Tim Burke stopped by during busy season at Swarthmore to give us a list of"The Hooks of History," ten reasons commonly given for doing history. He asks if you can add to the list. It's not too late to join the conversation.
At Rhine River, Nathanael Robinson hosts Carnivalesque. It's the Carnival for Early Modern History. Nathanael did a terrific job, so there's a whole weekend of reading for you over there.
You can tell it's grading time when groaning starts on the academic net. A philosopher offers this report on an honors thesis:"There's actually a big difference between a preposition and a proposition. Other hilarious typos in our field include an interest in the thin gin itself, Kant's emphasis on nationality and nationalism, Locke's core puzzles...". Spelling and typos continue to be a problem. A historian reports:"‘In class we disused women in school' is one of the stranger statements I've read thus far in this batch of student exams. From the repetition of the misspelling, I gather the student meant to write discussed but, um, er, forgot to check the spelling." But general disorientation leads to chaos in history. Another historian, who made the mistake of asking students to write an essay on President Truman's response to the Soviet Union after World War II, got this concluding paragraph:
One more thing I must add was the Sputnik. This Sputnik was a spy set up in outer space to spy on Nassar and the Soviets. This helped the U.S. so that we could see Nassar building the Berlin wall. This wall was to keep us from invading them, but we went in to Cambodia where we were not supposed to be.Now that that's settled, Michael Berube and Scott McLemee have cast the movie of the life of David Horowitz. Canadian Cynic suggests that we call David's bluff. Somewhere beneath his relentless attack on American higher education is resentment that he's never had an academic position. Despite his lying denials, of course he'd have to take a huge pay cut. I started to say that he'd also have to go back to graduate school to finish the doctoral program he dropped out of, but we don't require doctorates of all tenured faculty members in higher education. We didn't require it of Ward Churchill and that came back to b*** u* i* t** a**. Which gets to a point that's been ignored too long. Churchill is left academe's equivalent of Horowitz. As McLemee suggested, there's the same"glint-eyed zealotry," the same rhetorical excess, the same inflated compensation, the same credentials, and the same recklessness with the truth. You want to vindicate Churchill? Hire Horowitz. You want to believe Horowitz? Defend Churchill. They're a matched pair
Congratulations to Williams College's Marc ("Abu Aardvark") Lynch and his wife, who've just added a new little aardvark to the world's population. Marc cut short his guest blogging at Political Animal for the big event.