Category: Columnists

Sheri Castle: Creamy Baby Turnip Soup with Smoked Trout Butter

What to do with all those root vegetables at the winter farmers’ market?? Try this hearty March recipe from The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, and CSA Farm Boxes, by Sheri Castle. Continue Reading Sheri Castle: Creamy Baby Turnip Soup with Smoked Trout Butter

Michael H. Hunt: Caught in Contradictions: The United States and the Middle East

The popular uprisings of the sort now spreading across North Africa to the Persian Gulf were hard to anticipate—but the American response wasn’t. U.S. history is filled with moments like the present one when upheavals abroad generated great hopes for the advance of freedom. Those moments have also evoked deep anxieties rooted in a suspicion that most peoples reaching for… Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Caught in Contradictions: The United States and the Middle East

Skillet Apples and Miracle Drop Biscuits

Two mouth-watering recipes that go great together – from Sheri Castle’s forthcoming book (coming in April!), The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best from Homegrown Gardens, Farmers’ Markets, Roadside Stands, & CSA Farm Boxes. Continue Reading Skillet Apples and Miracle Drop Biscuits

The DNC and the National Media—Bringing Southern Stereotypes to a City Near You

As you know by now, Charlotte, North Carolina was selected to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention, and between Michelle Obama’s email announcing the decision and the national media’s comments on said decision, there’s a lesson or two in how the South continues to elicit both positive and negative statements about its character that are drawn from the same tired… Continue Reading The DNC and the National Media—Bringing Southern Stereotypes to a City Near You

Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Update 4/21/2011:The lamentable news of Tim Hetherington’s death covering the civil conflict in Libya reached us yesterday (20 April 2011). Restrepo is one of this fine and courageous documentarian’s major achievements. His record of what it meant for U.S. soldiers to fight in the Afghan War will stand the test of time.—MHH Ignore all the vacuous policy statements, the bland… Continue Reading Michael Hunt: Restrepo: An Oscar for Afghanistan?

Sheri Castle’s Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Today’s guest post is edible–Sheri Castle’s recipe for Italian sausage and tortellini soup!  It’s the perfect warm, hearty dish for these chilly months. This is the first in a monthly series of posts in which the author will share delicious, healthy recipes that utilize fresh, local ingredients from her new book, The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Recipes for Enjoying the… Continue Reading Sheri Castle’s Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Karen L. Cox: For Whom the Belle Tolls

No sooner had I written the last blog post about representations of the South on reality television than another show made it to the air—TLC’s Bama Belles.  It seems unlikely that “belle” is an appellation anyone would apply to women who don camouflage to hunt or are ready to start a bar fight. Still, the conscious decision by the show’s… Continue Reading Karen L. Cox: For Whom the Belle Tolls

Wikileaks is a gift – but what is it worth?

Think of the Wikileaks’ release of State Department cables as one of your holiday gifts that will keep on giving . . . and giving and giving. Julian Assange and Company got generous just before Thanksgiving. A steady dribble from the quarter-million purloined documents should keep us happily diverted well into the new year and perhaps beyond. But what kind… Continue Reading Wikileaks is a gift – but what is it worth?

Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

Proponents of military force learned from Vietnam that their freedom of action depended on insulating the public from the effects of war. Contractors were an ingenuous solution to the problem of a public squeamish about fighting and killing. Continue Reading Election 2010: Making the Wars Go Away

American Democracy and the Challenge of Globalization

The midterm election campaign now approaching the home stretch has brought with it striking but fairly empty calls to action–from the Tea Party frenzy over fiscal virtue to a president exhorting his base with the banal promise of “moving America forward.” But this and all the other lamentable features of our democracy, it is worth stressing, are nothing new. Many… Continue Reading American Democracy and the Challenge of Globalization

A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

Denial is a well known defense mechanism that keeps unpleasant realities at bay. U.S. policymakers seem well practiced in this common coping device. Heaven knows they have good reason, no matter which direction of the Middle East they turn. Afghanistan seems right now to occasion the deepest denials because the realities are the grimmest. Two reports by the London-based International… Continue Reading A Middle East Policy in Deep Denial

Award winners: Blair Kelley, Amy Wood, Charles Eagles

We’re delighted to share lots of good news today. The 2010 Lillian Smith Book Award has been awarded to two UNC Press books this year: Amy Louise Wood’s Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America and Charles W. Eagles’s The Price of Defiance: James Meredith and the Integration of Old Miss. The prize, presented by the Southern Regional Council,… Continue Reading Award winners: Blair Kelley, Amy Wood, Charles Eagles

General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Barack Obama’s Afghanistan commanders are something else. First, they promoted a highly debatable counter-insurgency strategy. Then, despite the numerous and cogent contemporary critiques, they got the president to buy into their particular brand of wishful thinking, and they got from him the additional troops supposedly needed for success. They have since failed to deliver. There are no convincing signs of… Continue Reading General McChrystal, General Petraeus, and General Confusion

Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

Developments over the last month or so have put the U.S. commitment in Afghanistan under a dark cloud. The McChrystal affair and the WikiLeaks revelations are symptomatic of deeper troubles: the rapid bankruptcy of counterinsurgency, a surge in U.S. casualties, the persistently problematic role of Pakistan, the continued immobility of the Karzai regime, the sluggish progress in training Afghan forces,… Continue Reading Vietnam War Lessons: Never Too Late to Learn

To Forge a Better NAACP

What happened to the NAACP? It’s odd to think that the venerable and historic National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has been reduced to a talking point in the national media cycle this week. They received national attention in June when the Los Angeles chapter lodged a protest against a Hallmark card with a recorded message that they… Continue Reading To Forge a Better NAACP

The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

There is good reason to pity the poor historian, who has been tested especially severely during the recent McChrystal-Obama imbroglio as the eruption of historical parallels and lessons have ranged from the wrong-headed to the off-kilter. Continue Reading The McChrystal Affair: Pity the Poor Historian

The Obama National Security Strategy: “Mush” Ado about Nothing?

In the world of U.S. foreign policy, the release of a new National Security Strategy is a big deal. This congressionally mandated exercise offers an opportunity for the executive to grapple with basic issues, and it may even herald the birth of a “doctrine” (as it did for George W. Bush in 2002). The Obama administration rolled out its NSS… Continue Reading The Obama National Security Strategy: “Mush” Ado about Nothing?

Victory in Vietnam: The Myth That Won’t Die But Can’t Stand Up

The U.K. edition of A Vietnam War Reader: A Documentary History from American and Vietnamese Perspectives hits bookstores across the pond today — just as Britons head to the polls to elect a new Prime Minister. In a previous guest post, editor Michael H. Hunt addressed one of the more striking similarities between the Vietnam War and the current conflict… Continue Reading Victory in Vietnam: The Myth That Won’t Die But Can’t Stand Up