Tag American history

Rethinking the Evolving Historiography of Richard M. Nixon

Irwin F. Gellman— The state of current scholarship on Richard Nixon requires me to state, at the outset, that I am neither for nor against him. My purpose in writing The Contender was never to boost Nixon’s historical reputation—nor to depress it—but rather to provide the basis on which any

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Podcast: A History of Things That Go Bump in the Night

On this special Halloween edition of the podcast, cultural historian Leo Braudy, author of Haunted, sat down with us to talk about the history of monsters and other scary creatures. Listen in iTunes.

Evading the FBI: The Weather Underground Organization

Arthur Eckstein— Weatherman—the Weather Underground Organization—was the most famous group of young people committed to revolutionary violence to emerge out of the late 1960s. In protest of American racism and the Vietnam War, they detonated more than two dozen dynamite bombs between 1970 and 1975, and hit some spectacular targets,

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Podcast: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government

The long-held belief that the Declaration of Independence calls for a small government may not be an accurate assessment. Historian Steve Pincus, author of The Heart of the Declaration: The Founders’ Case for an Activist Government, discusses the meaning of this seminal document as well as its continuing influence in

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Declaration for Government

Steve Pincus— America’s Founders created a dynamic and activist government.  This contrasts radically with the standard popular interpretation.  With an almost unanimous voice scholars have claimed that America’s Founding constituted a revolution against the state.  Britain’s government had become too powerful, too intrusive, and too demanding for colonists in British

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Misunderstanding Lincoln: The Art of Wishful Thinking about Great Leaders

James West Davidson— We expect too much of our presidents. Especially at this season, when we honor the two chiefs universally acknowledged as our finest. That Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays should fall within days of each other suggests the mysterious workings of divine providence. Or at least, if the Almighty

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Behind the Myth of Daniel Boone

In the early 1850s, artist George Caleb Bingham painted a now-iconic image of Daniel Boone leading a party of white families through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky. In Bingham’s portrait, Boone is saturated with light, his face resolute and determined. He illuminates the passage through darkness like a buckskin-clad Moses

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American History in Under Three Minutes

Want to know more about American history but just don’t have the time? Here’s the history of the United States of America in under three minutes. Check out the video and then check out the book, A Little History of the United States by James West Davidson.  

A Conversation with James West Davidson

Throughout the week, we’re celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Little History series. We’re kicking things off with the latest book, A Little History of the United States, which comes out tomorrow. The author, James West Davidson, sat down with us to preview his take on American history. Yale University

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