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Trump Likes Kim Jong-un: The Singapore Summit and Hanoi Summit in Context

Trump likes dictator Kim Jong-un. It's clear after the Singapore summit last year and the Hanoi summit last week. Kim what Trump wants: dictatorship; the world's biggest military; total control over every person's life; the ability to reward loyalists and send enemies to political prison camps forever. And a cult of personality to die for! ... Read More
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The Difference Between Slaves and Indentured Servants in Virginia Colony

In defense of his blackface, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam mentioned "indentured servants". The interviewer replied:"Aka slaves." Both were wrong. Slaves were not indentured servants and the terms are not synonyms. Some of the earliest black people in the Virginia Colony were indentured servants, yes, but 40 years later most blacks were enslaved ... Read More
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The American Revolution Along the Gulf: What Was Independence and For Whom?

The American Revolution: The 13 British colonies rebelled because they resented the taxation without representation. They won the Revolutionary War -- America's new government was the envy of the world. The westward move of the pioneers and the loss of the Native Americans' way of life was inevitable. Right? Independence Lost by Kathleen DuVal sets the record straight ... Read More
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VA Governor Ralph Northam in Blackface: Racist Entertainment in Context

A photo has surfaced of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in blackface. Dressing up as a caricature of a black man is terrible; when put into historical context -- among the many other forms of racist entertainment and racist pseudoscience -- blackface represents a truly horrendous past ... Read More
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Is Trump Like Hitler? Only Holocaust Deniers Think So, Says Alan Dershowitz

(01-02-2019)  Is Trump like Hitler or is the very question a form of Holocaust denial? Alan Dershowitz muddies the fascism waters even more than they already were ... Read More
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Nazi Salute at Baraboo High: Freedom of Speech or History Education?

11-30-2018 Almost all the boys of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed for a picture doing the Nazi salute. Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? If not, why not? ... Read More
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This Is Not Who We Are: The Baraboo High Nazi Salute and American Fascism

11-29-2018 Almost the entire male half of the 2019 class of Baraboo High in Wisconsin posed doing the Nazi salute. The first reaction of many was shock and "This is not who we are." But clearly it is. What to do about it? Do the students have freedom of speech? Did they know what they were doing? What is the role of history education? ... Read More
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Trump is a Nationalist But the News Is How He Normalizes White Nationalists

Trump is a nationalist. Says the word "became sort of old-fashioned". He suggests it's one of those 'good old days' elements -- not morally repulsive at all -- like when America was great. He just normalized nationalism with fascist language. This is extremely dangerous! ... Read More
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New Page: Books on Fascism, Authoritarianism, Violence and Bigotry

I have a new page, with books on fascism, authoritarianism, violence and bigotry, and more, with links to book reviews and author interviews and information about the authors ... Read More
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Fahrenheit 11/9: A Message for the Democratic Establishment From Michael Moore

(October 2, 2018)  Michael Moore's new documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 begins with footage of a street rally/party for Hillary Clinton on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, interspersed with Democratic establishment politicians and pundits claiming confidently that Donald Trump is never going to be president. Moore argues that the Democratic Party establishment miscalculated and compromised too much. They paved the way for Trump ... Read More
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Slave-based Economy: Slavery Was the Source of White Real Estate and Power

To discuss race and real estate, we must go back to the beginning of white land use in America, when the South was a slave-based economy ... Read More
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Segregation Policies, Redlining and the Present Racial Housing Disparity

Segregation policies, racial covenants and racially biased redlining led to the current racially divided housing situation, the racial housing disparity and the racial asset disparity ... Read More
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Racial disparity: Institutional Racism from Black Codes to the Present

Institutional racism didn't end in 1865. The present racial disparity is the result of segregation policies starting with black codes, then Jim Crow; some that lasted well into the 1970s, others that have been created since and are in place today ... Read More
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Revisionist History and Slavery as Entertainment at The Black America Show

Nate Salsbury's Slavery Spectacular! Showed off the “Fun-Loving Darky of Old Slavery Days.” Really. So began revisionist history and nostalgia for the antebellum South. ... Read More
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Angola: From Slave Trader Isaac Franklin to Prison Plantation

The 13th Amendment Loophole Kept Slavery Alive. The 1800s interstate slave trade between the slave-breeding states and the Deep South was lucrative. Isaac Franklin became one of the South's richest landowners. One plantation in Louisiana was Angola ... Read More
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American Eugenics Programs, Hitler, Nazi Breeding Programs and Genocide

Hitler found inspiration in American eugenics programs for his Nazi breeding programs, experiments on twins, concentration camps, the Holocaust,  and more ... Read More
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Hitler and Trump: Propaganda for the Poorly Educated in Mein Kampf

"I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and I wouldn't lose any voters," Trump said. He focuses on the poorly educated, who he sees as useful idiots. Hitler's thoughts exactly ... Read More
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Toxic Masculinity: Male Aggression, Anti-intellectualism, Dictators, War

Trump is toxic masculinity personified: he admires male aggression and dictators, he takes anti-intellectualism to the next level, and his fascination with war is frightening ... Read More
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Dutch Police Training: From Authoritarianism to Deescalation Strategies

In World War Two, the Netherlands felt what authoritarianism does. Respect for authority declined after the war. Dutch police training adapted, and focused on social skills like deescalation techniques ... Read More
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What is Fascism and What Does American Fascism Look Like?

The coming posts will address some fascist phenomena--and how they do or don't manifest in American fascism--as well as related terms like nationalism, authoritarianism, etc ... Read More
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The Blurry Lines Between White Responsibility, White Privilege and Racism

Some thoughts about my own white responsibility, my white privilege and my unconscious racism, and a few shocking peeks at living while black in Trump Country ... Read More
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Recognizing Fascism: Introducing History Education in Post-Trump America

Trump, Charlottesville -- you never saw them coming. Recognizing fascism requires real history education. In post-Trump America others may have to set that up.  ... Read More
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Was Trump Success in the Republican Primary a Surprise? Look at History!

Only in America and only to Americans is it a surprise that Trump is doing so well in the Republican primary. Why would he not? Everything's in place for history to repeat itself ... Read More
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Trump’s Muslim Registration and Identification Plans: Why History Matters

What American kids should be learning in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans are definitely a big deal ... Read More
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What Passes for American History Education is Pathetic, and Now I Know Why

American history education is comprised mostly of disjointed, unimportant personal anecdotes, dates of battles and numbers killed. Cause and effect are barely touched upon. I can see why kids think, "Booooring!" ... Read More
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The Confederate Flag Will No Longer Fly at the South Carolina State Capitol

The governor is removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State Capitol, but Southern politicians are still careful not to offend the folks who are proud of their Confederate heritage ... Read More
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White Man Kills Nine Black People in Church Shooting in Charleston S.C.

A young white man has killed nine people in a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Several republicans, including some presidential candidates, are saying it wasn't a hate crime ... Read More
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Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective

The tinkering with time and events in The Assault (see the previous post) leads us to what Harry Mulisch calls 'time eternal' -- the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective ... Read More
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Familiar Imagery from Dutch History, Culture and Politics in The Assault

Imagery of iconic people and events from Dutch history are interwoven in The Assault, as well as --then--current events. Two novels about resistance fighters, both based on true stories, had just been made into movies. Mulisch uses some of their most memorable images ... Read More
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History Changes, Then Solidifies in Historical Fiction, As in The Assault

To Harry Mulisch, history is a matter of selection (what is remembered, recorded and by whom) and reduction (what is deemed worth preserving). Ultimately, what remains of history -- what makes it permanent -- is historical fiction ... Read More
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Causality and Coincidence in History, Historical Fiction and in The Assault

It has been argued that The Assault is not real historical fiction, since many of the events are determined by accident; however, this view denies that history is, in fact, a combination of causality and coincidence ... Read More
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The Changing Past: The Assault Is the History of an Incident

The narrator in The Assault by Harry Mulisch mentions that this is the history of an incident". Not history, consisting of a series of incidents will be described, but the history of an incident--an incident that changes over time.  ... Read More
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Time Stands Still: The Petrifaction of Anton’s World in The Assault

The Assault by Harry Mulisch represents clearly two of the author's recurring themes: petrifaction and isolation. Everyone is alone in his own present. As long as he touches nothing, he is surrounded by the past, while he, in turn, is history to everyone else ... Read More
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The Five Forms of Time in the Historical Novel The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured as a Greek tragedy. At this level the novel is a timeless epic. The element of time plays an important role in most of Mulisch's work. To him, a writer deals with time in many different ways ... Read More
A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

A Summary of The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is divided into five episodes, covering a time span of thirty-six years, in which the protagonist Anton Steenwijk, suffers the violence and guilt of the German occupation of the Netherlands. The following is a brief summary ... Read More
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The Time Capsule: An Introduction to the Concept of History in The Assault

In the winter of 1944-45, Anton reads a magazine article about a time capsule buried in 1938, to be unearthed six thousand years later. There's a lesson about history in the description of the contents of the capsule and what the reader knows about the events since 1938 ... Read More
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Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

De aanslag / The Assault by Harry Mulisch is a historical novel par excellence. It's historical fiction, it's meta fiction about history and writing about history, and Mulisch has incorporated historical events and people so realistically that some Belgian television people came looking for the exact location of the assault.  ... Read More
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What Would Black History Look Like if the Reconstruction Had Continued?

If the Federal Army had stayed in the South longer, if the Reconstruction had lasted longer, if America didn't experience the century-long setback that came after the Federal Army left, what would black history look like now? ... Read More
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The Meridian Race Riot of 1871: The Failure of the Rickety Reconstruction

The Meridian race riot of 1871 illustrates the battles between freedmen and the KKK and other white supremacists in the South during the Reconstruction era ... Read More
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The Reconstruction: Federal Army, Carpetbaggers, and Blacks in Office

Then, in 1875, federal army and the carpetbaggers leave, the KKK wins, Black Codes are put in place and the Jim Crow era begins. The Reconstruction is barely even mentioned in history textbooks ... Read More
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Slaveholders, Militant Immediatists and Others on the Abolition Spectrum

White Slaveholders, Black slaveholders, gradualists, immediatists, persuasive abolitionists,moral abolitionists and those who wanted all blacks shipped to Liberia -- they covered a broad spectrum of opinions that ranged from pro slavery to unconditional freedom ... Read More
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Free People of Color: Before Abolition It Was a Freedom with Qualifications

Before the abolition of slavery, freedom didn't mean the same thing for free people of color as it meant for whites. There were lots of formal and informal restrictions ... Read More
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What Is Good History Education: Civil War Battles or Why They Were Fought?

In good history education, the focus is not the war itself. (In this case the American Civil War.) It's why it was fought, the effects of a war on the following years, decades, centuries, and most importantly, what we learned from it ... Read More
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Slavery and the American Civil War: A Quick When and Why

There's really no such thing as a quick overview of American slavery and the Civil War, so this is turning into a series ... Read More
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Laura Plantation: A Sugar Plantation Tour With Barely a Mention of Slavery

Laura Plantation is the remains of one of the old sugar plantations of the Deep South, which depended completely on slavery for their success. They were brutal places where the death toll among slaves was always higher than the birth rate. You wouldn't know it from the tour ... Read More
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Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares

A random writing prompt: Write about being locked in a room with your greatest fear. I was reading The Hunchback of the Notre Dame while staying at my in-laws' with our baby. The nightmares I had from empathizing with Paquette were like being locked in a room with my greatest fear, I suppose ... Read More