Archive for the ‘ The Historical Muse ’ Category

Reagan & Conservatism

I am busily developing a new course for SEU called “Ronald Reagan and Modern American Conservatism.” I hope to teach it next spring. It will be an ambitious project because there is so much to include. Originally, I had decided to do a course on Reagan only, but the more I thought about it, I realized I cannot treat him separately from the development of the conservative movement. Therefore, one of the books in the course will be George Nash’s The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945. It will be a challenging book for some of the students, but well worth it if they persevere. I will also use Reagan’s personal memoir, An American Life. Students will then choose two more books from a list of possibilities I will give them and write critiques of both. Overall, they should come away from this course with a well-rounded view of how conservatives, and Reagan in particular, have affected policy and culture.

Reagan Addressing the American People on the Economy

Reagan Addressing the American People on the Economy

Welcome to History!

I will be offering thoughts regarding any period of history and the individuals who helped make history. In addition, I will include commentary on the historical profession. Below is one of my favorite historial figures, Whittaker Chambers. He is not well known to the general public, but was greatly influential as a founder of modern American conservatism. His book, Witness, is an autiobiography of monumental significance, both for its analysis and its writing style. I have used Witness in courses for 19 years; students, generally, are overwhelmed by its grace and power. This past year, for the first time, I was able to teach a full semester on Chambers and his writings, which also included a treatment of communist ideology, the historical background for the events in his life, and ultimate demise of communism in the USSR. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed teaching a class more.

Whittaker Chambers Gives Testimony about Alger Hiss

Whittaker Chambers Testifying against Alger Hiss