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Buhari Seeks Re-Election

More than fifty lawmakers and a state governor quit Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress this week, with the vast majority switching allegiances to the People’s Democratic Party. While both parties have struggled with internal divisions, the mass defections are breathing new life into the PDP, which ruled Africa’s most-populous nation from the end of military rule in 1999 until former President Goodluck Jonathan was ousted by Buhari in the 2015 election.

The goal now for the PDP, which gained a majority in the senate just before the end of the summer session, is to unite behind a candidate who’ll take on Buhari, a 75-year-old former military ruler, in elections scheduled for February.

Radicalism of the American Revolution?

In two short essays, available here, two Pulitzer Prize-winning titans of American history, Gordon Wood and Carl Degler, debate whether or not the American Revolution was radical.

Andrew Jackson – Good Evil & The Presidency – PBS Documentary

Lecture: The Clinton Years

Here is my lecture on the domestic and foreign policies of the Clinton Administration.

Lecture: The Bush 41 Administration

Here is my lecture on the Bush 41 Years (1989-1993), including foreign and domestic policies (more focus on the former).

Lecture: The Reagan Administration

Here is my Reagan Years Lecture which includes domestic policies:

  • Elections
  • “Reaganomics”
  • Culture Wars

And foreign policies in:

  • Central America: Nicaragua, Grenada, El Salvador
  • Middle East: Lebanon, Iran-Iraq, Israel
  • South Africa
  • USSR

Iran bans English from being taught in primary schools

The education ministry “envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage“, its secretary told state media.

This move is in line with the supreme leader’s anti-Western, isolationist view of the world. He has repeatedly said that teaching English to children from an early age could lead to “western cultural infiltration”.

He says the language of science is not necessarily English and that children should be taught other languages like Spanish, French, or eastern languages.

President Hassan Rouhani disagrees with him, and has said that knowing English will help young people join the job market. But he had little power to stop the ban.


Britain Should Not Have Fought in the First World War

Op-Ed on Referendums

I recognise that this is an unpropitious time to call for more referendums. But the Brexit vote was the worst possible model for popular decision-making. The government threw a massive question at an electorate that had almost no experience of direct democracy. Voters were rushed towards judgment day on a ridiculously short timetable, with no preparation except a series of giant lies.

Worse still, an issue of astonishing complexity was reduced to a crude binary choice. Because the only options presented were in or out, everyone knows what the majority voted against; no one knows what kind of Leave it voted for. Why could we not have had a multiple choice, presenting the different ways in which we could have stayed in or left Europe? Without permission to make a nuanced decision, we had no incentive to achieve a nuanced understanding.A lively and intelligent politics demands an active and empowered electorate that can hold its representatives constantly to account.

Read more from George Montbiut in the Guardian


Daniel Lazar This is a forum to post articles and to share ideas about my historical and political interests. I hope to provide a valuable resource for my students and to contribute to the marketplace of ideas.