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  • Originally published 05/13/2013

    Michael Beschloss to receive Rutgers award

    NEW BRUNSWICK — The Rutgers Living History Society will present its 2013 Stephen E. Ambrose Oral History Award to presidential historian Michael Beschloss, familiar to millions of Americans for his many appearances on PBS’s “The News Hour.”The Rutgers Living History Society, comprised of participants in the Rutgers Oral History Archives program, will honor Beschloss at its annual meeting on Friday. Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi will present the award.“Oral history — the art of listening to people tell their own stories, and then making those stories available to others — is an essential tool of every practicing historian,” Beschloss said....

  • Originally published 02/05/2013

    Forget the Contrarians: Ed Koch Was A True Liberal

    Ed Koch as mayor. Credit: Flickr/LCB Ed Koch was laid to rest with applause for leading his city out of the despair of the 1970s with bluff, bluster and chutzpah. Yet the Koch mayoralty, for all its theater, was also a turning point. In complex and contradictory ways, Koch hastened the shift from a liberal New York that dates to the 1930s to the more conservative city of today. His record bears marks of both.When I interviewed Koch in 2010 for a book about New York City from LaGuardia to Bloomberg, he said he wanted to be remembered as the mayor who restored the city’s confidence after the fiscal crisis; balanced the city’s budget; built affordable housing on a massive scale; and reformed the process of selecting judges to take the politics out. All three were measures (excepting perhaps the pride in budget balancing) that any liberal Democrat could endorse. Yet his style and policies gave him a reputation as a conservative.

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