Category Archives: History News Network

May 2, 2008, 11:33 am

Charles Tilly, May 20, 1929 – April 29, 2008


I just learned today that historian and sociologist Charles Tilly died on April 29, 2008, of lymphoma. He was 78 years old and will be greatly missed.

Chuck was one of the great intellects of our time: as importantly, he was endlessly excited about ideas, a scholar who was an indefatigable teacher, a man who not only taught you how to do history, but encouraged you to find your own new ways to do it. While I wouldn’t call him a radical (because it is too reductive — he was so much more than that), he was the exact opposite of a conservative, an interdisciplinary thinker who believed that knowledge production could evolve as fast as the human mind could accomodate new paradigms and new ideas. He encouraged his students to find new things to think about, but more importantly, to find new ways to think. As a teacher he was generous to a fault, and he had a quiet but firm disdain for…

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April 11, 2008, 6:07 pm

Thinking War, Thinking History: A Short Review Essay

(Editor’s Note: every once in a while, someone who follows the Tenured Radical is Reading feature asks what I think about a book I have read. Mostly I don’t say, since it would be a great burden to review everything, and because there is a reason book review sections have editors. However, as I am formally inaugurating my relationship with Cliopatra today, I though this cross-posted essay might be a good start.)

Perhaps it is an effect of the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, or perhaps it is the impending retirement of my American Studies colleague Richard Slotkin, but I seem to be reading more about war and violence this year than I have in the last decade.

Following on William A. Williams’ Tragedy of American Diplomacy (1959), a book that sought to understand how the project of democracy could be simultaneously well intentioned and destructive, a few scholars of the United…

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December 15, 2007, 9:28 pm

The Radical Presents an (Unnecessary) Defense of the University of Iowa History Department

I want to start this post by saying that I admire the History News Network. It is one of the few recent attempts any group of historians has undertaken to make our profession relevant to a larger audience, and to offer some kind of public forum that links us to each other and to the world. The first time they listed me was long before I became a blogger: it was several years back,when I gave a paper at the OAH about that big homo J. Edgar Hoover, and that, I would have to admit, was a thrill. Although I sometimes wonder why they publish what they do (one of the subjects of today’s post) they link my blog occasionally and I am on their permanent blog roll, so there is an ecumenical spirit at HNN that is quite rare in the media and ought to be applauded. The publicity and the new readers this brings me is something I will be the first to acknowledge — although the last couple of…

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