History Feed

"No One’s Name Was Changed at Ellis Island"

Contrary to The Godfather, Part 2: "Many names did get changed as immigrants settled into their new American lives, but those changes were made several years after arrival and were done by choice of someone in the family. The belief persists, however, that the changes were done at the entry point and that the immigrants were unwilling participants in the modifications."


"FDR’s Campaign of Intimidation"

Very favorable review of a new book, The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights: The Untold Story of FDR’s Concentration Camps, Censorship, and Mass Surveillance.

The book is yet another strike against the reputation of FDR. But I don't anticipate it will change the minds of any of the people who revere him. (I once had a brief discussion with my late father-in-law about the research showing that FDR didn't really get the country out of the Great Depression. My father-in-law wasn't having it: you don't understand, he said, FDR got the apple sellers off the streets! It was an early introduction to Liberal reasoning.)


"The Anti-Semitic Disease"

Fine essay by noted historian Paul Johnson.

But if anti-Semitism is a variety of racism, it is a most peculiar variety, with many unique characteristics. In my view as a historian, it is so peculiar that it deserves to be placed in a quite different category. I would call it an intellectual disease, a disease of the mind, extremely infectious and massively destructive. It is a disease to which both human individuals and entire human societies are prone.