History Buzz: September 2008

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.

September 15, 2008

CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

CHICAGO 1968:

Chicago 1968: 40 years Later:

BIGGEST STORIES:

BIGGEST STORIES: 9/11

  • Allen Matusow on “Grappling with the lessons of 9/11″: The 9/11 attacks seemed like a historic moment, but are they truly history, ripe for study? Yes, says Rice University history professor Allen Matusow, and most historians agree. Recent events can be approached historically even when their half-life is measured in months. “There is such a thing as contemporary history,” said Matusow, who specializes in 20th century American history. “People who live through it know things. One is how they felt when it was happening. The mere fact of distance does not get you closer to the truth about an event. The best history of the Peloponnesian Wars was by Thucydides, and he fought in it.” Matusow has the luxury, actually the necessity, to have his students explore the origins of 9/11 in unabbreviated fashion. One of his courses traces the evolution of anti-Western Islamic thought and the birth of al-Qaida in the Afghan war of a generation ago. For younger students, and those who teach them, the hurdle is context in the face of time constraints. – Houston Chronicle, 9-10-08
  • McCain, Obama Arrive for 9/11 Anniversary – NY Sun, 9-10-08
  • Gil Troy: 9/11 and the race for the White House – Jerusalem Post, 9-10-08
  • David McQuilkin on “Sept. 11 leaves confused legacy on college campuses”: David McQuilkin, a history and political science professor at Bridgewater, says the 9/11 attacks are no longer the major discussion topic that they once were in his classroom, and students rarely raise the issue. From his perspective as a historian, this is to be expected, because McQuilkin thinks 9/11 will not figure as prominently into the American story as the bombing of Pearl Harbor 60 years earlier. The difference, McQuilkin said, has been the response. After Pearl Harbor, America’s immediate, unified, sustained reaction saw the country through World War II and established it as a world power (this, at least, is the generally-accepted narrative). “We haven’t seen 9/11 reach that kind of visceral level within the American experience,” said McQuilkin. – Rocktown Weekly, VA, 9-11-08
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

    On This Day in History….

  • 15/09/1620 – Mayflower departs from Plymouth England with 102 pilgrims [OS May 8]
  • 15/09/1656 – England and France sign peace treaty
  • 15/09/1776 – British forces capture Kip’s Bay Manhattan during Revolution
  • 15/09/1862 – Confederates conquer Union-weapon arsenal at Harpers Ferry WV
  • 15/09/1914 – Battle of Aisne begins between Germans and French during WW I
  • 15/09/1923 – Gov Walton of Oklahoma declares state of siege because of KKK terror
  • 15/09/1935 – Nuremberg Laws deprives German Jews of citizenship and makes swastika official symbol of Nazi Germany
  • 15/09/1941 – Nazis kill 800 Jewish women at Shkudvil Lithuania
  • 15/09/1959 – Soviet Premier Khrushchev arrives in US to begin a 13-day visit
  • 15/09/1963 – 4 children killed in bombing of a black Baptist church in Birmingham
  • 15/09/1981 – US Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O’Connor
  • 16/09/1630 – Mass village of Shawmut changes name to Boston
  • 16/09/1782 – Great Seal of US used for 1st time
  • 16/09/1848 – Slavery abolished in all French territories
  • 16/09/1908 – Carriage-maker, William Durant, founded General Motors Corp
  • 16/09/1940 – Luftwaffe attacks center of London
  • 16/09/1940 – FDR signs Selective Training and Service Act (1st peacetime draft)
  • 16/09/1941 – Jews of Vilna Poland confined to Ghetto
  • 16/09/1968 – Richard Nixon appears on “Laugh-in”
  • 16/09/1971 – 6 Klansmen arrested in connection with bombing of 10 school buses
  • 16/09/1974 – Pres Ford announces conditional amnesty for US, Vietnam War deserters
  • 17/09/1562 – Council of Trente takes ecclesiastical canon
  • 17/09/1691 – Colony Massachusetts Bay gets new charter
  • 17/09/1787 – US constitution adopted by Philadelphia convention
  • 17/09/1796 – Pres George Washington delivers his farewell address
  • 17/09/1850 – Great fire in San Francisco
  • 17/09/1862 – Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam)-bloodiest day of Civil War, 23,110 die
  • 17/09/1900 – Commonwealth of Australia proclaimed
  • 17/09/1952 – “I am an American Day” and “Constitution Day” renamed “Citizenship Day”
  • 17/09/1986 – US Senate confirms William Rehnquist as 16th chief justice
  • 18/09/1502 – Christopher Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his 4th and last voyage
  • 18/09/1759 – Battle of Quebec ends, French surrender to British
  • 18/09/1793 – Pres Washington lays cornerstone of Capitol building
  • 18/09/1812 – Fire in Moscow destroys 90% of houses and 1,000 churchs
  • 18/09/1850 – Congress passes Fugitive Slave Law as part of Compromise of 1850
  • 18/09/1851 – NY Times starts publishing (2› a copy)
  • 18/09/1862 – General Read army pulls out of Antietam Creek Virginia
  • 18/09/1895 – Booker T Washington delivera “Atlanta Compromise” address
  • 18/09/1914 – Battle of Aisne ends with Germans beating French during WW I
  • 18/09/1945 – 1000 whites walk out of Gary Ind schools to protest integration
  • 18/09/1947 – National Security Act, passes
  • 18/09/1987 – US and Russia sign accord to remove mid range missiles
  • 19/09/1676 – Rebels under Nathaniel Bacon set Jamestown Va on fire
  • 19/09/1777 – Battle of Freeman’s Farm (Bemis Heights) or 1st Battle of Saratoga
  • 19/09/1796 – George Washington’s farewell address as president
  • 19/09/1863 – Battle of Chickamauga GA (near Chattanooga) begins; Union retreat
  • 19/09/1873 – Black Friday: Jay Cooke and Co fails, causing a securities panic
  • 19/09/1911 – Red Tuesday-20,000 protest for universal rights
  • 19/09/1941 – Nazi’s force German Jews, 6 and over to wear Jewish stars
  • 20/09/1530 – Luther advises protestant monarch compromise
  • 20/09/1664 – Maryland passes 1st anti-amalgamation law to stop intermarriage of English women and black men
  • 20/09/1797 – US frigate Constitution (Old Ironsides) launched in Boston
  • 20/09/1850 – Slave trade abolished in DC, but slavery allowed to continue
  • 20/09/1861 – Battle of Lexington, MI-captured by Union
  • 20/09/1863 – Battle of Shepardstown VA
  • 20/09/1863 – Civil War Battle of Chickamauga, near Chattanooga Tenn, ends
  • 20/09/1881 – Chester A Arthur sworn in as 21st president
  • 20/09/1961 – James Meredith refused access as a student in Mississippi
  • 20/09/1963 – JFK proposes a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon
  • 20/09/1976 – Playboy releases Jimmy Carter’s interview that he lusts for women
  • 20/09/1990 – Saddam Hussein demands US networks broadcast his message
  • 21/09/1621 – King James of England gives Canada to Sir Alexander Sterling
  • 21/09/1745 – Battle at Preston Pans: Bonnie Prince Charles beats English army
  • 21/09/1776 – 5 days after British take NY – Great fire in NY
  • 21/09/1784 – Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser 1st success US daily newspaper
  • 21/09/1792 – Proposal by Collot D’Herbois, to abolish the monarchy in France – 1st French Republic forms
  • 21/09/1814 – “Star Spangled Banner” published as a poem
  • 21/09/1863 – Union forces retreat to Chattanooga after defeat at Chickamauga
  • 21/09/1897 – NY Sun runs famous “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus,” editorial
  • 21/09/1922 – Pres Warren G Harding signs a joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine
  • 21/09/1981 – Sandra Day O’Conner becomes 1st female Supreme Court Justice
IN THE NEWS:

IN THE NEWS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Ron Suskind: Reign of Counterterror THE WAY OF THE WORLD A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of ExtremismNYT, 9-14-08
  • Ron Suskind: THE WAY OF THE WORLD A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism, First Chapter – NYT, 9-14-08
  • Andrew J. Bacevich: We Got Trouble THE LIMITS OF POWER The End of American ExceptionalismNYT, 9-14-08
  • Fergus M. Bordewich on Annette Gordon-Reed: American Roots THE HEMINGSES OF MONTICELLO An American FamilyWaPo, 9-14-08
  • Bob Woodward: Yes Men What happens when the president’s advisers don’t speak up THE WAR WITHIN A Secret White House History 2006-2008WaPo, 9-14-08
  • Mark A. Noll: Undressing the Body Politic GOD AND RACE IN AMERICAN POLITICS A Short HistoryWaPo, 9-14-08
OP-EDs:

OP-EDs & LETTERS:

BLOGS:

BLOGS:

PROFILED:

PROFILED:

INTERVIEWS:

INTERVIEWS:

FEATURES:

FEATURES:

QUOTED:

QUOTED:

  • Leonid Petrov on “Kim rumours provide a wake-up call”: For Leonid Petrov, North Korea historian at Australian National University, this tug of war over reforms is key to how North Koreans will respond to the demise of Kim Jong-il. He says the population was badly traumatised by the death of Kim Il-sung – partly because of the personality cult which surrounded him, but partly also because it heralded a period of intense isolation and impoverishment in which more than a million people may have died. Dr Petrov suggests any internal candidate able to preserve short-term stability would probably be more conservative than Kim Jong-il. But he warns against any such candidate attempting to roll back the economic reforms that have allowed North Koreans a little more room to make an independent living. – BBC News, 9-10-08
ANNOUNCE-MENTS:

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

HONORED / AWARDED / APPOINTED:

HONORED, AWARDED, APPOINTED:

EXHIBITS / WEBSITES:

EXHIBITS / WEBSITES:

SPOTTED:

SPOTTED:

CALENDAR:

CALENDAR:

  • September 17, 2008: Proctor.Michael Gannon, professor emeritus of history from UF, will open the Samuel Proctor Florida History Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Pugh Hall Ocora with a talk titled “Ponce De Leon and the Discovery of Florida.” The series is sponsored by the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. – University of Florida, Gainesville, 9-12-08
  • September 17, 2008: Princeton historian Barbara Oberg, general editor of “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” will deliver a Constitution Day lecture on “Thomas Jefferson and the Rights of Citizens” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, Princeton University – Princeton University, NJ, 9-10-08
  • September 18, 2008: Dr. Jill Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University, will deliver the Richard S. Wells Lecture. Lepore’s topic will be “Paper Trail: The Rise and Fall of the Paper Ballot.” The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jaylee M. Mead Auditorium of the Patricia A. Sullivan Science Building at the University of North Carolina Greensboro – UNCG University News, NC, 9-15-08
  • October 18, 2008: History buffs and students alike are encouraged to attend “The Legacy of Stones River: Pathways to Freedom” in Murfreesboro, an Oct. 18 symposium focusing on the demise of slavery during the Civil War and feature distinguished speakers. – Murfreesboro Post, TN, 9-15-08
ON TV:

    ON TV: History Listings This Week

  • The Weather Channel’s original program: “When Weather Changed History”: Season 2 debuts October 5 with an episode dedicated to the Chicago Fire of 1871. Repeats of Season 1 are on Every Sunday at 9pmET with re-airings through out the week. – When Weather Changed History
  • Ken Burns: PBS to air his national parks series next year – AP, 7-13-08
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters: Earthquake in the Heartland,” Monday, September 15, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Journey to 10,000 BC,” Monday, September 15, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery: Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery,” Tuesday, September 16, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Surviving History: – Surviving History,” Marathon Tuesday, September 16, @ 4-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries: Mega-Structures of the Deep,” Tuesday, September 16, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Special: An Alien History of Planet Earth,” Wednesday, September 17, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “UFO Files: UFOs and the White House,” Wednesday, September 17, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest: Bigfoot in New York,” Wednesday, September 17, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest: Lake Monsters of the North,” Wednesday, September 17, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Jurassic Fight Club: Raptor’s Last Stand ,” Wednesday, September 17, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Day the Towers Fell. ,” Thursday, September 18, @ 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Journey to 10,000 BC,” Thursday, September 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Stand of The 300,” Thursday, September 18, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers,” Friday, September 19, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battlefield Detectives: The Civil War: Antietam,” Friday, September 19, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Journey to the Center of the World,” Friday, September 19, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: Gold Mines,” Friday, September 19, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest,” Marathon, Saturday, September 20, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy,” Saturday, September 20, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Forbidden City Revealed,” Sunday, September 21, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History Hurricane of Independence: The Untold Story of the Deadly Storm at the Deciding Moment of the American Revolution Author: Tony Williams – Saturday at 12:00 PM ET – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History Slavery By Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II Author: Douglas Blackmon – Saturday at 1:30 PM – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams Author: Panel of Speakers – Saturday at 4:00 PM – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, BookTV: 2008 Virginia Festival of the Book – Sear Carr, “The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market’s Perfect Storm” Author: Sean Carr Saturday at 10:40 AM, Saturday at 2:40 PM, and Sunday at 10:40 PM – C-Span2, BookTV
SELLING BIG (NYT):

SELLING BIG (NYT):

    Week of September 14, 2008

  • Jerome R. Corsi: THE OBAMA NATION #2 — (6 weeks on list) – 9-21-08
  • David Freddoso: THE CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA #5 — (5 weeks on list) – 9-21-08
  • Andrew Bacevich: THE LIMITS OF POWER #6 — (5 weeks on list) – 9-21-08
  • Kaylene Johnson: SARAH #13 — (1 week on list) – 9-21-08
  • Thomas Frank: THE WRECKING CREW #16 — (4 weeks on list) – 9-14-08
  • Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway: WE ARE SOLDIERS STILL #19 – 9-21-08
  • T. J. English: HAVANA NOCTURNE #26 – 9-21-08
  • Noah Andre Trudeau: SOUTHERN STORM #29 – 9-21-08
FUTURE RELEASES:

FUTURE RELEASES:

  • Jeffry D. Wert: Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart, September 23, 2008
  • Tom Chaffin: The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy, September 30, 2008
  • James M. McPherson: Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief, October 7, 2008
  • Jeff Belanger: Who’s Haunting the White House?: The President’s Mansion and the Ghosts Who Live There, October 7, 2008
  • David Hackett Fischer: Champlain’s Dream, October 14, 2008
  • Joe Hilley: Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, October 16, 2008
  • Harold Holzer: Lincoln: President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Winter of Secession, 1860-1861, October 21, 2008
  • Laurence Bergreen: Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, October 21, 2008
  • H. W. Brands: Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, November 4, 2008
  • Carlo D’Este: Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945, November 11, 2008
  • Jon Meacham, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, November 11, 2008
  • Gary May: John Tyler: The American Presidents Series: The 10th President, 1841-1845, December 9, 2008
  • George S. McGovern: Abraham Lincoln: The American Presidents Series: The 16th President, 1861-1865, December 23, 2008
DEPARTED:

DEPARTED:

Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 12:14 AM

September 8, 2008

CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

CHICAGO 1968:

Chicago 1968:

BIGGEST STORIES:

BIGGEST STORIES: 9/11

  • McCain, Obama Arrive for 9/11 Anniversary – NY Sun, 9-10-08
  • Gil Troy: 9/11 and the race for the White House – Jerusalem Post, 9-10-08
  • David McQuilkin on “Sept. 11 leaves confused legacy on college campuses”: David McQuilkin, a history and political science professor at Bridgewater, says the 9/11 attacks are no longer the major discussion topic that they once were in his classroom, and students rarely raise the issue. From his perspective as a historian, this is to be expected, because McQuilkin thinks 9/11 will not figure as prominently into the American story as the bombing of Pearl Harbor 60 years earlier. The difference, McQuilkin said, has been the response. After Pearl Harbor, America’s immediate, unified, sustained reaction saw the country through World War II and established it as a world power (this, at least, is the generally-accepted narrative). “We haven’t seen 9/11 reach that kind of visceral level within the American experience,” said McQuilkin. – Rocktown Weekly, VA, 9-11-08
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

    On This Day in History….

  • 10/09/1349 – Jews who survived a massacre in Constance Germany are burned to death
  • 10/09/1547 – English demand Edward VI, 10, wed Mary Queen of Scots, 5
  • 10/09/1608 – John Smith elected president of Jamestown colony council, Va
  • 10/09/1776 – George Washington asks for a spy volunteer, Nathan Hale volunteers
  • 10/09/1861 – -15] Battle at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater West Virginia
  • 10/09/1861 – Battle of Carnifex Ferry VA, 170 casualities
  • 10/09/1939 – In WW II, Canada declared war on Germany
  • 10/09/1940 – Buckingham Palace hit by German bomb
  • 10/09/1942 – RAF drops 100,000 bombs on Dusseldorf
  • 10/09/1943 – German troops occupied Rome and took over the protection of Vatican City
  • 10/09/1993 – Israel and PLO sign joint recognition statements
  • 11/09/1557 – Catholic and Lutheran theology debated in Worm
  • 11/09/1649 – Massacre of Drogheda, Ireland, Oliver Cromwell kills 3,000 royalists
  • 11/09/1773 – Benjamin Franklin writes “There never was a good war or bad peace”
  • 11/09/1789 – Alexander Hamilton appointed 1st Secretary of Treasury
  • 11/09/1940 – Buckingham Palace in London destroyed by German bombs
  • 11/09/1943 – Jewish ghettos of Minsk and Lida Belorussia liquidated
  • 11/09/1944 – FDR and Churchill meet in Canada at 2nd Quebec Conference
  • 12/09/1695 – NY Jews petition governor Dongan for religious liberties
  • 12/09/1862 – Battle of Harpers Ferry VA
  • 12/09/1953 – Sen John F Kennedy, 36, marries Jacqueline Bouvier, 24
  • 12/09/1958 – US Supreme Court orders Little Rock Ark high school to integrate
  • 13/09/1556 – Charles V and Maria of Hungary march into Spain
  • 13/09/1663 – 1st serious slave conspiracy in colonial America (Virginia)
  • 13/09/1788 – NY City becomes 1st capital of US
  • 13/09/1847 – American-Mexican war: US Gen Winfield Scott captures Mexico City
  • 13/09/1861 – 1st naval battle of Civil War, Union frigate “Colorado” sinks privateer “Judah” off Pensacola, Fla
  • 13/09/1906 – 1st airplane flight in Europe
  • 13/09/1943 – Chiang Kai-shek became president of China
  • 13/09/1948 – Margaret Chase Smith (R-Me) elected senator, 1st woman to serve in both houses of Congress
  • 13/09/1953 – Nikita Khrushchev appointed 1st secretary-general of USSR
  • 13/09/1993 – Israeli min of Foreign affairs Peres and PLO-Abu Mazen sign peace accord
  • 14/09/1862 – Federal troops escape from beleaguered Harpers Ferry West Virginia
  • 14/09/1872 – Britain pays US $15« M for damages during Civil War
  • 14/09/1917 – Provisional government of Russia forms, Republic proclaimed
  • 14/09/1940 – Congress passes 1st peace-time conscription bill (draft law)
  • 14/09/1948 – Ground breaking ceremony for UN world headquarters
  • 14/09/1948 – Gerald Ford upsets Rep Bartel J Jonkman in Mich 5th Dist Rep primary
  • 14/09/1983 – US House of Representatives votes, 416 to 0, in favor of a resolution condemning Russia for shooting down a Korean jetliner
IN THE NEWS:

IN THE NEWS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Suze Rotolo: ’61 Revisited A FREEWHEELIN’ TIME A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the SixtiesN”YT, 9-7-08
  • Suze Rotolo: A FREEWHEELIN’ TIME A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties, First Chapter – N”YT, 9-7-08
  • Bob Woodward: A Leader Beyond Denial, as War Plans Flounder The War WithinNYT 9-6-08
  • Tom Fels: Tune in, Turn on, Sell Out FARM FRIENDS From the Late Sixties to the West Seventies and Beyond – - NYT, 9-7-08
  • Bob Woodward: Yes Men What happens when the president’s advisers don’t speak up. THE WAR WITHIN A Secret White House History 2006-2008WaPo, 9-7-08
  • Curtis Sittenfeld: Laura’s Story The author of “Prep” imagines a modest librarian becoming first lady of the United States. AMERICAN WIFEWaPo, 9-7-08
  • William Styron: 40 years later, how shall we think about the Confessions of Nat Turner? – Jess Row in the NYT Book Review, 9-7-08
  • Noah Andre Trudeau: Insists in new book that Sherman’s March wasn’t as destructive as claimed – Christian Science Monitor, 9-4-08
  • Andrew Warnes: His new book argues that the great American barbecue smolders on the coals of genocidal racism – Andrew Leonard at Salon.com, 8-30-08
OP-EDs:

OP-EDs & LETTERS:

BLOGS:

BLOGS:

PROFILED:

PROFILED:

INTERVIEWS:

INTERVIEWS:

FEATURES:

FEATURES:

  • Gabor Boritt: College professor gives Bush tour of battlefield – The Evening Sun, PA, 9-6-08
  • Christopher Gennari: Digital camera digitizes historic papers – UPI, 9-10-08
  • Robert Forbes: Torrington professor leads project promoting local history “Locally Grown History – It’s In Your Backyard” – UConn Advance, CT, 9-5-08
  • Matthew Pinsker: Lincoln’s Home Away From The White House – NPR, 8-31-08
QUOTED:

QUOTED:

  • Leonid Petrov on “Kim rumours provide a wake-up call”: For Leonid Petrov, North Korea historian at Australian National University, this tug of war over reforms is key to how North Koreans will respond to the demise of Kim Jong-il. He says the population was badly traumatised by the death of Kim Il-sung – partly because of the personality cult which surrounded him, but partly also because it heralded a period of intense isolation and impoverishment in which more than a million people may have died. Dr Petrov suggests any internal candidate able to preserve short-term stability would probably be more conservative than Kim Jong-il. But he warns against any such candidate attempting to roll back the economic reforms that have allowed North Koreans a little more room to make an independent living. – BBC News, 9-10-08
  • Niall Ferguson: Leading historian issues warning of a new cold war Global threat is from geopolitics, not the credit crunch: “I believe that Russia’s prime minister Vladimir Putin is about to have his Molotov-Ribbentrop moment. He’s going to realise that Moscow and Beijing can have a new and meaningful partnership…. The more Russia and China establish that they have common interests, which could include Iran, the more powerful the SCO is going to become. The strengthening of the SCO has profound implications. If the countries which belong to that organisation decide they are going to defy the rules of the World Trade Organisation, then a fundamental shift has occurred in the nature of our international order, and that would have implications for all of us. The real threat to globalisation today is not the subprime crisis. The real threats are geopolitical….” – Sunday Herald, UK, 9-6-08
  • Orlando Figes on “Why we should look to history for Russia’s future”: Figes, who is Professor of History at the University of London, said the clash in Georgia had been coming for a long time. “I’ve been saying for years that the Putinites believe and fear a sort of encirclement by American-backed regimes. This stand-off between Russia and Georgia is something that is being stacked up by both sides for political interests, and the Georgians have put themselves in the middle of this.” – The Age, Australia, 8-28-08
AWARDED / APPOINTED:

AWARDED, APPOINTED:

EXHIBITS / WEBSITES:

EXHIBITS / WEBSITES:

SPOTTED:

SPOTTED:

CALENDAR:

CALENDAR:

  • September 15, 2008: Douglas Brinkley at Open VISIONS Forum (OVF) season at Fairfield University. OVF, the lecture series presented by University College at Fairfield University, which presents political pundits, historians, actresses and activists with diverse, provocative and lively views of current and historical topics, will start out with historian Douglas Brinkley on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. – Redding Pilot, CT, 8-2-08
  • September 17, 2008: Princeton historian Barbara Oberg, general editor of “The Papers of Thomas Jefferson,” will deliver a Constitution Day lecture on “Thomas Jefferson and the Rights of Citizens” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, Princeton University – Princeton University, NJ, 9-10-08
ON TV:

    ON TV: History Listings This Week

  • The Weather Channel’s original program: “When Weather Changed History”: Season 2 debuts October 5 with an episode dedicated to the Chicago Fire of 1871. Repeats of Season 1 are on Every Sunday at 9pmET with re-airings through out the week. – When Weather Changed History
  • Ken Burns: PBS to air his national parks series next year – AP, 7-13-08
  • History Channel: “The Day the Towers Fell. ,” Thursday, September 11, @ 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon,” Thursday, September 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Countdown to Ground Zero,” Thursday, September 11, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Day the Towers Fell: The Day the Towers Fell,” Thursday, September 11, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Man Who Predicted 9/11: The Man Who Predicted 9/11,” Thursday, September 11, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “102 Minutes that Changed America / Witness to 9/11,” Thursday, September 11, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Nazi America: A Secret History,” Friday, September 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History,” Friday, September 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Gangland: Death in Dixie,” Friday, September 12, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Last Days on Earth,” Saturday, September 13, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield Author: Kenneth Ackerman – Sunday September 14 @ 12:15 AM ET – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History How the States Got Their Shapes Author: Mark Stein – Sunday September 14 @ 2:30 AM ET – C-Span2, BookTV
  • C-Span2, BookTV: History The Age of Impeachment: American Constitutional Culture since 1960 Author: David Kyvig – Sunday September 14 @ 3:00 PM ET – C-Span2, BookTV
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters: Earthquake in the Heartland,” Monday, September 15, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Journey to 10,000 BC,” Monday, September 15, @ 9pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):

SELLING BIG (NYT):

  • Jerome R. Corsi: THE OBAMA NATION #2 — (5 weeks on list) – 9-14-08
  • David Freddoso: THE CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA #5 — (4 weeks on list) – 9-14-08
  • Andrew Bacevich: THE LIMITS OF POWER #8 — (4 weeks on list) – 9-14-08
  • Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway: WE ARE SOLDIERS STILL #16 — (1 week on list) – 9-14-08
  • Thomas Frank: THE WRECKING CREW #10 — (4 weeks on list) – 9-14-08
  • Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway: WE ARE SOLDIERS STILL #16 — (1 week on list) – 9-14-08
  • Noah Andre Trudeau: SOUTHERN STORM #20 – 9-14-08
  • T. J. English: HAVANA NOCTURNE #30 – 9-14-08
FUTURE RELEASES:

FUTURE RELEASES:

  • Paul Douglas Lockhart: The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army, September 9, 2008
  • Jeffry D. Wert: Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart, September 23, 2008
  • Tom Chaffin: The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy, September 30, 2008
  • James M. McPherson: Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief, October 7, 2008
  • Jeff Belanger: Who’s Haunting the White House?: The President’s Mansion and the Ghosts Who Live There, October 7, 2008
  • David Hackett Fischer: Champlain’s Dream, October 14, 2008
  • Joe Hilley: Sarah Palin: A New Kind of Leader, October 16, 2008
  • Harold Holzer: Lincoln: President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Winter of Secession, 1860-1861, October 21, 2008
  • Laurence Bergreen: Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, October 21, 2008
  • H. W. Brands: Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, November 4, 2008
  • Carlo D’Este: Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945, November 11, 2008
  • Jon Meacham, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, November 11, 2008
  • Gary May: John Tyler: The American Presidents Series: The 10th President, 1841-1845, December 9, 2008
  • George S. McGovern: Abraham Lincoln: The American Presidents Series: The 16th President, 1861-1865, December 23, 2008
DEPARTED:

DEPARTED:

Posted on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 12:07 AM

September 1, 2008

CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 2008 WATCH:

MLK, JR: 45 YEARS:

Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have a dream speech”: 45 years Later:

  • Recalling the “Dream” Speech, 45 Years On – WaPo, 8-28-08
  • Witnesses to Dream Speech See a New Hope – NYT, 8-28-08
  • Years Later, Lewis Watches History Being Made – WaPo, 8-28-08
  • Obama Readies for Historic Speech; From MLK ‘I Have a Dream’ to ‘Yes We Can’ First Black Major Party Nominee Speaks on Martin Luther King March Anniversary – ABC News, 8-28-08
CHICAGO 1968:

Chicago 1968: 40 years Later:

  • Convention of ’68 pivotal in U.S. history: The struggle framed the breakdown of both social order and political discourse in the 1960s, historian David Farber writes in his book, “Chicago ’68.” “Chicago ’68 was seen by almost all who participated in it and by most of those who watched it on TV as more than just another protest marked by violence, intolerance and excess,” he wrote. “Chicago ’68 marked a crisis in the nation’s political and cultural order.”…
    “The convention uncovered the polarization of America,” said Lendol Calder, an associate professor of history at Augustana College in Rock Island, who teaches a course on the 1960s. “It put it on television for everybody to see.” – Quad City Times, 8-27-08
  • Tom Wilson: 1968 Democratic Convention unforgettable – Galesburg Register-Mail, IL, 8-26-08
  • Essay: Norman Mailer’s Great American Meltdown – NYT, 8-24-08
  • Jeremi Suri on “Inouye’s 1968 speech was look at future”: Jeremi Suri, a history professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the 1968 convention showed how much the Democratic Party, split by race and the Vietnam War, was changing. Inouye had endorsed Humphrey and was aligned with the establishment, but Suri said Inouye — as a symbol — did not represent the Democratic political machine or the majority of delegates inside the International Amphitheatre. “It didn’t tell people where the party was then. It told them where the party was going,” said Suri, author of the book “Power and Protest: Global Revolution and the Rise of Detente,” which examined the 1960s. – Honolulu Advertiser, 8-25-08
  • Michael Kazin on “Inouye’s 1968 speech was look at future”: Michael Kazin, a history professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., who was arrested at the Chicago protests, said Inouye’s speech did not have much impact on those outside the convention. “I don’t think he was all that visible,” he said. “Clearly, he was a symbol of a nonwhite Democrat who had been a war hero despite what had happened to Japanese-Americans during the war.” The bitterness over Humphrey’s nomination in 1968 led the party to give more weight to the primary system, Kazin said, and opened up the nomination process to politicians from outside the establishment like Jimmy Carter — a populist Georgia governor — in 1976 and Obama this year. “If you want to look at one event that made it quite public that the Democratic Party was not the same party which had won all these elections and really controlled the political dialogue, this is the event to look to,” said Kazin, the co-author of “America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s.” – Honolulu Advertiser, 8-25-08
BIGGEST STORIES:

BIGGEST STORIES: LBJ Centenniel

  • Robert Dallek: Legacy of LBJ endures 100 years after his birth – “Johnson was as strong a personality as we have had in the White House,” said historian Robert Dallek, author of a two-volume biography of Johnson. “As was said of Lincoln, his ambition was an engine that never ceased running.” – Seattle Post Intelliger, 8-26-08
  • Robert Caro speaks of the LBJ centennial: “I want to remember him in his days of just undiluted glory,” says Caro, a Pulitzer Prize winner currently in the middle of his fourth and final Johnson volume, which will cover his vice presidency and presidency…. “You listen to the ones who were concerned with what Lyndon Johnson did on the domestic side, and you say, ‘There never was a surer touch. There never was more of an understanding of what exactly needed to be done to get this legislation passed,’” Caro says. “Then you turn to Vietnam, reading the minutes of the meetings, talking to people. You have a sense of a man who didn’t know what to do. … If I write this book correctly, that contrast will emerge.”…. “I see Barack Obama as the apex of the Lyndon Johnson legacy,” Caro believes, saying that his presumed nomination would not have been possible without the civil rights legislation that enabled millions of blacks to vote. “But you can’t talk about Iraq without talking about Vietnam,” he adds. “You can’t leave that out. His presidency did not end in triumph.” AP, 8-24-08
  • Michael Beschloss on “Robert Caro speaks of the LBJ centennial”: “Every generation pays very close attention to the major controversies of the time and when Johnson left office, in 1969, Vietnam was still raging and a lot of Americans were furious at Johnson,” Beschloss says. “They weren’t thinking about a lot of things they had liked about him, like civil rights. And in 1969 people were not as aware as historians are now of the efforts he made to get the country out of the war.” – AP, 8-24-08
HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

HNN STATS THIS WEEK:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

    On This Day in History….

  • 31/08/1850 – Calif pioneers organized at Montgomery and Clay Streets
  • 31/08/1864 – Atlanta Campaign-Battle of Jonesboro Georgia, 1900 casualties
  • 31/08/1907 – England, Russia and France form Triple Entente
  • 31/08/1914 – Germany defeats Russia (battle at Tannenberg/30,000 Russians die)
  • 31/08/1935 – FDR signs an act prohibiting export of US arms to belligerents
  • 31/08/1963 – “Hot line” between Moscow-Washington, DC installed
  • 01/09/0069 – Traditional date of destruction of Jerusalem
  • 01/09/1267 – Rabbi Moses Ben Nachman establishes a Jewish community in Jerusalem
  • 01/09/1535 – French navigator Jacques Cartier reaches Hochelaga (Montreal)
  • 01/09/1666 – Great London Fire begins in Pudding Lane. 80% of London is destroyed
  • 01/09/1752 – Liberty Bell arrives in Phila
  • 01/09/1807 – Aaron Burr acquitted of charges of plotting to set up an empire
  • 01/09/1836 – Reconstruction begins on Synagogue of Rabbi Judah Hasid in Jerusalem
  • 01/09/1849 – California Constitutional Convention held in Monterey
  • 01/09/1864 – 2nd day of battle at Jonesboro Georgia, about 3,000 casualties
  • 01/09/1864 – Battle of Petersburg VA
  • 01/09/1939 – WW II starts, Germany invades Poland, takes Danzig
  • 01/09/1941 – Jews living in Germany are required to wear a yellow Jewish star
  • 01/09/1941 – Jews living in Germany are required to wear a yellow Jewish star
  • 01/09/1945 – Japan surrenders ending WW II (US date, 9/2 in Japan)
  • 01/09/1962 – UN announces Earth population has hit 3 billion
  • 02/09/1743 – England/Austria/Savoye-Sardinia sign Treaty of Worms
  • 02/09/1752 – Last Julian calender day in US and England (no Sept 3-Sept 13th)
  • 02/09/1796 – Jews of the Netherlands are emancipated
  • 02/09/1870 – Napoleon III surrenders to Prussian armies
  • 02/09/1901 – VP Theodore Roosevelt advises, “Speak softly and carry a big stick”
  • 02/09/1944 – During WW II, George Bush ejects from a burning plane
  • 02/09/1944 – Holocaust diarist Anne Frank was sent to Auschwitz
  • 02/09/1945 – V-J Day; formal surrender of Japan aboard USS Missouri (WW II ends)
  • 02/09/1945 – Ho Chi Minh declares Vietnam independence from France (National Day)
IN THE NEWS:

IN THE NEWS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

REVIEWED AND FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Curtis Sittenfeld: First Lady, Second Version AMERICAN WIFENYT, 8-28-08
  • Curtis Sittenfeld: AMERICAN WIFE, First Chapter – NYT, 8-29-08
  • Fall Books Preview 2008 – WaPo, 8-31-08
  • Andrew J. Bacevich: Speaking Truth to a Superpower We consume too much . . . go to war too often . . . and don’t govern ourselves wisely enough THE LIMITS OF POWER The End of American ExceptionalismWaPo, 8-31-08
  • Phillip N. Raccine: Letters tell first-hand accounts of Southern life Gentlemen Merchants : A Charleston Family’s Odyssey, 1828-1870North Florida NewsDaily, FL, 8-25-08
  • Kristie Macrakis: Her new book exposes the amazing array of tricks used by Stasi to spy on people – Harvard Magazine, 7-1-08
OP-EDs:

OP-EDs & LETTERS :

BLOGS:

BLOGS:

PROFILED:

PROFILED:

INTERVIEWS:

INTERVIEWS:

  • Stevenson’s 1952, Clinton’s 1992 Speeches Among Historian Favorites – NPR, 8-28-08
  • Q & A – DAVID WILLIAMS: Historian suggests Southerners defeated Confederacy Valdosta State professor pens Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil WarAtlanta Journal Constitution, 8-23-08
FEATURES:

FEATURES:

QUOTED:

QUOTED:

  • Rick Perlstein The Yippie Show How some media-savvy leftists inadvertently helped the right, and vice versa: In Nixonland, his insightful study of the period, the historian Rick Perlstein points out that Nixon “welcomed conflict that served him politically. A briefing paper came to the president’s desk in the middle of March instructing him to expect increased violence on college campuses that spring. ‘Good!’ he wrote across the face.” – Reason Online, 8-27-08
CALENDAR:

CALENDAR:

  • September 4, 2008: Nautical Archaeologist and Historian David C. Switzer will speak at Portland Harbor Museum on Thursday, September 4, 2008, at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Switzer’s illustrated talk is entitled, “The Submarine O-9: Lost and Found in the Gulf of Maine in 1941.” – MaineToday.com, ME, 8-16-08
  • September 6, 2008: Morristown New Jersey Fall museum programs begin with spooky history – Dailyrecord.com, NJ, 8-16-08
  • September 15, 2008: Douglas Brinkley at Open VISIONS Forum (OVF) season at Fairfield University. OVF, the lecture series presented by University College at Fairfield University, which presents political pundits, historians, actresses and activists with diverse, provocative and lively views of current and historical topics, will start out with historian Douglas Brinkley on Sept. 15 at 8 p.m. – Redding Pilot, CT, 8-2-08
ON TV:

    ON TV: History Listings This Week

  • The Weather Channel’s original program: “When Weather Changed History”: Season 2 debuts October 5 with an episode dedicated to the Chicago Fire of 1871. Repeats of Season 1 are on Every Sunday at 9pmET with re-airings through out the week. – When Weather Changed History
  • Ken Burns: PBS to air his national parks series next year – AP, 7-13-08
  • History Channel: “Rumrunners, Moonshiners and Bootleggers,” Saturday, August 30, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest: Boneless Horror,” Sunday, August 31, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Tougher In Alaska,” Marathon Monday, September 1, @ 2-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The True Story of Killing Pablo,” Tuesday, September 2, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Organized Crime: A World History: Colombia,” Tuesday, September 2, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Organized Crime: A World History: Russia,” Tuesday, September 2, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: New York: Secret Societies,” Tuesday, September 2, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People,” Wednesday, September 3, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mega Disasters: Glacier Meltdown,” Wednesday, September 3, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Bible Code II: Apocalypse and Beyond: Bible Code II: Apocalypse and Beyond,” Wednesday, September 3, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “MonsterQuest: American Werewolf,” Wednesday, September 3, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Jurassic Fight Club: Hunter Becomes Hunted,” Wednesday, September 3, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hillbilly: The Real Story,” Thursday, September 4, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Tougher In Alaska: Extreme Isolation,” Friday, September 5, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: Civil War Tech,” Friday, September 5, @ 7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire: The First Barbarian War,” Friday, August 29, @ 10pm ET/PT
SELLING BIG (NYT):

SELLING BIG (NYT):

  • Jerome R. Corsi: THE OBAMA NATION #1 — (4 weeks on list) – 9-7-08
  • David Freddoso: THE CASE AGAINST BARACK OBAMA #6 — (3 weeks on list) – 9-7-08
  • T. J. English: HAVANA NOCTURNE #14 — (5 weeks on list) – 9-7-08
FUTURE RELEASES:

FUTURE RELEASES:

  • Robert Dallek: Harry S. Truman (REV), September 2, 2008
  • Mary C. Henderson: The Story of 42nd Street: The Theatres, Shows, Characters, and Scandals of the World’s Most Notorious Street (First Edition), September 2, 2008
  • Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez: Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets’ Nuclear Gamble in the Six-Day War, (Paperback edition), Yale University Press, September 2, 2008.
  • Paul Douglas Lockhart: The Drillmaster of Valley Forge: The Baron de Steuben and the Making of the American Army, September 9, 2008
  • Jeffry D. Wert: Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart, September 23, 2008
  • Harold Holzer: Lincoln: President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Winter of Secession, 1860-1861, October 7, 2008
  • David Hackett Fischer: Champlain’s Dream, October 14, 2008
  • Carlo D’Este: Warlord: A Life of Winston Churchill at War, 1874-1945, November 11, 2008

Posted on Monday, September 1, 2008 at 12:59 AM

Top Young Historians: 93 – Randall J. Stephens

Top Young Historians

Randall J. Stephens, 35

Basic Facts

Teaching Position: Associate Professor, Eastern Nazarene College

Area of Research: American Religious History, United States South, American Popular Music, Historical Theology, Cultural History, Conservative Evangelicalism

Education: Ph.D., American History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 2003
Major Publications: Stephens is the author of The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South, (Harvard University Press, 2008).  Stephens is working on The Anointed: American Evangelical Experts, with Karl Giberson (under contract, Harvard University Press); He is the editor of Recent Trends in American Religious History, part of the Historians in Conversation Series (under contract, University of South Carolina Press), and is the Bibliographic editor for The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History, edited by Paul Harvey and Edward Blum (under contract, Columbia University Press). Stephens is also working on these projects, editing A Primary Source Reader in American Religious History, and a new manuscript I Hate Rock and Roll: Anti-Rock and American Christianity, 1955-1975.

Stephens is also the author of the following peer-reviewed articles and book chapters; “The Holiness/Pentecostal/Charismatic Extension of the Wesleyan Tradition,” in The Cambridge Companion to John Wesley (under contract, Cambridge University Press); Sam Jones’ Own Book, 1886. With a New Introduction by Randall J. Stephens. Southern Classics Series (forthcoming, University of South Carolina Press); “‘Ohio villains’ and ‘pretenders to new revelations’: Wesleyan Abolitionists in North Carolina and Virginia, 1847-1857,” in Festschrift for Bertram Wyatt-Brown (forthcoming, University Press of Florida); “‘There is Magic in Print’: The Holiness Pentecostal Press and the Origins of Southern Pentecostalism,” in Southern Crossroads: Perspectives on Southern Religion and Culture, (University of Kentucky Press, 2008) and the Journal of Southern Religion 5 (2002); “Interpreting American Pentecostal Origins: Retrospect and Prospect” in Interpreting Denominational History: Perspectives on the Past, Prospects for the Future (University of Alabama Press, 2008), and “The Convergence of Populism, Religion, and the Holiness-Pentecostal Movements: A Review of the Historical Literature,” Fides et Historia 32, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2000): 51-64.
Stephens has also authored numerous articles and interviews for The Journal of Southern Religion, Historically Speaking: The Bulletin of the Historical Society, and Books & Culture, Christianity Today.
Awards: Stephens is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including among others:
John Templeton Foundation grant for The Anointed: American Evangelical Experts, co-authored with Karl Giberson, 2008;
The Fire Spreads nominated by Harvard University Press for the Francis Parkman Prize and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion, 2008;
Young Scholars in American Religion Fellowship, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis, 2007-2009, 2007;
Professional Achievement Award, Eastern Nazarene College, 2007;
Religion in American History, Cliopatria’s best new blog, 2007;
One of fifteen semifinalists for the Allan Nevins Prize for the best dissertation in American history, Society of American Historians, 2004;
The St. George Tucker Society’s M. E. Bradford Prize for best dissertation in southern studies, 2004;
Richard J. Milbauer Dissertation Prize for best dissertation in history, University of Florida, 2004;
Journal of Southern Religion’s Sam Hill Award, 2003;
History Department Nominee for University-Wide Graduate Teaching Award, University of Florida, 2003;
Dissertation Fellowship, Louisville Institute for the Study of Protestantism and American Culture (Funded by the Lilly Endowment), 2002-03;
Finalist, Newcombe Dissertation fellowship, Princeton University, 2001;
Participant in the Pew Younger Scholars Seminar on the Civil War and Reconstruction, University of Notre Dame, 2001;
Jack and Celia Proctor Award for best essay on Southern History, University of Florida, 2001;
Hanger Research Fellowship, University of Florida, 2001;
Graduate Student Travel Award, University of Florida, 2001;
Laurence C. Boylan Outstanding Masters Thesis Award, Emporia State University, 1998;
Art Student of the Year, Olivet Nazarene University, 1994-1995;
Elected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, 1994.
Additional Info:
Formerly Adjunct Professor University of Florida, (Fall 2003-Summer 2004).
Stephens has designed and maintained the following websites Eastern Nazarene College, Journal of Southern Religion, The Historical Society, History Department, Eastern Nazarene College, The Polkinghorne Society Open Theology and Science, British Abolitionism, Moral Progress, & Big Questions in History, A conference jointly funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the Historical Society, 26-28 April 2007, Crowne Plaza St. James, London, David Brion Davis, “Slavery, Emancipation and Human Progress,” a free public lecture, 26 April 2007, Central Hall Westminster, London, and Tidal Wave Magazine.
Stephens is an editor of the Journal of Southern Religion and an associate editor of the review of the Historical Society, Historically Speaking.
From 2001-2004 Stephens was the editor for Tidal Wave Magazine (a music, film, and indie-culture publication); and from 1998-2002 he was a music writer for Skyscraper Magazine (NY), Harp Magazine (MD), Satellite Magazine (FL), Tidal Wave Magazine (FL), and Ink19 (FL).
Since 1996 Stephens has been a member of indie rock outfit Jetenderpaul, which released three full length cds, one e.p., and two 7″ records on Velvet Blue Music (Huntington Beach, CA), Burnt Toast Vinyl (Philadelphia, PA), and Hype City Records (Norway).

Personal Anecdote

The Past as a Foreign Country or another Planet

I grew up in Olathe, Kansas. It’s a pretty typical, sprawling bedroom community outside of Kansas City. Thomas Frank summed up our county pretty well in What’s the Matter with Kansas?. He called it cupcake land, where McMansions come in beige, darker beige, and gray, and where the Republican Party has a lock on the citizenry.

Olathe and its environs also have very little of what easterners, southerners, or Europeans would count as “history.” No Colonial Williamsburg or ancient Boston is this. Minus the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm there’s little in Olathe worth a historic marker. Sure, we had an Old Settler’s Day parade, but no Jebediah Springfield, and no sense of what was “old” about it.

My English brother-in-law likes to joke with his mates who come over from the west country about this fact, which must seem so very odd to people who live a few miles from Stonehenge. “I can show you a strip mall that dates back to the early 1980s,” he tells them. I do recall a Baskin Robbins on the main drag that was built in the mid-1970s.

My family did make the occasional trip to the coasts. I peered over the glass in D.C. to look at a yellowing constitution, took in the ambience of ghost towns in the West, and walked the cobblestone streets of Boston’s north end. But that was like going to Universal Studios. These places seemed like sets to me. Back home in Olathe—watching television or movies—history was almost indistinguishable from science fiction or fantasy. Ewoks or cowboys, Revolutionary War soldiers or Cylons, it was all Greek to me.

Whenever I did encounter the gritty, dusty, frightening realities of the past, it drew me like a moth to a flame. One summer, while I was still a teenager, I decided to investigate an overgrown cemetery where settlers buried their dead along the Santa Fe Trail. The crumbling mid-19th century graves, victims of the elements and indifference, fascinated me. Later, in some strange adolescent macabre twist (I think I was listening to too much Love and Rockets, Smiths, and Cure), I made clay impressions of the tombstone engravings. I worked these into hand built ceramic boxes, which I gave to friends. “Our Beloved Infant Son. Died August 6, 1855.” Inspiring.

In college, the South—with its ironies, conflicts, and tragedies—captivated me. In what other region has history seemed to come alive in all its grotesque and beautiful glory? Faulkner’s oft-quoted line about south’rin history bears repeating: “The past is never dead,” Gavin Stevens remarks in Requiem for a Nun (1951). “It’s not even past.” So I went full throttle into that never-forgotten, thick history by studying with Bert Wyatt-Brown, a student of C. Vann Woodward, and carrier of W. J. Cash’s torch into the 21st century. I did not focus on duels, eye-gougings, suicides, nose tweaking, and the like. Yet Bert’s work had a significant impact on my own.

My book, The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South (Harvard University Press, 2008), helped me to recapture some of the foreignness and complexity of two eye-popping religious movements. I grew up in the holiness tradition. My grandpa was a fiery Wesleyan minister, who, like Robert Duvall in The Apostle, could thunder with the best of them. Yet the plush, carpeted, and extravagant mega-church of my youth was miles away from the sawdust trail and the moldy tents that shouting preachers once carted from one small town to another. Our domesticated Nazarene sanctuary was a sharp contrast to the “glory barns” and storefront tabernacles of one hundred years ago. That was a perfect problem for a historian to work with. As I made my way through the research and writing stages I wondered, How can I chart such changes over time? How do I recover and make sense of what’s been lost or altered? These and other questions have stayed with me on subsequent projects.

My research took me into what Greil Marcus called the Old Weird America. White dirt farmers and small town merchants as well as black railroad porters and domestic servants came together in this new, rowdy religious movement. They brought with them their upcountry folkways, sacred harp songs, and Delta ballads. I poured over diaries, hymnals, and deteriorating newspapers that recounted wild and woolly scenes. In the holiness and pentecostal revivals of over 100 years ago initiates rolled on the floor, spoke in tongues, cast out demons, and banged away on upright pianos. That didn’t set well with many a southerner.

I was most intrigued by the conflicts that enthusiasts rushed headlong into. Self-anointed street preachers squared off with their Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian cultured despisers. Pentecostals called attention to the boring meetings of the South’s frozen chosen. By contrast, pentecostal services were intense and emotional. Mill owners tried to shut down loud tent revivals that carried on into the night. And, occasionally, believers thumbed their noses at the local establishment by holding integrated services. Thanks to Harvard’s Widener Library and Proquest’s digitized newspaper collections, I stumbled onto some real gems. When the faithful held a mixed-race service in 1912 in the West End of Atlanta, the Atlanta Constitution headlined, “‘Rollers’ Have No Color Line.” It was scandalous: “white women mingled nightly until midnight with negroes in ‘Holy Roller’ meetings” and “joined the negroes in their wild demonstrations of ‘religious intoxication.’” Stalwarts retaliated to these and other challenges in their own way. They proclaimed that God was on their side whenever enemies fell dead in the middle of church services or were run over by freight trains. It’s enough to make even Flannery O’Connor blush.

Sometimes I think it’s odd that I entered an area of history that is, in many ways, so incredibly removed from the manicured lawns and suburban calm of Olathe, KS. But like so much else in life, we’re often attracted to the things that are foreign/alien to our own experience.

Quotes

By Randall J. Stephens

  • The story of the origins of holiness theology and pentecostalism in the U.S. South from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century remains untold, as does that of the larger significance of these movements in both the modern South and the nation as a whole. Yet they are hardly peripheral to modern American, and particularly southern, history. With millions of devotees in the South alone, holiness and pentecostalism now rank second only to Roman Catholicism among the world’s Christian denominations. Moreover, the U.S. South is home to the headquarters of fifty-seven different pentecostal churches and sects—including those of  the Assemblies of God, the Church of God in Christ, and the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). These groups, and born-again Christians in general, have experienced phenomenal growth since the 1970s. Their numbers soared as liberal Protestantism in the South and elsewhere waned. Some observers have even called this upsurge in religious enthusiasm the Fourth Great Awakening. Moreover, the recent politicization of conservative evangelicals, of whom southern pentecostals make up a significant proportion, deserves special scrutiny.6 Believers are now more visible than ever before. Devout southern pentecostals and those with roots in the tradition—including former attorney general John Ashcroft, conservative religious spokesmen Jim Bakker and John Hagee, country singers Tammy Wynette and Johnny Cash, and rock and roll innovators Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley—are known throughout the world. — Randall J. Stephens in “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • About Randall Stephens

  • In this careful and detailed study, Stephens chronicles the rise of Holiness and Pentecostal movements in the American South in the late 19th century, discusses their eventual split and quarrels about theology and culture, and then recounts the gradual mainstreaming of both movements in the late 20th century. — Publishers Weekly reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • Boisterous Pentecostal worship has excited the scorn of skeptics, while apocalyptic Pentecostal theology has scandalized the orthodox. But Stephens limns a pattern of phenomenal growth for this revolutionary faith, now curiously central to the conservatism of the Religious Right. A balanced work of cultural scholarship. — Bryce Christensen, Booklist reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • Stephens’s masterful account of how the South nurtured and altered a once-marginalized religious movement– and how that religion influenced the region–is the most fluent and authoritative synthesis of a complex and controversial subject. — The Atlantic reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • This study is an important addition to the growing field of pentecostal studies. Stephens’s emphasis on regional identity complements the previous works of historians like Grant Wacker and Edith Blumhofer. His ability to make sense of the complex theological features of pentecostalism makes The Fire Spreads accessible to a wide audience composed of lay adult readers, college students, pentecostal practitioners, and professional historians. Furthermore, there is something to be said for a book that is both deeply intelligent and highly readable…Anyone interested in the history of religion in the United States—and specifically as it relates to region, race, and politics—must read Stephens’s The Fire Spreads.Michael Pasquier, H-Pentecostalism reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • Crisply written, analytically clear, and full of colorful personalities, The Fire Spreads is the most significant study of Pentecostal origins since Grant Wacker‘s Heaven Below…Randall Stephens offers a rich portrait of Christians in the American South who embraced perfectionist teachings. Mining untapped pamphlets, periodicals, diaries, and church records, he presents a lucid chronological and regional study of the holiness and Pentecostal movements that eventually dominated the national perception of southern religion. Himself the grandson of a “barnstorming holiness preacher,” Stephens chronicles the many ironies that led to this unexpected triumph. — John G. Turner, Books & Culture reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • Stephens reveals the pentecostal and holiness movement’s ‘restless visionaries’ to be complicated religious figures pressing at the margins of southern society, undeterred by frequent scandals and internecine disputes, traveling constantly, delighting in acts of persecution, and testing the boundaries of religious ecstasies. An essential book for anyone interested in twentieth-century religious history. — Paul Harvey, University of Colorado at Colorado Spring reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • Randall Stephens’ book represents sedulous research, balanced judgment, and impressive imagination. It stands as a work of exceptional importance in the rapidly developing fields of holiness, pentecostal, and southern cultural and religious history. — Grant Wacker, Duke University reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • One of the few essential books about American holiness and pentecostal religion. Randall Stephens explains the nineteenth-century northern roots of southern pentecostalism and displays the growth, creativity, and arguments of the various pentecostal groups in the twentieth-century south. — Ted Ownby, University of Mississippi reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • A classic study of the first region in the world where Pentecostalism took root as a mass movement. Excellent and readable. I highly recommend it. — Vinson Synan, author of “The Holiness/Pentecostal Movement in the United States” reviewing “The Fire Spreads Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South”
  • When he was in graduate school, I considered him the ablest in my many years of teaching on the graduate level. Needless to say, he was the recipient of the best scholarship, the Richard J. Milbauer fellowship, that the department could offer. His dissertation, now an acclaimed book,”The Fire Spreads: The Origins of Southern Pentecostalism,” takes him into the twentieth century but covers the period back to the beginnings of the 19th Century. The topic has been recently treated in a book by Grant Wacker of Duke University’s Religion Department and with whom we had arranged to serve on Randall Stephens’s Ph.D. committee. At the conference call oral exam, Wacker remarked that Randall’s dissertation was the best he had ever read. Wacker’s _Heavens Below_ is largely theological, whereas Randall is taking a more historical approach, tracing the Pentecostal movement back to the Arminian Sanctification in the Present Life and the Holiness doctrines of the antebellum period. There are approximately 400 million Pentecostals in the world, but the movement, never studied on a regional basis before, was and remains especially strong in the Southern states. Very little has ever appeared in academic literature on the Pentecostals. Randall demonstrates in his Harvard publication that he has a firm grasp of how to organize and write in a fluent and persuasive style.This young man is a very accomplished instructor, who has very much impressed his colleagues and administration authorities with his abilities. I believe as a result has a lower teaching load at ENC so that he can pursue his research interests. When in graduate school at Florida, he wisely turned down an opportunity to teach at the Associate level, an honor in itself, in order to speed his progress toward the dissertation’s completion. He was awarded a Lilly Foundation Fellowship which of course precluded this instructional opportunity and was a most significant honor and acknowledgment of the importance and quality of his project. At that time his student evaluations had matched and overmatched those of other TAs, with high ratings on “Enthusiasm for the Subject” (4.59), “Respect and Concern for Students” (4.71), and “Stimulation of Interest in Course” (4.71). Some of the students wrote out their assessments in this fashion, “Seems very interested in the topic, which helps. He cares about if we are learning (if the class isn’t participating he’ll prompt us with questions). Accepts everyone’s opinion, whether he agrees” with it or not…. In fact, he evaluations ere an incredible 4.90, a positive reading that few of us in the profession reach.

    There is no question that in the Southern history field and the realm of American Religious History, he is fast becoming one of the leading authorities. He easily deserves this recognition of his talents and his continuing promise. — Berthram Wyatt Brown, Chaired Stephens’ Dissertation committee at the University of Florida

    // Posted on Sunday, September 14, 2008 at 10:50 PM

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