Fifty years ago this week, the Concorde took flight. The supersonic jet, capable of flying at twice the speed of sound, traveled between New York and Paris in less than four hours, cutting the average flight time in half (and then some). Of course, the Concorde’s high airspeed and flying altitude was exceeded only by … Continue reading “A Tool Devised to Outwit Time”
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the tensions inherent in an American history survey course–probably in any survey course, for that matter. Before last year, I redesigned my course along thematic (as opposed to chronological) lines, and all in all, I believe it works well. There are some things that I’m not entirely satisfied with, as … Continue reading Nietzsche and the History Survey
In some of my recent posts, I have written about how we have come to believe a simplistic narrative of the civil rights movement—one which celebrates its successes but places it squarely in the past, disconnecting “the movement” from current protest movements in favor of racial equality. This view can be explained in part, I … Continue reading Massive Resistance and Trump
Note: This was originally posted on a different blog back in 2007, but it still seems relevant, particularly in light of some of my recent posts about the civil rights movement. I have edited it lightly in its current form. In a recent article from The Nation, Gary Younge asks, “Whatever happened to James Blake?” … Continue reading White History Month?
A couple of weeks ago, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I wrote about Jeanne Theoharis’s important book A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, in which she reminds historians—and the broader public—not to neglect the movement in the North. In one particularly powerful example, Theoharis notes the … Continue reading The Biggest Civil Rights Protest You Probably Never Heard of
Over the weekend, I finished reading Ed Ayers’s most recent book The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America. The book is the long-awaited follow-up to Ayers’ Bancroft Prize winner, In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863. Picking up where … Continue reading The Civil War, Then and Now: Continuities from The Thin Light of Freedom
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I have spent the weekend finally reading Jeanne Theoharis’s A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History. Following up on her celebrated biography of Rosa Parks, Theoharis now turns her critical eye toward the civil rights movement at large. A More … Continue reading The Histories We Need