Thoughts on Ukraine

Any reasonable, empathetic person can find any number of reasons to find troubling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The suffering, dislocation, and grief that any war inflicts on anyone in its path. The odiousness of Vladimir Putin, who had the gall to say that one goal of his “special military operation” was the “denazification” of Ukraine: … More Thoughts on Ukraine

Two Weeks In and…

We’ve now finished the first two weeks of the fall semester at Bethel University, where there’s no football opener tomorrow, only a handful of people could be in the Great Hall for a chapel service saying farewell to our president emeritus, and I still forget my face mask half the time I head to work. … More Two Weeks In and…

John Keegan: “I have not been in a battle…”

There aren’t many historians whose deaths would occasion a lengthy obituary linked at the top of that section on the New York Times website. But there haven’t been many historians like John Keegan, widely regarded as the greatest military historian of his time (1934-2012). As it happened, when I saw the news of Keegan’s death … More John Keegan: “I have not been in a battle…”

The Long Peace

Is humanity becoming more peaceful? Yes, says psychologist Steven Pinker in his new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Viking), glowingly reviewed by bioethicist Peter Singer in this past Sunday’s The New York Times. You’ve got to be kidding, replies philosopher John Gray, reviewing the same book earlier this fall … More The Long Peace