by Jeremy Young | 3/24/2008 07:30:00 PM
Please extend a hearty welcome to our newest contributor, Geschichte Grad, whose excellent first post at ProgressiveHistorians is here. Not much is known about the shadowy GG, who describes himself as residing in "the figurative wilds of academia." When not writing excellent essays on political history, GG can be found warming the academic bench at his own blog.

In addition to my own humble effort, check out notable commentaries on The Speech by: William Hogeland, David Kaiser, Rick Shenkman, Ari Kelman, my ping-pong-playing buddy Gil Troy, and, incredibly enough, George Lakoff (kudos to Bowers and Stoller at Open Left for this catch -- it's a big one). Ralph Luker has an additional list here. Ralph also has an important pre-speech piece on the Wright comments, as do Ed Blum and Melissa Harris-Lacewell.

In case it needs to be said, after The Speech, I've endorsed Barack Obama. I've also added my name to the statement sponsored by the Historians for Obama, a group of which I was previously the most vocal critic from the left. I don't retract anything in that earlier essay, and I still wish Obama practiced Dean's politics of wrath instead of the mealier politics of hope -- but in lieu of Obama's extraordinary display of political courage in The Speech, I see no reason to continue obstinately standing against him.

The most powerful blogger in the world right now is probably Thomas P. M. Barnett, whose article on Admiral William Fallon got the latter relieved of duty for criticizing the Bush Administration in print. Kudos to Barnett for his tenacious reporting.

Finally, congratulations to my co-blogger, Gordon Taylor, whose first book, Fever & Thirst: A Missionary Doctor Amid the Christian Tribes of Kurdistan, is coming out in paperback. Former ProgressiveHistorians blogger delicatemonster wrote an excellent review of the book here. You can pre-order the paperback edition here.

What's on your mind?

[Update] Military historian and antiwar activist Andrew Bacevich is coming to IU, and I seem to be having breakfast with him. Anything in particular you folks would like me to ask him?



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Anonymous Geschichte Grad on 3/25/2008 10:49 AM:

On my mind...
1) Thanks for the mention--very cool of you, Jeremy.
2) When, oh when, will I play FIFA soccer on my Wii again, having not played since December? The answer: today. I hope.
3) The Speech continues to blow me away. How, exactly, will I integrate it into my classes without getting accused of "liberal bias"?
4) Should I stick with coffee, or amp up the stimulant factor? Because coffee just can't keep me awake long enough to get all this reading done... I've heard interesting things about this "meth."


Blogger Jeremy Young on 3/25/2008 1:49 PM:

Hmm. Personally, I'd never try to integrate that kind of politicized event into a course, but that's just me -- I'm more sympathetic to David Horowitz's arguments than are many others. At any rate, I'd stay off the meth. :)


Blogger Ahistoricality on 3/25/2008 4:41 PM:

There are classes where discussing Obama's speech would be relevant and appropriate: recent US history, rhetoric, political science, race/gender studies, marketing, historiography.

Outside of that, if you've got a committment to deal with current events and you've dealt with other things, then it's more of same.

Me? World and Asian history. No chance.

And there have been moments, when the coffee just isn't giving me the edge I need to get through that last couple of chapters, that stronger things have been contemplated. But I'd probably get into trouble just trying to find them, so I don't bother.


Blogger mark on 3/25/2008 10:51 PM:

Hi Jeremy,

Ask Colonel Bacevich *how* he thinks the defense budget should ideally be allocated, in terms of spending priorities.

He has written on what the defense budget should be reduced to ( offhand, I think it was around $350 billion)but clearly indicating what the money should be spent on will tell you a great deal about how he views strategic security issues.


Blogger Jeremy Young on 3/25/2008 11:17 PM:

Mark, I'll do that if I get a chance. Thanks.