The past few years have witnessed a resurgence in the popularity of counterinsurgency. Since the Iraq War Surge of 2006, every field commander, armchair general, and think tank analyst has managed to employ the term if not openly embrace the tactic. Although the Iraq results were ambiguous, Barack Obama committed to a counterinsurgency program in [...]
Last week’s tragic massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has prompted a passionate discussion about how to respond to gun violence in the United States. The horrific imagery of twenty six- and seven-year olds being gunned down alongside their teachers and school administrators is enough to make even the coldest heart skip a beat. However, [...]
I just watched this excellent interview of Michigan State Representative Brandon Dillon by Amy Goodman. It is well worth a look.
Paul Krugman wrote a short post for his New York Times blog over the weekend that discusses the phenomenon of re-shoring manufacturing jobs from Asia to the United States. I found the underlying vision depressing, if not dystopian. Instead of presenting a hopeful prospect of a robust, twenty-first century economy, conditions that promote re-shoring presage [...]
Yesterday I took a break from work and attended a local conference at DePaul University titled, “The Politics of Resources in the Neoliberal Era.” Three panelists, all from different disciplines, presented papers related to the theme. I have to say that, despite understanding the interdisciplinary nature of the topic, I was a bit surprised at [...]
I have been on vacation for the past several weeks, enjoying the hospitality and climate in the southeast Mediterranean. As a vacation destination, it is in many ways ideal: fresh food, a beautiful environment, friendly people and a gentle pace. Like most tourists, I made a lot of photographs. Mostly they are iconic images that [...]
Summer is upon me, and that prompted a reading list discussion while sailing last night with friends. Here are a few books that I am planning to enjoy, and a few that will be used for research in the fall. The links will take you to Amazon.com. Desert Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia (Charles [...]
I’m catching up on my reading while on spring break (which is jokingly called “spring pause” at DePaul.) Yesterday I read William Cronon’s “From the President” column in February’s Perspectives magazine. Cronon, who was just installed as the President of the American Historical Association, is a brilliant scholar and innovative thinker, so it seems fitting [...]
For those interested in the history of history, and how our narratives change over time, I present to you my most recents papers, with a Robert Plant interlude. The first post is about the Spanish Conquest of Mexico, and examines literature from 1839 to 2008. As it demonstrates, there has been a dramatic shift in [...]
Since my recent papers are long, and deal tangentially with hubris and ethnocentrism, I thought I would post “Freedom Fries” by Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation for today’s interlude. The Strange Sensation is actually Portishead, and you can buy the album here.