Originally published 07/31/2013
The release of the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s first research strategy — following a two-year process of reflection that was nearly derailed by the federal government’s decision last year to rename it the Museum of History and rewrite its mandate — has revived the age-old debate over the politicization of Canadian history.With Canada’s 150th birthday approaching in 2017, and the bicentennial of the War of 1812 just passed with unusual fanfare, the public’s appreciation of Canadian history is ripe for revision, and not just because some of the flagship national museum’s exhibits date to the 1990s, not long after it was renamed from the National Museum of Man. From the rewritten citizenship guide that undid years of Liberal ideological dominance, to the renaming of Canadian military units to honour the monarchy, history is increasingly the lens through which the country sees itself, and a ripe target for those who wish to change it.Now that the words “critical understanding” have been struck from the museum’s mandate, however, critics fear that history without criticism becomes propaganda....
Originally published 04/08/2013
Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a towering figure in postwar British and world politics and the only woman to become British prime minister, has died at the age of 87. She suffered a stroke Monday, her spokeswoman said. A British government source said she died at the Ritz Hotel in London. Thatcher's funeral will be at St. Paul's Cathedral, with full military honors, followed by a private cremation, the British prime minister's office announced. Thatcher served from 1975 to 1990 as leader of the Conservative Party. She was called the "Iron Lady" for her personal and political toughness....