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: AHA Today (1-28-11)
Griffith was chair of the department of history at American University from 2004–10 and was provost from 1995–97. He was committed to increasing the presence of women and minorities on the faculty and staff and increasing the use of information technology on campus. He was also a staunch supporter of public history....
SOURCE: Business Insider (1-31-11)
Speaking to the German daily Handesblatt, Ferguson says that because the forces for democracy in Egypt are not well organized, Islamic fundamentalism will have a chance at success....
SOURCE: Salon (1-29-11)
So it's natural to ask: How and why did the United States become allies with Egypt in the first place? And how has the alliance, which includes an annual military aid package worth $1.3 billion, been sustained over the years?
To get some answers, I spoke with Joel Beinin, a Middle East history professor at Stanford who studies Egypt and who spent several years at the American University in Cairo in the 2000s.
What follows is a transcript of our conversation, edited slightly for length and clarity:
How far back can the roots of the current alliance be traced?
It goes back to the aftermath of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war when, following the near-victory of Syria and Egypt, Henry Kissinger engaged in many rounds of shuttle diplomacy, which resulted in a separation of forces agreement between Israel and Egypt. Those were the first steps which led ultimately to the Israel-Egyptian peace treaty, which was signed in 1979. That was not at first what the Carter administration wanted to have happen. They wanted at first for something to be included on the Palestinian issue, but it wasn't, so they just said, "OK, this is what we can get."...
SOURCE: WaPo (1-27-11)
SOURCE: LJWorld.com (1-29-11)
Wait a minute, historians say.
As Kansas celebrates its 150th birthday Saturday, those who have devoted their careers to studying the period want to fill people in on something: Most of the settlers who fought to ensure Kansas entered the union as a free state initially wanted to ban blacks from the state entirely.
"They were hardly abolitionists who shared our 21st century racial views," said Jonathan Earle, a history professor at the University of Kansas, located in the former abolitionist stronghold of Lawrence. "They didn't want anything to do with these people. They didn't like slaveholders really."...
SOURCE: NYT (1-29-11)
Now it turns out that the forgery, which made the document appear to have been signed on Lincoln’s last day of life, was superfluous. The president, it appears, showed compassion in other official business that day....
The announcement by the National Archives regarding the forgery prompted Dr. Edward Jay Pershey, vice president of Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, to offer up a document from its collection signed by Lincoln on April 14, 1865, approving a widow’s hardship request that her 17-year-old son be discharged from the Army. Moreover, the National Archives says its holdings include other pardons Lincoln signed that day, including one of a man who killed a neighbor....
SOURCE: al.com (1-29-11)
That's what author Diane McWhorter was initially told Thursday when she returned to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center archives to continue research for a book about Huntsville during the Saturn V/Apollo moon race years.
Irene Wilhite, longtime curator of the archives, and her assistant, her son Jamie, learned Thursday they are among 16 full-time Space Center employees being dropped from the payroll.
They have been the whole staff overseeing the collection, which includes many of Dr. Wernher von Braun's manuscripts, papers and mementos, as well as those donated by a number of members of his famous team of rocket scientists.
"Those archives are crucial," said McWhorter, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for "Carry Me Home," a narrative history of growing up in Birmingham amid the racial turmoil of the 1960s. She said if the trove at the Space Center was unavailable, it would be a huge loss....
SOURCE: The Age (AU) (1-30-11)
His father, in the navy at the time, had helped put together young Dale's first Airfix model, of the HMS Revenge. There were visits to the War Memorial in Canberra. Dale was like so many little boys who climbed on the Japanese submarine and wondered at the grimness of the dioramas with all the little men gathered shabbily on broken, fire-lit ground.
The television, black and white, ran hot in those days with the US Combat series and shoot-outs between cowboys and Indians. He was just one of many kids running around the neighbourhood playing at war....
While Blair has written articles about the Civil War, he made his name in Australia with a challenging analysis of the Anzac myth called Dinkum Diggers, which was actually his PhD. Released in 2001 by Melbourne University Press, the book was received in serious circles as a welcome dose of reality at a time when the myth of the Anzac as bronze superman was gaining fresh purchase in the public imagination. Blair's thesis touched on the taboos of human frailty and even cowardice.
He says now: ''It looked at the universal truths of soldiering.''
The sadness and regret he felt when beholding the slaughter yard at Gettysburg is the same that he feels for the Diggers in Turkey and France....
SOURCE: SPLC (1-29-11)
That debate was apparently settled this week when the New Jersey State Police arrested Pluss, 57, on charges he threatened Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Police began looking at Pluss after the ADL gave them E-mails Foxman had received from Pluss, who was charged with intimidation, harassment, weapons possession and contempt of a judicial order on Wednesday. He was held at the Bergen County Jail before being released on a $25,000 bail....
In the end, it was impossible to know whether Pluss was the type of racist who waffled on his convictions, if he was a split personality, or maybe both. Pluss’ own public statements only made the nature of his racism murkier. Six months after making his mea culpa, he told George Mason University’s History News Network that his confession was a lie, and that he really was a devotee of neo-Nazism and an active member of the NSM. At the time, he also claimed to run the American branch of “Stille Hilfe” (Silent Help), a group that set up after World War II to clandestinely help Nazis escape prosecution for war crimes. There is no evidence that Silent Help really exists or is active in the United States today.
SOURCE: Time (1-27-11)
When Obama stood before Congress, the Cabinet and the American people to deliver his second State of the Union address, both the Reagan persona and policies put in appearances. He proposed a freeze in discretionary spending and federal salaries, a push to simplify the tax code and billions in cuts to the defense budget, and he made new calls for a bipartisan effort to repair Social Security. Each of these had been proposed before by another third-year President coming off a midterm defeat in a period of high unemployment. "Let us, in these next two years — men and women of both parties, every political shade — concentrate on the long-range, bipartisan responsibilities of government," Reagan said in his 1983 State of the Union, "not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics."
At a glance, it's hard to imagine a President who had less in common with Reagan than the Ivy League lawyer from Hawaii who seeks larger federal investments, a bigger social safety net and new regulations for Wall Street and Big Oil. But under the surface, there is no mistaking Obama's increasing reliance on his predecessor's career as a helpful template for his own. Since the November elections, Obama has brought corporate executives into the White House, reached out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and made compromise his new watchword. He signed a surprise $858 billion tax cut that would have made Reagan weep with joy and huddled with Reagan's former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein for lessons learned when the Gipper governed amid economic troubles. Over the Christmas break, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted that Obama was reading a Reagan biography, and just to confirm the bond, Obama recently wrote an homage to Reagan for USA Today. "Reagan recognized the American people's hunger for accountability and change," Obama wrote, conferring on Reagan two of his most cherished political slogans....
SOURCE: MyFoxDC (1-25-11)
Federal officials believe the date on the document was changed to reflect the pardon was signed before Lincoln was murdered at Ford's theater.
The Archives said Monday that historian Thomas P. Lowry, 78, of Woodbridge, has acknowledged that he used a fountain pen with special ink to change the date on a presidential pardon issued by Lincoln to a military deserter, making it appear that Lowry had uncovered a document of historical significance.
Federal officials say Lowry admitted to erasing the '4' in the document and replacing it with a '5'. But when FOX 5 spoke with Lowry by phone on Tuesday, he said he had not changed the document. He says he was bullied into signing a confession by federal authorities who visited his home in Woodbridge....
SOURCE: National Journal (1-25-11)
And I’m the guy to lead it.
Declaring in his State of the Union address that the United States is “a light to the world,” President Obama joined the pantheon of presidents who, in turbulent times, wrapped their political agenda in the comfortable cloak of “American exceptionalism.”...
“If a president wants Americans to feel better about him, he has to make them feel better about America first,” said John Baick, professor of history at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass.
Baick said Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat John F. Kennedy are the best modern-day examples of presidents who appealed to America’s strong national identity. Reagan spoke of America as a “city upon a hill,” a phrase borrowed from Puritan leader John Winthrop, one of the first Americans to express the new land’s exceptionalism. Kennedy challenged an anxious, Cold War-bound nation to land a man on the moon, a memory Obama evoked Tuesday night by speaking of “our generation’s Sputnik moment.”...
SOURCE: NYT (1-26-11)
Only this palm-sized book, published in 1870 and long hidden away at the New-York Historical Society, did not confine its anonymous critique to the quality of wines or the ambience of the 150 establishments listed between its covers. Rather, it defined its role as delivering “insight into the character and doings of people whose deeds are carefully screened from public view.”...
Timothy J. Gilfoyle, a professor of history at Loyola University, put the number of brothels in Manhattan in 1870 close to 500 in his 1992 book “City of Eros: New York City, Prostitution, and the Commercialization of Sex, 1790-1920”. While “The Gentleman’s Directory” did not survey every brothel, it managed to include more than 150 establishments — 23 on West 27th Street alone — in the book’s 55 pages of commentary and advertisements. Readers, who take the time to view this map of all known locations, might almost come to pity the researchers who knocked on all those doors, collecting information and sampling the wares. Coincidentally or not, all nine brothels that advertised in the book were found to be “first-class.”...
SOURCE: CNN.com (1-26-11)
"We need to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world," he said. Republicans, who took control of the House in the midterm elections, faulted the president for not focusing on cutting government spending to rein in deficits.
Analysts along the political spectrum gave varying assessments of Obama's speech:
Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University who writes regularly for CNN.com:
With the State of the Union address, President Obama has attempted to shift the conversation away from the economic recession and toward economic revitalization. The aim of his message is a call to arms to join in a bipartisan project to improve the competitive position of the nation through innovation and smart investment....
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (1-25-11)
While some campuses argue over statues and building names, other institutions have a history of direct ties to slavery -- and those histories will be examined at the Emory conference. The Atlanta institution itself this month responded to the conference's call for self-reflection. The university has documented many ties to slavery in its antebellum roots, and the executive committee of the university's board this month adopted a statement formally acknowledging the results and their implications.
The statement reads: "Emory acknowledges its entwinement with the institution of slavery throughout the college's early history. Emory regrets both this undeniable wrong and the university's decades of delay in acknowledging slavery's harmful legacy. As Emory University looks forward, it seeks the wisdom always to discern what is right and the courage to abide by its mission of using knowledge to serve humanity."
While a number of colleges and universities have in recent years examined their ties to slavery, and all have done so out of a sense that slavery was abhorrent, many have shied away from such a formal institutional statement. Brown University conducted one of the most publicized inquiries, and its commission on the topic released detailed findings, but said this on the subject of an institutional statement: "While members of the steering committee have different opinions about the propriety and value of an institutional apology, we believe that it is incumbent on the university, at a minimum, to acknowledge formally and publicly the participation of many of Brown’s founders and benefactors in the institution of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, as well as the benefits that the university derived from them."...
SOURCE: Voice of America (1-25-11)
Author of A History of Modern Tunisia, Tunisia: Crossroads of the Islamic and European Worlds and Historical Dictionary of Tunisia, Perkins says one example is students who completed university degrees but often found it difficult to obtain employment commensurate with their skills unless they were willing to go to Europe.
One area of Tunisian society that will be closely examined is the middle class, reputed to be larger than other countries in the region. One question to be answered is what will happen to this segment of society as the so-called "Jasmine Revolution" takes hold.
“It has the potential to benefit the Tunisian middle class because this has been more of a middle class movement than normally occurs during civilian upheavals,” said Perkins.
The University of South Carolina historian also says the Tunisian middle class has not only been concerned about economic matters, but is interested in political freedom and the ability to openly express themselves without threat of retaliation....
SOURCE: Parker Spitzer (CNN) (1-24-11)
In his new book, “The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879 – 1960,” Brinkley documents the battle to save the “wild Alaska” – Mount McKinley, the Tongass and Chugach National Forests, Glacier Bay, and the Coastal Plain of the Beaufort Sea, among other treasured areas—from the industries that would dig, drill, extract, over-fish, and over-hunt.
Brinkley is scheduled to appear later in the week on Parker Spitzer.
Have you sent a copy of your new book to Sarah Palin?
I have not sent her a copy. Her name does not appear in the index.
But I hope she reads it so she can understand the incredible role that the U.S. Federal Government has played in protecting the wilderness she loves so dearly....
SOURCE: Newsweek (1-24-11)
“They’re not defining moments for presidents,” says Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton. “There are a few times when the way events unfold later make something a president said memorable. I’m not sure you can know it when you see it.”
It’s not just the boring, laundry-list format that’s driven viewers away: it’s the fact that viewers have a choice. Although the number of broadcasters carrying the speech has nearly tripled in the last 20 years, anyone who turns on the TV Tuesday night will have a far greater range of choices—unlike the glory days of network television, when anyone who wanted to watch the tube had little or no choice but to watch the president....
SOURCE: NYT (1-24-11)
The legendary act of compassion was revealed by Thomas Lowry, an amateur historian, who said he found the pardon among hundreds of untapped Lincoln documents in the National Archives in 1998 and described it in a book the following year. His discovery was hailed by scholars as one of the biggest findings of Lincoln memorabilia in the 20th century.
But on Monday, the National Archives disclosed that Dr. Lowry had altered the date on the original pardon to promote his book, changing the year to 1865 from 1864, possibly to make it look as if the pardon was one of the president’s final acts — and thus historic.
Dr. Lowry is a 78-year-old Virginia psychiatrist, who, after researching Civil War documents with his wife, Beverly, wrote “Don’t Shoot That Boy: Abraham Lincoln and Military Justice,” which was published in 1999....
SOURCE: NARA (1-24-11)
Lowry admitted to changing the date of Murphy’s pardon, written in Lincoln’s hand, from April 14, 1864, to April 14, 1865, the day John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. Having changed the year from 1864 to 1865, Lowry was then able to claim that this pardon was of significant historical relevance because it could be considered one of, if not the final official act by President Lincoln before his assassination.
In 1998, Lowry was recognized in the national media for his “discovery” of the Murphy pardon, which was placed on exhibit in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Lowry subsequently cited the altered record in his book, Don’t Shoot That Boy: Abraham Lincoln and Military Justice, published in 1999.
In making the announcement, the Archivist said, “I am very grateful to Archives staff member Trevor Plante and the Office of the Inspector General for their hard work in uncovering this criminal intention to rewrite history. The Inspector General’s Archival Recovery Team has proven once again its importance in contributing to our shared commitment to secure the nation’s historical record.”
National Archives archivist Trevor Plante reported to the National Archives Office of Inspector General that he believed the date on the Murphy pardon had been altered: the “5” looked like a darker shade of ink than the rest of the date and it appeared that there might have been another number under the “5”. Investigative Archivist Mitchell Yockelson of the Inspector General’s Archival Recovery Team (ART) confirmed Plante’s suspicions.
In an effort to determine who altered the Murphy pardon, the Office of the Inspector General contacted Lowry, a recognized Lincoln subject-matter expert, for assistance. Lowry initially responded, but when he learned the basis for the contact, communication to the Office of Inspector General ceased.
On January 12, 2011, Lowry ultimately agreed to be interviewed by the Office of the Inspector General’s special agent Greg Tremaglio. In the course of the interview, Lowry admitted to altering the Murphy pardon to reflect the date of Lincoln’s assassination in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2071. Against National Archives regulations, Lowry brought a fountain pen into a National Archives research room where, using fadeproof, pigment-based ink, he altered the date of the Murphy pardon in order to change its historical significance.
This matter was referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution; however the Department of Justice informed the National Archives that the statute of limitations had expired, and therefore Lowry could not be prosecuted. The National Archives, however, has permanently banned him from all of its facilities and research rooms.
Inspector General Paul Brachfeld expressed his tremendous appreciation for the work of Plante and the Inspector General’s Archival Recovery Team in resolving this matter. Brachfeld added that “the stated mission of ART is ‘archival recovery,’ and while the Murphy pardon was neither lost or stolen, in a very real way our work helped to ‘recover’ the true record of a significant period in our collective history.”
At a later date, National Archives conservators will examine the document to determine whether the original date of 1864 can be restored by removing the “5”.
SOURCE: WaPo (1-20-11)
Forbes writer Rick Ungar is getting some attention for a piece arguing that history shows that John Adams supported a strong Federal role in health care. Ungar argues that Adams even championed an early measure utilizing the concept behind the individual mandate, which Tea Partyers say is unconsittutional.
I just ran this theory past a professor of history who specializes in the early republic, and he said there's actually something to it. Short version: There's no proof from the historical record that Adams would have backed the idea behind the individual mandate in particular. But it is fair to conclude, the professor says, that the founding generation supported the basic idea of government run health care, and the use of mandatory taxation to pay for it....
Ungar argues that this blows away the argument made by many opponents of the individual mandate: That it's unconstitutional to mandate that all citizens purchase health coverage, or that this violates the founding fathers' view of the proper role of government.
Is this true? In some ways it is, according to Adam Rothman, an associated professor of history at Georgetown University. He argues that it's a"bit of a leap" to compare the 1798 act directly to the individual mandate, because the act taxed sailors to pay for their health care, rather than"requiring that sailors purchase it."
But Rothman says that it's perfectly legit to see shades of today's debate in that early initiative....
SOURCE: CHE (1-16-11)
In Hmong America: Reconstructing Community in Diaspora (University of Illinois Press), Chia Youyee Vang traces the path of the Hmong from the highlands of Laos, where they were embroiled in the conflict between pro-Communist and U.S.-backed anti-Communist forces, to resettlement.
Vang, an assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, focuses not so much on the victimization of Hmong refugees as on their agency: how they gathered in large communities in the Midwest and California in spite of some U.S.-government efforts to disperse them, and how they created ethnic organizations, churches, and funeral homes that reinforce their cultural bonds....
Q. As a member of the one-and-a-half generation, do you feel as if the experiences of the older generations of Hmong were shared with you as you were growing up? Or was it not until you began your work as a historian that you learned in any detail what led to the diaspora?
A. Even before I began my work as a historian, I was interested and paid attention to things occurring in the Hmong community. Many in the 1.5 generation have heard about our parents’ experiences during and after the war. Parents often remind us of the difficulties they encountered as a way to encourage us to work hard and make something of ourselves....
SOURCE: NYT (1-22-11)
As it happens, the most recent such collapse occurred during the Great Depression, when Arkansas found itself, in the words of one state historian, “plain, flat broke.” There are familiar threads then and now, not least of all the overlay of a national financial slump.
But in many ways, the situation in Arkansas was a unique set of decisions and woes, piled one on top of the next, and a case study, some contend, in why this will not happen to states today. As that thinking goes, times now for states are undeniably grim, but not as grim as they once were in Arkansas. But should a state find itself near default, there is also a lesson in Arkansas, where the fallout lingered for decades.
In the 1920s, Arkansas made a push to build roads for the nation’s fast-expanding automobile industry, hoping to pull the state into the modern age. Local road districts took on the task, borrowing money and building what they could, but the result was more a financially troubled mishmash than a statewide network, so the state eventually stepped in, said Ben Johnson, a history professor at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia....
SOURCE: Jesse Lemisch, in The Nation (1-21-11)
With a knee problem and a chic all-black walker, I have found more and more New York City cabs inaccessible. The new hybrids are good for anti-pollution but are perilously high off the ground, with difficult sliding doors. Drivers are as helpful as they can be—many come from immigrant cultures friendly to older people—but, spotting my walker, many pass me by, knowing that I can’t safely climb in or out. So, as the taxi fleet moves more and more to hybrids, phasing out the more accessible, tank-like Crown Vics, I have found it harder and harder to get a taxi that I can use. At night, I try to calculate the height of approaching headlights, but I’m not very good at it. All in all, one of the glories of New York, mobility, is increasingly lost to me.
Subways, with only a sprinkling of elevators, are pointless: many of the elevators don’t work, so if you can get into the subway, you may ride forever neath the streets of New York without escape—it’s Charlie on the MTA. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the United Spinal Association has brought suit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for inaccessible subway stations: “It is an absolute disgrace that twenty years after the ADA was passed, more than 80 percent of the subway stations in New York are inaccessible,” says attorney Julia Pinover.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission (hereafter, ironically, TLC), must have approved the design of the hybrid cabs. This is unspeakable, and may turn out to be illegal under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA exempts private cab companies). In a city with cut-out curbs, ramps and kneeling buses (which show that it's possible to design accessible hybrids), this is a surprising and unacceptable anachronism. Better designs should be developed and scrutinized, with accessibility as a criterion....
SOURCE: C-SPAN Press Release (1-6-11)
The C-SPAN Networks last launched a “network within a network” in 1998 with Book TV, which airs weekends on C-SPAN2. C-SPAN began C-SPAN3 operations ten years ago this month (January 22, 2001) as a digital service. C-SPAN3 is currently available in 41 million digital cable TV households and is streamed live online at C-SPAN.org.
American History TV offers history lovers these experience-for-yourself programs:
- Key political archives of historic speeches of former presidents and other leaders;
- Classes and lectures with some of the country’s top history professors;
- Exclusive eyewitness accounts of events that have shaped our nation;
- Intimate tours of museums and private collections;
- Speeches and seminars with leading historians; and
- Coverage of recent books written by the nation’s best-known and expert authors.
“American History TV will provide American history lovers with original programming, done C-SPAN style,” says C-SPAN co-president Susan Swain. “Look for C-SPAN’s trademark original source and first-person accounts of the American story. We’re hoping American History TV does for history enthusiasts what Book TV has done for non-fiction book lovers.”
The 48 hours of history programs every weekend will include six hours of original programming, produced by AHTV staff for AHTV.
Key programs each weekend on AHTV will include:
AMERICAN ARTIFACTS (Sundays 8 am, 7pm, and 10 pm ET)
Curators, collectors and historians take you behind- the- scenes at museum exhibits and historic sites to show you significant pieces from their collections.
LECTURES IN HISTORY (Saturdays 8 pm, midnight, and Sundays 1 pm ET)
Get a front-row seat in college classrooms across the country to hear top professors on topics ranging from the American Revolution to 9/11.
THE CIVIL WAR (Saturdays 6 pm, 10 pm, and Sundays 11 am ET)
For the next four years, the nation marks the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Travel with us to important battlefields, and hear compelling discussions and debates about key events and figures who shaped that era.
THE PRESIDENCY (Sundays 8:30AM, 7:30PM, and 10:30PM ET)
American Presidents, their policies, and legacies are the special focus of this time block, featuring historic speeches and the personal insights of former administration officials and presidential experts.
ORAL HISTORIES (Saturdays 8 am; Sundays 3 pm; Mondays 4 am ET)
Hear first- person accounts from people who have shaped modern American history, from World War II to recent Presidents.
HISTORY BOOKSHELF (Saturdays noon; Sundays 5 am; and Mondays 1 am ET)
Tune in as the country’s best-known American history writers of the past decade talk about their books.
***See video previews of these programs here http://www.c-span.org/ahtvpromo/ ***
AHTV is being co-executive produced by C-SPAN veteran Susan Bundock and Luke Nichter, a Ph.D. in History from Bowling Green State University, who says, “American History TV will serve viewers of all ages and interests. We will take you to historical sites and events, show you historical discussions and debates, and take you to college history classrooms. There’s nothing else quite like it, and we do it each weekend on C-SPAN 3.”
AHTV will have a robust online presence, including:
- A video rich website: http://www.c-span.org/americanhistorytv
- Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/#!/cspanhistory
- Facebook tab: http://www.facebook.com/CSPAN
- YouTube playlist: http://www.youtube.com/user/cspan#p/c/068960351DA37ADA
About C-SPAN C-SPAN was created by America's cable companies in 1979 as a public service and programs three public affairs television networks in both SD and HD; C-SPAN Radio, heard in Washington DC and nationwide via XM Satellite Radio; and a video-rich website which hosts the C-SPAN Video Library. Visit http://www.c-span.org/.
SOURCE: NYT (1-17-11)
n February a group of historians organized by a liberal filmmaker, Robert Greenwald, issued a condemnation based on early drafts of scripts obtained by Mr. Greenwald. These historians said the scripts contained factual errors, fabrications and more than a dash of salacious innuendo. Among the critics was Theodore C. Sorensen, the longtime adviser and speechwriter to President Kennedy. (Mr. Sorensen died in October.)
When those denunciations surfaced, History said that the scripts were incomplete and that the final drafts would be rigorously reviewed for accuracy. With the mini-series under a microscope, its producers turned to two other historians, Steven M. Gillon and Robert Dallek, to help restore its credibility.
The two brought estimable credentials to the table. Mr. Dallek, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, has written books on the modern presidency, including the biography “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963.” And Mr. Gillon, whose books include “The Kennedy Assassination — 24 Hours After” and who serves as the resident historian of the History channel, had taught John F. Kennedy Jr. at Brown University....