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.

Reclaiming Booker T. Washington

What occupies professors when they are on summer vacation? I imagine some may think we do nothing. Those would not be the professors I know; we stay busy. For instance, I’ve been working diligently on a new upper-level history course for the fall semester: American history from 1877-1917. For me, though, that’s hardly “work”—it’s an enjoyable experience putting my thoughts together and giving them life through my PowerPoint presentations. I’m the type of historian who concentrates quite a bit on… Read more »

Chambers: Why the Christians Are Right & the Heathen Are Wrong

Here’s the scenario: the culture is in decline due to a loss of Biblical principles; beliefs based on those principles that used to hold the society together are attacked as bigoted, narrow, and intolerant; the government is increasingly dysfunctional and policies, despite the best efforts of honest and caring representatives, move further away from Biblical norms. What’s someone to do about this, especially when one feels called by God (to some, that’s a rather presumptive and/or arrogant statement right there)… Read more »

Declaring Rights in Virginia in 1776

The year 1776 is auspicious for the United States because that’s when we became the United States. Most of our attention in commemorating that event centers on the Declaration of Independence, and rightly so. I’ll have something to say about that document in a post next month. Another document, which was at Thomas Jefferson’s elbow when writing the Declaration, came out of his home state of Virginia a month earlier, but far too many of our citizens are ignorant of… Read more »

D-Day, Reagan, & Honor

Thirteen years ago yesterday, June 5, Ronald Reagan died. It was one day before the 60th anniversary of D-Day. It was fitting that the media was forced to cover the life and accomplishments of Reagan at the same time as it was focused on the anniversary. Reagan and D-Day go together. Two of his most famous speeches occurred on the 40th anniversary in 1984, during his presidency. First was “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech at the top of… Read more »

A Tribute to My Fellow Travelers

It’s time to wrap up my tales from the England trip. I would like to do so by first acknowledging Dr. Linda Linzey, the English literature professor who organized it all and who was a personable and professional colleague with whom it was a delight to undertake this study abroad together. Second, I want to note that all six young women who participated in this whirlwind tour of England were all that a professor could want—interested, inquisitive, and patient. Patience… Read more »

This Historian’s Dream Museums

One of my favorite Washington, DC, museums is the National Portrait Gallery. I’m the kind of historian who is more attracted to the study of individuals and their contributions than I am to tables, graphs, and statistics. The subjects of my books—Noah Webster, Ronald Reagan, Whittaker Chambers, C. S. Lewis, the congressmen who argued for Bill Clinton’s impeachment—are testimonies to that historical bent. Now I can add London’s National Portrait Gallery to my favorites list. Since the focus of my… Read more »

Historic London for a Historian

While in London with the SEU students, I had the opportunity to see some historic sites I missed the first time. Striking out on my own our very first day, after spending a few hours in the Churchill War Rooms, I found the Banqueting House not too far away. For a while, in the 17th century, this was the most regal building in London, where the kings held receptions for foreign dignitaries and put on lavish theatrical productions. The main… Read more »