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Contributors to this collection, edited by Claire Potter and Renee Romano, consider the wide range of challenges the practice of contemporary history poses. These essays address sources like television and video games, the ethics of writing about living subjects, questions of privacy and copyright law, and the possibilities that new technologies offer for writing history. Doing Recent History offers guidance and insight to any researcher considering tackling the not-so-distant past. Buy the Book
- Academic Cog
- Bully Bloggers
- Center of Gravitas (GayProf)
- Chapati Mystery
- Confessions of a Community College Dean
- Constitutionally Speaking
- Corey Robin
- Crooked Timber
- Dame Eleanor Hull
- Easily Distracted
- The Edge of the American West
- Ferule & Fescue
- Joe. My. God.
- Lawyers, Guns and Money
- Legal History Blog
- Madwoman With a Laptop
- New Deal 2.0
- New Kid on the Hallway
- Nursing Clio
- Pat Griffin's LGBT Sport Blog
- Reassigned Time 2.0
- Religion in American History
- University Diaries
- We Are Respectable Negroes
- American Historical Association Blog
- Chronicle of Higher Education
- Inside Higher Ed
- Juan Cole's Informed Comment
- Ms. Magazine
- National Public Radio
- New York Times
- States of Devotion
- Ta-Nehisi Coates/ The Atlantic
- The Book (The New Republic)
- The Book Bench
- The Daily Kos
- The Nation
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Claire Potter's is the first book to look at the structural, legal, and cultural aspects of J. Edgar Hoover's war on crime in the 1930s, a New Deal campaign which forged new links between citizenship, federal policing, and the ideal of centralized government.
War on Crime reminds us of how and why our worship of violent celebrity hero G-men and gangsters came about and how we now are reaping the results.Buy the Book
Category Archives: history
January 10, 2013, 9:20 am
This has been Mass Market British Culture Week at chez Radical (perhaps tomorrow we will have an Austin Powers festival.) So far we have been:
A Day Late and a Pound Short. Monday I watched the first episode of Downton Abbey, Season Three, broadcast on Sunday. It clocked in at almost two hours, which was a bit like lying on the couch eating salt water taffy for the evening. I can’t tell you anything very specific about the episode because I am sure there are people out there who have not watched it yet. I do have a few comments:
- Memories of the class warfare theme from #election2012 are still vivid. This may be why I was particularly struck by how the series has settled in to an utterly specious and ahistorical fantasy about the harmonious…
January 9, 2013, 8:21 am
I skimmed Kim Phillips-Fein’s Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan (Norton, 2009)* when it first came out. I settled in yesterday to read it, cover to cover, and it’s really a marvelous book. I think it would have been a good idea if Romney, Rove, et. al. had read it too, prior to developing a Presidential campaign strategy that revolved around the glorification of unfettered wealth.
Two thirds of the way through, I encountered a gem about Irving Kristol’s conversion to conservatism and his efforts to develop a capitalist ethic that could move mass politics to the right in the 1970s. What is remarkable about it is how it anticipates the error of articulating the wealthy are makers and the workers as takers…
January 7, 2013, 11:48 am
I can think of a number of good reasons to have a conference in New Orleans. At the top of the list is the excellent, moderately priced food, served at relatively uncrowded restaurants a stone’s throw from the hotel. For the three full days I was at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting I did not have one bad meal (although I was with someone who did.) Furthermore, there are a couple of landmark places that seem to draw the tourist trade (such as the famous Acme Oyster House), leaving equally great places like Desire and Felix’s open to the rest of us. At Felix’s (where I had gone for a little alone time Saturday night because I felt conferenced out) they open the oysters and smack ‘em right down on the bar in front of you. And they…
November 2, 2012, 9:34 pm
A passerby saw what she thought was a rock embedded in the interior roots of the 100 year old tree. When she looked closer, she realized it was a skull and called the cops. A medical examiner, and then a Yale anthropologist, were called to the scene.
Workers cut away some roots, brushed off some dirt, and yessiree, Bob, there it was: “Visible among the roots of the tree was the back of skull, upside down, with its mouth open” writes reporter Thomas MacMillen. “It was still connected to a spine and rib cage.”
According to the New Haven Independent, a Connecticut web newspaper, the bones “belong to at least two different centuries-old skeletons. And counting.”
The New Haven Green was originally an eighteenth century common space, used…
October 26, 2012, 6:38 pm
One of the commenters on my last post disagreed with my view that deciding not to vote is an abnegation of civic responsibility. “There is a good argument to be made about not voting as an act of protest,” s/he wrote, and then pointed out that there are more than two candidates running.”The Green Party candidate, Jill Stein… does represent a real progressive alternative to the status quo.”
I find this comment usefully provocative, and an excuse to extend my remarks about protest voting. In a place like Canada, I would vote for Jill Stein. In the United States, where we have two parties, it is not a “real…alternative” to vote for Stein. This election is so tight that voting for someone who is a progressive alternative, but who will never win the…
September 13, 2012, 10:20 am
In work avoidance mode this morning, I was scanning Facebook (when, oh when, will I have the courage to leave Facebook?) when I stumbled on this gem. Stuart Hodes, who blogs at 101% American, is 87 years old, a veteran of World War II, and a former bomber pilot. In the video re-posted below, “Mitt Romney Rap,” he summarizes the GOP presidential candidate’s biography, as well as the history of the Romney family in the Americas. Words and original posting can be found here.
Hodes, who has been blogging since 2011 and believes that the path to deficit reduction means paying his fair share of taxes, comes by his history chops honestly.
September 10, 2012, 10:35 pm
Tomorrow will be the first time I have been in New York on September 11 since before the attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. Furthermore, I now live in a building that not only looks out over Lower Manhattan, but has a clear view of where the World Trade Center used to be and the Freedom Tower has arisen. This morning I woke up to a blue, cloudless sky and was overwhelmed with…dread.
Although I knew that life would change that day as the two tallest buildings in New York burned, twisted, and dissolved, I never could have predicted that this country would be at war for more than a decade. This was just as inconceivable as the idea that dedicated terrorists would learn to drive jetliners so that they could steer them into buildings full of…
September 2, 2012, 2:51 pm
Perhaps because editors thought it would be appropriate to print a full obituary on Labor Day weekend, I only became aware today that historian, laborer, novelist and activist Alexander Saxton passed over on August 20. He was 93, and “died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound” because, as daughter Catherine Steele wrote, Saxton believed that “the terms of his life were his to decide.”
Read Paul Vitello’s story about Saxton here.
Like fellow historian David Montgomery, Saxton became a scholar when McCarthyism ended his career as a novelist and a labor organizer. He was one of the first historians to think seriously about how racial whiteness coalesced as an identity for European-descended working-class men in California; and how the demonization of immigrants from the Asian diaspora by nativist elites served the politics of capitalism in the Western United States.
I read Saxton’s
July 4, 2012, 9:58 am
What a marvelous notion it was, in 1776, that one did not have to rely on God, King or a news anchor to know in one’s heart that the existing political system was wrong. That said, for a reading of the Declaration of Independence by some of my favorite reporters and news anchors, go here. (Hat tip to MOTheR: longtime readers of this blog will recognize that I am referring to Mother of the Radical.)
The Republican Party Platform Committee might want to pause over the section read by Nina Totenberg. In enumerating the colonists’ grievances against George III, the Founders (otherwise known as the earliest Band of Bloggers) note that:
He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.
June 17, 2012, 12:39 pm
Forty years ago today five men were sitting in a District of Columbia jail. They were accused of having broken into Democratic National Committee headquarters, a suite of rented rooms in the Watergate office complex which turned out to contain little of value for the Committee to Re-Elect the President (known, incredibly, as CREEP.) But the botched burglary, and most importantly the administration’s determination to cover it up, made history. In 1974, Richard Milhouse Nixon became the first American president to resign from office.
Coordinated by former national security operatives G. Gordon Liddy and Howard E. Hunt, the event was ultimately revealed as one of many illegal operations coming out of the White House. These…