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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: the Progress of the Radical
May 24, 2008, 1:59 pm
Okay, so I didn’t really have lunch with Victor Hugo. But I did become exhausted in what proved to be a difficult search for the Victor Hugo Museum, and I had to pause at a boulangerie for a sandwich and a tarte pomme. More about that later. However, I am happy to report that so far la famille Radicale is well, and having a bang-up time. My French is holding up, and contrary to what everyone used to say when I was growing up about how French people were endlessly horrid to foreigners about their French, this is emphatically not my experience. Perhaps it is the intervening half century from Eisenhower leaving De Gaulle in the lurch in a certain Vietnamese valley, or perhaps everyone who told me this spoke even worse French than I, but it is downright fun to function en français, and I seem to be getting better at it day by day.
And, except for the fact that the q and the a are…
May 20, 2008, 1:57 am
On May 20, 1927, at 07:52 in the morning, Charles Lindbergh — not knowing that he would play a bit part in a book published by the Tenured Radical in 1997 — took off from Roosevelt Field in Long Island, New York, flying “The Spirit of St. Louis” on the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris at 22:22 the next day, as hundreds of Frenchmen cheered wildly and hoped that he would not try to speak French.
Strangely, the Radical herself will by taking off from JFK tomorrow — although the plane will be piloted by a clever German employed by Lufthansa — and landing in Paris the following day! And I am sure there are lots of French people who are also praying I don’t test run my French on them. But you know what? They’re out of luck.
Meaning — unless I happen to fall into an internet cafe in either paris or Corsica in the next …
May 10, 2008, 7:03 pm
Some of the most insightful discussions of race and gender in this year’s endless contest for the Democratic nomination are in the May 19 edition of The Nation, which arrived at my house some time last week (why do magazines arrive long before the date on the cover? And how will future historians actually know when we knew the things in them, if the dates are wrong?) It is an excellent read, particularly if you would describe yourself as one of the following:
1. Someone who has already voted for Barack Obama, but without the enthusiasm that is seen on TV;
2. Someone who can’t get a grip on all of the racial discourses colliding around this candidacy;
3. Someone who is firmly convinced that Hillary Clinton is the better candidate, but will slap herself around on election day and vote for Obama if s/he has to;
4. Someone who can’t get a grip on what all the second wave feminists are up to…
May 4, 2008, 1:29 am
Those who know the Radical well also know that she is a handicapper, and loves great horses. Derby Day — and the day before, the Kentucky Oaks and its undercard, are practically national holidays in the Radical household. Although we did not plan it this way, we also live right around the corner from the off track betting parlor, so there is a whole racing community at my fingertips. Yesterday I cleared a large sum at the Oaks, and went into today’s races very optimistic: indeed, financially, it has been a successful weekend, with enough winners to cover and surpass inevitable bad picks and funky trifectas.
But as many of you probably already know, today’s Kentucky Derby ended on an extraordinarily sad note. Eight Belles, the only filly in the race and the runner-up, had to be euthanized after breaking her forelegs; this may have happened as she was trying to slow down after she…
April 16, 2008, 9:24 pm
In response to recent accusations of smuggery, I would like to say that, although I occupy a privileged position in the world, I am still subject to rejection from time to time. I hate rejection. It makes me feel unwanted. I hate it when students reject me by writing mean teaching evaluations. It makes me feel misunderstood and resentful. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often.
I have had to get used to rejection, though, since between my exalted position as Chair of the Program and the never-ending project of keeping my scholarly life vital, I have to apply for things constantly — internal to Zenith as well as external — and, as they say, you can’t win ‘em all. One year, during the Unfortunate Events, because members of my department were giving me the Big Raspberry and because I couldn’t really sleep, I applied for everything under the sun: five jobs, three year-long fellowship…
March 21, 2008, 1:02 pm
Spring break is almost over: in fact, you could say it is over, since around mid-afternoon, various beloved family members descend on our normally secluded life. So, much as I would like to write something fun for everyone today, I have to take a stab at doing some of the things I have left until the last minute. Although I am pleased to say I have accomplished much over break (in addition to screwing up my right knee, so that until I got a lovely shot of cortisone under my patella I spent several days on a cane imagining myself lurching aggressively around Zenith for the rest of my career, like an academic version of Dr. House.) An yet, there are a number of items that remain on my list.
Like grading my midterm exams. Some things never change, eh? Even though I am at a stage in life where I have a grader to help me I still can’t pull myself together to finish. Only my compulsive …
March 6, 2008, 1:50 pm
As a historian I know perfectly well that the war in Iraq has major differences from the war in Vietnam, and it’s not just because depleted uranium weapons are now used in conventional combat, or because the troops are fighting in sand for oil, as opposed to fighting in jungles against Communism. But when I was driving to rowing practice at around 5:00 a.m. and heard about this bombing of the military recruiting center in Times Square, I thought, Wow. That I should live to see this again in my lifetime.
When I was a kid in the 1960′s and ’70′s, such bombings were associated with an increasingly militarized anti-war movement, made up mostly of white college students. I followed the doings of the Weather Underground very closely: my research on this radical antiwar movement and an unhealthy fascination with the doings of the Philadelphia mob are probably what, in the end, either led me…
February 27, 2008, 1:04 pm
I got home last night, after a particularly hectic and brutal start to the week that had caused me to sleep very little the night before. But strangely, I was in an excellent mood, in stark contrast to my feelings about my job when I had left the house that morning. Why? Because I had been in a meeting of chairs of departments. Strange, but true. I felt better because I went to a meeting. This is not just because, for the first time in my memory they took attendance at the chairs meeting and I happen to know that there was at least one person who was absent who is always criticizing me for various sins of commission and ommission. Well, let’s see who gets a demerit now, shall we?
Unfortunately, I can’t write about what happened at the meeting, although I doubt any of you would find the story as entertaining and fulfilling as I did while mulling it over later. I tried to tell N, who…
February 4, 2008, 1:46 pm
Thanks for your passionate email yesterday about Barack Obama. I keep missing something about him that makes everyone else excited and ready to cast this historic vote: perhaps it is that I haven’t seen him in person, as so many have. But I would also say that my problem is more intellectual than visceral. I think that, in his policy positions, he is sending all the signals that he will not depart from neoliberal Democratic policies. In particular, as Paul Krugman wrote today in the New York Times, he is advocating a national health policy that only covers people who elect to be part of it. This is a biggie for me, since we know that a range of people will make the choice not to be covered when they are poor, or unable to understand how to complete the paperwork, or –like a lot of healthy young freelancers with great educations we know who were raised with good…
February 2, 2008, 2:35 pm
The good news is that, as of last Tuesday I published my 200th post. The bad news is that I have had no time or inclination to post since last Tuesday, and then only a video. OK, it was a funny video, you’ve got to admit. Hence, although I cannot report bloggers’ guilt (some of my fellow internet pioneers do claim to feel these burdensome obligations to their readers), I do have the Saturday Blues. If I had had time to either practice my guitar, or go to the lessons I was gifted for Christmas at the Neighborhood Music School, I would set this to music, but a post will have to do.
The Saturday Blues often follow a long, difficult week, after which I look back and have trouble remembering anything I did that met my own life goals and ambitions. But the Blues can also be connected to the temporary necessity of — in addition to abandoning exercise, decent sleep, and therapy — stepping out …