Is Teaching Like Preaching?

“What are we history professors for?” That’s the existential question asked by Rachel Wheeler in the current issue of Perspectives, the monthly magazine of the American Historical Association. Wheeler urged fellow Americanists, at least, to respond to white nationalism by offering students a different kind of national story. But she acknowledged that this was not … More Is Teaching Like Preaching?

That Was The Week That Was

This week I started a small business and compared my Charles Lindbergh biography to a sitcom. Meanwhile, here’s what some other people were writing: • I was happy to take a week off from Anxious Bench in order to let Elesha Coffman wonder if historians make too much of empathy and too little of disgust and lament. … More That Was The Week That Was

The History of Impeachment

“I’m breathing, I’m available Thursday morning at 11:15, I can use Google Search, and I can wear plaid.” That’s how I described my credentials to take part in a live podcast about the history of impeachment, alongside two actual political scientists. My Bethel colleagues Chris Moore and Andy Bramsen had planned a special episode of … More The History of Impeachment

The Future of Civil War Reenactment

Yesterday a colleague reminded me of a New York Times article that I had noticed this summer, but not read closely. Alongside striking photographs by Daniel Arnold, Bryn Stole reported on the 155th commemoration of the Battle of Gettysburg, at which 6,000 people reenacted the roles of Union and Confederate soldiers, nurses, surgeons, chaplains, and even nuns. If … More The Future of Civil War Reenactment

That Was The Week That Was

Beyond steering readers to Jay Phelan’s revived blog and reflecting on the “Baptist Pietist” legacy of G.W. Carlson, I enjoyed a quiet late summer week here at The Pietist Schoolman. Here’s some of what I read elsewhere: • In light of President Trump’s latest attacks on the “unpatriotic” press, I’m even more sure of the conclusion … More That Was The Week That Was

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