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- Essay: Why Historians Have a Stake in the Debate Over Evolution (History News Network)
" As any newspaper reader knows, the American public has little regard for the theory of evolution. Despite its nearly universal acceptance among scientists worldwide, both the president of the United States and the Senate majority leader—an MD—favor the teaching of a competing, unscientific (indeed, antiscientific) theory known as 'Intelligent Design' as a counterpoint to evolution in the public schools." 9-05
- Presidential Courage: An Interview With Historian Michael Beschloss (PBS.org)
"JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think it's gotten easier over time to be courageous to do what these great leaders did or harder?"
"MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: I think it's gotten a lot harder. Andrew Jackson stood up to the Bank of the United States, this corrupt, all-powerful bank that threatened to dominate every citizen of the United States. He was able to conquer it, although they threatened to destroy him. But he was able to do that because he didn't have to raise $50 million to $100 million to run for president."
"Had he had to do that and have pollsters and polls, focus groups, my guess is that he would have been much less likely to do something unpopular. And that, I think, is the central problem that I try to raise in telling these stories in the book, which is, if you look back through 200 years and you say, 'We wouldn't be here without these moments of courage. We wouldn't have people with civil rights or win the Civil War or keep the British away in 1800.' "
"What if we had a culture that prevented these presidents from being courageous? And I worry now that we have a system that makes it very hard to choose people who would make the same choice." 07-07
- Historians Rank the Presidents of the USA (MSNBC News)
"Just days after Americans honored the 200th anniversary of his birth, 65 historians ranked Abraham Lincoln as the best U.S. president."
"Former President George W. Bush, who left office last month, was ranked 36th out of the 42 men who had been chief executive by the end of 2008, according to a survey conducted by the cable channel C-SPAN."
"Bush scored lowest in international relations, where he was ranked 41st, and in economic management, where he was ranked 40th. His highest ranking, 24th, was in the category of pursuing equal justice for all. He was ranked 25th in crisis leadership and vision and agenda setting." 02-09
- Historians Rank the Presidents of the USA (C-SPAN)
"Timed for Presidents Day 2009, C-SPAN today releases the results of its second Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, in which a cross-section of 65 presidential historians ranked the 42 former occupants of the White House on ten attributes of leadership." 02-09
- -04-02-09 British Historian: Europe Crisis Worse than the USA's (MSNBC News)
"British historian Niall Ferguson explains why, compared with most Americans, Europeans will find it more difficult to face the current downturn." 04-09
- History - Population of Palestine Before 1948 (MideastWeb.org)
Provides census information on Palestine 1922 through 1948. "The Zionist claim that Palestine was 'a land without a people' is challenged by pro-Palestinian historians who cite census figures showing a substantial Palestinian-Arab population by 1914."
- Wealth and Democracy (Amazon.com - Phillips)
Provides a controversial book which warns against too much concentration of wealth in a few, resulting in corruption of the democratic process. According to reviewer, McNamee, "Most American conservatives take it as an article of faith that the less governmental involvement in affairs of the market and pocketbook the better. The rich do not, whatever they might say--for much of their wealth comes from the 'power and preferment of government.' So writes Kevin Phillips, the accomplished historian and one-time Washington insider, in this extraordinary survey of plutocracy, excess, and reform." 7-02
- Roots of Militant Extremism (BBC News - Symon)
Extremists "blamed the western idea of the separation of religion and politics for the decline of Muslim societies." "This, they believed, could only be corrected through a return to Islam in its traditional form, in which society was governed by a strict code of Islamic law." "Al-Banna and Maudoudi breathed new life into the concept of jihad as a holy war to end the foreign occupation of Muslim lands."
Editor's Note - Historians have described Muslim societies during the peak of the Ottoman Empire as very tolerant, in sharp contrast to the descriptions by the militants. 11-02
- Diddley, Bo (RockHall.com)
"Music historian Robert Palmer has described Bo Diddley as "one of the most original and fertile rhythmic intelligences of our time." He will forever be known as the creator of the "Bo Diddley beat," one of the cornerstone rhythms of rock and roll." 9-03
- Memorial Day (MSNBC News)
"D-Day will live famously for as long as historians record the determination of free people to liberate the oppressed." 6-04
- Leadership Qualities for a President (PBS Frontline)
"Presidential historians and other experts on the U.S. presidency all cite certain leadership qualities that they conclude make for success or failure in the Oval Office. Whether you are still undecided or already know your vote on November 2nd, the analyses and checklists offered below by five experts on the presidency are useful pointers on what voters ought to be looking for in a presidential candidate. How do the 2004 candidates measure up?" 10-04
- Politicians - African American (InfoPlease.com)
Provides biographies. Includes James Armistead, American Revolution patriot, Tom Bradley, American politician, Carol Mosely Braun, U.S. senator, Edward Brooke, American politician, Ralph Bunche, U.S. government official and United Nations diplomat, Julia Carson, American politician, Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, American politician, John Conyers, politician, Paul Cuffe, U.S. merchant, seaman, and philanthropist, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American air force general, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., American general, David Dinkins, political leader, Joycelyn Elders, U.S. Surgeon General, William H. Hastie, U.S. jurist, Richard Gordon Hatcher, politician, law professor, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., prominent black federal judge and historian, Benjamin Hooks, American black leader, Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, Union general in the Civil War, Jesse Jackson, political leader, clergyman, and civil-rights activist, Maynard Jackson, mayor of Atlanta, Daniel "Chappie" James, first black U.S. Air Force general, Barbara Jordan, lawyer, public official, and educator, John Mercer Langston, public official, diplomat, educator, Greenbury Logan, Texan soldier, Thurgood Marshall, U.S. lawyer and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Floyd McKissick, U.S. lawyer and civil-rights leader, Kweisi Mfume, politician, NAACP leader, Eleanor Holmes Norton, lawyer and government official, P. B. S. Pinchback, U.S. politician, Colin Powell, U.S. army general and public official, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., American politician and clergyman, Joseph Rainey, U.S. politician, A. Philip Randolph, U.S. labor leader, Charles Rangel, U.S. politician, Hiram R. Revels, U.S. clergyman, educator, and politician, Condoleeza Rice, diplomat, professor, Myra C. Selby, attorney, Indiana jurist, Robert Smalls, U.S. captain in the Union navy and politician, Carl B. Stokes, American political leader, Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Harold Washington, American politician, J. C. Watts, politician, Robert C. Weaver, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and Andrew Young, African American leader, clergyman, and public official. 1-05
- Murrow, Edward R. (Wikipedia.org)
"Edward R. 'Ed' Murrow, (born Egbert Roscoe Murrow), (April 25, 1908 – April 27, 1965) was an American journalist, whose radio news broadcasts during World War II were followed by millions of listeners in the United States and Canada. Mainstream historians consider him among journalism's greatest figures; Murrow hired a top-flight cadre of war correspondents and was noted for honesty and integrity in delivering the news. A pioneer of television news broadcasting, Murrow produced a series of TV news reports that helped lead to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy." 11-05
- -01-12-06 Israel's Epic Generation Passes Torch (USA Today)
" 'His generation was the heroic generation,' says David Witzthum, an Israeli television news anchor. 'He is the last mythological founding father.' "
Tom Segev, an Israeli historian and journalist for the daily Haaretz newspaper, "speculated that Olmert will have more difficulty dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank than Sharon, but is more likely to reach out to the Palestinians to avoid a flare-up in violence."
" 'In contrast to Sharon, he does recognize the Palestinians as a potential partner. His change is real,' he says. 'Without Sharon you suddenly realize that this shelf in the supermarket offers a decent selection of politicians. We are not orphans. There is life after Sharon.' " 01-06
- Faith and Reason (PBS.org)
"Science and religion have always been at war with one another, right? Isn't that what we've all been taught? Isn't that what the trial of Galileo was all about? In fact this widely held view is a distortion of the historical truth. On the contrary, historians over the past fifty years have revealed that for most of history science and religion have been deeply entwined." 06-06
- Starting the "Dark Ages" (Wikipedia.org)
"In the years 535 and 536, several remarkable aberrations in world climate took place. The Byzantine historian Procopius recorded of 536, "during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness… and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear." Tree ring analysis by dendrochronologist Mike Baillie, of the Queen's University of Belfast, shows abnormally little growth in Irish oak in 536 and another sharp drop in 542, after a partial recovery. Similar patterns are recorded in tree rings from Sweden and Finland, in California's Sierra Nevada and in rings from Chilean Alerce trees." 10-06
- Josephus (Wikipedia.org)
"Josephus (37 – sometime after 100 AD/CE), who became known, in his capacity as a Roman citizen, as Flavius Josephus, was a 1st-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism."
"He makes references to the Sadducees, Jewish High Priests of the time, Pharisees and Essenes, the Herodian Temple, Quirinius' census and the Zealots, and to such figures as Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Agrippa I and Agrippa II, John the Baptist, James the brother of Jesus, and a disputed reference to Jesus. He is an important source for studies of immediate post-Temple Judaism (and, thus, the context of early Christianity)." 05-07
- Josephus on Jesus (Wikipedia.org)
"In 93, the Jewish historian Josephus published his work Antiquities of the Jews. The extant copies of this work, which all derive from Christian sources, even the recently recovered Arabic version, contain two passages about Jesus. The one directly concerning Jesus has come to be known as the Testimonium Flavianum, and its authenticity has been disputed since the 17th century. The other passage mentions Jesus as the brother of James, also known as James the Just. The authenticity of this latter passage has been disputed by Emil Schürer as well by several recent popular writers." 05-07
- Private Thoughts of General Robert E. Lee (US News)
"For her newly published biography, Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters, historian Elizabeth Brown Pryor draws on a cache of previously unknown Lee family papers, discovered in 2002 in two sturdy wooden trunks that Lee's daughter stored in a Virginia bank about a century ago. Quoting from these and other overlooked letters, Pryor presents a multifaceted man, more accessible and at the same time more puzzling than ever. He was an irrepressible flirt, and, contrary to popular belief, Lee not only believed in slavery; he was capable of treating his own slaves cruelly." 06-07
- A Theory of Affluence (New York Times)
"For thousands of years, most people on earth lived in abject poverty, first as hunters and gatherers, then as peasants or laborers. But with the Industrial Revolution, some societies traded this ancient poverty for amazing affluence."
"Historians and economists have long struggled to understand how this transition occurred and why it took place only in some countries. A scholar who has spent the last 20 years scanning medieval English archives has now emerged with startling answers for both questions."