonstrates that aggressive conceptions of manhood shaped foreign relations long before Theodore Roosevelt rallied the Rough Riders.” — Kristin Hoganson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign reviewing “Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire”
  • “In this thoughtfully constructed and informative book, Greenberg develops a highly original thesis about American territorial expansionism and destroys the common wisdom that Manifest Destiny was in its death throes by the Civil War. Providing the most penetrating analysis, to date, of filibustering’s ramifications for U.S. culture, Greenberg convincingly highlights the significance of gendered images, arguments, and ambitions within imperialist and anti-imperialist discourse alike. This book, in engaging prose richly informed by theory but refreshingly free of jargon, makes use of a treasure of source material, especially travel accounts and magazine pieces and convincingly illuminates hitherto unexplored connections between filibustering abroad and urban life at home, while also connecting U.S. military aggression against Latin America with America’s imperial record in the Pacific. This is an insightful and provocative take on nineteenth-century American aggression overseas that has implications for the nation’s modern plight abroad.” — Robert May, Purdue University reviewing “Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire”
  • “Greenberg is a goddess- no doubt the best professor at Penn State! I have taken three of her courses and enjoyed pretty much all her lectures. She could probably make a course on garbage disposal worthwhile. I would actually take that course.”… “This is my favorite class! I think that Prof. Greenberg is awesome! She is very energetic when teaching the class and I would recommend anyone to take her class!”… “I loved the discussion section of the class. I always leave our Thursday meetings excited and feeling good and actually feeling like I’ve learned something. I really loved this class, I actually wanted to do the readings (at least most of them)!”… “Professor Greenberg is brilliant, funny, and a great lecturer. She really knows her stuff and cares if students learn. I didn’t think a course on the early American republic could be so interesting and make me think about the present in different way. Go volunteer firemen!” — Anonymous Students
  • Posted on Sunday, December 9, 2007 at 7:28 PM

    Top Young Historians: 75 – Cemil Aydin

    Top Young Historians

    Cemil Aydin, 38

    Basic Facts

    Teaching Position: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Princeton University, Near Eastern Studies Department (2007-2008); Assistant Professor of History, University of North Carolina-Charlotte (August 2004-Present).
    Area of Research: Modern Middle Eastern History; Modern Japanese History; Alternative Visions of World Order in International History; Literature of World History
    Education: Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, November 2002.
    Major Publications: Aydin is the author of Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought (New York: Columbia University Press, Global and International History Series; 2007).
    Cemil Aydin  JPG Aydin is also the author of numerous scholarly journal articles, book chapters and reviews including: “A Global anti-Western Moment? The Russo-Japanese War, Decolonization and Asian Modernity” in Sebastian Conrad/ Dominic Sachsenmaier, eds., Conceptions of World Order, ca. 1880-1935. Global Moments and Movements (New York City: Palgrave Transnational History Series, 2007): 213-236; “The ‘Question of the West’ and Alternative Visions of World Order in Interwar Era Japan and Turkey: What Does a Comparison Teach Us?” in Toshihiro Minohara and Kimura Masato, eds, Turbulent Decade: Japan’s Challenge to the International System of the 1930s (University of Toronto Press, Forthcoming in 2007); (co-authored with Juliane Hammer) “Introduction to the Special Issue on the Critiques of the ‘West’ in Iran, Turkey and Japan”, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 26:3 (Fall 2006): 347-352; “Between Reverse Orientalism and the Global Left: Islamic Critiques of the West in Modern Turkey,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Vol. 26: 3 (Fall 2006): 446-461; “Beyond Civilization: Pan-Islamism, Pan-Asianism and the Revolt against the West,” Journal of Modern European History, Vol. 4:2 (Fall, 2006): 204-223; “Overcoming Eurocentrism? Japanese Orientalism on the Muslim World (1913-1945),” Princeton Papers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, (Fall, 2006): 139-164; “The Politics of Conceptualizing Islam and the West,” Ethics and International Affairs, Vol. 19:1 (Winter 2005): 93-100.
    Aydin’s works in progress include a book project on “From Arnold Toynbee to Ali Shariati: Islam and the West under the Shadow of the Cold War,” -Sponsored by a Fellowship from Princeton University Near Eastern Studies Department, and the “Selected Works of Ismail Kara” (Translation of eight selected articles by a leading historian of late Ottoman-Turkish intellectual history).
    Awards: Aydin is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
    Princeton University, NES, Post-Doctoral Fellowship;
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Faculty Summer Research Grant, Summer 2006;
    Symposium Grant, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, April 2005;
    Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, October 2002-December 2003;
    Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Supplementary Dissertation Grant, September 2001-May 2002;
    Graduate Student Associate at Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, September 2000-June 2002;
    Harvard University GSAS Dissertation Grant, September 2000-May 2001;
    Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Summer Research Grant, Summer 2000;
    Toyota Foundation, Dissertation Research Grant, Fall 1999;
    Japanese Education Ministry Fellow, September 1997-April 1999;
    Middlebury College, Japanese Summer School, Language Study Grant, Summer 2006;
    Mellon Foundation Grant for the Study of Arabic, Summer 1995;
    Graduate Study Fellowship from Center for Islamic Studies, Istanbul, 1992-1996;
    Fellow of International Institute of Islamic Thought & Civilization, Kuala Lumpur, 1991-1992;
    NATO Student Workshop Fellow, Brussels, June 1991.
    Additional Info:
    Formerly Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (Oct.-2002-Dec-2004), and Assistant Professor of History, Department of History, Ohio State University (January 2004-July 2004).
    Collaborative Research Projects include German Research Foundation (DFG), “Conceptions of World Orders in Global History,” June 2004-June 2007, and Shibusawa Foundation, “Turbulent Decade: Japan’s Challenge to the International System of the 1930s,” September 2003-June 2006.

    Personal Anecdote

    Growing up in Istanbul, I always found it awkward to read the “Welcome to Asia” and “Welcome to Europe” signs at the two ends of the less-than-a mile long suspension bridge over the Bosporus waters. These innocent looking continental demarcation signs meant very little to the millions of commuters, supposedly moving between continents every day. In high school, we were taught that Turkey is an important bridge between East and West, as well as Asia and Europe. I remember one time joking with friends that we needed to tidy up our ties and jackets while crossing the bridge from the Asian to the European side of the city, sarcastically reflecting predominant judgments associated with the two continents. I would have never predicted that I would later spend years during my graduate study examining the history and politics of the historical construct of Asia and Europe (or East and West) and its impact. And ironically, but not unsurprisingly, while I was trying to historicize these civilizational and continental categories, stereotyped civilizational identities (think clash of civilization thesis…) embellished with new political and cultural inflections gained popularity in public discourse.

    My undergraduate years coincided with exciting debates on Eurocentrism and post-modernism in Istanbul college classrooms and coffeehouses. It was in a senior seminar paper on Jürgen Habermas’ critique of anti-modern thinking that I first remember arguing for a more global history of modernity and world order. My plan was to go either to China or Japan to have a non-Eurocentric comparative look at the question of the West and how Asian intellectuals have debated the universality of modernity in the last two centuries. But, to my frustration, the visiting Japanese professor whose guide to Istanbul I had become and who I hoped to study with in Japan told me not to come to the Far East, Tokyo, but to go to the Far West, to a university in America, if I was that interested in non-Eurocentric perspectives on global history.

    Only after my first semester at Harvard did I realize the wisdom of his advice. History departments at many American research universities have experts covering all the regions of the world, with ideally half of the faculty teaching non-Western fields. This intellectual presence not only provides perspectives into the different regional histories, it also allows for important insights into world and global history. Of course, I also made it to Japan where I spent two years learning Japanese and searching archives and bookstores. Looking back, I had a wonderful time during the eight years of my graduate school education, having a chance not only to immerse myself in East Asian and Middle Eastern histories, but to learn a lot about the modern histories of Africa, the Americas and Europe. I became addicted to the 4 pm seminars, accompanied by coffee or tea and cookies, though I had to limit my attendance to 2 seminars a week to be able to finish my dissertation and keep my weight.

    By the end of my graduate school years, I had become optimistic about the scholarly integrity and public mission of the historical profession. The events of and developments after September 11, 2001 did not change my confidence in my discipline. Yet, many of the achievements of my colleagues in dispelling historically rooted prejudices and misunderstandings among different societies were swept away by a flood of reasserted popular stereotypes about anti-Western Muslims and imperialist crusading Westerners. The ‘us vs. them’ dichotomy as well as the ‘what went wrong?’ and ‘why do they hate us?’ questions forced many in the academic community to take a stand. The increased public interest in answers, explanations and lessons from the past in order to understand the current situation better has affected my research as well as my teaching.

    Last summer, a leading European politician sympathetic to Turkey’s potential membership in the European Union suggested that the Istanbul Municipality remove the “Welcome to Asia” sign on the bridge over the Bosporus, arguing that the sign and its implication of the “Asian” side of Turkey would weaken Turkey’s case in the European Union. Despite my awareness of the Eurocentric constructedness of these continental borders, I realized that I would not be happy to see the “Welcome to Asia” sign go away, at least not in this way. My admittedly idealist internationalism makes me want to hold on to this feeble continental tie between Istanbul, Calcutta and Tokyo. After all, our problem is not in the borders, or continental imaginations themselves, but in the value judgments and political projects vested in them. I could not help but smile when I saw the welcome signs on both sides of the Bosporus bridge during my last visit to Istanbul.

    Quotes

    By Cemil Aydin

  • The idea of the West was not first born in Europe and simply spread to other parts of the world. It was partly a product of reflection and rethinking by non-Western reformist intellectuals during the The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in  Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought JPG nineteenth century. While we are familiar with the grand theories on the civilization of the West formulated by Montesquieu and other European thinkers, we should recognize that non-Western intellectuals found these theories insufficient and noninclusive and insisted on a more universalist interpretation of the secrets of Europe’s progress. The result, as best seen in the writings of Fukuzawa Yukichi and Namik Kemal during the 1870s, was an optimist reformist ideology of progress and civilization that refuted any permanent association of universal civilization with climate, Christianity, race, or even imperialism. This global vision of non-Western intellectuals tied their reform projects to a fine formulation of the relationship between a vision of universal civilization and the historical experience of Europe that exhibited the culmination of this universal process of progress. Their vision of a universal West was closely linked with a desire to become equal members of the perceived civilized international society and to benefit from the security and prosperity this globalizing international society promised. — Cemil Aydin in “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought “
  • About Cemil Aydin

  • “Cemil Aydin, The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia: Visions of the World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan Asian Thought (2007) locates itself at the conjunction of debates about modernity as a universal category of our time (that is, modernity as a periodizing device about the world we live in today) as opposed to modernity as a specific autochthonous quality that defines a certain civilization (the West) and is lacking in the others, who must learn it from the West. Focusing on the crucial formative period of modern nationalism (1880-1945), Aydin brings a transnational vantage point to a key question in the intellectual history of Japan and Turkey, and more broadly that of modern Asia and Europe, namely the genesis of civilizational identity politics. Particularly interested in the impact of Japanese Orientalism on Islamic Asia, the proliferation of Asianist ideologies and consolidation of global links between East Asia and West Asia in the inter-war years, this erudite work draws on a dazzling range of primary source materials in Japanese and Turkish to explore Pan Asianism-Pan Islamism that was articulated in a novel formulation of anti-Western internationalism. This is a singularly significant contribution to modern international intellectual history and salient global debates on race, empire, civilization and progress.” — Sucheta Mazumdar, Duke University, reviewing “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”
  • “Cemil Aydin’s book, The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia is a timely and significant contribution to our understanding of major intellectual forces that shape discourse about the West throughout the world. Focussing on the specific cases of Ottoman and Japanese imperial responses the the challenges posed by the West in the modern world, Aydin presents a carefully researched, historically grounded argument for the persistence of anti- Westernism in cultures that are otherwise socially and religiously quite distinct. One cannot read this stimulating work without re-thinking prevailing assumptions about what “the West” and “Asia” signify and why they still retain such popularity among many intellectuals today. — Kevin M Doak, Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair in Japanese Studies, Georgetown University reviewing “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”
  • “This volume is a rich intellectual history revealing the fascinating ways in which Pan-Islamism and Pan-Asianism were intertwined.” — Matthew Connelly, associate professor of history, Columbia University reviewing “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”
  • “Cemil Aydin has written a fascinating book of exceptional scholarly quality. It explores elegantly, with impressive learning, the responses of Japanese and Ottoman civilizations to the West in the period 1880 to 1945. This study in the history of ideas is surprisingly relevant to such current concerns as ‘the clash of civilizations’ and ‘the future of world order.'” — Richard A. Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, emeritus, and emeritus professor of politics and international affairs, Princeton University reviewing “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”
  • “Cemil Aydin presents a profound analysis of anti-Westernism that transcends simplistic polemics about ‘why they hate us’ and offers a significant contribution to understanding intercultural relations in the modern era. Combining expertise in Middle Eastern and Asian studies, Aydin joins a clear global perspective with an in-depth historical study. The result is a comprehensive understanding of one of the major themes of modern global affairs.” —John Voll, professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
  • “Cemil Aydin’s work brings fresh insight to Middle Eastern, Islamic, and world history. His Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia is a major, and highly original, contribution to all of these fields, and it will set the standard for comparative work in modern Islamic intellectual history. Aydin’s current project, on which he is working as a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, focuses on 20th century discourses on the idea of civilization. Influential Western as well as Muslim thinkers were among those contributing to this civilizational discourse before and during the Cold War, though its contexts and themes, as well as the ways in which these intellectuals interacted with and influenced one another, have not been much studied so far. Nor has the highly interesting question, at the forefront of Aydin’s work, of how this civilizational discourse may have shaped facets of Islamist (or fundamentalist) thought across Muslim societies. Like Aydin’s first book, this is an innovative project, and it is certain to contribute much to the study of religio-political trends in modern and contemporary Islam. — Muhammad Qasim Zaman, Niehaus Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Religion, Princeton University reviewing “The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought”
  • “Dr. Cemil Aydin is, as his new book The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia shows, an erudite scholar destined to continue to make significant contributions to field of global history in general and to Middle East and East Asian Studies in particular. He is also, however, an excellent teacher. Dr. Aydin, through the use of textual analysis and class discussion, forces his students to confront the stereotypes held by many Americans and, unfortunately, portrayed by mass media concerning the Middle East and Islam. Additionally, Dr. Aydin is one of the most approachable professors I have ever encountered. His door was quite literally always open to assist students. I was the beneficiary of much of this assistance while working toward my B.A. in History (2006) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. It was Dr. Aydin’s classes and advice that helped me decide to pursue a graduate degree in Middle East Studies. I, unfortunately, held many negative stereotypes of the Middle East when I first entered Dr. Aydin’s survey of Middle East History. That class, however, avoided becoming what Roger Owen described as “another breathless account of battles, murders, and the rapid rise and fall of different dynasties” by engaging students with primary texts from the first day of class. It is virtually impossible to continue to view Islam or the Middle East as monolithic, unchanging, religiously fanatic entities, as the legacy of Orientalism has conditioned many students to do, when confronted with alternative methodologies of history that incorporate social, economic, and political factors often written by Middle Eastern scholars rather than Westerners. I am indebted to Dr. Aydin for opening my eyes to the more complex, but ultimately more accurate, history of the Middle East and I have no doubt that he will continue to be a positive influence on students and scholars alike for years to come. — Alan Bradley Campbell, M.A. Student in Middle Eastern History, NYU
  • “As a double-major in Political Science and History and a minor in Islamic Studies, I can confidently state that Dr. Aydin is undoubtedly one of the finest professors on campus. In addition to being an exceptional lecturer, he is also a phenomenal source of knowledge in Middle Eastern and Japanese studies. His unique approach in the classroom always stimulated meaningful discussions and encouraged students to actively engage the texts and concepts presented. Although I benefited greatly from the attentive structure of course content and the incorporation of a wide spectrum of reading selections, what I most appreciated about Professor Aydin’s courses was his ability to provoke original thought in his students. Professor Aydin’s genial demeanor and sense of humour has lent him a reputation of being approachable and won him high regard among students. He was consistently objective and never allowed his personal beliefs to hinder open discussion and a respectful atmosphere. Professor Aydin is truly a brilliant example for my generation’s young aspiring scholars.” — Narcisa Popovici, Senior Student, Major in History and Political Science, UNCC
  • Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 9:34 PM

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