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December 19, 2014
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Tag: History

Fidel Castro
AP photo / Javier Galeano

Castro Retires

Fidel Castro announced on Tuesday that he “neither will aspire to nor will I accept the position of president of the Council of State and commander in chief.” He had stayed in firm control of Cuba for nearly 50 years despite all the best efforts of a superpower some 90 miles away. In the end, he was forced from office not by coup or assassination, but trouble with his intestine.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Losing Message

John McCain has the advantage of getting to run right away. Too bad he’s campaigning on failed policies and bad ideas.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Timothy Snyder on the Forgotten Holocaust

One of the great crimes of the 20th century—the mass murder of Jews in the Nazi-occupied Soviet territories—is all but forgotten. “The Unknown Black Book” helps us remember.

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 READ MORE


Clintons vs. the Media

Are the news media being beastly to Hillary Clinton? Are political reporters and commentators—as Bill Clinton suggested but didn’t quite come out and say in a radio interview Tuesday—basically in the tank for Barack Obama?

Posted on Feb 15, 2008 READ MORE


‘My Brother the Superdelegate’

Hollywood bigwig Ari Emanuel knows a thing or two about superdelegates. His brother, Congressman Rahm Emanuel, is one. But, as Ari writes on the Huffington Post, “as much as I love and respect him, I don’t trust him and his fellow superdelegates to decide for me and the American people who should be the Democratic nominee—and, therefore, most likely the next president of the United States.”

Posted on Feb 11, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Mark Arax on California’s Capitalist Founders

It is said that behind every great fortune there is a crime. Here’s a true-life drama of self-invention, greed and ambition involving four larger-than-life men who singly, and together, helped create California. A book to be read after you’ve watched “There Will Be Blood.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


The Democrats’ Class War

For all the hype about generational and gender wars in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary, we have a class war on our hands. And incredibly, corporate America’s preferred candidate is winning the poorer “us” versus the wealthier “them.”

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Artillery
AP photo / Baz Ratner

Milton Viorst on Israel’s Tragic Predicament

Can decent Israelis, caught between complacency and conscience, save their beleaguered country from the corruptions of power, religious fanaticism and crippling hubris?

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 READ MORE


Between a Veteran and a Visionary

The Kennedy clan, like many families across the country, is divided. It’s a struggle between the appeal of experience and idealism, and will ultimately decide the Democratic race.

Posted on Jan 31, 2008 READ MORE


The Next Florida

Election Day began with voting machines refusing to start up. It ended with them refusing to shut down.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


The Invisible War

It’s the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


protesting monks
AP photo / Mizzima News

The Whole World Was Watching

Remember when the world turned its attention to Burma and promised to no longer ignore the suffering of the people there? Truthdig contributor Sarah Stillman sat down with Burmese democracy organizer Maung Maung to check in on the Saffron Revolution and the brave men and women who continue to resist oppression, whether anyone is watching or not.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


What’s Gotten Into Bill?

Six months ago, Bill Clinton seemed to be settling comfortably into roles befitting a silver-maned former president: statesman, philanthropist, philosopher-king. Now he has put all that high-mindedness on hold—maybe it was never such a great fit, after all—to costar in his wife Hillary’s campaign as a coldblooded political hit man.

Posted on Jan 22, 2008 READ MORE


King and Child
AP photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Remembering Martin Luther King

“Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on Jan 21, 2008 READ MORE


Charlie Wilson
politics-now.com

The Price of America’s Patronage

Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council staff under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, has written a fascinating history of the United States’ many interventions in Pakistan. It’s the sordid story of “the world’s longest running military despotism, and of America’s most generous and tragic patronage.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE


A Demographic the Democrats Must Not Forget

Clinton and Obama would court failure by ignoring the white working class, a group that has reasons to be discontented. 

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Michael Gorra on J.M. Coetzee’s ‘Diary of a Bad Year’

The Nobel Prize-winning author of such stunning (and controversial) novels as “Waiting for the Barbarians” and “Disgrace” offers up his 19th book, about a South African writer, like Coetzee himself, who now lives in Australia and tries to understand the role of a writer caught between hope and history.

Posted on Jan 17, 2008 READ MORE


Musharraf
AP photo / David Guttenfelder

The Pakistan Conundrum

Pervez Musharraf’s recent actions remind us, Ritter argues, that America’s special relationship with Pakistan serves neither country’s best interests.

Posted on Jan 16, 2008 READ MORE


No Time to Argue About the Economy

With the economy teetering on recession, there’s a way out of the usual political impasse, if the politicians want to find it.

Posted on Jan 15, 2008 READ MORE


Bush at sea
AP photo / David Furst, pool

The End of the Road for George W. Bush

The Gilbert and Sullivan charade of statesmanship played out by George W. Bush and his enabler, Condoleezza Rice, as they wander the Middle East is a fitting end to seven years of misrule.

Posted on Jan 13, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary
achievement.org

Everest Legend Hillary Dies

Sir Edmund Hillary is dead at 88 after suffering a fall. Famous for being the first climber, along with Tenzing Norgay, to reach the summit of the world’s tallest mountain, Hillary was also a champion of the Nepalese Sherpas who helped him get there and over the years he built schools and clinics for them.

Posted on Jan 10, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton

Hillary to Fox News: Obama Isn’t JFK or MLK

The media may be falling under the sway of Barack Obama, but Hillary Clinton is fed up with the idea that his campaign is somehow historic, and she’s had more than enough of those comparisons to JFK and Martin Luther King Jr. just “because they gave great speeches.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Ghost of Politics Past

Hillary Clinton may have unintentionally written the obituary for the Iowa and New Hampshire phase of her presidential campaign, and perhaps her candidacy, when she told voters on Sunday: “You campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose.”

Posted on Jan 8, 2008 READ MORE


Barack Obama’s Moment in History

It was one of those moments that give you goose bumps—the cheering crowd, the waving placards, the candidate and his family looking Kennedyesque on the occasion of a stunning victory. Barack Obama took the stage Thursday night in Des Moines and proclaimed his vindication of hope: “They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high.”

Posted on Jan 6, 2008 READ MORE


sixties book covers

Carol Brightman on the 1960s

Three new memoirs by veterans of the New Left provide nuance and complexity to a tumultuous decade whose political and cultural legacy is still contested. Bonus points to those who can answer the question: Do you still need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows?

Posted on Jan 3, 2008 READ MORE


Mitfords cover

Carla Kaplan on ‘The Mitfords’

A new collection of letters between the fascinating Mitford sisters offers unparalleled insight into one of the 20th century’s most famous families.

Posted on Dec 28, 2007 READ MORE


book cover

Zachary Karabell on Mark Lilla’s ‘The Stillborn God’

With religious passions inflaming and complicating politics worldwide, the very project of a secular future is threatened.  In “The Stillborn God,” Mark Lilla reveals the roots of the age-old quest to bring political life under God’s authority.  He also explores how modern Western thinkers found a way to free politics from theological power and build barriers against destructive religious fanaticism.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Which Clinton for President?

Hillary Clinton tells audiences that having lived in the White House for eight eventful years, she’s eager to take charge as president on “day one.” Apparently, though, so is Bill.

Posted on Dec 20, 2007 READ MORE


Putin
time.com

Putin Is Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

Time magazine has decided to celebrate “order before freedom,” as the newsweekly put it, with its “person of the year” selection, because “if Russia succeeds as a nation-state in the family of nations, it will owe much of that success to one man, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.”

Posted on Dec 19, 2007 READ MORE


Sarkozy and Gadhafi
AP photo / Francois Mori

We’ll Always Have Paris

For former “60 Minutes” producer Barry Lando, Moammar Gadhafi’s recent visit to France raised some important questions about the West’s attitudes toward tyrants. Just whom should we embrace and whom should we flatten with a bit of shock and awe?

Posted on Dec 14, 2007 READ MORE


Disappointment Doesn’t Have to Be Normal

Is it foolish to think that a nation stained by centuries of slavery and racism is prepared to elect a black president? Rarely phrased so bluntly, that’s the central question posed by Barack Obama’s candidacy—especially for many African-American voters, whose doubts are informed by having seen many an oasis turn out to be a mirage.

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 READ MORE


Sheppard

Jesus, Then the Dinosaurs, Then the Greeks ...

Here’s an easy question: What’s worse, someone who doesn’t know anything about the world or someone who tries to spread his or her ignorance to others on national television? “The View’s” Sherri Shepard, who once admitted she didn’t know if the world was flat, insists that “Jesus came first before [the Greeks and Romans]” and “I don’t think anything predated Christians.” Really? What about Pangea?

Posted on Dec 5, 2007 READ MORE


We’re All Immigrants

The English language won’t be done in by the influx of Latin Americans.  To see the fallacy of this warning, just take a little look at American history.

Posted on Dec 4, 2007 READ MORE


flags at the capital
AP photo / Gerald Herbert

America in the Time of Empire

All great empires and nations decay from within. By the time they hobble off the world stage, overrun by the hordes at the gates or vanishing quietly into the pages of history books, what made them successful and powerful no longer has relevance.

Posted on Nov 26, 2007 READ MORE


Turkish flag
AP photo / Murad Sezer

The Not-So-Sick Man of Europe Does Matter

The former weapons inspector and military intelligence officer argues that Turkey, once dismissed as the “sick man of Europe,” will be ignored by the West at its own peril.

Posted on Nov 23, 2007 READ MORE


Hard Road West Cover

John Mack Faragher on the ‘Hard Road West’

One of the most gifted historians of the American West takes a close look at the remarkable tale of triumph and tragedy that Keith Meldahl recounts in his dramatic story of the largest overland migration since the Crusades, as well as the equally compelling epic of the geology of the harsh and sublime Western landscape.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


A Holiday for American Immigrants

The turkey may share the table with lasagna or guacamole or Asian-style rice bowls.  Welcome to America, Pilgrim.

Posted on Nov 22, 2007 READ MORE


Okinawa protest
AP photo / Kyodo News

Outrage in Okinawa Over Edited History Books

Japan’s education ministry has generated protest in Okinawa by erasing one of the country’s worst moments from history textbooks.  Okinawans who lost loved ones when the Japanese army ordered them to commit suicide during World War II are bitterly battling the historical omission.

Posted on Nov 17, 2007 READ MORE


Conscience of a Liberal cover

Nicholas von Hoffman on ‘The Conscience of a Liberal’

Why is it that so many voters continue to elect reactionaries who do their best to disenfranchise them? The answer, says Paul Krugman in his new book, is racism.

Posted on Nov 15, 2007 READ MORE


Curiosity Didn’t Kill This Cat

One of the 20th century’s greatest journalists, interviewers and storytellers is alive and working at age 95: Studs Terkel offers both the wisdom of age and keen insight into the issues of today.

Posted on Nov 13, 2007 READ MORE


Coldest Winter cover

Chalmers Johnson on America’s Forgotten War

The best-selling author of “The Sorrows of Empire” takes a look at David Halberstam’s critical history of the Korean War.

Posted on Oct 25, 2007 READ MORE


Bush Rewrites History

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Posted on Oct 17, 2007 READ MORE


Starbucks in the Forbidden City
news.bbc.co.uk

Forbidden Starbucks

The Starbucks empire is often lampooned for its many, many stores, but the coffee giant has lost one of its most prominent locations. Responding to the demands of more than half a million citizens, the Chinese government closed down the Starbucks in the Forbidden City, the ancient imperial palace complex in the heart of Beijing.

Posted on Sep 24, 2007 READ MORE


Petraeus and Crocker
AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

The General Lies

Of course Gen. David Petraeus predicts success in the Iraq war. What wonders couldn’t generals achieve with more troops and more time? The battle is always going well until it is lost, and then they blame defeat on the politicians and the public.

Posted on Sep 11, 2007 READ MORE


Remember Vietnam

Sex scandals aside, it’s too soon to simply let Bush’s asinine Vietnam analogy go. The team that has so often ignored history is out to rewrite it, and they must be stopped.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


the Great Dictator

Charlie Chaplin on the Villainy of War

Now seems as good a time as any to revisit the genius of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator.” In this climactic scene, Chaplin rails against the menace of war and hopes for a world where people actually care about each other.

Posted on Sep 4, 2007 READ MORE


Gravel

Gravel’s Poignant Mantra: ‘Young Men and Women ... Dying’

Although it feels a bit like an ‘80s thriller or an episode of “Hard Copy” gone awry, this campaign video from Mike Gravel does a handy job of countering the president’s ill-advised comparison of the wars in Iraq and Vietnam.

Posted on Aug 29, 2007 READ MORE


Statue and fire
AP Photo / Petros Giannakouris

Greek Firestorm Closes In on Olympia

Wildfires are threatening Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics and home to some of Greece’s most precious archaeological treasures, including relics from the Temple of Zeus. Authorities are battling fires throughout the country, and dozens of people have been killed.

Posted on Aug 26, 2007 READ MORE


Quagmire Quiz

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Posted on Aug 26, 2007 READ MORE


Prescott Bush
wikipedia.org

Bush’s Grandfather Linked to Fascist Plot

Back in the 1930s a general by the name of Smedley Butler exposed a plot to overthrow the government of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and install a fascist oligarchy backed by some of America’s most powerful business leaders and conservatives. Prescott Bush, grandfather of George W., was among those linked to the plan. BBC Radio investigates.

Posted on Jul 25, 2007 READ MORE


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