Category Archives: Politics

Wednesday’s Book Review: “Unintelligent Design”


Unintelligent Design. By Mark Perakh. Amherst, MA: Prometheus Books, 2003. This fine book offers a powerful and sustained critique of the creationism argument versus evolutionary theory, especially the most recent iteration of “intelligent design” which has been politically but not … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy”


Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide to America’s Censorship Wars. By Marjorie Heins. New York: The New Press, 1998 second edition. This author served as the director of the Arts Censorship Project for the American Civil Liberties Union between 1991 … Continue reading

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Setting Course for the Red Planet: Early Flyby Missions to Mars


Robotic exploration of Mars has been one of the persistent efforts of the space age. It began, just as lunar exploration had, in a race between the United States and the Soviet ­Unionto see who would be the first to … Continue reading

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John J. Ide: The NACA’s “Spy” in Pre-WWII Europe


Most people have never heard of John Jay Ide (Jun. 20, 1892-Jan. 12, 1962), who was an international aviation pioneer and European representative for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Born at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, he was the son … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Concise History of the Crusades”


The Concise History of the Crusades. By Thomas F. Madden. Lanham, MD: Roman and Littlefield, 2014, third edition. I have been enthralled by the story of the Crusades since my high school days. I have read several books on the … Continue reading

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An Account of the Evacuation of Nauvoo by the Mormons in 1846


After a lengthy period of conflict between the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois, and their non-Mormon neighbors, they negotiated a treaty, dated September 16, 1846, which gave the remaining Mormons five days to leave the city. A few days after this, on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “People of Plenty”


People of Plenty: Economic Abundance and the American Character. By David M. Potter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954. I first read this book while in graduate school now more than thirty years ago and I found it stimulating enough … Continue reading

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Wednesay’s Book Review: “The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois”


The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois: A History of the Mormon Militia, 1841-1846. By Richard E. Bennett, Susan Easton Black, and Donald Q. Cannon. Norman, OK: The Arthur H. Clark Company, An imprint of the University of Oklahoma Press, 2010. 436 … Continue reading

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The Power of the Past in American Consciousness and the Fight over History Curricula


The current flap over the right wing politics of Mary Lou Bruner, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the District 9 seat on the Texas State Board of Education, brought to mind the longer-standing debate over the nature of … Continue reading

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What Were the Origins of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in 1840s Nauvoo?


The non-Mormons of Hancock County, Illinois, in the early 1840s probably disliked the Mormons from the first, in the same way that most Americans have generally disliked what they have viewed as religious fanaticism, but they were initially disposed toward toleration … Continue reading

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