I am behind on reporting on my reading list for 2013 - for that, I apologize, but what that does mean is that you’ll see at least two andprobably three new blog posts this week as I catch you up on my experience with the books on my list. First up is the anthropologist Marvin Harris‘s classic explanation of our […]
Waiting for a miracle “How long are you prepared to wait?” I asked. It was 1991 in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth and I was in my final year of high school. Nelson Mandela had been released in 1990 with me hovering over the television, my camera on a tripod, in a futile […]
It’s not often you get to see one of your research interests play out in real-time. But last night, during the Seahawks-Redskins playoff game, we saw The Sport Ethic clearly illustrated. Quick refresher: The Sport Ethic is a concept from sports sociology (Hughes & Coakely, 1991) in which they found four traits that elite athletes believe. One […]
Final part of a series “[H]istory and historical fiction,” says historian Paul Ashdown, “are alternate ways of telling stories about the past.” In that context, Ulysses S. Grant spoke more truth than he realized when he said “Wars produce many stories of fiction.” Aside from yarn-spun anecdotes about apple-tree surrenders and lemon-sucking generals, war also produces “stories […]
Part eight in a series “Wars produce many stories of fiction, some of which are told until they are believed to be true,” Ulysses S. Grant said in his Personal Memoirs. Grant was specifically referring to a fiction “based on a slight foundation of fact” from Appomattox Court House, where Robert E. Lee’s army surrendered. The formal surrender […]
Part six in a series. No written work embodies the tension between art and history more fully than Shelby Foote’s mammoth three-volume The Civil War: A Narrative. Few people realize Foote was a novelist before he became the “warm and folksy raconteur” of anecdotal Civil War history; his novel Shiloh sits almost forgotten in the shadow of his magnum […]
Part three in a series As the horn section carries Max Steiner’s score from its overture into the sweeping, now-iconic strings of its main theme, Gone With the Wind opens with haggard-looking slaves returning from a hard day’s work set against the first of many sunset backdrops. On-screen text immediately evokes a romanticized antebellum past: There was a […]
Part two in a series “We may say that only at the moment when Lee handed Grant his sword was the Confederacy born,” wrote Robert Penn Warren during the Civil War’s centennial; “or to state matters another way, in the moment of death the Confederacy entered upon its immortality.” Writer/activist Albion W. Tourgee, however, considered that moment […]
In case you don’t regularly visit the “Entertainment” section on the main Google News page, you may have missed the article published yesterday afternoon with variations on the headline, “A Faded Piece of Papyrus Refers to Jesus’ Wife.” Harvard historian, Karen L. King, presented her findings yesterday at a conference in Rome. Dr. King has […]
Daniel Drezner’s visit to Graceland a few years back taught him something important about writing about zombies. Fellow tourists seemed to fall into two contingents: The first contingent was thoroughly, utterly sincere in their devotion to all things Elvis. They were hardcore fans, and Graceland was their Mecca, their Jerusalem, and their Rome…. The second […]
I think at some point in our lives, most of us imagine that it might be cool to be famous. But perhaps…perhaps not like this.
by Matthew Record “In the immediate aftermath of the Twenty-sixth Amendment’s passage, nearly eleven million new voters joined the general electorate.
Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, S&R ran a five-part series on Lord John Reith, the iconic architect of modern broadcasting in the UK. The series, authored by the University of Colorado’s Dr. Michael Tracey, one of the world’s most distinguished media critics and analysts, explored the complex and controversial Reith, who managed to be at once […]
by Matthew Record “I think a major reason why intellectuals tend to move towards collectivism is that the collectivist answer is a simple one. If there’s something wrong, pass a law and do something about it.” — Milton Friedman Objectivism is the philosophy developed and espoused over time by Ayn Rand in The Fountainhead and […]