The Pledge of Allegiance: What It Means

W.J. Astore I read old stuff.  Heck, I’m a historian: that’s what I’m supposed to do.  So I was reading an old pamphlet on “The Indiana World War Memorial” (circa 1940) and came across the Pledge of Allegiance as it was recited before McCarthyism reared its ugly head in the 1950s: I pledge allegiance to…

America’s Longest Wars

W.J. Astore A popular headline in the media is to describe the Afghan War as “America’s longest,” as in this brief summary today from Foreign Policy: The war in Afghanistan, America’s longest, is now formally over. The 13-year war, which claimed more than 2,200 American lives and cost more than one trillion dollars, ended quietly…

War Is Becoming Obsolete — In 1884

W.J. Astore One of the occupational hazards of being a historian is reading old books.  The one in front of me is John Fiske’s The Destiny of Man (1884).  Fiske was an American philosopher and popular writer on Darwinism, Spencerism, and many other representative isms of his day.  Like many thinkers of the late 19th…

The Real Meaning of the Korean War

Daniel N. White Books on war are too important to be left to generals, or for that matter to the usual war buffs.  I suspect that the entire cadre of American lefties who read seriously about war could fit handily into an SUV.  If so, Bruce Cumings might just occupy the driver’s seat.  His one-volume…