August 17, 2012, 5:04 pm
Or, at least, his publishing arm:
David Barton, author of The Jefferson Lies, which Thomas Nelson pulled from shelves last week, is in negotiations to publish a new edition of the book with Mercury Ink, Glenn Beck’s publishing arm
Whew. America will not have to go a day without access to the book that HNN commenters voted the “The Least Credible History Book In Print.” This blog has already made its feelings known.
August 16, 2012, 5:07 pm
As a followup to “One Too Many,” reports came today that a record number of soldiers, sailors, and marines killed themselves in July:
A record number of soldiers – 38 – are suspected of killing themselves in July, the Pentagon said Thursday. It marks a startling jump in the suicide epidemic that has been frustrating Army leaders for years….The toll was 58% higher than June’s 24 suspected suicides, and is roughly 50% more than the average monthly suicide count experienced over the past 18 months.
That’s just slightly fewer American service members than died in Afghanistan in July.
August 15, 2012, 3:00 pm
A quick post to highlight a remarkably valuable new report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. The Forum did a massive survey of the world’s Muslims:
The survey, which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages, finds that in addition to the widespread conviction that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His Prophet, large percentages of Muslims around the world share other articles of faith, including belief in angels, heaven, hell and fate (or predestination). While there is broad agreement on the core tenets of Islam, however, Muslims across the 39 countries and territories surveyed differ significantly in their levels of religious commitment, openness to multiple interpretations of their faith and acceptance of various sects and movements.
Well worth a look.
August 14, 2012, 9:33 pm
Christopher Frueh and Jeffrey Smith recently attempted to estimate the military suicide rate during the American Civil War. (sub required, sorry! See here for a shorter version that doesn’t require a sub) They did this, in part, because the current military suicide rate has been going up rapidly during the last decade of constant war, and there is little historical data to which to compare it:
Suicide rates and post-traumatic psychopathology among U.S. military personnel have risen dramatically since 2001. We have little understanding of historical context to indicate whether this is a typical outcome of war, apart from Durkheim’s (1951) conclusion from 1897 that suicide rates tend to decline during the active phases of war. Data gathered by the U.S. Government during the Civil War provide a conservative estimated suicide rate among active-duty Union Forces of 8.74–14.54 per 100,000…
August 12, 2012, 6:31 pm
In response to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau’s speech to restore business confidence in the teeth of a recession:
Every time that God-damned fool announces a balanced budget, it means that Government purchasing power is being cut and that’s about the only thing that’s keeping things together. The trouble is, the President won’t spend any money. Nobody on the outside will believe the trouble we have with him. Yet they call him a big spender. It makes me laugh.
Pari passu and all that, but plus ça change; see Krugman and Yglesias, in those and other places.
August 6, 2012, 4:49 pm
Sir John Keegan has died, aged 78. With his book, The Face of Battle, Keegan was the pioneer of a new form of military history, somewhat uncreatively called the “New Military History.” This looked at the ground level of war, focusing on the experience of soldiers in three battles, Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme. It contrasted explicitly with the more traditional form of military history, which looked at the leaders and generals and institutions fighting the wars. Tommy Atkins replaced Arthur Wellesley.
This is not to say that there hadn’t been books that looked at the experience of the ordinary combatant before, but Keegan did it as a self-conscious distinction from the technical and (often) emotionless accounts of military history, which took all human feeling out:
One school of historians…[Keegan noted], the compilers of the British Official History of the First World War,…
July 11, 2012, 6:01 pm
James Fallows lives in DC and has thus been ground zero for two substantial power outages in the last year. First, for Hurricane Irene, and then for last week’s derecho. He wonders why the power grid is so fragile:
How can it be that in the imperial-capital city of the richest nation the world has ever seen, people are told that it will probably be a full week* before electric power is restored?
Fallows connects it to America’s imperial decline. If we can’t keep the lights on in DC, how can we be a great power?
While the argument seems compelling, the historical record shows almost exactly the opposite. Imperial cities at the height of their power regularly have disastrous infrastructures, brittle and messy. Rome is justly famed for its sewer system, but never had any useful garbage collection, with the result that even during the widest expanse of Empire, people would simply…
July 6, 2012, 11:59 pm
An old one, but still funny:
Q: Do I have to kill the snake?
A: University guidelines state that you have to “defeat” the snake. There are many ways to accomplish this. Lots of students choose to wrestle the snake. Some construct decoys and elaborate traps to confuse and then ensnare the snake. One student brought a flute and played a song to lull the snake to sleep. Then he threw the snake out a window.
Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?
June 23, 2012, 4:00 pm
This story about Errol Flynn could, of course, be apocryphal:
Warner Brothers committed an exceptional $1.7 million budget to Dive Bomber, the same as for The Sea Hawk and only slightly less than for Robin Hood. Despite a tense international situation, about 1,000 Navy personnel were allotted to the production at San Diego and Los Angeles. [Admiral Bill] Halsey was perennially cranky because filming interfered with training, yet he had no choice but to cooperate. Nonetheless, Wild Bill made his displeasure known frequently and loudly. Witnesses reported that the day shooting wrapped, he leaned over the bridge railing and yelled downward, ‘Now get the hell off my ship!’ Reportedly Errol Flynn turned, rendered honors with a single-digit salute, and dived off the flight deck into San Diego Bay. The film crew roared in approval.
Tillman doesn’t cite his source for the story, and a …
May 30, 2012, 3:46 pm
Mark Santow, Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, put up an excellent analysis in the thread on Eric’s post. So excellent that I forwith appointed him “Guest Blogger For A Post”:
The CAS report laments that “one looks in vain for any course that provides a connected view of the sweep of American history.” Putting aside their odd focus on this one particular semester for the moment, don’t the upper division courses the report lists provide precisely that sort of view? I’m zeroing in on the word ‘connected’ here. The standard 100-level US history survey provides a ‘connected view’ only if one assumes that moving chronologically somehow provides intellectual coherence (history as just ‘one damn thing after another’). Of course, most good teachers of history try to cover the survey at least partially through sub-themes — …
May 25, 2012, 2:27 am
Grover Norquist, bailing on Rhodesia for a moment to point out that he wasn’t invoking the Nazis with his recent comment:
‘My criticism of our friend Mr. Schumer was that his bill was similar to the German legislation from the ’30s,’ Norquist said in a phone interview. ‘He’s the guy who yelled Nazi. I didn’t say Nazi. I didn’t say National Socialist.’
‘I never said Nazi,’ Norquist told TPM. “I’m tired of liberals saying “you called me a Nazi!” I was talking about the Weimar Republic bill. I didn’t say it was like fascist Nazi Germany.”
Well, all righty, then. Afterwards, Norquist returned his attention to Rhodesia to point out that he was talking about the post-1977 period, and specifically, the first three months of 1978, mostly the second Tuesday of that March.
Next up: Ken Bennett, the Secretary of State of Arizona, explains how the Barack Obama whose birth he …
May 22, 2012, 3:32 pm
From Robert E. Lee’s obituary, the New York Times October 13, 1870:
In [Lee's] farewell letter to Gen. SCOTT, he spoke of the struggle which this step had cost him, and his wife declared that he “wept tears of blood over this terrible war.” There are probably few who doubt the sincerity of his protestation, but thousands have regretted, and his best friends will ever have to regret,the error of judgment, the false conception of the allegiance due to his Government and his country, which led one so rarely gifted to cast his lot with traitors, and devote his splendid talents to the execution of a wicked plot to tear asunder and ruin the Republic in whose service his life had hitherto been spent.
Lee’s application for amnesty and reinstatement as an American was lost for more than a century. Rediscovered in the 1970s, it led to Gerald Ford signing legislation that pardoned Lee and made…
May 21, 2012, 2:18 pm
Grover Norquist, on Democratic attempts to penalize the use of citizenship renouncing to avoid taxes:
I think Schumer can probably find the legislation to do this. It existed in Germany in the 1930s and Rhodesia in the ’70s and in South Africa as well,” said Norquist. “He probably just plagiarized it and translated it from the original German.”
All the useful examples in there: Nazi Germany? Check. South Africa? Check. But Rhodesia? Was Rhodesia a well-known tax extractor? Is this some kind of right wing code, aka Dred Scott?
May 18, 2012, 3:20 pm
A friend* at the National Archives asked me to post the following:
OCLC Research wants to know how researchers (you) use special collections.
Please visit this survey to answer some questions about how you find – and find out about – websites and other research resources. The information you provide will help OCLC Research make it easier to discover materials in special collections.
* Yeah, that’s how I roll.