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Archive for January, 2015

The Economist’s 2014 Special Report on Iran

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Contents of this special report

  • The revolution is over
  • Religion: Take it or leave it
  • Domestic politics: Rush to the centre
  • The hardliners: Goon squad
  • The economy: Melons for everyone
  • The Neighbors: Moving targets
  • Prospects: We shall overcome, maybe

Read and respond to the introduction to the Special Report then read and respond to the one other article assigned to you. Please remember to print the one article assigned to you and to bring your copy to class.

Here is the Special Report

Here are the reading questions

…and, as always, enjoy!

This House Has Fallen: Midnight in Nigeria

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Karl Maier served as the Africa correspondent for the Independent newspaper from 1986 to 1995 and has contributed articles on Africa to the Washington Post, the Economist, and the Christian Science Monitor.

This first chapter of his book This House Has Fallen: Midnight in Nigeria begins and ends with the return to civilian government in Nigeria in 1999 while offering insight into the post-Colonial history of Nigeria.

LAZAR LECTURE: Immigration, Urbanization, Social Reform, and Political Machines In the Gilded Age

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Lecture Outline:


  • Push and Pull Factors
  • Responses to Immigration
  • Nativism & APA
  • Organized Labor
  • Anti-Immigrant Legislation

II.The Reformist Reaction

  • Americanization
  • Social Gospel Movement
  • Settlement House Movement
  • Socialism?

III.Urbanization & The Shame of Cities

IV.Political Machines

My lecture on urbanization and politcal machines in Gilded Age America

Oh My Lords!

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

On December 2nd, at what otherwise might have been a dull committee meeting, Sir Malcolm Jack was asked why the catering services of the House of Lords, the upper house, and the House of Commons could not have been merged to save money. He replied: “The lords feared that the quality of champagne would not be as good if they chose a joint service.” The astonished chair of the committee, Jack Straw, spoke for most of the nation as he gasped: “Did you make that up?” Sir Malcolm assured him he did not.

The national welfare budget has been cut and the number of people using free food banks has risen sharply in the past year. So the fact that the House of Lords has a champagne budget at all has caused some eye-rolling. According to The Guardian newspaper, the upper house has spent £265,770 on 17,000 bottles of the stuff since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government took office in 2010—enough for five bottles of bubbly per peer per year.