When Multiculturalism Was Young…

by Jeff Chang

In the 1980s, multiculturalism seemed a danger to the nation. Books filled the shelves warning that its rise on university campuses signaled no less than the closing of the American mind. Two decades later, it was fodder for satire. Cartoons like “The Boondocks” and “South Park” depicted multiculturalist teachers as if they were clueless white hippies.

But before all of that, back in the early 1970s, it was a genuine counterculture led by a small avant-garde of artists and writers.

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Posted in Contemporary History

Jefferson’s “Scientific” Declaration of Independence

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by Tom Shachtman

Before Thomas Jefferson began to write a draft of the Declaration of Independence, the majority of the delegates to the Second Continental Congress were already on record as agreeing that “it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the [British] crown should be totally suppressed,” the phraseology of a May 15 resolution, mostly written by John Adams, that stopped short of an actual declaring of independence. But the need for such a declaration had then become even more apparent, and the Congress had delegated its writing to a committee, which had assigned it to committee members Jefferson and Adams. Adams declined in Jefferson’s favor, for good reasons: “Reason first, you are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to be at the head of this business. Reason second, I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third, you can write ten times better than I can.”

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Posted in Modern History

The Afghanistan War’s “Heart of Darkness”

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by T. Jefferson Parker

October 7, 2014 marks the 13th “anniversary” of the war in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). It was on this date in 2001 that the United States and United Kingdom began a bombing campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. By this year’s end, American forces will have been drawn down from 30,000 to 9,800, which may or may not remain as trainers and advisors, depending on the Afghani government.

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Posted in Contemporary History, Military History

My Time On the Set With Marlene Dietrich

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by Rory MacLean

Why are we drawn to certain cities? Perhaps because of a story read in childhood. Or a chance teenage meeting. Or maybe simply because the place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human. Paris is about romantic love. Lourdes equates with devotion. New York means energy. London is forever trendy.
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Posted in Contemporary History

1969: My Summer and the Most Controversial Ryder Cup Ever Played

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by Neil Sagebiel

1969 was a big year in my life and the life of my family. Natives of Indiana, we moved from the Hoosier state to “The Golden State.”

California, here we come!

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Posted in Contemporary History, Sports History

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For more than sixty years, St. Martin’s Press has published award-winning history books on a range of subjects.

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Newsworthy Books and Further Reading

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