Sometimes we are so inundated with information that the best work gets lost in the mix. (This is especially true now that we know many can’t tell the difference between real and fake news.) I wanted to make sure and highlight a few fantastic essays written this last week by top-notch historians that deserve more consideration than a fleeting glance.
- Daniel T Rodgers, “What Next for Liberalism?” Democracy Journal. Rodgers, an emeritus professor at Princeton, wrote one of the best and most important intellectual histories of modern Americau. This is a very cogent, careful, and nuanced take on where the American Left can go from here.
- Kelly J Baker, “White-Collar Supremacy,” Ney York Times. Baker is a well-known and established historian and critic, and this is a thoughtful take on the modern form of racist opposition in America.
- Thomas J Sugrue, “Jeff Sessions Other Civil Rights Problem,” New York Times. Sugrue, who recently moved from UPenn to NYU and wrote one of the best books on Urban America, delves even deeper into Trump’s controversial (and depressing) pick for attorney general.
- Robert G Parkinson, “Fake News? That’s a Very Old Story,” Washington Post. Parkinson wrote a phenomenal and exhaustive book on race and the Revolution earlier this year (check out Jonathan Wilson’s excellent reviewi), which in part focused on how newspaper accounts of (fake) conspiracies fueled the quest for independences. Some things never change.
- Kathryn Lofton, “Understanding is Dangerous,” The Point Magazine. T be a religious studies scholar, Lofton says, is to study the incomprehensible. Perhaps we should use Jose tools to understand the Trump phenomenon.
- Choose anything from the African American Intellectual History Blog. Literally, anything. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: if you haven’t bookmarked the site and aren’t reading it daily, fix that now.
I’m always glad to see established academics lending their voice to current issues. It’s just too bad too many people can’t tell rigorous analysis from fringe gossip anymore.