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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
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- Juan Cole's Informed Comment
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The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle. More on the Network...
- Mama Tried: A Queer Mother’s Day Celebration
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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: politics
September 5, 2012, 9:58 am
After an hour and a half riding around Brooklyn on the subway due to an F train mishap, Tenured Radical arrived home last night just in time to hear these words, spoken by Bill Clinton, as part of the Teddy Kennedy tribute video at the Democratic National Convention. I have always been a huge Teddy fan, but it did occur to me that one of the unbridgeable divided between ordinary Dems and ordinary Repubs might be the collective amnesia about why Teddy could never be president. There was the drinking, the womanizing, and the nasty divorce. As Teddy and Joan hurtled their way to destruction, every moment was documented in supermarket tabloids, complete with the ugly, frantic pictures that were typical of that genre even prior to…
August 30, 2012, 5:11 pm
Remember that old joke where the Lone Ranger and his Indian scout Tonto are surrounded by unfriendly Native Americans? The Ranger says, “Look’s like we’re in trouble,” and Tonto replies: “Whaddaya mean ‘we,’ white man?”
Well, the next time Republican strategists hold a meeting about the gender gap, or any other gap for that matter, they might want to consider reducing the frat party atmosphere of their national convention. I bet that even if you aren’t a Democrat it becomes tiresome to watch a bunch of white people hooting, hollering and jeering as if they were at a football game every time one of their speakers tells a bad and mean-spirited joke …
August 24, 2012, 4:48 pm
In this week’s New Yorker, political reporter Jane Mayer unveils what we at Tenured Radical are not learning from those fifteen or sixteen robo-mails that come off the interwebz and onto our desktop: the Obama campaign is behind on its fundraising primarily because liberal-minded billionaires who floated the campaign in 2008 are unhappy.
“But they are billionaires, Radical!” you say — astonished. “Why are the billionaires unhappy?”
Apparently it has nothing to do with Obamacare or the tax code. It’s about parties. It’s about showing the love. According to his critics in the Hamptons, Malibu and Palo Alto, the President doesn’t call to schmooze, doesn’t drop them notes, and doesn’t send bar mitzvah cards. He doesn’t do endless “grip ‘n grin photos” that donors spend 10K for so that they can pretend to their friends that they are Barack O’Buddies. He doesn’t call the…
August 22, 2012, 1:52 pm
This is my hope, at least, following Representative Todd Akin’s (R-MO) recent explanation that women who have been “legitimately” raped don’t get pregnant, and hence have no need for abortions. These words prompted a call by GOP conservative kingmakers for Akin to voluntarily withdraw from a key race against Senator Claire McCaskill, which he has (rightly) refused to do.
What Akin actually said, according to a Sunday news interview transcribed by the WaPo, was this:
“From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some…
August 13, 2012, 12:15 pm
I felt so lucky to have read Ronald Formisano’s The Tea Party: A Brief History (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012), since those of us who receive smartphone pushes from Politico.com woke up Saturday to a GOP conservative bromance of epic proportions. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, had at last decided on a running mate: it’s the cute little brother with a big mind, Paul Ryan.
As Yale political scientist Chris Lebron said on Facebook, “The most striking thing about Romney’s VP pick (and indeed Romney’s own candidacy) is not the nature of Ryan’s politics but the fact that it illustrates the GOP’s continued faith in, reliance upon, and commitment to the authority of white men. It’s 2012:…
June 19, 2012, 8:59 pm
Word has it that all of us will be wearing shorts on Thursday, as the temperature rises into the high 90s. So let’s start the chilling with a…
Cold War Cultural Revival. You thought that the membership of the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association and the Organization of American Historians had collectively driven a stake through the heart of American Exceptionalism. But someone from the Republican National Committee fished your old copies of Frederick Jackson Turner and Lionel Trilling out of the book donation box at the local library.
In April 2011, your favorite Radical twigged you to a Sarah Palin speech in which she explained that her appearance at the Iowa State Fair was intended, not…
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…
June 8, 2012, 2:53 pm
….Is more African American history, of course. In the wake of Naomi Schaefer Riley’s ignorant and widely criticized blog post mocking young female scholars just beginning their work in this rich field, so many responses come to mind.
Riley, who seemed to have been genuinely surprised at how poorly the idea of closing African American Studies department was received, responds to her critics here and here. In both pieces she seems to be arguing that having a political viewpoint about a field entitles you to criticize anything and everything about it, as if you had actually read the scholarship. She also suggests that, as a journalist who is not an academic, she should not be held to standards of accuracy when she…
June 3, 2012, 11:25 am
“Just how far would a government go to protect us from ourselves?” asks Adam Geller of the HuffPo (June 1 2012).
If you are thinking, say, the death penalty for gays and lesbians (Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — all US allies and key oil producing nations – have such laws on the books) you are wrong. The government could use its limitless power to keep us from drinking 64 ounces of soda in one big gulp, rather than 16 ounces at a time so that we could check in with ourselves, between drinks, to see if we are still hungry.
As Barry Goldwater once said, as he was pounding a Sprite, Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Citing the Bloomberg administration’s successful bans on smoking in public parks …
January 10, 2012, 4:36 pm
We in the Nutmeg State follow primaries in other states with great eagerness. Why? Because presidential candidates don’t campaign for our votes here, and we almost never see them, either in the primary season or during the general election. In the last cycle, Obama held a big rally in Hartford and another in Bridgeport. But given the fact that he has done little for cities, including not having an education policy, my prediction is that Obama won’t go farther north than Westport for this year’s campaign. Just like in Iowa, during the “Fairfield County caucuses,” ordinary Americans in our wealthiest suburbs gather democratically in each others’ living rooms and huddle in the corners.
Unlike Iowa, however…