Episode #43: Lincoln on the Golf Course

Peter Wood

In this episode, Peter Wood is joined by NAS Board of Directors member Tom Klingenstein to discuss Abraham Lincoln, multiculturalism, the liberal arts, and "the golf shot heard round the academic world."

America Wasn't Founded on White Supremacy

Lucas Morel

Were the founding fathers' stated ideals different from their true intentions? Professor Lucas Morel explores this question through a critique of Nikole Hannah-Jones' influential piece for The New York Times' 1619 Project.

America’s Exceptional Guilt

Jason Ross

A Liberty University professor explains the emergence of the "neo-Garrisonian" view of the Constitution, recently promulgated in The New York Times' 1619 Project, arguing that it is both in error and dangerous for American culture.

Reclaiming 1619

Kevin R. C. Gutzman

A prominent historian critiques the New York Times' over-simplified portrayal of American slavery, instead offering a more holistic account of the events surrounding our country's founding.

How the Times’ 1619 Project Misses the Point

David Randall

As Englishmen had become Americans, liberty and equality shifted from customs to rights, and slavery became a very peculiar institution indeed, a repellent anomaly in a world of freedom.

Slavery Gave Us Double-Entry Bookkeeping?

Hans Eicholz

An essay from the New York Times makes a striking choice on which facts to include and which to leave aside for the purpose of constructing a new theory of capital. Hans Eicholz rebuts Matthew Desmond by bringing back the facts. 

Positive Good Slavery Argument Makes a Comeback at The New York Times

William B. Allen

The "1619 Project" declares that the economic and social advances of the United States are owing to the development of slavery in the American South. As stated, argues W.B. Allen, The New York Times is resurrecting a "utilitarian apology for slavery as a positive good — producing the greatest good for the greatest number."

Teaching American History: The Place of Slavery

William H. Young

William Young discusses the Montpelier Foundation's ideologically skewed initiative to revise American history curricula.

Teaching History

Procopius Occidens

What bias do history books want us to teach?

Socialism: Then and Now

Svetozar Pejovich

Is the rising socialism in America home-grown socialism or a replica of the three types of socialism from the last century? 

Hamilton: An American Musical - Its National Influence as Art

William H. Young

William Young finds much to praise in the hit musical.

The Misappropriation of Madison and Montpelier

William H. Young

William Young discusses the ideologically revised exhibits at James Madison's homestead.

Reviving the American History for Freedom Program

Steve Balch

Former NAS President Steve Balch writes on the efforts to revive and refund AHF.

Reading The Age of Jackson in the Age of Trump

NAS

NAS Staff members read and comment on Arthur Schlesinger's The Age of Jackson.

We Need a Radio Free America on Campus

Peter Wood

It has become critical that we build and maintain bastions of free thought on college campuses. 

A Politically Correct Revolution

William H. Young

William Young doesn't recognize the portrayal of the American Revolution at a new museum in Philadelphia

Modern versus Western Thought: Self and Social Character

William H. Young

William Young examines the focus on subjective individualism which dominates modern psychology.

Modern Versus Western Thought: The Unconscious and Determinism

William H. Young

William Young discusses the separation of academic social science and philosophy from the guiding ideas of the American Founding.

Modern Versus Western Thought: Thinking From The Founding

William H. Young

William Young examines the Constitution's origins in the Western philosophical tradition.

The Gunning of America: Scholarly History or Polemic?

Clayton Cramer

Clayton Cramer finds numerous errors in a new book about American gun laws in frontier days.

Disputing Deneen: A Misremembered Past

Matthew J. Franck

Matthew J. Franck  revises Patrick Deneen's history of American higher education, to note that a age of traditional learning in a secular mode never really existed.

College Board Rewrites Advanced Placement U.S. History Standards and History Itself

Peter Wood

NAS President Peter Wood reviews what has gone wrong with the APUSH standards.

The New History Guidelines are Better

KC Johnson

KC Johnson gives four reasons the revised APUSH standards are an improvement. 

AP History and Us

Peter Wood

An update on the College Board's re-revised standards for AP U.S. History. 

2015 APUSH Misses the Reasons America Is Exceptional

Larry Schweikart

In this preliminary response to the new version of AP U.S. history released July 30 by the College Board, historian Larry Schweikart critiques the wording of a number of sections. 

Bye, Bye, American History

Glenn Ricketts

Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger weighs in on the new APUSH course.

APUSH Resources: Documents, Commentaries, and Critiques

Glenn Ricketts

A compendium of relevant documents and critiques of the new AP US History standards

APUSH Update: Lynne Cheney’s Return

Peter Wood

Lynne Cheney, leader of the 1990s opposition to politicized US history, comes out strongly against the new AP US History. 

AP US History: FAQs

Glenn Ricketts

Answers to some common questions about the new APUSH standards.

Knowledge of American History Rapidly Becoming History

Glenn Ricketts

What do most students know about US history? Very little. What to do about it? Good question.

APUSH, Not Common Core, Threatens Concept of American Exceptionalism

Kevin T. Brady

Kevin T. Brady finds the APUSH standards a far greater problem than Common Core.

APUSH Post-Civil War Coverage: History Lite

John C. Chalberg

John C. Chalberg finds the APUSH standards for the Post-Civil War era deceptively simple.

Push-Back on APUSH

Robert L. Paquette

Robert L. Paquette describes his encounter with AP history at the high school level.

APUSH: Tempest in a Teapot?

Jonathan Bean

Jonathan Bean isn't terribly upset about the new APUSH course.

APUSH and the American Founding: Concepts Supplant History

Joseph F. Kett

University of Virginia historian Joseph Kett finds the APUSH course unteachable.

APUSH and Speaking in Educational Code

KC Johnson

Brooklyn College historian KC Johnson finds the new AP history standards heavy on skills, light on content.

Academic Social Science and Washington History

William H. Young

William Young finds American history unrecognizable at our national museums of history.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

Peter Wood

"[PTSS] provides an evidence-proof explanation that lifts away moral responsibility from those engaged in self-destructive, anti-social, and criminal behavior."

Update on AP U.S. History

Peter Wood

Peter Wood reports new developments in the quiet unveiling of the revised Advanced Placement course in American history. 

Look What the College Board Has Done to U.S. History

Peter Wood

Peter Wood comments on the College Board's release of its new AP U.S. History curriculum.

The New AP History: A Preliminary Report

Peter Wood

In this preliminary report, NAS president Peter Wood analyzes in detail the new AP United States history course.

Prager U: Why America's Military Must Be Strong

Jason Fertig

Renowned British historian Andrew Roberts examines the effects of American military strength on the peace and prosperity of the world.

Civic Education Deficiencies Weaken Social Fabric

Glenn Ricketts

Christina Hoff Sommers places the immigration debate in the context of a national dearth of civic knowledge.

Liberty and Letters: Celebrating Independence Day

Tessa Carter

The legacy of July 4 through the eyes of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

Ask a Scholar: Compare Views of Liberty in Late Colonial America

Martin Burke

Professor Martin Burke sorts out several contrasting views of liberty found in late colonial America.

Ask a Scholar: How Did Women's Suffrage Impact the USA?

Jonathan Bean

Prof. Jonathan Bean assesses the impact of the women's suffrage movement on the American polity.

American Exceptionalism

George Seaver

George Seaver discusses the competition of civil, religious and economic factions under a Constitution.

Texas Legislature Hears Arguments on "Comprehensive Survey" Bill

Ashley Thorne

The Texas House of Representatives' Higher Education Committee heard arguments for and against a bill that would clarify a preexisting bill requiring the study of U.S. history in college.

Patriot's Day in Boston

Peter Wood

A call to summon national resolve against our enemies in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on America.

Why “Comprehensive” History is Controversial

Ashley Thorne

Two new bills that would require general education requirements for U.S. history to be met by courses providing "a comprehensive survey" are seen as a threat by proponents of Mexican American studies.

Unbiasing American History

Ashley Thorne

Ashley Thorne writes a review of Recasting History for First Things. 

The Obsession with Social History

Richard Pells

Richard Pells, a historian who taught for 40 years at the University of Texas, says the report's main arguments are largely true.

Don’t Know Much About History: Colleges Teach History with Politics Left Out

Jonathan Bean

Jonathan Bean responds to NAS's recent report on Two Texas Universities' U.S. History Courses. He's not optimistic about history education.

Race, Class and Gender, Q&A with Peter Wood

The Daily Texan Editorial Board

The Daily Texan interviews Peter Wood on NAS's recent report, "Recasting History."

Recasting History: Are Race, Class, and Gender Dominating American History?

Peter Wood

A report on the politicization of required US history courses in Texas.

Early Responses to NAS Report Recasting History

NAS

NAS has received some responses from history professors and others to our forthcoming report, Recasting History. Some are not happy.

Hillsdale Program in DC Seeks Teachers

NAS

NAS member Paul Moreno is recruiting teachers for a Hillsdale College program in Washington, DC. 

Reading History: Hedgehogs and Foxes

Bill Roden

History study should encourage students to engage with the lives and cultures they are studying rather than simply giving them preconceived ideas about series of events. 

How To Talk About Affirmative Action

Glenn Ricketts

Capitalism and Western Civilization: Democracy

William H. Young

William Young discusses contemporary notions of democracy and social progress.

Ask a Scholar: Declining the Second Term

Has there ever been a president who did not run for a second term by choice?

Professors Also Need to be Students

Jason Fertig

When you spend the bulk of your time driving, it's easy to forget how the car looks from the passenger seat.

Capitalism and Western Civilization - The Founding

William H. Young

William Young discusses the founding of the American commercial republic in the context of Western Civilization.

The Ruinous Reign of Race-and-Gender Historians

KC Johnson

If you need to consult history texts focused on traditional constitutional or political themes, KC Johnson notes that you'll have to look at specimens from 35-40 years ago. No one writes such books anymore.

The Protestant Ethic and Western Civilization

William H. Young

William H. Young argues that the academy should renew an emphasis on hard work if America is to redeem its unmotivated generation.

Video: Mark Bauerlein on American History by Google and Wikipedia

Is internet searching conducive to real education?

Video: George H. Nash on America's Founding Generation

Is classical higher ed possible today?

Video: Christopher Long on The Future of "Educating for Liberty"

Chris Long tells about ISI's mission to reach today's college students.

Ask a Scholar: Is There a Connection Between Foreign Aid and Civil Rights?

William C. Widenor

Is American humanitarianism related to a felt need to project an image of the US as compassionate, in contrast to its history of racial discrimination?

Crania Academia

Peter Wood

The academy undermines itself when it belittles the efforts of earlier generations of scholars.

Failed Hypotheses

Peter Wood

Peter Wood compares higher education’s doctrinaire apologists to supporters of a discredited archaeological theory about the first peoples in America.

Ask a Scholar: Third Party Possibilities

Hubert P. van Tuyll

What are the dangers of a third caucus arising in American politics?

Ask a Scholar: Pragmatism in Education

Lynda Stone

How relevant is pragmatism to the education system today?

Study Shows Many States Fail in U.S. History Standards

Ashley Thorne

Where do states set the bar for teaching American history in K-12? Is the curriculum accurate, chronological, and clear? The Fordham Institute reports.

Daniel Bell (1919-2011) - An Appreciation

Russell K. Nieli

Russell Nieli offers an appreciation of Daniel Bell, the sociologist who taught us that the modernist elevation of self-expression as a cultural ideal would erode the personal discipline on which capitalism is based.

Stan Rothman: A Tribute

Steve Balch

Remembering a great social scientist, defender of reason, and friend.

Tea Party Derangement Syndrome

Peter Wood

Intellectual snobbery in academe produces minds closed to debate.

New Excellent Program: Colloquium on the American Founding

Ashley Thorne

Check out our list of excellent programs as we add a new one at Amherst College.

The Inscrutable Americans

John Rosenberg

Chinese scholars have it right when they equate "American diversity with chaos."

New Excellent Programs: Tocqueville Program and Center for Statesmanship

Ashley Thorne

Check out our list of excellent programs as we add new ones at Indiana and Richmond.

Tea Parties and Political Parties: Some Questions

Christina Jeffrey

Christina Jeffrey argues that neither of the main political parties foster the serious study of the Constitution and the American Founding, and that the “Tea Party” movement offers a constructive alternative.

Real Sustainability: Saving Our Sense of Culture

Jason Fertig

Are we failing to hand down our cultural legacy to the next generation?

U.S. Founding Fathers on Education, in Their Own Words

Ashley Thorne

In honor of Independence Day, here are some words of wisdom on education from our founding fathers.

Domestic Faction in a Republic, Part II

George Seaver

Renaissance and Enlightenment authors, as well as the U.S. founding fathers, saw the need to control factions in order to preserve the life of the republic.

Eight Students Provide a Glimpse Inside Real Campus Life

Ashley Thorne

How does traditional American culture and Western civilization fare on your campus? What are some of the obstacles or difficulties a traditionalist, conservative, or libertarian might find on your campus? What can you tell us about the aesthetics of everyday life on your campus, from dating and sex, to dress and tastes, to behavior and mores? NAS asked 8 undergraduate college students these questions for a student symposium in the forthcoming "Student Culture " issue of Academic Questions (vol. 23, no. 2). We left it up to each respondent to choose which question to answer and how to answer it. The students' essays are the following: Beneath the Rungs: Locating the Liberal Arts at Harvard by Brian Bolduc From Raging to Engaging at Vanderbilt by Mary Frances Boyle Catholic or Bust? The Spirit of Inclusion at Notre Dame by Mary K. Daly Generation A at Fordham by Amanda Fiscina Debate Denied: Conservatives Stifled at Stanford by Gregory Hirshman Intolerant Tolerance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Nash Keune Conservatives and Libertarians Face Challenges at the University of Michigan by Adam Pascarella Pursuing Truth and Virtue: The Great Tradition at Hillsdale College by Julie Robison

Center for the Study of American Ideals and Culture

Daniel Asia

A project I have been imaging for a long time is now actually a reality. The Center for the Study of American Ideals and Culture has received its first funding, from the new Apgar Foundation. With this first seed money, we can now get this enterprise off the ground. I must admit I am quite proud, as they said that of the forty or so applications they requested, ours was the best. Here is the mission statement: The Center for the Study of American Ideals and Culture at the University of Arizona will provide the leaders of the future with an ennobling vision, a sense of a larger purpose and a higher calling, through an understanding of the theoretical foundations of American institutions and culture. With the management and direction of a new undergraduate major, the development of curricular and pedagogical innovation, research, performance, and public outreach, the Center will restore balance in the dialogue over the value of the heritage of Western civilization, the development of the American polity, and the expression of the American soul through the arts. Founded and directed by composer Daniel Asia, the new program will combat the rising ignorance of the American intellectual experience, especially of the philosophical principles of the founding of America, science and religion and its interaction with social policy, and of high culture, especially the rich legacy of high art and music." Comments, as well as million dollar gifts, are appreciated.

Howard Zinn, Silent

Peter Wood

Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States, has died.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peter Wood

A New Jersey school teacher says there is "no conclusive evidence that the first Thanksgiving happened."

In Search of Lost Time

David Clemens

Around 10 B.C.E., the Roman poet Horace asserted that poetry’s purpose is “to delight and instruct.”  More recently, in the Wall Street Journal, James Collins declared that in her novels, Jane Austen delights and instructs in how to live a moral life.  He asks, "What, then, are the values that Austen would teach us? Value-laden words and phrases appear again and again in her work, often in clusters: self- knowledge, generosity, humility; elegance, propriety, cheerful orderliness; good understanding, correct opinion, knowledge of the world, a warm heart, steady, observant, moderate, candid, sensibility to what is amiable and lovely." Austen’s words boggle the modern mind as quaintly alien and vaguely religious.  They are signifiers of archaic virtues foreign to our national conversation.  Today, there is only one master virtue that trumps all others:  tolerance. However, real moral instruction is predicated on narrative, the arrangement of events in Time such that choices and actions have perceptible consequences.  Unfortunately, our wired and wireless world tirelessly militates against narrative.  On electronic networks, as Sven Birkerts put it, everything is “laterally associative rather than vertically cumulative” and what comes before is unrelated to what comes after.  The hyperlink replaces the transition word (linking may be a major factor in the decline of student ability in logic, grammar, and narrative understanding).  Students don’t even perceive cause and effect relationships because they have returned to an Eden-of-the-screens, outside of Time, dwelling in what Lewis Lapham called “the enchanted garden of the eternal now.”

Happy Independence Day from NAS!

Ashley Thorne

Ten great Fourth of July facts

Oases of Excellence

Ashley Thorne

NAS highlights new programs in American studies or Western civilization.

Updike at Rest

Peter Wood

Will the great American author's legacy outlive him?