The Best History (and Religion) Books of 2012?

It’s late November, which means that newspapers and periodicals are starting to put out their “Best of 2012” lists. Here are the works of scholarly and popular history (and some historical fiction) that have shown up on “Best Books” lists produced by Publishers Weekly (PW), The Washington Post (WP), and Britain’s The Guardian. For each, … More The Best History (and Religion) Books of 2012?

Remembering (and Forgetting) George McGovern

I don’t have all that many memories of the former senator and presidential candidate — I was only five when he was voted out of the Senate in 1980, after three terms representing South Dakota — but as a historian I know enough to find interesting what’s being remembered, and what’s being forgotten, as journalists … More Remembering (and Forgetting) George McGovern

The Best National Anthems: Special Olympic Edition

Okay, one more Olympic post… Last fall I spent a couple of weeks attempting (with a big assist from my HIS354 Modern Europe students, and with tongue mostly in cheek) to determine the “best national anthem” — pointing out at least once or twice along the way that there’s really no objective way to determine … More The Best National Anthems: Special Olympic Edition

Kim and Havel

Okay, my last word clouds for 2011 — I promise! It’s probably obvious that the first has to do with Kim Jong-il and the second with Vaclav Havel. While the North Korean dictator was reported to have died on Saturday and the Czech playwright-president passed away on Sunday, their obituaries happened to appear side by … More Kim and Havel

This Week in History

September 19, 1945 – “Lord Haw Haw” is sentenced to death One of the courses I teach at Bethel University is the capstone of our major program, Senior Seminar, in which students spend the spring semester conducting original research on a topic of their choosing, produce an article-length paper, and close the year by giving … More This Week in History