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Archive for May, 2020

Lecture: Building & Sustaining Robust Liberal Democracies

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

This talk begins with a nuanced definition of democracy and goes on walk you through the main arguments of Levistsky and Ziblatt’s “How Democracies Die”.

Alternatively, you can watch Ziblatt give his talk at the American Academy in the Fall of 2019. Perhaps better to tune into the expert in lieu of this impostor 🙂

Nigeria election 2019: How ‘godfathers’ influence politics

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

With campaigning well under way for general elections on 16 February, these are the men – and they invariably are men – who pull the strings behind the scenes.

They are political sponsors, who use money and influence to win support for their preferred candidates.

Their “godsons”, it is believed, are not always selected for their political acumen, but rather on their ability to repay and enrich their godfather.

These arrangements have spawned the term “godfatherism”.

The story of the eradication of the original Ku Klux Klan

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

Matthew Pearl shares this narrative of the federal response at Slate.

Confidence, a Depression-era cartoon starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

This is a cartoon from 1933, starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald was originally created by Walt Disney. By the time this cartoon was made, he belonged to Walter Lantz, who went on to create Woody Woodpecker. Confidence shows the effects of the Depression and what people need to get past it.

The American West, 150 Years Ago

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

In the 1860s and 70s, photographer Timothy O’Sullivan created some of the best-known images in American History. After covering the U.S. Civil War, O’Sullivan joined a number of expeditions organized by the federal government to help document the new frontiers in the American West. The teams were composed of soldiers, scientists, artists, and photographers, and tasked with discovering the best ways to take advantage of the region’s untapped natural resources. O’Sullivan brought an amazing eye and work ethic, composing photographs that evoked the vastness of the West. He also documented the Native American population as well as the pioneers who were already altering the landscape. Above all, O’Sullivan captured—for the first time on film—the natural beauty of the American West in a way that would later influence Ansel Adams and thousands more photographers to come.

NIXON TAPES: Archie Bunker & Homosexuality

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

In the middle of a discussion on how to fashion their public relations in regard to what the “average man” cares about, President Richard Nixon and his aides White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman and Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman discuss the new television show, All in the Family. The episode that Nixon watched and described to his aides in detail dealt with homosexuality. This leads Nixon into a larger discussion of homosexuality in history and more generally. This conversation is featured in the documentary, “Our Nixon.”

Watch World War II Rage Across Europe in a 7 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1939 to 1945

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The Fire Last Time: LIFE in Watts

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The August 1965 Watts Riots (or Watts Rebellion, depending on one’s perspective and politics), were among the bloodiest, costliest and most analyzed uprisings of the notoriously unsettled mid-1960s. Ostensibly sparked by an aggressive traffic stop of a black motorist by white cops, the six-day upheaval resulted in 34 deaths, more than 3,400 arrests and tens of millions of dollars in property damage (back when a million bucks still meant something).

A year after the flames were put out and the smoke cleared from the southern California sky, LIFE revisited the scene of the devastation for a “special section” in its July 15, 1966, issue that the magazine called “Watts: Still Seething.”

The Fire Last Time: Life in Watts, 1966

The Fire Last Time: Life in Watts, 1966

Child Care Advice From Early Soviet Propaganda Posters

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

The images, all printed in 1930, reflect the government’s promotion of early-childhood health and well-being in the early years of the Soviet Union.

Andrew Jackson – Good Evil & The Presidency – PBS Documentary

Tuesday, May 12th, 2020

This biography explores whether Americans should celebrate Jackson or apologize for him. The program reveals the world of America’s 7th president, who boldly founded the Democratic Party – yet was viewed by his enemies as an American Napoleon. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the film tells a story with startling relevance to the modern presidency by bringing to life one of the most remarkable, yet divisive presidents in our history.