(Centennial Fellow) The results of the 2014 elections had barely been tabulated before the Punditocracy launched into exhausting speculation about the 2016 Presidential contest.
For over three months a bemused public has been subjected to endless crystal ball gazing regarding the identity of America’s 45th President. With excruciating detail we’ve pondered profound questions like Why Mitt got in. then out? Will Jeb vacuum up the money? Will Huckebee and Christie have to lose weight? Will Hillary ever wear a dress? etc.etc. Continue reading →
(Denver) Over time Hollywood’s portrayal of war has been broadly reflective of the attitudes of the American public, but in recent decades there has been a striking divergence with regional, cultural, and political overtones that tell us interesting things about who we are as a nation. Continue reading →
(Boston) One of the delights of Holidays- beyond the joy of reunions with family and friends- is that by lifting us out of familiar settings and routines they provide the space to catch up on our reading.
For those enamored of well written History on substantive topics I offer the following “mini-reviews” of three books that brightened my Holidays. Continue reading →
(Denver) It is often the case with elections that those races that are most visible are actually less enduring in their significance and provide less insight into the deeper forces shaping our politics than do those less noticed but far more numerous contests further down the ballot. Continue reading →
Sigmund Freud’s classic definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over yet always expecting different results- seems not to have registered with American education reformers who endlessly propose look-alike standards and assessments they claim will really, really work this time. Continue reading →
(Oslo) In 1992 renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama published an iconic book entitled The End of History and the last Man which was widely interpreted to mean that with the collapse of the Soviet Union the World had reached a decisive turning point characterized by the final triumph of liberal democracy and free markets. Continue reading →
(London) The origins of Great Britain were humble- a beleaguered aggregation of newly Christianized tribes made vulnerable to Vikings and other marauders by the 5th century departure of the last Roman legions. Continue reading →
(Boston) The distinctions of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) are many: Affiliation with Harvard Medical School, 3rd oldest U.S. hospital (1811), 2nd highest ranking in the U.S. News survey, world’s largest hospital based research program ($750 million dollar annual budget), and no less than eleven Nobel Laureates have worked or trained there. Continue reading →
(Washington, D.C) For a devotee of history there are few more relaxing experiences than a mid-afternoon reverie in the Round Robin Bar at the Willard hotel. While awaiting a colleague who has promised much good gossip about bad politics in the Imperial City, my imagination goes to an upstairs room where Pinkerton detectives fearful of cascading assassination threats secretly conveyed president Elect Abraham Lincoln to wait out the final week before his inauguration in 1861. Or to the nearby hotel lobby where in more placid times President Ulysses Grant liked to stop and smoke a cigar and sip a glass of whiskey while patiently fending off job-seekers and other supplicants (The hotel dubiously claims this to be the origin of the term “Lobbyist”). Continue reading →