“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
As you might have noticed yesterday, I enjoy fusing my interests in history and travel. Besides writing about Moravian Bethlehem, I’ve used this blog to share images and thoughts from trips to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the former Western Front, and a few of the many historic sites I’ve taken our kids over the years. (And to … More Looking for Some Historic Sites to Visit This Summer?
I’ve written before that “I’ve dreaded the day I’ll finally need to write a chapter or two on [Charles] Lindbergh’s response to the rise of Nazi Germany.” That concern came back to mind yesterday, when I visited the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and went through the temporary exhibit on “Americans and the Holocaust.” About halfway … More Was Charles Lindbergh Anti-Semitic?
Here… • My favorite movie of the year is a documentary on teaching by one of my best friends. • Latest evidence that it’s hard to define “evangelical,” the wide range of evangelical responses to a wedding sermon. • The best version of the “Pietist option” is probably a multiethnic church. …There and Everywhere • … More That Was The Week That Was
Yesterday I put my Modern Europe students through what’s become a pre-Thanksgiving ritual: watching the 2005 German movie, Sophie Scholl: The Final Days, about the anti-Nazi student resistance group known as the White Rose. About, that is, the arrest, interrogation, and execution of its leaders, Sophie and Hans Scholl. Coming after our week on the Final Solution, it’s a wrenching … More The Prayers at the Heart of the White Rose
On Friday, President Trump told participants in the Values Voter Summit that “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” Now, critics found it hard to take the “Judeo” part seriously, given that Trump immediately followed that line with another version of his pledge to restore “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” And it’s … More The Anti-Fascist Origins of “Judeo-Christian Values”
If anyone in the world is predisposed to appreciate the 1928 Kellogg-Briand Pact, it’s me. As a parochial Minnesotan, I’m happy to claim one of our native sons as both U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner. My undergraduate honors thesis featured Frank Kellogg’s co-laureate, French foreign minister Aristide Briand, who went on … More Did Outlawing War Actually Work?
As usual, things get quiet around here in mid-to-late August as I gear up for the start of another academic year. (Those scintillating syllabi won’t write themselves!) So while I managed to dash off a few thoughts on what happened in Charlottesville, I’ve not had a chance to reflect in any depth on the question … More How Historians Can Teach from Memorials
“This is not my country.” That’s what I wanted to believe yesterday, as I stumbled back from a week-long vacation in the Rocky Mountains into the ugly events transpiring in Charlottesville, Virginia. Having intentionally tried to avoid the news in order to savor time with my family, it was bewildering to check social media in … More On Charlottesville: “This Is Not My Country”
If you follow me over at The Anxious Bench, you might know that I wrote a multi-part series on the challenges of writing a biography. There’s a good reason for that: I was considering a biography as my next book project. Today I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Eerdmans to contribute to their Library … More Announcing My Next Book Project!