Weekend Reading

Posted on December 15, 2012 by

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This week: children’s literature; Winston Churchill, fugitive; anti-Semitism and nuclear research; Howard Zinn; and more reactions to Lincoln.

Notre Dame de Paris

Licensed by Creative Commons (Sanchezn)

• Paris’ cathedral of Notre Dame just kicked off a year-long 850th birthday celebration.

• The discovery of a previously unknown story by Hans Christian Anderson — and what children read in earlier centuries.

• Two excellent posts on the new Lincoln movie by Wheaton historian Tracy McKenzie: first, how “by Hollywood standards, the film makes room for an unusual degree of historical complexity“; at the same time, however, “the movie’s simplistic message requires a selective reading of Lincoln’s private papers and public pronouncements.”

• Then the same movie inspired religious historian Paul Harvey to ask, “why, in the supposedly ‘post-racial’ age of Obama, is there no space in movies to imagine the historical story of African Americans creating the conditions of their own emancipation?”

• Check out this fascinating (and incredibly detailed) timeline of U.S. political history, produced in 1880.

• An arrest warrant issued for… Winston Churchill.

• Why anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany helped the United States win the race to develop an atomic bomb.

• Speaking of such weapons (and as if the Cold War weren’t scary enough), a newly released document reveals that, until a revision under Lyndon Johnson in 1968, the U.S. planned an automatic, all-out nuclear response in the event that the president was killed — even in a conventional attack.

• Did you read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States in school? One leading educational theorist is not a fan

• Are American students growing up without sufficient knowledge of civil rights history?

Posted in: Weekend Reading