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: The Sikh Times (9-14-09)
Peter Bance is a historian who has shattered the glass ceiling in western journalism, publishing a book on the life of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the youngest son of the Maharajah Rajit Singh, king of the Sikh Kingdom, which ended in 1849
It's the biggest celebration of the best in new East Anglian writing - and has reveal the shortlisted entries for the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, supported by Writers' Centre Norwich...
We spoke exclusively to Peter Bance:
When did you know you would be nominated for the EDP- Jarrolds East Anglian Book Awards 2009
I was told that the book was entered in June when the book was reviewed in the Eastern Daily Press. The shortlist was a pleasant surprise!
Do you know what the format of the awards ceremony is
there are 6 categories:
Fiction and Poetry
Places and Nature
Art and Photography
History and Tradition
Guidebooks and Travel
I was entered into the History & Traditions category. And have been now shortlisted in this category (I beleive its down to the last 3 entrants per category). There will be an Individual award for each category, and then an overall winner will be chosen from the 6 category winners on the ceremony next month.
How dose it feel to be short listed in the history section
It feels great to be shortlisted for a book award, and makes you feel proud as a Sikh as well as individual in reaching this achievement, and secondly thankful that my research has been recognised. Being shortlisted is a major milestone, and it’s like winning for me...
SOURCE: Time Magazine (9-14-09)
[Readers who want to submit a question should click on the SOURCE link above.]
SOURCE: Steven Plaut at frontpagemag.com (9-9-09)
Tony Judt’s own parents were Jewish refugees from anti-Semitic persecution in Eastern Europe. Growing up in London, he lived briefly on a kibbutz in Israel in the 1960s. At that point in his career, he liked Israel, perhaps because France liked it and because the United States was ambivalent. Later, when the United States liked Israel and France detested it, Judt made his own political U-turn.
Unlike most of the leftist Bash-Israel academics, whose output consists of predictably dreary attacks on “the Zionist entity,” Judt actually has done some notable academic work. He considers himself an expert on French history and has published widely on this subject to general acclaim, although some French thinkers have challenged his credentials. But in recent years he has made a transition away from intellectual history to an obsessive concern with the Middle East conflict. As a groupie of the late Professor of English Literature and of Terror at Columbia University, Edward Said, Judt wrote the introduction to a recent collection of Said essays. The following lengthy sentence summarizes the tone and viewpoint of his approach to Israel and its quest for survival:
"Today [Israel] presents a ghastly image: a place where sneering 18-year-olds with M-16s taunt helpless old men (“security measures”); where bulldozers regularly flatten whole apartment blocks (“rooting out terrorists”); where helicopters fire rockets into residential streets (“targeted killings”); where subsidized settlers frolic in grass-fringed swimming pools, oblivious of Arab children a few meters away who fester and rot in the worst slums on the planet. . . ."
Judt has done absolutely no scholarly research into the Middle East conflict. His writing consists primarily in issuing fatwas against Israel for allegedly conducting an “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians in 1948. He also cannot imagine any problems in the world that could not be resolved through the abandonment of Israel by the United States. Not that he has any particularly strong affection for America, which he holds guilty (gasp) of having suppressed its liberals and leftists.
Judt was one of those who rallied in support of Norman Finkelstein, when the loony pseudo-academic enemy of Israel and Jews was dismissed from DePaul University due to his lack of any serious scholarly work. Like the other Finkelstein apologists, Judt insisted that Finkelstein was a martyr who had been victimized by the all-but-invisible but nonetheless omnipotent Jewish-Israel Lobby.
In a superb expose of Judt and his problem with Israel, Benjamin Balint argues that Judt’s hatred of Israel, however freighted with postmodern attitudinizing, often resembles and imitates traditional anti-Semitism. Judt’s insistence on the Jewish state’s “anachronism” edges toward a secular version of Christian supersessionism. Where once Christians wanted Jews to acknowledge the obsolescence of Judaism, Judt wants them to recognize the obsolescence of the Jewish state (“an oddity among modern nations”). Where Christianity considered the Jewish faith refuted by theological history, Judt deems the Jewish state revoked by political history. Where once Christians accused Jews of stubbornly refusing the inexorable advance of religion toward messianic fulfillment, Judt charges Israel with declining to yield to the inexorable progress of History toward enlightened universalism.
Judt pretends that he hates Israel because it is founded on nationalism, and because nationalism is dangerous as well as anachronistic. Yet every other state on the planet is also founded on nationalism, but he believes that only Israel requires extermination. There is a word for double standards that result in singling out the Jews and that word is “anti-Semitism.”
One of Judt’s most notorious tantrums against Israel appeared in the New York Review of Books on October 23, 2003. There he basically insists that Israel and Israel alone is responsible for all continuing tensions in the Middle East and for the failure to achieve peace. The entire article is a call for Israel’s dismemberment and replacement by a single state with an Arab majority, or what other anti-Semites these days are calling the “One-State Solution,” although it might more accurately been termed “the Rwanda Solution” for what would soon follow its establishment. The article, which David Frum called “genocidal liberalism,” triggered more than a thousand letters, most attacking Judt. As a result of the piece, The New Republic, on whose board he had previously sat, gave him the bum’s rush, and expelled him from the magazine.
In that same article Judt also dismisses Israel as a country of fascists: “When one hears Israel's deputy prime minister, Ehud Olmert, proudly insist that his country has not excluded the option of assassinating the elected president of the Palestinian Authority, it is clear that the label fits better than ever. Political murder is what fascists do.” Judt there also excuses suicide bombing mass murders against Jews because, “the Palestinians have no other weapons.” He compares Israel’s security fence, designed to keep Palestinian suicide bombers away from Jewish school buses and shopping malls, to the Berlin Wall, and then challenges the foundational legitimacy of Israel: “The very idea of a Jewish state"—a state in which Jews and the Jewish religion have exclusive privileges from which non-Jewish citizens are forever excluded—is rooted in another time and place. Israel, in short, is an anachronism.” His anti -Israel obsession prevents him from noting that there are 22 Arab states in which Arabs and the Muslim religion have exactly the exclusive privileges that he finds objectionable when Israelis enjoy them.
He then repeats the tired fiction about how the supposedly powerful Israel Lobby prevents criticism of Israel. “It has also corroded American domestic debate. Rather than think straight about the Middle East, American politicians and pundits slander our European allies when they dissent, speak glibly and irresponsibly of resurgent anti-Semitism when Israel is criticized, and censoriously rebuke any public figure at home who tries to break from the consensus.” This is a theme he returned to in the New York Review of Books, July 14, 2005, when he wrote that “Israel and its lobbyists have an excessive and disastrous influence on the policies of the world’s superpower.” ...
SOURCE: The Sun (9-15-09)
And it is tipped to brand first President George Washington a TRAITOR.
Freemasons have been accused of influencing judges, police, civil servants and academics.
The 1.5million members of America's 2,000 lodges are also regularly accused of occultism and Satanism, which they strongly deny.
British historian and Masonic expert Ashley Cowie last night blasted Brown over the book, published in the UK tomorrow.
He said: "Dan Brown is about to make a huge controversy because he knows it sells. He's going to create uproar in America. But it's fiction, not fact."
But fellow historian David Shugarts said: "It's true that some of the founding fathers were powerful Masons."
SOURCE: The Chronicle of Higher Education (9-14-09)
That was not always the case. Christopher Columbus, for instance, figured prominently in academic histories in the 20th century. Charles McLean Andrews, a professor of American history at Yale, began his four-volume history of the Anglo-American colonies with a chapter on Columbus and other explorers. A generation later, Samuel Eliot Morison, the most avid modern biographer of Columbus, organized a Harvard expedition to retrace the route of the man he called the "Admiral of the Ocean Sea."
By 1992, the 500th anniversary of his world-changing voyage, Columbus had become the spiritual father of the European assault on American Indian peoples and landscapes as well as the architect of slavery in the Western Hemisphere. He attracted attention because he represented the dark side of the age of discovery. Poor Columbus, one commentator wrote—mugged on the way to his own party.
Henry Hudson, by contrast, has long languished in obscurity. He gets barely a mention in college-level American-history textbooks. The last substantive biography of Hudson appeared in 1928, a striking fact given that his namesake river borders Manhattan, home to the American publishing industry. But publishers of children's literature have kept Hudson's memory alive in series like Groundbreakers and the Great Explorers. Crabtree Publishing Company released a volume on Hudson in its In the Footsteps of Explorers series, which includes a map that uses footprints to depict Hudson's journeys. Because he crossed the Atlantic, the map suggests that the English explorer was the first person since Jesus to walk on water.
The lack of scholarly attention paid to Hudson and other explorers is unfortunate for two reasons. First, Hudson's life makes for a great yarn, and narrating it fulfills one of the ancient duties of the historian: to tell a good story. Second, his experience has much to tell us about European expansion in the Americas. Hudson failed—he never found the Northwest Passage—but the knowledge he brought back to Europe inspired economic dreams that were later acted on by outfits like the Hudson Bay Company...
... To most scholars, explorers are peripheral to the serious issues that historians of the era study, like how Old World diseases spread in the New World and how trans-Atlantic trade developed. More, the leaders of expeditions were often elite white men whose main goal was to bring honor to themselves and to increase the wealth and power of the nations or companies that sponsored them. Many of them acted barbarously toward indigenous peoples. Scholars rightly recoil from popular biographies that celebrate such individuals.
But writing about explorers does not require an act of ancestor worship. Many of them left behind accounts that shed valuable light on the past. The reports from Hudson and his crew provide crucial details about the North Atlantic in the early 17th century. Such documents allow us to reconstruct his relations with indigenous peoples, as well as the environment—especially in places like the Arctic, where global warming has brought devastating ecological changes. In fact, the scientist Robert Boyle's book Experimental History of Cold, published in 1665, drew on accounts of James Bay, site of the mutiny against Hudson.
Scholars understandably tend to emphasize the successful experiences of Europeans who landed in the Caribbean or eastern North America, giving the impression that newcomers to the Western Hemisphere knew where to go to profit. But that is not correct. Once Europeans convinced themselves that they had the right to take possession of American land—despite the fact that it was already inhabited by other peoples—explorers set off to figure out where the next source of wealth might be found. Hudson was desperate to discover a water route to the spice markets in the East Indies. But cartographers did not yet know if such routes actually existed. It took the efforts of individuals willing to endure extreme hardship—frozen skin and eyes, scurvy, drowning on a ship whose hull could be pierced by an iceberg—to expand Europe's understanding of North America and exploit its riches.
So what propels a person to repeatedly risk his life in uncharted waters? The scholarly literature largely ignores the personal qualities and quirks that drove explorers forward. By highlighting those attributes, authors of children's books teach lessons that academic historians would do well to emulate. In addition to the underlying social, cultural, and economic forces that shaped the past, we might also think about those whose efforts, however doomed, expanded the mental horizons of their worlds. That is a task worthy of any historian, within academe or beyond.
SOURCE: Press Release (9-14-09)
According to Craig, "Scores of books have been written about the Hiss case, most notably, Alan Weinstein’s 1978 tome Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case. While recent writings of G. Edward White (Alger Hiss's Looking Glass Wars) and Susan Jacoby (Alger Hiss and the Battle for History) demonstrate that partisans on both sides of the Hiss-Chambers controversy have had their say, there has yet to appear in print a balanced biography based nearly exclusively on primary source material that places the story of Alger Hiss the man and his times in the context of 20th century history. This book seeks to fill that void."
"The fact is, Hiss lived through most of the 20th century and because of that it is possible to place him -- both as an observer and participant -- in several major historical events of that century: the Great Depression, New Deal and “Popular Front” eras of the 1930s, World War II, the founding of the United Nations, the Cold War and McCarthy eras, the radical 60’s and the post-Watergate era."
"My hope is that in each chapter of this book readers will discover something new about the man" says Craig. The book promises new insights into the Hiss-Chambers relationship as Craig's strategy is to examine the congruence of the lives of these two gladiators with those of their wives, mutual friends, and acquaintances over a period of years. The last third of the book traces Hiss’s role in the six decade long fight for vindication. To this end the book will seek to explain why Hiss opted to employ a what some have characterized as "a strategy of denial" for over five decades."
Research for this book began over twenty years ago and is based on information drawn from dozens of library and archival sources, including some never before tapped by researchers such as the Hiss family papers. The text is being enriched with information culled from oral interviews conducted with scores of individuals, including Alger Hiss, his son Tony, step-son Timothy Hobson, and other prominent figures in the Hiss-Chambers controversy such as HUAC’s lead investigator Robert Stripling whose insights into the motivations of Richard Nixon in pursuing the Hiss case are without parrallel.
Craig is interested in hearing from anyone who came into contact with and has a recollection of Alger Hiss, especially in the time period from 1954 (after his release from prison) until his death in 1996. Craig can be reached at <email@example.com>.
SOURCE: NYT (9-11-09)
After all, Mr. Thompson is Nitze’s grandson, and he had access to all of his grandfather’s personal papers and letters, as well as to his family, his closest friends, even to his opponents, the old Soviet warriors who sat opposite him at the negotiating table.
“I did about 150 interviews,” for the book “The Hawk and The Dove,” Mr. Thompson said, and many of them “would not have talked to me if I wasn’t Paul Nitze’s grandson.”
Thin and tall, with a sweep of dark hair falling across his forehead, Mr. Thompson, 34, was lunching on the Upper East Side, just a few blocks from the Council on Foreign Relations, where both Nitze (the hawk of the title) and Kennan (the seeming dove) often went during the more than 50 years that they advised presidents, congressmen and cabinet members on issues of war and peace — usually from opposing sides.
Mr. Thompson, an editor at Wired magazine, said he was often taken aback by what he found. The book is brimming with fascinating revelations about the men and the harrowing events they steered through. Among them: Kennan’s request for a cyanide capsule while serving as Soviet ambassador (Nitze, in a note, attributes it to Kennan’s fear that a romantic affair would be publicized); Kennan’s contact with an Associated Press reporter who was helping Stalin’s grandson defect to the United States in 1975; Nitze’s decision to destroy evidence that Soviet pilots were flying aircraft for the North Koreans in 1950 to avoid a potential nuclear showdown; a discussion between Nitze and Robert S. McNamara, the former secretary of defense, about provoking a Soviet attack during the Cuban missile crisis.
Mr. Thompson, whose mother, Nina, was one of Nitze’s four children, grew up in the middle of some of this history. In the basement of their house were the black (Soviet) and white (American) missile models that his grandfather always used to illustrate the difference between the superpowers’ forces. At 5, Nicholas learned from his father, Scott Thompson, what the balance of power meant. For a term paper in the sixth grade, he remembers writing about intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and sea-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs), the items his grandfather had recently argued about with the Russians in Geneva.
“We were brought up to believe that the Soviets were bad and dangerous, and missiles were important,” he said.
Mostly, though, Mr. Thompson’s recollections of his grandfather are of a kind, generous and funny man. They hiked, fished, played tennis and skied together. By the time Mr. Thompson was old enough to take part in political discussions, however, his grandfather, who died in 2004 at 97, was frail and no longer in the thick of things....
SOURCE: Free Speech Radio News (9-11-09)
Nine-eleven commemorations across the country have focused on those who died and their families. Some critics say we should pay greater attention to those who survived.
Historian and writer Rebecca Solnit recently published a book on people's reaction to terrorist attacks and natural disasters. In Paradise in Hell Solnit argues that events like the September 11th attacks, while tragic, also bring out the best in people and show us ways in which our societies can improve. Solnit says that the US government and the media ignored these lessons and did quite the opposite. Her essay on the topic was published today on tomdispatch.com.
Rebecca Solnit: How 9/11 Should Be Remembered
SOURCE: Taegan Goddard's Political Wire (9-12-09)
Hart conducts a long-term (1948-1996) analysis of thousands of texts from several genres of campaign discourse -- including campaign speeches, print and television news coverage, debates, advertisements and letters to the editor -- with a computerized content analysis program and sheds light on the important role campaigns play in sustaining democracy by creating a national dialogue.
SOURCE: AngolaPress (9-11-09)
Júlio Mendes, who is also a lecturer at Higher Institute for Educational Sciences (ISCED), defended this stand whilst addressing the workshop on "Agostinho Neto, national and foreign cultural values" at the auditorium of Oscar Ribas University.
To the historian, Neto's legacy, which will be studied, contains various aspects relating to his sacrifice to fight against the Portuguese colonialism that led to the country's independence, in November 11, 1975.
“Agostinho Neto used his poems to fight against colonialists and made people believe that it is possible to fight against slavery", he stressed.
SOURCE: Bernard A. Weisberger in American Heritage (8-17-09)
My duties were in the Signal Intelligence Service, the acorn out of which grew today's mighty oak, the National Security Agency. I translated Japanese radio messages snatched from the ether by our intercept operators and, when possible, decoded by our cryptanalysts. The English renderings by the likes of me were sent on to our war planners. My training, like that of the rest of us overnight Japanese linguists, was hasty and inadequate for any genuine grasp of the language, but it still served to collect vital intelligence.
I'm glad to have had my infinitely tiny part in winning the war, though I still wince a bit at sharing the standing of "veteran" with those who actually risked their lives. But all of us temporary citizen-soldiers understood that we had suddenly been entrusted with the gravest kind of responsibilities, on which many lives could depend. That's the "secret" shared by our shrinking community of now truly old-timers—we grew up together under extraordinary pressures. So do all veterans, of course, but we swarming millions were distinctive in feeling the total outreach, the all-encompassing nature of the worldwide cataclysm that left no one untouched. We were actors in the biggest drama of our century, perhaps of all time.
FOR ME IT BEGAN in the classrooms of New York City's Columbia College, where I was a member of the junior class when Pearl Harbor so rudely interrupted our education. The sudden plunge into hostilities had caught the nation with a critical shortage of Japanese translators. At the time, few Americans studied any Asian languages. The world was still European-dominated, the language of diplomacy was French, and that of international business usually English. Only a few major universities—Columbia among them—offered Japanese instruction, primarily for tiny numbers of graduate students in Asian history, literature, and art. The answer clearly had to be a crash program, like so many others of that feverish spring, to begin teaching the tongue to thousands more Americans, as quickly as possible. I enrolled with a number of good language students in an intensive beginning Japanese class....
SOURCE: USPRWire (9-10-09)
“The Da Vinci Code’s overarching premise was an Old World clash of religion and science,” Hafnor said, “while the fresh theme for The Lost Symbol is likely to be a uniquely American power struggle between secret societies and the experiment known as democracy.”
There seems to be no break in the book’s September 15 embargo (even inside Random House, only a half dozen employees have been allowed to read The Lost Symbol in its entirety). Despite this, the rumor mill has Dan Brown’s protagonist Robert Langdon exploring symbols allegedly hidden in U.S. currency, such as the Masonic all-seeing eye at the top of the pyramid...
... Hafnor, an unabashed fan of Dan Brown’s books, none-the-less takes issue with statements recently issued by Lost Symbol publisher Knopf Doubleday(Random House) stating that readers can expect the new Brown book to be “infused with history.” Said Hafnor, “The Lost Symbol will, after all, not be history but rather a novel. If readers want a book “infused with history” then why not a real best-selling history book? I’d suggest Michael Meyer’s The Year that Changed the World, Peter Canellos’ Last Lion, or Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.” ...
... Last week, former Publisher’s Weekly editor Sara Nelson called Brown a “Book Killer.” The theory is that Brown’s readers will only troop into stores (or go online) starting Sept. 15 to buy the discounted Symbol, and they won’t buy anything else. And some critics argue that the media frenzy surrounding Symbol will drown out coverage of other books. Hafnor disagrees, stating that he believes Symbol will return America’s gaze to it’s early history, and will stoke adult reading appetities much as Harry Potter did for the youth reader.
SOURCE: Winnipeg Free Press (9-9-09)
Allan Levine hopes to finish his one-volume book about William Lyon Mackenzie King in time for fall 2012 publication by Douglas & McIntyre.
D&M issued a news release on the signing Wednesday.
"It's really the history of Canada in the first half of the 20th century," said Levine, 53, who has previously published several non-fiction and fiction titles.
"If someone like David McCullough can write books about John Adams and Harry Truman, why can't Canadians write in the same colourful way about their prime ministers?"
Born in 1874, Mackenzie King served six terms and over 22 years as a Liberal Party prime minister. He died in 1950...
... Levine, who has a PhD in history from the University of Toronto, teaches at St. John's Ravenscourt School. His most recent book is a history of Winnipeg's Jewish Community, Coming of Age.
He contributed writing and research to Peter C. Newman's 2008 biography of Winnipeg media mogul Izzy Asper.
The Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, signaling the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era in transatlantic relations and European unity. November 9, 2009 celebrates 20 years since the Berlin Wall was torn down. Long a symbol of isolation and contention, the Berlin Wall now symbolizes hope, change and unity. Students at more than 25 US universities will celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by organizing Campus Weeks with financial and organizational support from the German Embassy in Washington DC .
This fall, George Mason University and CHNM will join in the German Embassy’s campaign, Freedom Without Walls, a crosscultural celebration of the unification of East Germany and West Germany, and the possibility for peaceful change throughout the world. CHNM is hosting the George Mason website for Freedom Without Walls, which will feature updates on project news, Campus Week events, and new content.
The Campus Weeks are a component of Germany ’s Freedom Without Walls campaign, an effort to reach out to the generation that was born around the time the wall came down.
Ambassador Scharioth explained that reaching today’s university students is critical if the memory and the inspiration of the fall of the wall is to be preserved. “Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the vestiges of the wall remind us that freedom is precious,” he said. “We are proud to support a new generation of future leaders in their effort to discover and to share what the fall of the wall means to them,” he continued.
The Freedom Without Walls Campus Weeks will include public speaking competitions and an art competition involving replicas of the Berlin Wall to be located across the country.
The German Embassy has created a website with information about the historic anniversary at www.Germany.info/withoutwalls, as well as a Freedom Without Walls page on Facebook. The Germany.info website contains comprehensive information about the history of Germany’s division and reunification, and it will document the Campus Weeks using online video and photos.
The Freedom Without Walls campaign is generously supported by Air Berlin and by the Max Kade Foundation, Inc.
The Goethe-Institut USA and the Wende Museum in Los Angeles provide support in kind for the German Embassy’s Freedom Without Walls campaign.
Colleges and Universities Participating in Freedom Without Walls Campus Weeks 2009
California State University Long Beach
Canisius College , Buffalo
Chapman University , LA
University of Cincinnati
University of Florida
University of South Florida
George Mason University
Johns Hopkins University
University of Massachusetts – Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Missouri-St. Louis
University of Oregon
University of St. Thomas
UCLA – to be confirmed
University of Virginia
SOURCE: WMU News (9-9-09)
Dr. G. Michael Grammer, associate professor of geosciences, and Dr. Takashi Yoshida, associate professor of history, will be presented the Emerging Faculty Scholar Award during WMU's Academic Convocation ceremonies beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the WMU Dalton Center. Convocation activities also will include WMU President John M. Dunn's State of the University address and the presentation of several other faculty, teaching and service awards.
The Emerging Scholar Award program was launched late in 2006 to acknowledge the accomplishments of WMU faculty members who are among the rising stars in U.S. higher education. It is designed to celebrate the contributions of faculty who are in the first decade of their careers at WMU and who, by virtue of their contributions to scholarship or creative activity, have achieved national recognition and demonstrated outstanding promise to achieve renown in their continuing work. The award goes to scholars nominated for consideration through a campuswide selection process and carries a $2,000 cash prize for each recipient...
... Dr. Takashi Yoshida
Associate Professor of History
2009 Emerging Scholar
Yoshida, a WMU faculty member since 2002, also has compiled an enviable track record in his research. In addition to being a specialist in Japan's recent history, his work more broadly encompasses the recent history of Asia, World War II and historical memory in the 20th century.
His credits include the book "The Making of the 'Rape of Nanking': History and Memory in Japan, China and the United States," an analysis of cultural and historical significance of the 1937 Nanjing massacre by the Japanese army. In the book, Yoshida examines how views of the Nanjing Massacre have evolved in history writing and public memory in Japan, China and the United States. For these nations, the question of how to treat the legacy of Nanjing--whether to deplore it, sanitize it, rationalize it or even ignore it--has aroused passions revolving around ethics, nationality and historical identity.
Yoshida's expertise on the massacre was well known before the book's publication, and at least four scholars have solicited chapters from him related to the massacre for books they were editing. The book's release in 2006 has resulted in 19 speaking engagements.
In addition to his 14 book chapters and journal articles in English, he has published four articles in Japanese, and one of his English-language articles was translated and published in Japan. Another was published in the Netherlands. In 2005, the United States Institute of Peace granted Yoshida a yearlong fellowship to conduct research on Asian peace movements. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Abe Fellowship, funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and designed to "encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern."
"Professor Yoshida's work knows no national borders," wrote one colleague. " ... It stands to reason that a scholar at home with multiple languages, having grown up in Japan, at home in the U.S., and researching in multiple countries about issues of global concern would enjoy an international reputation."
SOURCE: Jewish Info News (9-2-09)
Reisman explains that the job of the historian is to write about history. By reproducing a multitude of archival documents and testimonies, most of which have been unexamined by historians, he articulately sheds light on “an overlooked part of history that will help shift the paradigm which has prevailed for over half a century in the relevant literature.”
He acknowledges that although Turkey fascilitated the transport of Jews from Europe to Palestine, they could have done more as a place of refuge and as a transit country. Nevertheless, Reisman says Turkey did more than historians, educators, and the media have reported. In fact, he is emphatic in his argument that Turkey did significantly more than the US and the UK in saving Jewish lives during the Shoah (Holocaust).
In a systematic manner, Reisman sets out to give us documented evidence of how Turkey’s diplomats and consuls in several German occupied countries used their diplomatic status to intervene on behalf of Jews. In addition he explains that, “ In spite of veiled threats, Turkey steadfastly refused Nazi pressure to deport its own Jewry to Eastern Europe for extermination,” and at the same time, “continued to assist European Jewry to escape from the Holocaust and in most cases go to Palestine.”
Reisman informs us that, “France was one of the countries where Turkish diplomats worked to save Jews. About 10,000 of 300,000 Jews living in France at the beginning of World War II were Jews from Turkey. Turkish diplomats serving in France at that time dedicated many of their working hours to Jews. They provided official documents such as citizenship cards and passports to thousands of Jews and in this way they saved their lives.
“Behiç Erkin was the Turkish ambassador to Paris when France was under Nazi occupation. In order to prevent the Nazis from rounding up Jews, he gave them documents saying their property, houses and businesses, belonged to Turks. He saved many lives in this way.”
And in Marseille, Reisman sites the courage of Necdet Kent, who served as Turkey’s Consul-General from 1941 to 1944. He tells us that at enormous personal risk, he intervened to save around 80 Jews who had been forced to board a wagon on a train heading for a Nazi concentration camp...
SOURCE: John V. Pickstone, University of Manchester, writing for H-Net (9-4-09)
Olga was born in Lodz, Poland in 1953. She studied philosophy and sociology at Yale University (BA, 1975) and completed her graduate education in sociology at Columbia (PhD 1984). Her dissertation, written under the supervision of Robert K. Merton, was published as Schools of Thought: The Development of Linguistics from Bopp to Saussure (Reidel 1987). Since 1984 she has worked at the University of Amsterdam, first in the Department of Science Dynamics and more recently in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Her research focused on social studies of science and medicine, particularly the historical development of the biomedical sciences and their relations to medical practice.
Olga's official training was as sociologist, and she was 'defined' as science studies scholar and active in different aspects of 4S (Society for the Social Studies of Science). She was the editor of the journal Science Technology and Human Values, an Associate Editor of the American Sociological Review and, together with Edward Hackett, Judy Wajcman and Michael Lynch, an editor of the New Handbook of Science and Technology Studies (MIT Press, 2007). She also served as a member of the Council of the European Association for the Social Studies of Science and Technology and Vice President of the Section on Sociology of Science of the International Sociological Association.
Unofficially, however, Olga saw herself mostly as a historian of biomedicine, or rather as scholarly hybrid. She strove to overcome artificial barriers between disciplines, schools of thought and national traditions, and to promote truly interdisciplinary approaches -- which she believed to be sadly missing in our domains of study. Her 2004 article with Anja Hiddinga on 'Trading Zones or Citadels: Professionalization and Intellectual Change in the History of Medicine' used a bibliometric approach to display the parochialism of most historians of medicine, whose references were very largely to their own, narrowly defined, field.
Her own research -- on the development of epidemiology, bacteriology and biochemistry, the history of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, or the history of laboratory testing in medicine, was decidedly interdisciplinary. She applied approaches developed by historians, sociologists and anthropologists of science and medicine in order to study different ways of conducting medical research -- in the clinic, laboratory or the field -- and to learn how the institutional and professional contexts structured medical knowledge and its development. Her masterly contribution on 'Microbiology' to the recently published Cambridge University Press volume on The Modern Biological and Earth Sciences gives ample evidence of her range, her analytical and synthetic powers, and her literary skills.
In her free time, besides enjoying family and friends, Olga read widely and voraciously, and painted water colours. She is survived by her husband, Gene Moore, professor of English literature at the University of Amsterdam, and two daughters, Naomi and Hannah.
Olga was a stimulating and original researcher, an outstanding editor, and a scholar unfailingly committed to promoting a better understanding of what science and medicine are, and how they should be studied. She was always fun, but she was also conscientious and principled. She was interested in new approaches, but she could fight hard for her positions -- as many will recall from the debate about humans as actants.
It is a tragedy that such a generous and productive scholar she should suffer years of debilitating illness and die so young. She will be greatly missed by all her colleagues and friends.
Ilana Löwy and John Pickstone
SOURCE: The Bee (9-2-09)
Chaikin's books include the best-selling chronicle of the Apollo moon missions “A Man on the Moon”, which served as the primary basis for Tom Hanks’ Emmy-winning HBO miniseries, “From the Earth to the Moon”.
“We look for opportunities to bring acknowledged experts to OMSI,” explained its Communications Director, Lee Dawson. “Talks from authorities like Chaikin enhance our learning programs, and engage our visitors with unique experiences.”
Before presenting his free illustrated lecture, author Andrew Chaikin spoke with THE BEE.
“When I was five years old,” Chaikin began, “I felt completely in love with the planets — and became completely hooked on astronomy. I was fascinated by the idea that there are other worlds out there that could be visited. It was right around that time, fortunately, that man started going into space. I remember the Gemini missions — Ed White’s walk in space during the summer I turned nine, in 1965. I was hooked on wanting to be an astronaut.”...
... During his last two years in high school, Chaikin said, coverage of the Apollo missions kept him glued to his television. “In college, I studied geology so I could become a planetary scientist, and explore the geology of the moon and Mars. But halfway through college, I decided I didn’t want a career in science.”
Nonetheless, a couple of years after he graduated, Chaikin fell into writing about space exploration “almost by accident. I decided this is where I belong, and I just love doing it.”
While his publishers tout Chaikin as “America’s Space Historian”, the author said he feels more comfortable with the moniker, “Science journalist/space historian”.
“ ‘In Man on the Moon, The Voyages of Apollo Astronauts’, I told the story of the Apollo missions in the words of the astronauts,” said Chaikin. “I interviewed 23 out of the 24 guys who went to the moon — all but Jack Swygert, who died in 1982 — and I got to relive their experiences through their eyes. “I loved it, talking with people like Neil Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Pete Conrad, and Frank Borman for hours at a time.”
SOURCE: Philip Smallwood in http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk (9-3-09)
One reason for this absence, until nearly 70 years after Collingwood's death aged 53, may be sought in the prophylactic success of his autobiography. Collingwood's account of a sometimes frenetic and intellectually isolated life, conceived as a life of thought, is powerful and readable. But it is selective to the point where the work offers no freedom to enter the philosopher's private world and to spotlight all that the modern reader has learned to expect of a biographical treatment. No doubt much can be reconstructed from published and manuscript sources. But we have needed a biography of Collingwood to synthesise, and dramatise, this material as a connected narrative, and in the way of biography, to point a moral and adorn a tale. In the present context, where Collingwood is largely the intellectual property of philosophy, Fred Inglis' biography is a courageous act of cultural and intellectual re-contextualisation that should be applauded. From the writer of previous intellectual "lives", it is also a labour of love in the best sense.
His narrative of Collingwood's life aspires to give "the form of his thought as manifested in the shape of his life". He begins with a journey into the world of English Romanticism and its roots in Lake District cultural life in the middle and later part of the 19th century. Collingwood's mother was a pianist and painter, and his father, the painter and novelist W.G. Collingwood, was friend and secretary to John Ruskin. The family lived near Brantwood on Coniston Water, and Inglis paints an appealing picture of the rich, practical, artistic life enjoyed by the exceptionally talented boy and his three sisters.
Inglis is a colourful historian of place in its time, and eloquently evokes the living particularity of a past milieu. Chapter two, "Brought up by Hand", its title turned from Dickens, captures Collingwood's Victorian origins as these shaped his later experience as a schoolboy at Rugby. The quintessential Englishness of this combination of high moral purpose with praxis, family, teaching, preaching, art and handiwork defines the unique contribution made by a strand of Victorian English middle-classness to intellectual life. The sense of a cultural hinterland Inglis again reclaims in chapter three on Oxford and Collingwood's wartime work at the Admiralty. The localism of his vision and its authority through practice emerges in the succeeding chapter on Collingwood's archaeological digs; its cosmopolitanism in the recounting of his continental friendships and the late recuperative voyage to the East....
SOURCE: The Independent (9-7-09)
It was while working with Peter Townsend, the editor of Studio International magazine that Harrison found his platform. Townsend's editorial and tactical genius was to be surrounded by young artists and writers debating the contemporary art scene. Harrison began work after an informal interview with Townsend in the Museum Tavern in London on Christmas Eve 1965. Within a year he had organised a special issue on Mondrian, commemorating the artist's time in London. His graduate research on British art between the wars made him ideally placed to obtain reminiscences from Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson and Naum Gabo. His research led to the publication of English Art and Modernism. Harrison had to keep the extent of his involvement quiet until October 1967, when he was no longer in receipt of a grant.
He edited the feature on British artists in the Biennale des Jeunes in 1967 and immediately became friends with the sculptor Barry Flanagan and artist Jeremy Moon. Harrison wanted the magazine to show artists' work without interpretation by critics and so asked each artist to provide a statement for inclusion alongside photographic documentation. He supported numerous artists including the New Generation sculptors, artists from St Martins, and sculptors from The Stockwell Depot...
... Harrison's writing attracted attention in the United States. Phillip Leider, Artforum's editor, commissioned him, while John Coplans exerted pressure on him to become assistant curator at the new museum in Pasadena. Harrison, though flattered, regarded his loyalty to working with the circle of artists in the UK, and to Studio International, as more important than a tempting career move.
This was before he resigned the assistant's post to devote more time to editing the Art-Language journal. He remained on Studio International's masthead as a contributing editor, though after Michael Spens took on the publishing of the magazine, Harrison's involvement was advisory. But when Spens dismissed Townsend, Harrison, incensed by his cavalier treatment, wrote a letter in which he withdrew from any further engagement with the magazine. One regret he spoke about was that in gaining his conversation with Art & Language, he lost his conversation with Townsend.
On his first visit to New York at Leo Castelli's preview for Robert Rauschenberg he saw a "most unusual looking man" who he approached, asking, "are you John Coplans?" The man retorted, "Hell no, John Coplans is ugly." It was the innovative dealer and curator Seth Siegelaub, with whom Harrison would work on an interview published later that year in Studio International as well as Siegelaub's edition of Studio International as guest editor, when he took the radical step of inviting six critics, including Harrison, to give over eight pages each to an artist or artists of their choice.
In New York he met Lucy Lippard and Joseph Kosuth and they quickly became friends. Kosuth and Harrison shared an intense ideological exchange and discourse and had extensive correspondence. Harrison convinced Townsend to allow Kosuth's Art After Philosophy to be published: a long piece by an unknown artist showed the extent to which he had faith in Harrison. This essay has been reprinted in numerous anthologies including Art in Theory 1900-1990 and is still frequently discussed by art students today...
SOURCE: NWO Observer (9-6-09)
The Hitler specialist Sir Ian Kershaw, whose interview last Monday launched El Mundo’s commemorative series, said he – and most historians – would have pulled out had they known of Mr Irving’s participation.
In the interview published yesterday, Mr Irving once again played down the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Second World War, despite having served time in an Austrian jail for his extremist views.
“The Holocaust is just a slogan, a product like Kleenex or Xerox printers. They’ve turned it into a commercial phenomenon, and succeeded in making money out of it – producing films about it which have made millions,” said the 71-year-old Mr Irving, prompting fury and dismay in Israel.
Israel’s ambassador in Madrid, Raphael Schutz, condemned the interview as an insult to readers, to legitimate historians and to the concept of free speech. Mr Schutz said: “Everyone who knows anything about the issue knows that David Irving is nothing but… a con man.”
El Mundo justified publication on the grounds of freedom of expression and because Mr Irving was at the centre of a wider debate about the criminalisation of opinion.
But Avner Shalev, the director of Israel’s Holocaust Museum, responded in a letter published by El Mundo: “There are subjects about that don’t permit a ‘for’ and ‘against’. The paper gives legitimacy to a man who doesn’t deserve it… It is inconceivable that a serious newspaper should provide a platform for anti-Semitism.”
The notion of the Holocaust was built up decades after the event, Mr Irving argues. “Until the 1970s it was just a speck of dust on the horizon,” he tells El Mundo. “The proof is that it doesn’t appear in any of the biographies of the great leaders of the Second World War. But from then on it became fashionable. The Jews turned it into a brand, using the same technique as Goebbels. They invented a slogan… and repeated it ad nauseam.”
Asked if he continued to believe that the figure of six million Jews exterminated was an exaggeration, Mr Irving replied: “I’m not interested in figures. I don’t count bodies. I’m not all that interested in the Holocaust.”
SOURCE: NYT (9-3-09)
She grew up in rural Virginia in the 1950s and ’60s, surrounded by Civil War monuments to the Lost Cause and by unreconstructed Southerners. Her grandmother used to sing to her: “I’m a good old rebel / That’s just what I am / For this fair land of freedom / I do not give a damn.” Faust attended an all-white school and an all-white church; Senator Harry Byrd, one of the leaders of the resistance to Brown v. Board of Education, came from her county. Yet even as a young girl, she knew something was wrong with the adults’ way of life, and in 1957, when she was 9, she wrote a letter to the president expressing her feelings: “Please, Mr. Eisenhower,” she said, “please try and have schools and other things accept coloredpeople.” ...
SOURCE: NYT (9-4-09)
Response of Betsy McCaughey to NYT article
... Ms. McCaughey’s role as a central, if disputed, player in the national health care debate has surprised friend and foe alike, coming after a rise-and-fall story rare even by the standards of New York’s wild and woolly politics.
For the last few years, Ms. McCaughey has worked in a relatively quiet, (mostly) noncontroversial fight against hospital infection death. Her campaign has drawn some bipartisan support and won credit in New York for helping to push a law requiring hospitals to report infection rates.
But, she said an in an e-mail exchange, Mr. Obama’s health care proposals compelled her to weigh in. She said she kept the effort separate from her organization and had not coordinated with any political groups. (Ms. McCaughey resigned as a director at the medical supply company Cantel last month amid accusations of conflict of interest, which she denied.)
Her work has, however, proved to be a boon to opponents of Mr. Obama’s health care plans, if occasionally judged as over the line even by some of them.
She incorrectly stated in July that a Democratic bill in the House would “absolutely require” counseling sessions for Medicare recipients “that will tell them how to end their life sooner,” drawing a “Pants on Fire” rating from the PolitiFact fact-checking Web site; her false assertion that the presidential health adviser Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel believed “medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled” helped inspire the former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s discredited warning about “death panels’ ” deciding who is “worthy of health care.”
Far from isolating Ms. McCaughey, it has all seemed to raise her profile to levels not seen since she left office, earning her a star turn last month on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central. (The host, Jon Stewart, said he found her analysis “hyperbolic and in some cases dangerous.”)
Admirers and foes say Ms. McCaughey’s loud re-emergence in the health care debate is a testament to the same singular drive — and unabated media appeal — that catapulted her from the obscurity of academia to the near-top of New York politics more than a decade ago....
SOURCE: Google New (9-3-09)
The center-right daily El Mundo plans to run the interview Saturday with David Irving, who served 13 months in prison in Austria after being convicted there in 2006 over charges he denied the Nazis exterminated 6 million Jews.
It is part of a series of six interviews with World War II experts, timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the war's outbreak...
... Schutz told The Associated Press that Irving lacks any credibility and does not deserve to be in the same interview lineup. It includes Ian Kershaw, a Briton who is a leading biographer of Hitler, and Avner Shalev, director of Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel.
"To put Irving on the same platform with these people may create an impression, and as a matter of fact it does, that he has the same stand while everyone who knows something about the issue knows that David Irving is nothing but ... a con man," the ambassador said...
... What is more, other controversial opinions expressed in this week's El Mundo interviews have raised no complaints. One is German historian Jorg Friedrich's assertion that Allied air raids on civilians in German cities amounted to murder, Laviana said.
"All we have tried to do in this series of interviews marking the 70th anniversary of the war is seek out the most innovative and surprising positions on the conflict," he said. With the interview, which Laviana described as being of a tough, "hardball" nature, the paper will also publish a piece that debunks some of the data that Irving regularly gives on the Holocaust.
Schutz said Spaniards tend to know less about the war than other Europeans because their country was not directly involved in it, and giving Irving the same outlet as reputable historians "is not helping, to say the least."...
SOURCE: UVA Today (University of Virginia) (9-3-09)
Abbot taught early American history, but among historians he was best known as the chief editor of The Papers of George Washington, housed in the University of Virginia Library, from 1977 until '92. One of the founders of the Association for Documentary Editing, he also edited The William and Mary Quarterly from 1961 to '66 and The Journal of Southern History from 1960 to '61.
Abbot was hired as the James Madison Professor of History at U.Va. in 1966, serving twice as chairman of the Corcoran Department of History. Although he retired from the University in 1992, he continued to edit individual volumes of the Washington Papers until 1998, when nearly 50 volumes were in print.
"I often heard him remark that interpretations come and go, but that a properly edited set of historical papers can inspire scholars for generations to come," said U.Va. colleague H.C. Erik Midelfort, C. Julian Bishko Professor of History Emeritus. "Bill brought to his editing task a seasoned, literate sense of what a good edition requires: skill, knowledge and tact.
"He could perhaps best be described as a 'man of letters,' a term that has almost gone out of use in our age of hyper-specialization," Midelfort said, adding that Abbot possessed gentlemanly good humor and decent human concern, much valued during his stints as chairman.
Abbot's career as a teacher spanned nearly 50 years, beginning when he was assigned to teach celestial navigation to naval cadets at Duke University in the spring of 1946. That fall, he returned to his hometown of Louisville, Ga., to teach science and English grammar at his old high school.
Abbot received a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and entered the U.S. Navy in 1943. Under the G.I. bill, he studied history at Duke, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees in history.
In 1953, he joined the faculty of the College of William & Mary. He also taught briefly at Northwestern and Rice universities.
In addition to editing magazines and documents, Abbot wrote two books, "The Royal Governors of Georgia, 1754-1775" and "The Colonial Origins of the United States."
SOURCE: Humanities (9-1-09)
NEH research fellow, and the author of numerous essays and several distinguished books. She is also a staff writer at the New Yorker and, with fellow historian Jane Kamensky, the coauthor of Blindspot, a work of historical fiction set in Revolution-era Boston.
HUMANITIES: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
JILL LEPORE: I was born outside of Worcester, Massachusetts, and grew up there.
HUMANITIES: Where did you go for undergrad?
LEPORE: I went to Tufts.
HUMANITIES: And when did you decide to become a historian? Don’t worry, the high school newspaper-style questions will stop soon after this one.
LEPORE: It’s funny you should ask that. I had to give a talk at my high school last year, and the high school newspaper-style question they wanted me to answer was just like that: How did the person that you were in high school become the person that you are now?
I had no idea. I have a terrible memory. But this talk was for kids who were trying to imagine who they might become, and it seemed like a good question. So, I did some research to try to find an answer. I went through the archive of my high school life, which was this diary that I kept, this immensely ponderous and agonized, horrible diary. And my mother had kept my report cards and every letter I ever wrote home, and my varsity letters, too, in a box in her attic. I opened it up and I read through everything. It was hilarious or, at least, my mother thought it was funny, in the way that your mother finds something funny that you find mortifying.
There was a public record and a private record; that’s how history always works. In the public record I was a total jock. There were all these newspaper clippings because I played sports. And the report cards: Well, I was not an especially excellent student. And then there was a private record, letters to my best friend and the diary, oh, the dreadful, endless diary, and the me that’s in the diary is a compulsive, nonstop reader and a manic writer and all I do is read and write about what I’m reading. I hadn’t remembered it that way, but I guess that’s what high school is like—floating in the uncomfortable space between the public you and the private you—and why it stinks. Anyway, I did find a story, a story to tell about how I decided to become a historian.
I went to college, but I didn’t want to go; I wasn’t sure what college was for, and we didn’t have any money. I went because I won an ROTC scholarship—and I really liked ROTC, actually, except I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in the military. Loved boot camp; hated SDI, the Strategic Defense Initiative. So, freshman year, there I was, in ROTC, playing sports, failing all my classes, when I got a letter in the mail. Or, well, my mother got it, and she forwarded it to me. It was from me.
In high school, I had an English teacher who was that once-in-a-lifetime teacher who shapes everything that ever happens to you. He had given us an assignment to write a letter to ourselves five years in the future, or four years into the future, whatever it was. And he was not going to read it. We had to give him money for stamps, adjusted, I thought somewhat suspiciously, for inflation. I mean, good for him, but he charged us like fifty cents. Anyway, we addressed the letters to our parents’ houses. I had completely forgotten about that letter because—did I mention?—I have a terrible memory.
Turns out, it was a very scary letter. It said, more or less, ‘What the hell are you doing?’ and it went on like that, scolding, berating: ‘If you’re not actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing, quit everything and figure out your life for God’s sake. Get on with it!’ Apparently, I was a very difficult fourteen-year-old, but not altogether lacking in foresight. It was as if I had known that I would still be the jock who was reading in the dark. So I quit. I quit ROTC. I quit sports. I had been a math major; I switched to English.
This didn’t make me ‘become a historian.’ But later, when I thought about what I did want to do, I remembered that letter, that time capsule, and I wondered what it would be like to read old letters all day, other people’s letters, to listen to the past, and I knew I wanted to do that.
HUMANITIES: Was there maybe a history class project that gave this new pro-intellectual direction some specificity?
LEPORE: No. I never had a grand ambition to become a historian. But I did always want to be a writer. I wanted to be a writer when I was six years old. When I was a little kid, all I did was write stories, and hide them. That letter didn’t turn me into a historian; it turned me into a secretary. Quitting ROTC meant that I had to graduate from college early because there wasn’t any money, and I worked and worked, to pay that tuition. And then I worked as a secretary for a while. I worked here, in fact, as a secretary at Harvard.
LEPORE: Yeah, really. But what I actually did all day was write really bad stories, essays, plays, anything, when no one was looking. That was fun, until one day. I was working as a secretary at the Harvard Business School, a truly horrible job, as a long-term temp, although, to be fair, I’ve had far worse jobs. Anyway, there was really very little to do, except answer the phone and pay this guy’s Visa bill. So one day I was sitting there writing some crap piece of fiction in between paying this guy’s $18,000 Visa bill, when the Manpower people show up with flowers in a vase of crystal because I’ve won the Tiffany Award for best secretary.
And I just was, like, ‘Oh. No. I must quit.’ Like, ‘This is not okay. What am I doing?’
HUMANITIES: It’s like another letter.
LEPORE: Yes! It was like another letter saying, ‘Hold on. This is the wrong life.’ So, I decided I would go to graduate school, because I couldn’t figure out how to become a writer but, graduate school, there are forms to fill out; I could do that. I didn’t know anybody who was a writer. I didn’t have any social capital whatsoever. So, I went to graduate school, not in history because I didn’t have a degree in history. I don’t have any degrees in history. I went to graduate school in American studies because I had a degree in English, and I could conceivably get in, could write a persuasive essay about the study of the past, because, while I was a secretary at Harvard, I took a lot of books out of the library, and sat in on a lot of classes, in this history department and in the Harvard Extension School. I’m quite sure no one here knows I was ever in those classes; I was just some secretary, auditing a course. I very much doubt that I ever spoke in class. But, by then, I had become entirely fascinated by the past.
HUMANITIES: Let’s talk about your first book, The Name of War: King Philip’s War and the Origin of American Identity. Twice this week I’ve mentioned King Philip’s War to people I consider well educated, and both said, ‘King Philip of Spain?’ Maybe we can start by having you explain who King Philip was.
LEPORE: Yeah, I can see my book about him really made a dent. Well, King Philip is referred to by many names in the course of his short lifetime. But his Algonquian or Wampanoag name is Metacom, or that’s the name he is using at the time he is killed in 1676. He’s a sachem of the Wampanoag Indians, who are also known as the Pokanoket in New England in the seventeenth century. He’s the son of Massasoit, who people have heard of because he’s the Indian at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 with William Bradford...