This page includes, in addition to news about historians, news about political scientists, economists, law professors, and others who write about history. For a comprehensive list of historians' obituaries, go here.
SOURCE: New York Post (7-17-07)
It's the most noticeable difference between "The War," Burns' gut-wrenching, 14-hour documentary on World War II, and the most famous of his other films, "The Civil War," in which historians such as the late Shelby Foote played such an important part.
The only talking heads in "The War" are a handful of men and women, now elderly, who lived through it, either overseas in Europe or the Pacific, or at home awaiting news of their loved ones.
As it happens, these witnesses are not seen on screen very often. And that leaves plenty of time - about 80 percent of this epic miniseries, according to Burns' own estimate - for film and still photos of actual combat and its grisly aftermath.
The sheer tonnage of the images - another Burns hallmark - makes watching "The War" a relentless experience. The images include everything you might imagine from a documentary on World War II - aerial bombardments, jungle firefights, beach landings, prison camp scenes, you name it. ...
SOURCE: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock) (7-17-07)
Spokesman Matt DeCample said Monday that Beebe won't back the Arkansas History Education Coalition's call for a one-year moratorium of the new curriculum. The governor also refused to create a special committee to study the revision process.
Beebe believes the new curriculum, which incorporated previously freestanding elementary Arkansas history requirements into the larger social studies curriculum, gives students a better grasp of the link between state and national historical events, DeCample said.
"The Department of Education put a lot of work into these guidelines, and the idea is to let them go into effect and see how they work for us," DeCample said.
The Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks define what students must know in major subject areas such as math, English and science. Individual school districts design their curricula based on the frameworks. Arkansas Department of Education officials must revise all frameworks at least every six years. The new social studies frameworks go into effect this fall.
Beebe's decision came two days after the coalition and a number of other disgruntled educators requested his support at a Saturday news conference in Little Rock.
They claim the new frameworks will water down Arkansas history instruction in two ways: The new frameworks combine the study of social studies and Arkansas history at the elementary level; previously, there were separate frameworks for each. The group believes teachers will stop teaching Arkansas history at the elementary level because the standalone frameworks no longer exist. Social studies and Arkansas history frameworks are separate at the secondary level. But critics say new world history demands in junior high school force schools to bump a required one-semester Arkansas history course to high school.
Because Arkansas history isn't a graduation requirement, the educators argue few students will take the course. Plus, there are no existing Arkansas history texts written specifically for high school students, they claim.
Jeannie Whayne, chairman of the history department at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, said Monday that she was surprised and disappointed with how quickly Beebe reached his decision....
SOURCE: Daily Express (UK) (7-13-07)
A new school curriculum, unveiled as part of the Prime Minister’s barrage of initiatives, also scrapped the mandatory study of dictators Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. It was instantly branded “madness” by critics.
Instead, secondary school pupils will be taught classes in global warming, healthy eating, Arabic and Urdu. And they will get five-minute “attention-grabbing” lessons in subjects like French and mental arithmetic following claims that today’s youngsters cannot concentrate for long.
The move follows 15 days of relentless announcements by Mr Brown since he became Prime Minister, including plans for his own written constitution for Britain, raising the school leaving age to 18 and scrapping Tony Blair’s proposed supercasino at a cost of £1million to taxpayers.
The education overhaul was branded “trendy nonsense” by campaigners for better schools standards last night.
And the astonishing decision to remove Churchill – whose personal determination is credited with saving Britain from Nazi tyranny – from a list of historical figures who must be studied provoked outrage....
SOURCE: Max Holland--Letter to Howard Kurtz, media critic of the WaPo (7-17-07)
I'm writing to bring to your attention some unbecoming behavior at Slate by one of its columnists, Ron Rosenbaum.
Four months ago, John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr wrote an article for the website I edit, Washington Decoded, about McCarthyite tactics being employed by Alger Hiss's shrinking band of true believers. The article,"The New McCarthyism," was also linked from the History News Network site, thereby achieving a wider readership than would be the case if it had only appeared on the website.
I also made a point of e-mailing the article to many journalists who have written about the Hiss case in the past, including Ron Rosenbaum.
On Monday, Rosenbaum published an essay in Slate, in which he made the argument that Hiss's shrinking band of true believers are now engaged in"Nixonian tactics." Rosenbaum's only nod toward the Haynes/Klehr article was a passing reference in one paragraph, where he wrote that H/K"have noticed this problem" (meaning the problem with the Hiss defenders' new analysis). He neglected to point out that the entire thrust of H/K article was to point out the irony that Hiss's defenders are now resorting to McCarthyite tactics.
Rosenbaum is certainly entitled to have the same perspective, and to write an article that echoes the same theme. But his brief reference to their work is stingy and unprofessional, to be charitable about it. He should have noted that H/K reached the same conclusion months before he, Rosenbaum, took pen in hand to write this piece.
The curious fact that Rosenbaum chose Nixon rather than McCarthy as his whipping boy is something of a giveaway. Most people would take"Nixonian tactics" as an allusion to Watergate-era transgressions from the 1970s, not the kind of guilt-by-association that is synonymous with 1950s-era McCarthyism.
Rosenbaum was intent on denying credit where credit is due, and patting himself on the back for a shrewd analysis that was made elsewhere first. It would not have detracted from his article to admit it.
I get so many complaints about total ripoffs. While I understand how you feel, at least there was SOME acknowledgment in the piece.
SOURCE: Sandstorm, the blog of Martin Kramer (7-17-07)
I've also been named to the team, as senior Middle East advisor. I agreed to come on board for a simple reason: I believe that Mayor Giuliani gets it. He understands perfectly what is at stake in the Middle East, he sees precisely the forces arrayed for and against us, he knows this will be a long contest, and he has the resolve to see the United States prevail. I don't see that same depth of understanding in any of the other candidates.
So choosing the Mayor was an easy call. But taking on this sort of role did give me a moment's pause, because of something written by my dear and departed friend, the late Elie Kedourie. A scholar of the Middle East and political philosophy, he achieved an astonishing grasp of the nitty-gritty of statecraft, through the painstaking study of British diplomatic records. This led him to conclude that making foreign policy was an entirely "practical pursuit," which nowhere overlapped the scholarly vocation. In 1961, he wrote an article chiding academics for throwing around advice about foreign policy.
If the academic is to recommend action here and now--and in foreign policy action must be here and now--should he not have exact and prompt knowledge of situations and their changes? Is it then proposed that foreign ministries should every morning circulate to historians and "social scientists" the reports of their agents and the dispatches of their diplomats? Failing this knowledge, the academic advising or exhorting action will most likely appear the learned fool, babbling of he knows not what.Elie anticipated the riposte:
It may be objected that this is not what is meant at all; we do not, it may be said, want the academic to concern himself with immediate issues or the minutiae of policies; we want his guidance on long-term trends and prospects; and here, surely, his knowledge of the past, his erudition, his reflectiveness will open to him vistas unknown to the active politician, or unregarded by him. And should not this larger view, this wider horizon be his special contribution to his country's policies and to its welfare?Yet this, too, Elie rejected. "This appeal to patriotism, this subtle flattery, needs must be resisted," he wrote. Why? "The long view, the balanced view, the judicious view, can positively unfit a man for action, and for giving advice on action." To make policy, wrote Kedourie, is to leap into the unknown.
Shall academics presume to instruct a man how he shall leap? Presumption is the pride of fools, and it ought to be the scholar's pride not to presume. It is pursuit of knowledge and increase in learning which gives scholars renown and a good name. How then should they, clothed as they are in the mantle of scholarship, yet imitate this lobby or that pressure group, and recommend this action or that, all the time knowing full well that in politics one is always acting in a fog, that no action is wholly to the good, and that every action in benefiting one particular interest will most likely be to another's detriment.I gave much thought to Elie's view of this over the years, so much so that I took it as the theme of a lecture I delivered a few years back, to mark the tenth anniversary of his passing. I could see the point of his uncompromising position--but also why, as I showed in my lecture, he eventually compromised it himself. For that story, you'll have to read the lecture in full. But here's a clue as to where Kedourie finally came to rest, from an article he published in 1978:
It is usually (and rightly) said that the academic's virtues--his critical turn of mind, and his willingness to follow the argument wherever it leads--become defects in the man of action, who must accustom himself to make quick decisions on the basis of hunches and imperfect information. But in a region like the Middle East, where yesterday's friend can become today's opponent, where alliances and allegiances shimmer and dissolve like the fata morgana, the academic's skepticism, his readiness to scrutinize far-fetched theories and unlikely suppositions, are perhaps qualities that even busy men of action should cultivate.Ah. For the Middle East, Elie Kedourie was prepared to make an exception. I'm glad he did.
Addendum: View this speech on the Middle East by Mayor Giuliani, delivered on June 26 at a synagogue in Rockville, Maryland (where, as it happens, I grew up).
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle (7-13-07)
The arithmetic alone of The War - seven parts, 15 hours, airing over two weeks - is indicative of the commitment America's premier documentary maker has given to his recount of World War II.
Burns measures the retelling by focusing his film on the personal accounts of 40 men and women living in four American cities: Waterbury, Conn.; Mobile, Ala.; Sacramento, Calif.; and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minn.
He and co-filmmaker Lynn Novick tackle both the European and Pacific theaters of the war and, significantly, the home front, in the retelling.
"I'd say about 25 (percent) or 30 percent of the film is back home,'' Burns said."We've yet to run into a documentary covering both the war on both fronts plus the reaction at home.''
He said he chose those four towns because, unlike bigger cities such as Brooklyn, N.Y., or San Diego, "our audience would have no preconceptions about them. They wouldn't come with baggage and presumptions.''
SOURCE: Letter to the editor of the NYT Book Review (7-17-07)
As a historian who has written about Andrew Carnegie and Gilded-Age America, and as an ex-journalist, I read your article with great interest.
While you unearthed many telling similarities of our era and that of Carnegie, an important matter was not mentioned: In the 1880s millions of Americans — urban workers and farmers, native-born and immigrant, Southerners and Northerners — launched mass democratic movements out of the belief that something had gone terribly wrong with their country.
In their eyes, the United States was not a Triumphant Democracy, as Carnegie characterized it in the title of his self-serving book of 1886; rather, the country was, as one critic put it, an example of Feudalism Restored.
Given the proof of deepening and unconscionable economic inequity unearthed by your reporter, not to mention the new zillionaires’ thoroughly unself-conscious, zany hubris, one might argue that today America has entered a neo-feudal era. Who knows, the putative serfs of our time, like those of the Gilded Age, might take up metaphoric arms. Let’s see what happens in November 2008.
Vancouver, British Columbia, July 15, 2007
The writer is an associate professor of United States and African-American history, University of British Columbia.
SOURCE: LAT (7-15-07)
During 1941, as news of Hitler's atrocities began spreading, Pope Pius XII had warmly invited the Berlin Opera to perform selections from Wagner at the Vatican, according to a formerly secret telegram that Friedlander read. The faded cable would have riveted any historian probing papal attitudes toward the Nazis, but it struck a nerve in the young scholar: His parents died at Auschwitz, and he was raised by French Catholics as the conflict raged. Fiercely proud of his Jewish roots, his disbelief over Pius XII's friendly invitation was a transforming moment.
"It shocked me; I was astonished," said Friedlander, recalling his 1962 discovery. "And I decided then and there that, for me, the right path was to study the history of this event, the Holocaust, so no one would ever forget it. It became my personal fate."
SOURCE: PRNewswire (7-16-07)
The Pritzker Military Library Award recognizes a single living author for a body of work dedicated to enriching the understanding of American military history including military affairs. The recipient's contributions may be academic, non-fiction, fiction or a combination of any of the three and their work should embody the values of the Pritzker Military Library.
"Our purpose in establishing the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement is to acknowledge the highest levels of scholarship and writing in a field that often does not gain appropriate recognition," Pritzker said."By providing an annual award to the most thoughtful and articulate scholar writing about war and military activities, we may in turn be lead to better solutions and perhaps a better life for all of us."
James McPherson is the George Henry Davis '86 Professor of History Emeritus at Princeton University. He has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including Lincoln and the Second American Revolution, Drawn with the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War and For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War, which won the prestigious Lincoln Prize in 1998. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his single-volume treatment of the Civil War, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era.
"I am profoundly honored to receive this award," said McPherson in response to the announcement."I started my career as a historian of the radical social and political consequences of the Civil War and soon discovered that these changes depended on the military course of the conflict." McPherson would pursue his goal as a military historian in order to"explore and write about the complex and crucial interconnections between the battlefield and home front, not only in the Civil War, but in all wars. I am proud that my contributions to understanding these relationships are being recognized."
James McPherson's nomination was submitted by his publisher, Oxford University Press."Oxford University Press warmly congratulates Jim McPherson on his receipt of the first Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing," said Niko Pfund, Vice President and Publisher."Few scholars more consistently combine first-rate scholarship with accessible historical writing, and few authors are more of a pleasure to publish. We are delighted that so richly deserving a writer and thinker has been chosen to inaugurate this prestigious award."
A national panel of historians, writers and individuals related to the study of American history and heritage reviewed nominations and definitive works submitted by publishers, agents, book sellers and other professional literary organizations. The finalist recommendation was unanimously endorsed by the executive council of the Foundation established to oversee the award process.
The Pritzker Award will be presented on Saturday, October 6, 2007 during the Library's annual Liberty Gala at Chicago's historic Drake Hotel. The Library will also recognize veteran journalist John Callaway for his 50 year broadcast career. The evening will include a tribute to members of the armed forces and features a dramatic presentation by the Steppenwolf Theater Company.
SOURCE: http://cities.expressindia.com (7-16-07)
A committee of scholars that includes Kosambi’s daughter and well-known sociologist Meera Kosambi, has been formed to plan seminars on the Marxist historian’s work.
The committee has already planned a series of six lectures by eminent personalities.
Prof Kosambi had taught at the University of Pune and three generations of the Kosambi family have taught at the Fergusson College. Kosambi is best recognised for his work on the Marxist interpretation of Indian history.
A website on the historian will also be launched during the birth centenary celebrations.
SOURCE: Alistair Horne in the Telegraph (7-15-07)
He liked the result; then, after publication by the family firm, to my utter amazement, I was invited to write his official biography. It was while studying American material in Washingon DC in 1980, through Macmillan, that I first met Henry Kissinger.
Two decades later, to my equal amazement, Dr Kissinger asked me to write his life. I accepted to do just one year of his monumentally documented career, 1973. Visiting Kissinger last autumn, I presented him a mint copy of A Savage War, in which I had contributed a new preface, relating the Algerian War to Iraq. A frequent visitor to the White House, he requested a copy be sent to President Bush.
A couple of months later George W brandished the book before CNN, declaring that he was reading it, and studying its lessons with benefit. There followed an invitation to the White House, which I was able to take up two months ago....
I was astonished at just how well the President looked, despite the constant nag of Iraq and terrorism; it was as if he had just come in from sailing round the Caribbean and in sharp contrast to the departing Jimmy Carter in 1980, haggard from dealing with the Iran hostages and his own inability to delgate.
In an earlier exchange of correspondence with the President, I had presumed to suggest that, in Iraq, he faced "perhaps the most daunting responsibility" of any US President since FDR, and in the Oval Office I threw out a remark of Harold Macmillan's: "You have no idea, dear boy, how lonely it is at the top."
The President parried laughingly, pointing at his aides: "You don't imagine I could be lonely with all these guys around me!"
He questioned me closely about the parallels between Iraq and Algeria. It was clear that he had read attentively what I had written....
Bush, an honourable man, might have made a good President - without Iraq. His fault was to heed too often the voices of the Zionist lobby in Washington. Never before has the Israeli tail wagged the American dog quite so vigorously; the results threaten to prove as disastrous for Israel as for the Western alliance....
SOURCE: http://naviny.by (7-14-07)
The historian's dissertation examined the situation in Belarus shortly after World War II, including social stratification that created the groups of factory workers, farmers, intelligentsia, "traitors," war veterans and "westerners." It also looked into people's attitudes toward the Soviet authorities, shortages of essential goods and housing, the high crime rate during that period, and the issuance of residence permits by local authorities.
The Supreme Certification Commission concluded that the work "is intended to lead the reader to the conclusion that the Soviet state was not a natural mother but an evil, heartless stepmother for the Belarusian people and that the operation of this monster state contravened human nature."
In a letter that Ms. Kashtalyan received on July 7, Judge Ala Yashchanka of Minsk's Pershamayski District Court explains that the settlement of scientific disputes does not fall within the jurisdiction of courts.
As Ms. Kashtalyan told BelaPAN, her suit was not about any scientific disputes but about a specific violation by the Supreme Certification Commission of regulations governing the awarding of scientific degrees.
"By her ruling, the judge aimed to conceal from the public the disgraceful truth about the nature of the commission," she said.
SOURCE: Independent (UK) (7-16-07)
For many generations of history graduates of St Hugh's College, Oxford, Betty Kemp was an inspiring teacher from whom they learned how to think for themselves and to develop and maintain opinions through rigorous analysis and vigorous debate. She was a kind and caring tutor, equally skilful in giving confidence to shy teenagers and in guiding more sophisticated young women as they emerged into the wider world of the university.
Born in Bowdon, Cheshire in 1916, Betty Kemp was the oldest child and only daughter of William Kemp and his wife Gertrude (née Hampson). Both her parents were schoolteachers and she attended the County High School for Girls at Altrincham from 1923 to 1933, passing the Higher School Certificate Examination when only 16. As a schoolgirl, Betty already demonstrated the high standard of duty to the community, the frank and friendly manner, the intellectual enthusiasm and originality of mind that characterised her throughout her long life.
SOURCE: WILLIAM VOEGELI in the WSJ (7-16-07)
His career moved from triumph to triumph during the middle third of the 20th century, when liberalism was ascendant. His second book, "The Age of Jackson," won a Pulitzer Prize in 1946, when he was 27. As befits a man who, according to the New York Times obituary, frequently wrote 5,000 words a day, Schlesinger authored more than 20 books and hundreds of articles for periodicals that ranged from Foreign Affairs to Ladies' Home Journal. Before 1960 he finished three volumes of "The Age of Roosevelt"--"The Crisis of the Old Order" (1957), "The Coming of the New Deal" (1958), and "The Politics of Upheaval" (1960). (He never completed the remaining volumes, which would have covered the final eight years of Roosevelt's presidency.)
Schlesinger played a central role in founding Americans for Democratic Action in 1947, and his influential book of 1949, "The Vital Center," remains the best expression of the ADA worldview. He was a speechwriter for Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 and 1956 presidential campaigns, but switched to Kennedy in 1960, subsequently accepting Kennedy's offer to work in the White House as a special assistant. He left the Johnson administration two months after Dallas, going on to win a second Pulitzer with "A Thousand Days" (1965), his history of the Kennedy presidency. He was active in Robert Kennedy's brief presidential campaign in 1968, writing a best-selling biography of RFK 10 years later.
The last campaign in which Schlesinger played a significant role was Ted Kennedy's attempt to wrest the Democratic nomination from Jimmy Carter in 1980. Kennedy's defeat by the more conservative Carter, and then Carter's defeat by the much more conservative Ronald Reagan, sent Schlesinger--and liberalism--into internal exile. Unlike his seven immediate predecessors in the Oval Office, "Reagan couldn't have cared less" what Schlesinger had to say, according to Mr. Lemann.
SOURCE: WSJ (7-14-07)
2. "The Road to Stalingrad" by John Erickson (Harper & Row, 1975).
3. "Germany and the Second World War," Vol. 6, edited by Horst Boog, Werner Rahn, Reinhard Stumpf and Bernd Wegner (Oxford, 2001).
4. "Closing the Ring" by Winston S. Churchill (Houghton Mifflin, 1951).
5. "Japan Subdued" by Herbert Feis (Princeton, 1961).
SOURCE: Jacki Thompson Rand at Common-Place.org (7-1-07)
I am often asked what I think of the National Museum of the American Indian. That I have nothing to say surprises the people who ask the question because usually they know that I worked for the museum for the first four years of its existence. The fact is, I have never visited the National Museum of the American Indian and declined the invitation to attend the opening. In her "Why I Cannot Read Wallace Stegner" (1996), an essay in a collection by the same name, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn expresses her rejection of Stegner’s autobiography Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier (1955) and his Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West (1954). Cook-Lynn protests the colonial privilege and ideology that inspired Stegner’s romanticized view of the American West, with its tragically vanished American Indian. Such works have aided the disappearance of Native people from history. My inability to visit the National Museum of the American Indian stems from a similar sense about its mission and its exhibits. To me, the museum represents a lost opportunity to integrate American Indians into the national consciousness.
"We’ve been trying to educate the visitors for five hundred years; how long will it take to educate the visitors?" spoke an elderly Native woman at one of several community-based consultations I organized for the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) between 1989 and 1994. Her words—strong, angry, and impatient—formed a response to the question we carried to each consultation: what should the museum say about Native America? Her agitated comeback affected the remainder of my experience as one of the museum’s early planners and has remained with me for the past fourteen or fifteen years. Smithsonian representatives had no response for the woman then; today, the finished museum stands as a reminder of how the small-but-growing museum staff failed to find, in that tense moment of public scolding, inspiration and encouragement to tell the story that we know and the nation denies.
SOURCE: NYT (7-15-07)
Four decades after their smashing military victory over Egypt, Jordan and Syria, Israelis generally concede that in many ways the war was a disaster. The continued occupation of the West Bank, and control over the Palestinians who live there, has sapped Israel financially, politically, militarily and morally. By now, how it all came to be is only barely understood, or even addressed; with crises in that part of the world occurring almost daily, history seems almost a luxury, and ancient history especially.
Ancient history? 1967? If you don’t think so, picture a time before suicide bombings and settlements; when American support for Israel was not a given; when a majority of the Knesset spoke — and thought — in Yiddish; when Israelis still had no television programs, and Jerusalemites assumed explosions must be earthquakes; when terms like intifada, Hamas and even Palestinian were either unfamiliar or not yet coined; when Israelis argued — with straight faces — that Jews everywhere were safer thanks to them. That’s beyond ancient; it’s prehistoric.
But as Segev writes in “1967,” his illuminating, if exhausting, book on Israel’s most fateful year, even at the time there were Israelis who foresaw what ultimately came to pass. True, conquering East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan Heights helped fulfill the Zionist dream and gave the country more defensible borders. But as various Israeli officials warned, it would also radicalize the Palestinians, intensify Palestinian nationalism and force Israel to act with a brutality and intolerance that, as one put it, “we, as a people and as Jews, abhor.” Besides, King Hussein was doing a fine job neutering the Palestinians, either making them Jordanians or prodding them to emigrate....
SOURCE: NYT (7-15-07)
But Timothy Naftali, respected as an apolitical historian, has taken over at the library, promising to showcase the new tapes for the public — “the good, the bad and the ugly.” This is good news, and as Mr. Naftali delivers on this mission, the nation can relish, or not, the latest revelations. In one of these, a few days before his re-election, Mr. Nixon asked an aide, “What about Watergate?” The president was assured no one was finding out much.
SOURCE: http://www.bianet.org (7-12-07)
Akcam argues that the investigations Turkey launches into academic research, using Article 301, are contrary to the European Convention of Human Rights (http://conventions.coe.int/treaty/en/Treaties/Html/005.htm), endorsed by Turkey.
Article 301 contravenes, in particular, articles 7, 10 and 14 of the Convention because it limits freedom of expression.
Facing history is not a crime but a necessity, Akcam says.
“My goal is to see Turkey become a totally free and democratic country. However, as long as academic discussions are considered criminal in Turkey, this is not possible. Facing history and human rights violations of the past cannot be a crime. Rather, they are a precondition for peace and regional rapprochement,” he said.
Akcam sees his role as facilitating this process.
Akcam’s lawyer for the ECHR application is International Law Professor Dr. Payam Akhavan of McGill University (Montreal, Canada, who was an advisor on the international crime courts formed to deal with the war crimes of Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
According to Dr. Akhavan, “Freedom of speech should only be limited in cases of expressions of hate, not in discourses against hate.”
Akcam himself almost fell victim to the notorious law. After a complaint to a chief public prosecutor’s office in Eyüp, Istanbul, by a person named Recep Akkus, an investigation against Akcam was instigated by the Sisli chief public prosecutor’s office (also in Istanbul). This investigation was dismissed in March 2007.
Public prosecutor Muhittin Ayata of the Sisli office had evaluated an article entitled “Hrant Dink, 301 and a Criminal Complaint”, which was published in the weekly Agos newspaper on 6 October 2006. In the article, Akcam had written, “I believe that what happened between 1915 and 1917 was a genocide.” No suit was brought against Akcam.
In the dismissal of proceedings, the court said that “the suspect is a history professor who, in all his articles and conference papers, has expressed the idea that the events of 1915-1919 can be defined as a genocide. When the article which is subject of a complaint is considered as a whole, it becomes clear that there are no attempts to degrade Turkishness, that the text remains within the framework of freedom of thought as defined by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, that there is no incitement to crime, no praise of crimes or criminals, and no incitement to hatred and hostility”.
For further information contact Nadire Mater at BIANET, Faikpasa Yokusu, No. 41, Antikhane, Kat: 3, D.8-9, Cukurcuma, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey, tel: +90 212 251 1503, fax: +90 212 251 1609, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: http://www.bianet.org
SOURCE: NYT Book Review (7-12-07)
“Legacy of Ashes,” a deeply researched new chronicle of the Central Intelligence Agency by Tim Weiner, who covered intelligence issues for many years for The New York Times, is impassioned too. He is just as indignant about the offenses that Congress and other parts of our government investigated three decades ago — and others have exposed since then.
The chief target of Mr. Weiner’s anger, however, is not C.I.A. immorality but C.I.A. incompetence. “The most powerful country in the history of Western civilization has failed to create a first-rate spy service,” he complains. “That failure constitutes a danger to the national security of the United States.”
In this sense “Legacy of Ashes” is conspicuously a book of its time. In 2007 many Americans who think of the C.I.A. — when they consider the now-diminished agency at all — wonder bitterly why it could not help us avoid the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and why it claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction so dangerous that we had to fight a costly war in Iraq. ...
Anyone tempted to write this book off as an anti-C.I.A. screed had better look at Mr. Weiner’s sources. The author has impressively studied the archival record, teased out newly declassified primary documents and done numerous interviews to glean as much as can be publicly known about the agency’s history. Some of the most damning criticism of the C.I.A.’s past performance in this book comes not from gadflies or ideologues but from ex-officials and long-secret authorized accounts by C.I.A. historians....
SOURCE: Common-Place.org (7-1-07)
Richard Hakluyt the younger, as he is usually known, became the most important promoter of the English colonization of North America in the late sixteenth century. Often confused with his older cousin of the same name, the younger Hakluyt rose to prominence not through any great act of heroism or by braving an Atlantic crossing. His life was marked instead by more prosaic achievements. He was a scholarship student at Westminster School, near the edge of the walled city of London, who then attended college at Christ Church Oxford where he received his B.A. in 1574 and an M.A. in 1577. He spent most of his adult life in London, Oxford, and Wetheringsett, a small village in rural Suffolk. He also lived in Paris during the 1580s, as a chaplain assigned to the English ambassador. Hakluyt had two opportunities to go to the Western Hemisphere, once to Newfoundland in 1583 and again as one of the first colonists bound for Jamestown. He declined both....
SOURCE: Robert E. Wright at Common-Place.org (7-1-07)
In short, free American males could have owned firearms to further their personal happiness and should have owned firearms to help protect the community.
In A Well-Regulated Militia, Ohio State University history professor Saul Cornell frees us from the fallacy of the loaded question (excuse the pun) "Is the Second Amendment an individual or a collective right?" by showing beyond a reasonable doubt that it was sort of both but ultimately neither. Originally, keeping and bearing arms was as much a tax or civic obligation as a right. In most colonies, every able-bodied adult man was enjoined by law to own and maintain a military-quality musket or rifle and to drill on muster days. Those who failed to comply were fined because the militia protected Americans from external threats and, in an era before powerful police forces, from domestic unrest. After passage of the U.S. Constitution, some Americans feared that the new federal government might strip them of their military arms as King George had attempted to do during the pre-Revolution imperial crisis. With this view of the matter, the controversial amendment's seemingly odd construction makes sense: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" (1). In other words, individuals must be able to own firearms so they can help protect the community from a wide assortment of possible external and internal threats....
SOURCE: AP (7-13-07)
Black, the former head of the Hollinger International Inc. newspaper empire [and the author of a biography of Franklin Roosevelt], had been accused of swindling shareholders out of millions of dollars.
A federal court jury of nine men and three women delivered their verdict after deliberating 11 days following 14 weeks of testimony at the racketeering and fraud trial.
Black, 62, a member of the British House of Lords, faced a maximum of 35 years in prison for the offenses the jury convicted him of, plus a maximum penalty of $1 million.
The case reflected the U.S. government's efforts to crack down harder on corporate malfeasance in recent years, following the Enron, Tyco and WorldCom scandals, and to hold top executives personally accountable for their companies' actions.
Hollinger International once owned community papers across the United States and Canada as well as the Chicago Sun-Times, the Toronto-based National Post, The Daily Telegraph of London and Israel's Jerusalem Post. The Sun-Times is the only large paper remaining and the name of the company has been changed to Sun-Times News Group.
SOURCE: Robert Townsend in the AHA Blog (Click on SOURCE for embedded links.) (7-12-07)
SOURCE: Can West (7-13-07)
Filmmaker Ken Burns is poised to break from this trend when he unveils his most ambitious project yet - in his words, "a 61/2-year labour of love."
The War, a 15-hour, seven-night look at "the greatest cataclysm in American history," as Burns called the Second World War, will debut on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. - exactly 17 years to the moment that his genre-defining program The Civil War premiered on PBS.
The War will focus on the experiences of "so-called ordinary people," Burns said, emphasizing the 'so-called' with deliberate irony.
By telling the story of the Second World War through the eyes of everyday people drawn from four, geographically disparate towns - Waterbury, Ct., Mobile, Ala., Sacramento, Calif. and Luverne, Minn. - Burns believes viewers and amateur historians alike will get a genuine sense of what happened between December 1941 and September 1945.
"Not the good war of our imagination and sentimentality," Burns said, "but the worst war ever, responsible for the deaths of nearly 60 million human beings - what it was like in battle and, for some, to work and worry and wait and grieve back home, undistracted by a focus on generals and politicians, strategy and tactics, armaments and weaponry."...
SOURCE: AP (7-12-07)
Profiles of two Hispanics will conclude the first and sixth episodes of the roughly 15-hour, seven-part"The War," debuting Sept. 23 on PBS, Burns told a news conference. An Indian soldier's story will be at the end of episode five, he said."There's been a hot political battle, and we tried to rise above and take the high road and respond as best we could," Burns said.
"It doesn't alter the vision of the film that we made and completed a year and a half ago," he told a meeting of the Television Critics Association.
Altogether, about 28 minutes have been placed at the conclusion of the installments but before the credits, he said."We've done more than we were asked and expected to, which is our way of kind of honoring our own interest in doing this right," he said.
Antonio Morales of the American GI Forum, a Hispanic veterans group, welcomed the inclusion of two Hispanic veterans."The two Latino Marines who are part of the documentary 'The War' represent the honor and patriotism of all Hispanic- Americans," he said in a statement....