Tag Archives: political history

On Evangelicals, a Christian America, and Supporting Trump–an Evangelical Historian’s Lament

29 Jun

John Fea is a Christian, a historian, and a friend. His new book, Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, has just been released by Eerdmans Publishing. At History News Network, he has an opinion piece about evangelicals, thinking historically, and politics. You may read the piece here. (See his related piece at The Atlantic on evangelicals and fear here.)

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Evangelical Fear Elected Trump

24 Jun

White conservative evangelicals in America are anxious people. I know because I am one.

Our sense of fear, perhaps more than any other factor, explains why evangelicals voted in such large numbers for Donald Trump in 2016 and continue to support his presidency.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson once wrote, “Fear is not a Christian habit of mind.” The great poet of the Jersey shore, Bruce Springsteen, sings, “Fear’s a dangerous thing. It can turn your heart black you can trust. It can take a God-filled soul, and turn it to devils and dust.”

So begins my friend historian John Fea’s brief history of white evangelicals and fear. It is based in large part on his new book, Believe Me. You may read the rest of this Atlantic piece by him here.

The Redemption of Ulysses S. Grant

20 Jun

Every now and then a past American president undergoes a radical change in historical reputation. The starkest case was probably that of Harry Truman who was single-handedly rehabilitated twenty-five years ago by David McCullough’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning biography. By contrast, Thomas Jefferson has had rough innings recently at the hands of liberal historians who once lauded him but now focus on his long, profitable—and mealy-mouthed—entanglement with slavery.

The latest candidate for redemption is Ulysses S. Grant. The process has been underway for a couple decades already but surely has hit full stride now, courtesy of America’s favorite biographer, Ron Chernow. Also a Pulitzer winner for his work on George Washington and a prime source for the endlessly popular stage musical, Hamilton …

So begins historian James Bratt’s review of Chernow’s biography of U.S. Grant. You may read the rest of the review at the Twelve here.

The National Security Archive and U.S. Secrets

19 Dec

Shortly after the government released a trove of documents on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I sat down with Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, to talk about America’s dysfunctional mechanisms for classifying and declassifying information. Here, in an edited transcript, he weighs in on why historians should be extra-grateful for Hillary Clinton’s private server; what really needs to be declassified; and how history is likely to judge Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

At BloombergView, James Gibney (quoted above) interviews Tom Blanton about classifying, declassifying, and archiving U.S. secrets. Read the entire interview here.

Jerry Falwell Jr. relishes new fight for Donald Trump as Liberty University peaks

1 Nov

Falwell calls Liberty University the Fox News of academia. But where is one of President Trump’s staunchest supporters taking the university he and his family built? Rick Seltzer provides an extensive report on Falwell and LU; you can read it all at Inside Higher Ed here: Jerry Falwell Jr. relishes new fight for Donald Trump as Liberty University peaks

The White Working Class, Trump & “the least of these”

12 Sep

Jon Witt is a sociologist who teaches at Central College in Pella, Iowa. He is the author of Soc, one the most popular introductory sociology textbooks worldwide, as well as The Big Picture: A Sociology Primer. He is also a member of the board of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought. Read this interview for some helpful perspectives on the white working class: The White Working Class, Trump & “the least of these” – THE TWELVE

George McGovern and the Religious Left

19 Jul

Historian David Swartz here interviews historian Mark Lempke on Lempke’s new book on George McGovern and Progressive Christianity: George McGovern and the Religious Left

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"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

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"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

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