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More than any other event in the second half of the twentieth century, the Cold War affected international affairs and societies around the world in countless ways. Given that, we continue to study it twenty years after its end. For the most part, we know quite a bit about the official, governmental views and policies of the two main adversaries,…

This chapter is a summary of Michiganders’ view of three Cold War events: the communist infiltration of labor unions in the 1940s, McCarthyism in the 1950s, and the Cuban Missile Crisis in the 1960s. Fifteen Michiganders from the Flint and Tri-city area in March 2009 were shown articles about a Cold War event and then were interviewed for approximately an…

Education is the task of crafting the souls of students; it is never simply about conveying information so that students can enlarge their body of knowledge. While education should indeed contribute to a student’s basic knowledge of facts and theories, its goal ultimately, is to cultivate a particular kind of human being.
The political philosopher, Leo Strauss, suggested that education with…

You may be surprised to learn of the growing movement to dispense with the study of American politics as a distinct subfield of political science, but this is a real and troubling challenge facing professors of political science today. Citing the increasingly global integration of politics, economics, and culture, a significant number of political scientists argue that faculty should no…

Aristotle and America
As Aristotle observed in Book 8 of his Politics, the education of children is the preeminent concern of the state, for the cultivation of the youth determines the continuity and stability of the political regime (1337a10-18).1 Education therefore should not only correspond to the political type of regime, e.g., a democratic education for democracies, but it also should…

“We are immigrants still, who travel in time,
Bound where the thought of America beckons;
But we hold our course, and the wind is with us.
-Richard Wilbur[1]
 
“After the teacher asked if anyone had
            a sacred place
and the students fidgeted and shrank
 in their chairs, the most serious of all
            said it was his car,
being in it alone.”
-Stephen Dunn[2]
 
Not long after he left the…

The American Road Trip and American Political Thought. Susan McWilliams Barndt. Lanham: Lexington Books, 2018.
 
Susan McWilliams Barndt’s new book is motivated by a provocative premise: “That stories of American road trips are an important form of American political thought, and certainly more central to American political thought than almost anyone has recognized before” (xv). But if Barndt is a provocateur,…

In 2006, the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum conducted a survey to measure Americans’ knowledge of their First Amendment constitutional freedoms (the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition), comparing it to Americans’ knowledge of popular culture, particularly their knowledge of the well-known television series, The Simpsons, shortly before the release of The Simpsons Movie. The results, perhaps unsurprisingly, revealed…

The United States Constitution in Film: Part of Our National Culture. Eric T. Kasper and Quentin D. Vieregge. Lanham, MD. Lexington Books, 2018.
 
In his opinion in the case of United States v. Syufy Enterprises, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kozinski worked into his text some 200 movie references.  Yet it would be hard to say all that movie…

Francis Graham Wilson (1901-1976), an eminent political scientist, lifelong scholar of public opinion, and a central figure in the postwar American conservative intellectual movement, was born near Junction, Texas, to Horace Ernest and Stella Jane (Graham) Wilson. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1923 and earned a master’s degree in political science the following year. He spent a…