Heineman Blog Archive 12-10-02 to 1-10-03

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Mr. Kenneth Heineman is a Professor of History at Ohio University-Lancaster and the author of four books, including, A Catholic New Deal: Religion and Reform in Depression Pittsburgh.

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Recently our humble branch campus played host to Kenny Bindas, an historian of American popular music at Kent State and an all-around decent guy. While Kenny’s books have received warm academic reviews, more impressive is that magazines devoted to jazz and blues have given him enthusiastic raves. Even more impressive, Kenny is an academic who can actually practice what he teaches. (As I political historian of contemporary social movements it is probably best that I don’t have such talents.)

After Kenny gave a lively lecture on the commercial underpinnings of blues, rock, and country, he performed on stage with three of my colleagues. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching at a small campus is that you get to associate with interesting people well outside your own narrow disciplines and specialties. So there up on the stage performing a mixture of blues and rock we had: a drummer/mathematician who publishes on “ring theory” (don’t ask—I still haven’t a clue); a guitarist-singer/physicist and NASA researcher on “solar winds”; and another guitarist/singer who doubles as a prolific poet. Kenny played the mandolin beautifully—he had self-taught himself on that instrument just months before.

I am no musician but I know what I like. (Recall the learned U.S. Supreme Court Justice who observed that while he did not know what pornography was he knew it when he saw it.) Kenny and my colleagues played well together—their first jam session. I also learned that my drummer/mathematician friend, being Canadian, had learned jazz-style, as opposed to the rock-style of drumming taught in most American high schools. Honestly I was not aware there were such national distinctions—although I wonder what that says about Canadians when they differentiate themselves from us by learning different American styles of music. You just cannot find any music more fundamentally American than jazz. Europe gave us Mozart but we did better: America made Coltrane.

The performance I had the honor of attending was stimulating, enjoyable, and often unpredictable. In truth, it reminds me of the History News Network. Reading Ralph Luker—whether on HNN or viewing his vivid postings on Conservative.net—is like enjoying great 1940s swing. Never a dull moment. And then there is fellow HNN blogger Tom Spencer who truly rocks. I have never agreed with anything Tom has written but I admire his energy, wide reading, and verve. Fundamentally I suspect that the key difference between us is more Arrowsmith meets Getz than Left opposed to Right.

I have enjoyed blogging for HNN for the past few months. The constant pressure of trying to produce thoughtful essays with historical context twice weekly has certainly sharpened my writing skills. On the other hand with my long-awaited academic break now at an end, and with three different course preparations to cover, as well as professional obligations, I can no longer devote the time necessary to produce essays that satisfy my standards. I thank my friendly readers and I expect that I will meet up with you all again sometime.


In the December 23 issue of The Weekly Standard David Brooks paints an interesting portrait of elite college students. “Making It: Love and Success at America’s Finest Universities” paints a picture of bright students who have been on the fast track since birth. Along the way, however, it seems few ever became acquainted with the world of work and have little idea why they are pursuing degrees in the liberal arts. They are an immensely likeable and self-assured group, Brooks informs readers, but what will these privileged youths do if the class cocoon in which they have been encased were to ever be ripped open by depression and war?

As it happens, Margaret Engel in, “Sigh, Another Rite of Passage Fades in the Sun,” which appeared in the July 28, 2002 edition of The Washington Post, had written about the same kinds of elite youths. According to Engel, America’s middle- and upper-middle-class college and high school youths, in contrast to previous generations, eschewed summer jobs and part-time work. Their days were filled up with “enrichment camps” while youths from Eastern Europe waited tables and cleaned toilets at seaside resorts and amusement parks. Native-born white American teens, of course, could still be found behind the counters at 7-11, working alongside youths whose parents may have been born in Mexico. Although “enrichment camp” may look great to Harvard admissions’ officers concerned about “diversity of experience,” an argument could be made that the kid working at 7-11 sees more real diversity on any given day than his or her more privileged counterpart.

This essay, however, is not about diversity, but about obligation—a growing obsession of mine I confess. How will the youths Brooks and Engel describe respond when America is threatened? Hoover Institution Fellow David Davenport, in the December 16 issue of The Washington Times, seemingly provides a partial answer to that question. Davenport’s focus was on why the present antiwar movement on college campuses has, to date, not become more of a student, rather than a faculty, phenomenon. Among his points is one meriting great attention: there is no military draft to arouse privileged students and give the listless liberal arts majors Brooks talks about a sense of direction.

One of the lessons of the campus wars of the 1960s—one not lost on President Richard Nixon—was that students were anti-draft, not necessarily antiwar. The institution of the lottery did much to defuse campus unrest. Today, of course, we have a voluntary army largely composed of working-class youths and college and Academy-trained officers. Military service for many upper-middle-class youths is not even seen as an option.

Interestingly, within days of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the majority of Harvard students, according to an opinion poll published in the campus newspaper, The Crimson (September 24), supported a military response but only 38 percent said that they were willing to fight.

Now one could put a negative spin on this and conclude that Harvard students and other elite youths are willing to remain home safe and in comfort, snug in their “enrichment camps,” allowing the kids who work at the 7-11 to fight and possibly die for them. But perhaps, just perhaps, we are selling America’s young elite short. As President George W. Bush said in reference to poor inner-city public schools and the many minority youths left behind, practicing “the soft bigotry of low expectations” was not the answer. The poor need encouragement, support, and high standards.

I believe the young elite of America too should not be condemned by the soft bigotry of low expectations. Some way, some how, a generation pampered by their Boomer parents and ridiculed by their peers at the 7-11 and the community college, can produce its own George Washingtons, Clara Bartons, Paul Fussells, and John McCains. This may be misguided faith, but this is, after all, the season of faith, as we stand poised to face the challenges to come.

Peace on the Earth.


Dear Readers:

I will be blogging up an extended essay soon but for now I have a request to make of you.

I am working on a book discussing contemporary debates over ideological diversity within liberal arts faculties—placing all this in a larger historical context of the evolution of American higher education. I welcome views from across the political spectrum on this topic as well as any thoughts you may have on students’ preparation for class work, public and legislative support for higher education, and what fears you have for your discipline or what you think your field does well. I am also particularly interested in hearing from current graduate liberal arts students and more recent PhD’s or grad school dropouts regarding their own experiences and what they enjoyed and disliked about their education. I can protect the identity of those who may not want to have their lamentations (if any) appear in print. You may contact me at: Ken

Thanks, Ken Heineman


Nineteen Sixty-Eight is often accorded special significance by political historians and commentators. By their lights, 1968 was the year the New Deal Democratic coalition came unglued and a partial conservative electoral realignment commenced. Although there is much merit to that point of view, there is a strong case to be made for reaching further back to the future—to 1948. Given Senate Majority Leader’ Trent Lott’s recent gaffes 1948 is certainly worth a closer look.

In 1948 President Harry Truman and the New Deal Democratic coalition appeared in peril. Faced with a changing electoral map in the North as southern black migrants made their way to the ballot boxes in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Detroit, civil rights increasingly shifted from being a sectional to a national issue. At the same time America’s commitment to contain by diplomatic and military means the spread of Soviet Communism, moved foreign policy to the center of domestic politics. In reaction to these developments, two ideological strains entered the body politic and eventually mutated the Republican and Democratic parties.

On the Left, former Agricultural Secretary and Vice President Henry Wallace, the scion of a wealthy Iowa publisher, criticized Truman’s policy of Communist containment. To Wallace, the United States needed to recognize the legitimacy of Soviet ambitions in Eastern Europe and, indeed, drew comparisons between Russian military domination in Eastern Europe and American economic influence in Latin America. It did not help Wallace’s candidacy for President on the Progressive Party ticket that he had surrounded himself in the 1930s with men such as Alger Hiss who were exposed as Soviet agents and that his campaign volunteers drew heavily from the ranks of the Communist Party USA. Even Harold Ickes, Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Interior and one of the most ardent New Deal Democrats, lamented that Wallace had no sense if one moved him more than several feet from a manure pile. It required little effort for Truman and organized labor to “red bait” Wallace.

Although Henry Wallace lost, his candidacy had enthralled a new generation of liberals, including a future history professor and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate named George McGovern. At the heart of the Wallace-McGovern critique of America’s Cold War foreign policy could be found a fear of, and revulsion against, the projection of U.S. military power abroad. Both men preferred negotiation with adversaries, which, to critics, looked like appeasement. Both Wallace and McGovern were critical of U.S. shortcomings, arguing that America could do better. To Cold War Democrats and conservative Republicans that stance looked anti-American. Both men also wanted to focus on domestic issues, leaving themselves open to charges of being naïve isolationists who left America open to sneak attack.

Of course, the interesting thing was that in 1948 Henry Wallace’s vision was marginalized and rejected by the Democratic Party. By 1972 much of Henry Wallace’s values were embraced by the insurgents who, led by McGovern, took over the Democratic Party. McGovern, of course, lost to Richard Nixon in a landslide, being the first Democratic presidential candidate since the era of the New Deal to loose Catholics, working-class whites, and southerners. Yet McGovern, as Wallace had, inspired a younger generation—especially a college antiwar protestor named Bill Clinton.

By 1992, Henry Wallace and his supporters—mainly secular Jews and white-collar public-sector professionals—were not the fringe of the Democratic Party, they were the Democratic Party. Indeed by 2002 it is safe to say that Cold War Democrats like Truman, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Washington senator Scoop Jackson were less a wing of the Wallace-McGovern-Clinton Democratic Party and more a windowless back-office operated by a lonely Dick Gephardt.

What makes 1948 so fascinating beyond the eventual triumph of Henry Wallace, was that the Democratic Party also confronted defections from the Right led by South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond. Unwilling to abide even a limited civil ranks plank put forward by Minnesota senator Hubert Humphrey at the Democratic National Convention, Thurmond launched a presidential campaign on the States Rights or Dixiecrat ticket. Birmingham, Alabama, Police Commissioner Bull Connor joined Thurmond’s segregationist crusade while state representative George Wallace held fast for Truman. Thurmond, who mainly ran a sectional campaign, scored a few victories in the South but not enough to deny Truman his victory.

In 1968, of course, the Democratic Party, faced with a divisive war against Communism in Indochina and racial unrest, came apart precisely at the fault lines that had appeared twenty years earlier. George Wallace, who had come to see the political advantages of supporting segregation and calling for law and order, left the Democrats to mount an independent presidential campaign that cost nominee Humphrey dearly in the South. As historians such as Dan Carter have contended, Thurmond and George Wallace pointed the way to Republican Richard Nixon to mount a “Southern Strategy” to crack the New Deal coalition.

Some conservative revisionists have recently argued that Thurmond’s campaign was not just or really about racial segregation but about limiting federal bureaucratic power and fighting international Communism. In truth a convincing counterargument may be made that by embracing segregation and racial voting disfranchisement, Thurmond did more to promote Soviet propaganda overseas than Henry Wallace could have ever contemplated. So far as Thurmond being concerned about states’ rights, well at the heart of that cause in 1948 was a desire to avoid having the color-blind ideals of the U.S. Constitution apply to several southern states.

The question of the moment may be phrased thusly: are the heirs of Thurmond and George Wallace as deeply entrenched and as influential in the GOP as the grandchildren of Henry Wallace are in the Democratic Party? Does Trent Lott represent the GOP? Does he represent a wing of the GOP? Or is he preparing to find a windowless back office far down the hall from Gephardt? President George W. Bush’s recent comments on the politics and legacies of 1948 suggest that Lott had better pack up for a move. The congressional GOP would do well to give Tennessee senator Bill Frist the whole building—not just a wing.


Algis Valiunas wrote an excellent discussion of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the December 16 issue of The Weekly Standard. Marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Stowe’s masterpiece, Valiunas reminds readers of what a religious and political phenomenon Uncle Tom’s Cabin had been in the 1850s. Its first printing in 1852 generated 300,000 in American sales and 2.5 million worldwide. Adjusting her sales for a U.S. population of fewer than 31 million—and taking into account that this book was just not going to sell well in the South—Stowe appears more formidable than Danielle Steele.

As Valiunas reminds us, Stowe was a Christian moralist who wanted readers to understand that the institution of slavery estranged the entire nation—not just the South—from a just God. And as enslaved blacks were debased, so were whites—Yankee and southerner. Her Uncle Tom is not a “Tom,” but a Christ-like figure that died for the sins of others. As for Stowe’s political impact, even if Abraham Lincoln half in jest called her “the little lady who made this big war,” it was only half in jest.

I recall in graduate school, when I was seeking ways to avoid taking history courses, I happened into an English seminar entitled, “American Political Literature from Harriet Beecher Stowe to Hunter S. Thompson.” The literature graduate students were oh so sophisticated, constantly reciting in reverential tones—regardless of the topic of discussion—the great Trinity: Fish! Proust! Pompous French Intellectual of the Moment! (In history our sophisticates simply chanted: Wallerstein!)

It came to pass that at the end of the seminar our very tolerant—and truly brilliant--instructor asked us who our favorite authors had been. I said without hesitation, Stowe. The looks of disdain, scorn, and disbelief I received were disconcerting. (I have since gotten used to this kind of reaction in academe.) I liked Stowe because, this being a politics in literature course, Stowe made no modernist or post-modernist, or post-modernist post-colonialist pretense at serving up anything other than evangelical Protestant zeal in its most righteous incarnation.

Truth be told I ended up becoming pretty scornful of Hunter Thompson. Oh sure, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72 has its share of hoots, but when it came down to brass tacks Thompson’s cause was Thompson. If that sounds harsh just re-read the sections on the 1972 Democratic primary in Ohio. Here is the hard-nosed reporter who informs readers that he wanted to believe in George McGovern but couldn’t—and then, he came to believe! All power to the youth, the black, the hippie.

But then in Cleveland black party bosses Carl and Louis Stokes delivered the African-American vote to Cold Warrior Hubert Humphrey. Blacks were misled, Thompson implies. They did not understand the issues and failed to see McGovern as their deliverer from Richard Nixon. It’s patronizing, it’s insulting, and it’s just plain goofy. Interestingly, by the end of the book, Thompson makes it pretty clear that even McGovern is not good enough to vote for McGovern. Only Thompson remains. Such self-absorption stands in stark contrast to the spirit of Stowe.

In this season of Nativity and war, I recommend Uncle Tom’s Cabin as an ideal Christmas present. If interested in sending this book to a man in sore need of Christian instruction, you may mail it to: Hon. Trent Lott, 487 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.


Cold and flu season is upon the household so a short blog follows…

Robert Hormats, the vice chair of Goldman, Sachs and a former member of the National Security Council, wrote an excellent—and disturbing—opinion piece in the December 6 edition of The Wall Street Journal. In “The Cost of Fighting” Hormats cautions that federal spending priorities and overall dollar amounts must be adjusted to current security needs lest we repeat the budgetary mistakes of the Johnson Administration. For a detailed and well written assessment of what happened in the 1960s and 1970s to the American economy following bad budgeting practices, see, Louis Galambos, “Paying Up: The Price of the Vietnam War,” in The Journal of Policy History 8 (1996): 166-179.

Peace to the sailors, soldiers, and civilians of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.

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Kevin V. Dunphy - 1/14/2003

Oh sure, leave blogging once I finally found out you that you were doing it. Nice way to treat an old friend!

Ralph E. Luker - 1/10/2003

Ken, Ken, Ken,
Say it isn't so! We need you. We'll miss you.

derekcatsam - 12/19/2002

You wrote: "Clinton is some sort of mutation of Henry Wallace."

What? How, pray tell, is Clinton in any way related to Henry Wallace? In what possible ideological way do you see this connection? I'd like to hear of one policy where this connection is relevent. What ahistorical vacuity.

Ken Heineman - 12/17/2002


I am working on a book about ideological diversity (or lack thereof) in liberal arts departments. I'm interviewing, corresponding with folks, and would welcome your caveats,counter-examples, and learning of your own experiences in grad school and professionally. I may be contacted at: kenh@ohiohills.com. If any others read this and are itnerested I also welcome contending points. thanks, Ken Heineman

Ken Heineman - 12/17/2002

Good points, David, though I did say Wallace's and Thurmond's points of view had "mutated" in the respective parties! Clinton is some kind of mutation of Henry Wallace though I think as you bring up there is a Nixonian mutation as well. One of the points conservatives have brought up about Clinton's foreign policy that makes sense to me he that he supported military intervention so long as it appeared as if there were no US national security or economic concerns involved. That is more in the spirit of McGovern than Nixon. As for the un-McGovern domestic side of Clinton, I wouldn't argue at all with you about that. As part of the mutation I guess you could say Clinton learned how to be a better politician (and worse individual) than McGovern. How's that?

David Salmanson - 12/16/2002

This is another provocative piece, and while I agree whole-heartedly with your analysis of the Republican side of 1948, I have a hard time seeing the McGovern-Clinton parallels. Clinton was fond of military interventions - including bombing civilian targets - in places such as Serbia, Somalia, and even Iraq. His economic policy was hardly McGovernite, he did sign the welfare reform bill and let his plan for a single payer health care system go down in flames. If anything, he is reminiscint of Nixon, (right down to the lying), in seeing things strictly in terms of how it would reflect on him later. I always taught that Nixon was the last of the liberals: EPA, Affirmitave Action, and a negative income tax were all signed by or floated by his administration. Carter, (usually considered the last liberal) actually anticipated much of what Reagan would later accomplish. Just a thought and keep up the good work.

David Salmanson - 12/6/2002

Ken, Thanks for your provocative and thoughtful piece on SUVs. I always read you even though I'm off on the other side of the political spectrum because I find you to be a challenging and thorough thinker. Arrogance has never been a conservative value, or at least not until the last few years. Along with compassionate rhetoric, it seems to be one of the few features picked up from us liberals. How unfortunate that they should choose one of our worst traits. -David

Clayton E. Cramer - 11/19/2002

"I also find it strange that conservatives in liberal arts departments sometimes appear to be so cheerful at the prospect of dumping the whole liberal arts project overboard simply because they do not like their more liberal colleagues or some of their research interests." I think it has a bit more to do with the quality of much of the work that is coming out of history departments lately, such as _Arming America_. Imagine if nearly all history was written from the standpoint of "Wonderful white people come to America, raise Indians out of darkness, and assist black Africans to immigrate to a Christian nation." _Arming America_ is at about that level of accuracy and subtlety.

Ralph E. Luker - 11/16/2002

Ken, Thanks for this beautiful tribute to your father. Ralph

Tom Spencer - 11/14/2002

Ken -- I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Ken. Please accept my condolences. Your blogging colleague, Tom Spencer

David Salmanson - 9/12/2002

My question is: are conservatives not getting jobs in proportion to their numbers in graduate school? At the University of Michigan in the 1990s, where I did my PhD, I knew a handful of conservatives in that massive department. Most of them have landed tenure track jobs. Of my many liberal and leftist colleagues, only a handful have landed tenure track jobs. A statistician would tell us that from this sample, conservatives actually stand a better shot of getting a tenure track job than liberals and leftists. Of course, a statistician would also tell us that that this is an unrepresentative sample. Still, it would be interesting to see the Chronicle of Higher Education, AHA or some similar organization systematically sample history departments and track the issue. I know I tell any person who asks me about my graduate school experience the same line "do the rational thing, go to law school."

Clayton E. Cramer - 9/10/2002

The problem isn't just that the hiring bias is unfair to conservatives; the problem is that the lack of political diversity in academia is part of why frauds like Michael Bellesiles's _Arming America_ managed to win the Bancroft Prize. Yes, I think it's important for there to be graduate programs in the humanities, even if they don't have any immediate economic value to a government. But from what I have seen, these programs right now aren't just expensive--they are a form of intellectual Onanism, in which minor disputes are imagined to be signs of intellectual vigor and diversity.

Richard Lester - 9/7/2002

It seems to me that to pose the question of the usefulness of the liberal arts majors in this way is short-sighted in the extreme. After all, many liberal arts majors pursue some kind of graduate or professional study, such as law school or business school. Measuring the job prospects of liberal arts graduates based solely on what jobs they can get with their B.A. degree therefore is misleading. I would also imagine that many liberal arts B.A.s have jobs which are somewhat better than a "sales clerk at Sears." In addition, in many of the fields described as more "practical" some education beyond the B.A. is need to get a really good job. Describing this issue as the "pointed question you can't pose on campus" is a bit hyperbolic, to say the least. My impression is that liberal arts academics already can answer this question fairly well. Students who want to pursue a variety of careers can benefit from the critical thinking skills, writing skills and broader knowledge of the world they get in the "liberal arts". In fact, some businesses in recent years have been giving more attention to liberal arts grads, precisely because they can write. In view of the ethical problems which have come to light in the business world, it seems like the broader reasoning skills about ethical issues which come with a liberal arts education might be useful in business too. I also find it strange that conservatives in liberal arts departments sometimes appear to be so cheerful at the prospect of dumping the whole liberal arts project overboard simply because they do not like their more liberal colleagues or some of their research interests.

Richard Lester - 9/6/2002

A few comments regarding the not so subtly implied criticism of the National Education Association guidelines on September 11 and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on this web log. Based on the news reports I have heard, my understanding is that most of the criticism center on one link on an NEA web page which has links to numerous possible lesson plans on 9/11. To assume that this constitutes an NEA endorsement on one particular lesson plan is a bit much. Furthermore, I have seen no evidence that the quotes highlighted by the lesson plan's critics mean anything more than telling students they shouldn't blame all Muslims (including our allies in the war on terrorism) or all Arabs for 9/11. Frankly, I don't see why this is so controversial. As for UNC-Chapel Hill, why do the critics of having students read a book on the Koran assume that simply assigning a book means indoctrinating the students in the precepts of the religion it discusses? In many courses, professors assign books that they don't completely agree with to promote critical analysis. Many of the criticisms of UNC-Chapel Hill seem more revealing about the assumptions of the critics, that education is always some form of ideological indoctrination (either by the right or the left), than they are about the educational purpose of the university in making this assignment. Moreover, equating the Koran with Mein Kampf seems to treat Osama Bin Laden's interpretation of the Koran as the standard one in the Islamic world. That kind of argument not only is untrue but isn't going to help the United States in seeking allies in the Islamic world in the war on terrorism. In addition, many of the world's religions have some examples of religiously motivated hatred and intolerance either in their holy books or in the history of their religious traditions. Do the critics of UNC-Chapel Hill really want to take their argument to its logical extreme, that we shouldn't have courses on the history of Christianity because of the medieval Inquisition? I'd assume they don't. Finally, I'd be happy to discuss examples from WWII. In fact, the U.S. government during WWII sought to stress that it was fighting a war against the Nazis, not the German people. As part of that campaign, American wartime propaganda (put out by the U.S. government, not the NEA or UNC-Chapel Hill) emphasized some of the positive aspects of German culture (as distinguished from Nazism). Examples include the use of Beethoven's music as a symbol of the Allied war effort (emphasizing Beethoven as a symbol of a more liberal, democratic tradition in Germany) and the figure of the "good German" in Allied propaganda. Much of this was in a conscious effort to avoid the stereotyping of Germans which had contributed to incidents of violence against German-Americans during WWI. Certainly, U.S. wartime propaganda toward Japan was much different, relying on blatant racial stereotypes of all of the Japanese. However, we all know where that type of propaganda led and I would hope that even the conservatives who appear to want to blame 9/11 on every Muslim in the entire world would admit that Japanese-American internment is one of the moments in U.S. history which we can't be proud of.

don kates - 8/29/2002

Readers of Lee Kennett's new biography SHERMAN will note three ironies: 1) Sherman LOATHED Ohio. His greatly desired marriage was long delayed because, in addition to his religious heterodoxy his wife-to-be was deeply dismayed that he absolutely refused to live in Ohio where her family was and she wished to live. 2) He was a conservative and racist who would have greatly preferred to save the Union w/o disarranging the ante-bellum status quo; and 3) in his earlier commands he had taken great pains to stop sol- diers from looting and burning property. He finally just threw his hands up in despair at his inability to stop them.

Ralph E. Luker - 8/25/2002

As I read Professor Heineman's reflections on General Sherman's experience in the Civil War, I recalled a conversation with one of my seminary professors at Drew University, George D. Kelsey. A native of Georgia, Professor Kelsey was a very dignified African American scholar who taught Christian ethics. Earlier in his career, he had taught at Morehouse College here in Atlanta where Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of his students. Professor Heineman's reflections help me to understand the wry smile on Dr. Kelsey's face when he spoke of going home and observed that "you have to go through Atlanta, even if you are going to hell."