Today’s example comes from Katherine Kersten, a fellow at something called the Center for the American Experiment in Crappy History. It’s a twist on the “Obama is not an American” theme so popular with anti-Obamaniacs these days. Big news, kids: President Barack Obama’s agenda is not rooted in Kenyan anti-colonialism. Instead, it’s rooted in Kaiserreich … Continue reading Today’s example of brainless, fact-free so-called “Founding Fathers” worship
On Wednesday, La Famille Historiann availed themselves of the Downeaster train service from Maine for a whirlwind day trip to Boston. Because the train took us to North Station, we thought it made perfect sense to pick up the Freedom Trail in the North End and see where it might take us. Well, friends, we … Continue reading Public intellectual William Lloyd Garrison on the so-called “Founding Fathers” and historic preservation
And why in the h-e-double-hockey sticks are we talking about George Washington? Again! (Like we haven’t done that enough for the past 250 years?) I subscribe to an ancient technology called a “listserv” on early American history. (You can read it in HTML digest form here.) It’s mostly totes boring, and only rarely does it … Continue reading Sausage party for the so-called "Founding Fathers"
David Eisenbach, co-author of One Nation Under Sex: How the Private Lives of Presidents, First Ladies and Their Lovers Changed the Course of American History along with pR0n king Larry Flynt, has responded to my critique of his book, which was more a critique of the genre than of his book in particular. As some readers … Continue reading Sausage party, or wiener roast? Founding Fathers/Presidential Chic, again!
It’s been a doleful week around the ranch, so here’s a free laugh–William Kristol, writing in the Weekly Standard about something Ben Carson wrote this week: “Granted, it’s just a Facebook post. But it does suggest qualities of mind and soul that have been sorely missing in recent American public life.” Never mind that his … Continue reading Bill Kristol on the brilliance of Ben Carson’s Facebook post
Liz Covart has a post on her blog called “How to Write for Your Readers,” which is effectively a post about “How to Write for Readers Beyond Your Colleagues and their Students.” She points out that journalists are very effective at writing history books that people actually buy and read. They’re eating our lunches! History … Continue reading Writers, readers, publishers, and money
On days when I haul my butt out of bed at 5 a.m. and get out for an early morning run, I have lots of energy the rest of the day and can even stay up a little longer in the evenings. On days when I can’t manage to get rolling early and when I … Continue reading Cause, or effect? Plus a Sunday Morning Medicine signal boost, and meditations on death.
I’ve been pulling together the images I’d like to include in my book, The Many Captivities of Esther Wheelwright. My publisher is very generous and is permitting me to include up to twenty of them (!)–and because Esther moves around so much (especially for a girl and a woman) and crosses so many cultural, religious, … Continue reading Sorry, Nate–you didn’t make the cut.
Pauline Maier, the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of History at MIT, died August 12 this year at age 75, a fact that this blog failed to note at the time. (I can’t remember why, except to note that an extended family member of mine like Maier also died of a recently diagnosed lung cancer … Continue reading Pauline Maier, 1938-2013
Unlike Tenured Radical, I’m not in Milwaukee right now, but l’esprit de l’Historiann lives there, apparently! A correspondent writes that at an Organization of American Historians panel yesterday on the Revolution and its public memory: Your name came up by Fitz Brundage, the panel’s chair: your memorable line begging historians to stop writing hagiographic books about … Continue reading Historiann gets “big laugh” at the OAH, laments the absence of Constitution-burning in today’s politics