Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

Daily Beast


  • Originally published 07/10/2013

    Joseph J. Ellis remembers his mentor Edmund Morgan

    Joseph J. Ellis (b 1943) was educated at the College of William and Mary (B.A.) and Yale University (M.A., Ph.D.).  Since 1972 he has taught courses in American history at Mount Holyoke College, where he also served as Dean of Faculty for ten years and Acting President (1983-84).  He recently retired from his position as the Ford Foundation Professor of History Emeritus.EDMUND MORGAN, who died Monday, was my teacher at Yale from 1965 to 1969 and my mentor and role model in America history ever since. In our last conversation, he declared that he was ready to go, that he had outlived his beloved Benjamin Franklin and did not wish to outlive himself.Ed was a rare breed, almost extinct these days, revered within the historical profession as the epitome of scholarly sophistication, while also the author of books that the general public found readable and seductive.He was a small man, almost diminutive, but the famous description of James Madison also applied to Ed: “Never have I seen so much mind in so little matter.” A plausible case can be made that he was the most significant and influential American historian in the last half of the 20th century....

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Lloyd Green: George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Our Era of Bipartisan Ineptitude

    Lloyd Green was the opposition research counsel to the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988, and served in the Department of Justice between 1990 and 1992.Who says that the bipartisan spirit is dead? Just last week Pew Research listed “incompetent” as the word most frequently associated with President George W. Bush and President Obama. A day later the administration announced that it was putting Obamacare’s much-vaunted employer mandate on hold for a year, until January 1, 2015, even as television cameras steadily streamed pictures from Cairo of the lethal tumult once known as the Arab Spring.Bush’s incompetence was born of excess idealism. Rather than seeing a region mired in muck, he envisioned a world created anew and ignored the question of what happens the day after. As for Obama, he has treated legislative victory as an end in itself while ignoring the reality of actual implementation. If Americans needed any further evidence that the respective signature “achievements” of Bush and Obama were failures wrapped in untidy and costly bows, there they were in plain sight....

  • Originally published 06/21/2013

    Adam Winkler: Obama’s Terrible, Awful, Horrible Year at the Supreme Court

    Adam Winkler is a constitutional-law professor at UCLA.While the country waits (and waits and waits) for the Supreme Court to announce its decisions in what court watchers are calling the Big Four—the two gay-marriage cases, the affirmative-action case, and the Voting Rights Act case—one thing has already become clear by the court’s decisions: the Obama administration has had a lousy year in the high court. While the administration has certainly won some cases, more often than not the court has rejected the administration’s arguments. On Thursday, for example, the court announced three decisions, rejecting the Obama administration’s arguments in each one.In fact, this year may turn out to be one of the worst ever for the United States government at the Supreme Court.

  • Originally published 06/10/2013

    Harvey J. Kaye: Why Obama Is No FDR

    Harvey J. Kaye is Professor of Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is the author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America (FSG 2005) and the forthcoming The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great (Simon & Schuster, 2014). Follow him on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HarveyJKayeCampaigning for a third term as president in 1940, Franklin Roosevelt told an enthusiastic crowd in Cleveland: “You provided work for free men and women … You used the powers of government to stop the depletion of the top soil … You wrote into law the right of working men and women to bargain collectively … You turned to the problems of youth and age … You made safe the banks.”

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Ian Morris’s Big Idea: When the West Falls Behind

    What’s your big idea?The big idea is that geography explains why the West rules the world—and why its domination may not last much longer.There are two sides to the story.First, geography determines how societies develop. The world’s first complex societies appeared toward the Western end of the Old World (around 9000 BC), because, thanks to geography, more plants and animals that could be domesticated had evolved there than anywhere else on earth. Geography dictated that East Asia had fewer potentially domesticable plants and animals.