Robert Mugabe was in power in Zimbabwe already when I visited in 1985. Wherever and whenever we met locals, they would put on a radio (and put it on loud) to keep the political police from hearing our conversations. Not that we were planning anything. Nor was the country in disaster yet. But the skeptical citizenry, black and white, felt that government was inclined to be dictatorial, paranoid, cruel, and intent on what it blithely called land reform. Land reform meant taking productive farms away from whites. I understand the revolutionary impulse.
The fact is that nobody really paid much attention to the details of the Lebanese cease-fire, not even the Israelis (this is another grievance the public has with the Olmert government, and a just grievance it is), and not the Americans (certainly not Condi Rice). Hezbollah did not really need to scrutinize the terms of the agreement since it never had any attention of adhering to them in the first place. In any case, it was not among the negotiating parties, since that would have undercut the authority of the Lebanese government, which, alas, hardly exists.
I have read BusinessWeek regularly for 30 years. I began reading it on the advice of the late Michael Harrington, the socialist agitator and author of The Other America.
by Eric Rauchway I'd like to root for Steven Pinker in the Pinker/Lakoff quarrel, if only because Steve's a fellow Open U faculty member. (Go, Virtual Dons!) But then he trotted out this point: Whose Freedom? shows no trace of the empirical lessons of the past three decades, such as the economic and humanitarian disaster of massively planned economies, or the impending failure of social insurance programs that ignore demographic arithmetic.
Monday, October 9 Dear Damon, On your blog, which you've recently shut down, you posted links to two diametrically opposed reviews of your new book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege. One, by Adrian Wooldridge in The New York Times, calls your tone "admirably restrained, dispassionate and scholarly when it could so easily have been rank and recriminatory." The other, by Commonweal Editor Paul Baumann, accuses you of being "exaggerated and alarmist," not to mention "tendentious" and "frequently cartoonish" in your portrait of your former compatriots on the religious right.
The Democrats are lucky to have had the Mark Foley affair thrown in their laps. Now, we will see how not different they are from the Republicans. This scandal has about as much to do with Dennis Hastert as it does with Tip O'Neil.
by David Greenberg Reading David Bell's post about military history, another thought occurs to me. Every day, social, political, and cultural historians pay heed to the importance of war. It's in what we call by the ungainly name periodization.
by Richard Stern Foley, Foley, Foley! Congressman Almighty! Early in October our song doth rise to thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! Lascivious and lusty. In three-legged government, a fourth empowered thee. Foley, Foley, Foley! All Democrats adore thee. Casting votes upon thy filthy sea, Pages and other cherubs harkening to thee Which wert, and art, and evermore shall be. Foley, Foley, Foley! Though the darkness hide thee, Our eye thy sad sick self shall see. Only thou, Rep.
by Eric Rauchway Further to David's point below, war doesn't just inflect American history, it runs all through it and often informs discussion of the nature of the American republic. An example: If it's October, it must be the 1860s, at least in my lecture hall. Each year around this time we get to the factors that hastened Redemption, or the end of Reconstruction in the South: southern white resistance, including the Klan; national Republican weakness and division; and the Supreme Court.
by Richard Stern Who says Bush et al want to 'win their War on TERRORRRRR' or their war against Iraq? I think that they would prefer the latter to be at a lower level, just to justify the permanent US bases astride the oil supplies but not so intense as to give traction to the bleeding-heart liberals and the traitorous wing of the Protestant clergy.