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Historians/History


  • Unconditional Surrender: The Domestic Politics of Victory in the Pacific

    by Marc Gallicchio

    The terms on which the United States pressed Japan for surrender were shaped by American domestic politics; New Deal Democrats and their liberal allies succeeded in convincing Harry Truman that it was necessary to dramatically rebuild Japan's society along more social-democratic lines. 


  • Yes, Even George Washington Can Be Redeemed

    by Richard Lim

    While we cannot ignore Washingon's participation in slavery, we shouldn’t discount his remarkable transformation into someone who wished for its abolition and took steps personally to make things right, becoming the only major founder to free his slaves.


  • Conventional Culture in the Third Reich

    by Moritz Föllmer

    Although Nazi aesthetics are generally associated with the monumental architecture of Albert Speer and the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, Germans generally encountered conventionality in art, music and cinema. This helped to normalize the acts of the Third Reich and to allow ordinary Germans to dissociate themselves from Nazism after 1945.


  • The Battle of The Atlantic has Lessons for Fighting COVID-19

    by Marc Wortman

    Pleasure-seekers and shoreline business owners on the east coast of the United States rejected voluntary calls to dim their lights in 1942. German U-Boat crews devastated shipping and commerce until compulsory blackouts were enforced. 


  • Did the Atomic Bomb End the Pacific War? – Part II

    by Paul Ham

    Japan's surrender was hastened by imminent invasion by the Soviet Red Army, a crippling US naval blockade and conventional bombing, and a diplomatic promise to protect the Japanese Emperor from execution, argues Paul Ham. Granting undue credit to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki excuses atrocity. 


  • Did the Atomic Bomb End the Pacific War? – Part I

    by Paul Ham

    Many people, including historians, believe that the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused Japan's unconditional surrender, saved a million American lives, and was the least morally repellent way to end World War II. Paul Ham contends that none of this is true. 


  • The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Black Action Movement and the Way Forward

    by Martin Halpern

    Activists in today’s struggles against institutionalized racism and for black lives can benefit from studying a local victory of fifty years ago. In the spring of 1970, the Black Action Movement (BAM) at the University of Michigan led a thirteen-day strike that won a commitment to change by the university administration.


  • Barry Zorthian's War: The Pentagon and the Press in Vietnam

    by Ron Steinman

    A 1970 speech by Barry Zorthian, the Pentagon's chief public information officer in Vietnam, shows a thoughtful approach to balancing the rights of journalists with the need of the military to control information. That approach is missing in the era of "fake news" and open hostility by the administration for the press.