Category: The Historical Muse

Thoughts on history and the historical profession. Clio is the muse of history–this category title is a play on that concept.

From Five Minutes to Twenty-Two Years

Christian History magazine sent out this account this morning of a man I had never heard of previously. His sufferings in Castro’s prisons is a testimony of how God can use someone in even the worst circumstances. I offer it here for everyone’s edification. NOBLE ALEXANDER (1934–2002) was a Seventh Day Adventist religious leader in Cuba. In an interview with Ronald Geraty, he described Castro’s coming as a tragedy. Castro arrested many Christians and political opponents and held them for… Read more »

Lessons from the Clinton Impeachment

It was February 8, 2000, one year after the conclusion of the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, and I was in the office of Congressman Henry Hyde, the man who had led the House Managers over to the Senate to argue for Clinton’s removal from office. From one perspective, the attempt had been an exercise in futility, but I was there to interview Hyde about the experience and why he had chosen to participate. This was the first of thirteen… Read more »

The Tragedy & Glory of Lady Jane Grey

The story of Lady Jane Grey has always touched me. A recent Christian History e-mail account of her all-too-brief life and commitment to the Lord is one I wish to share in the hope that it will speak to others. Lady Jane Grey had the misfortune to be born with royal ties. She was the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary, making her the king’s grandneice and a first cousin once removed of his son King Edward VI. On the… Read more »

Impeachable Offenses: A History (Part 3)

In my previous two posts, I offered insights on impeachable offenses from the preeminent expositor of the Constitution in early America, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story, and from one of the most learned legal scholars of the twentieth century, Raoul Berger. In this, my final post dealing with the subject, I turn to what the House of Representatives concluded during its investigation of Richard Nixon’s potential impeachment. Yes, that House conclusion was written when Democrats controlled the House, but it… Read more »

Impeachable Offenses: A History (Part 2)

In my last post, I drew from my book, Mission: Impeachable, on whether an impeachment and removal from office required the violation of a specific law. I quoted Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story (served 1812-1845) who, in his Familiar Exposition of the Constitution, noted that the history of impeachment, both in theory and in practice, had never laid down such a requirement. Story was the most eminent constitutional commentator of his day, and his view needs to be taken seriously…. Read more »

Impeachable Offenses: A History (Part 1)

We are in the midst of another impeachment drama, the third in my lifetime. The first, that of Richard Nixon, didn’t reach a full House vote or a Senate trial due to Nixon’s wise decision to resign. The second, that of Bill Clinton, went to the Senate but suffered from the tribalism that so affects us still today, with not even one Democrat voting to remove him from office. After that failed attempt to turn the presidency over to VP… Read more »

Post 9/11: A Divided America

Can anything new be said on the anniversary of 9/11? Maybe we don’t need to hear anything new; perhaps we just need to be reminded that there are those out there who hate us. However, what is meant by “us?” America, you say? Yes, in the abstract, but what comprises America anymore? On 9/11, eighteen years ago today, members of Congress stood on the steps of the Capitol and sang together. At the moment, I can’t recall if they sang… Read more »