I’m a Historian, Not an Expert

I’ve only half-followed the recent Twitter dust-up between historians Thomas Kidd and John Fea and journalist Jonathan Merritt. You can get caught up to speed with this morning’s Anxious Bench post from John Turner. Throw in editor John Wilson (who rose to the historians’ defense), and you’ve got several of my favorite Johns/Jonathans sparring over what it meant … More I’m a Historian, Not an Expert

The Birth of America First

“We are not here to-day to mourn their deaths. Nothing would so shock the devoted and exultant spirit of their service.” So said former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in November 1920, as Yale University dedicated tablets in Memorial Hall with the names of 227 Yalies who had fallen in the recent World War. “We … More The Birth of America First

Some Updates on My Charles Lindbergh Project

Among other things, taking a February-March break from this blog gave me some more time to devote to my new research project: a “spiritual, but not religious biography” of Charles A. Lindbergh. Most importantly, I got to spend hour after spring break hour in the Weyerhaueser Reading Room at the Minnesota Historical Society, going through … More Some Updates on My Charles Lindbergh Project

How Many Americans Are “Spiritual, But Not Religious”?

I’ve described my current research project as a “spiritual, but not religious” biography of Charles Lindbergh. A non-churchgoer who never identified with any particular religion, the famous aviator nonetheless read religious texts, lost much of his early faith in science and technology, and grew increasingly interested in matters spiritual and supernatural. In part, what drew … More How Many Americans Are “Spiritual, But Not Religious”?

The Spiritual Spirit of St. Louis

While I’ve skimmed through Charles Lindbergh’s most famous memoir, I’m actually intimidated to read The Spirit of St. Louis. A popular and critical hit, SoSL won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize for its inventive, gripping narrative. Any would-be biographer needs to live up to the high standard set by Lindbergh himself (with considerable editing assistance from his wife, Anne). … More The Spiritual Spirit of St. Louis