Tammy Ingram on the Importance of Roads and the Foundation of the Dixie Highway

At the turn of the 20th century, roads dominated everyday life. They determined where people could and could not travel, as well as whether or not other people, goods, services and even ideas could reach them. Roads dominated conversations around the ballot box and the dinner table, but good roads eluded most Americans and virtually all Southerners Continue Reading Tammy Ingram on the Importance of Roads and the Foundation of the Dixie Highway

Beth Tompkins Bates: What Happened the Last Time Detroit Faced Bankruptcy

In the end, it was the federal government that made the difference between bankruptcy and [Detroit] emerging out of the crisis, as Murphy put it, with credit and honor. Throughout the crisis, Murphy practiced his belief that government’s primary responsibility was to serve the social and economic welfare of people, whose basic needs must not be subordinated to corporate America’s agenda. Continue Reading Beth Tompkins Bates: What Happened the Last Time Detroit Faced Bankruptcy

Laura Micheletti Puaca: Shopping and the New National Security Frontier

The widespread use of information technology by the military, government, schools, financial institutions, transportation centers, and personal homes (to name just a few) means that nearly every aspect of American society is susceptible to cyber-violations. Hardly limited to the theft of individuals’ personal information, hacking threatens to undermine the nation’s economy and our general safety. Electrical grids, water processing facilities, stock exchanges, and weapons defense systems all depend on computer networks, and any malicious incursions could render disastrous results. Continue Reading Laura Micheletti Puaca: Shopping and the New National Security Frontier

Shane J. Maddock: Obama’s Course Correction on Iran

Much of the evidence now available suggests the Bush administration threats reinvigorated a moribund program. A Central Intelligence Agency report contended that Iran had abandoned its weapons program. But after the Bush administration scuttled diplomatic agreements regarding the Iranian program, hardliners took control and argued that Iran needed a nuclear weapon to deter a potential U.S. or Israeli military attack. They argued that Iraq had abandoned its nuclear ambitions under pressure from the West and reaped a brutal invasion for its efforts. North Korea, on the other hand, thwarted Western efforts to end its nuclear weapons program and avoided Baghdad’s fate. Arguments that at least the threat of a nuclear weapon was necessary took on greater persuasiveness given that U.S. military deployments sandwiched Iranian territory. Continue Reading Shane J. Maddock: Obama’s Course Correction on Iran

Interview: Tom Eamon on North Carolina Politics

Today, there is a gap. Many metropolitan areas and university communities are booming and attract migrants from all over. But farming areas once reliant on tobacco and old textile towns are withering and face high unemployment. And textiles were a low wage industry to begin with. More recently, public employees have faced salary freezes. Economic problems are here to stay. Despite great progress in many areas, North Carolina is a captive of its past. Continue Reading Interview: Tom Eamon on North Carolina Politics

50 Years Ago: Historians on the Legacies of JFK

Blair L. M. Kelley and Kathryn Cramer Brownell consider the assassination of JFK in the contexts of the civil rights movement, media spectacle, and shifting political structures. Continue Reading 50 Years Ago: Historians on the Legacies of JFK

Alex Lubin: Exhuming Yasser Arafat

Yasser Arafat has meant many things to many people over the course of his life. To some he is a freedom fighter, and throughout the world he is often depicted in posters alongside Che Guevara. To others he is a terrorist. To the Nobel Prize Committee he is a peace-maker. Arafat has had many lives, and his reputation has been exhumed numerous times over his life and now, after his death.

What often gets overlooked about Arafat and the PLO is the impact he and his movement had on a global third-world movement in general, and on the Black freedom movement in particular. Continue Reading Alex Lubin: Exhuming Yasser Arafat

Sarah Caroline Thuesen: The North Carolina NAACP: 80 Years at the Forefront of Struggles for Equality

It is fitting that in this 80th anniversary year of the 1933 rally the North Carolina NAACP is once again in the headlines, this time for its leading role in the recent Moral Monday protests at the state legislature. Continue Reading Sarah Caroline Thuesen: The North Carolina NAACP: 80 Years at the Forefront of Struggles for Equality

Jaime Amanda Martinez: Zeb Vance, Ken Cuccinelli, and Chris Christie: Governors as Bellwethers

The elections in Virginia and New Jersey have been touted as indicators of where the Republican Party, and indeed the entire country, will head in 2014 and beyond. The North Carolina governor’s race in 1864 served a similar role. Though often overshadowed in discussions of Civil War politics by the U.S. presidential election of 1864, the North Carolina race, which pitted incumbent Zebulon Baird Vance against newspaper editor William W. Holden, tells an equally important story about shifting political winds. Continue Reading Jaime Amanda Martinez: Zeb Vance, Ken Cuccinelli, and Chris Christie: Governors as Bellwethers

Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr.: Out of Many, Uno

At 10% of the U.S. electorate, Latino voters overwhelmingly (more than 70%) cast their ballots for the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012. Those numbers shed light on how Obama became the first U.S. President elected while losing the “white vote”, as they also signal the changing composition of the 21st-century United States. Continue Reading Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr.: Out of Many, Uno

Tiffany A. Sippial: The 26th of July Movement: Remembering Failure, Celebrating Victory

Not only were the rebels young (“just like us” my students find themselves saying), but they actually failed. Government snipers shot many of the young rebels on sight, and those who survived were charged with treason and imprisoned on the Isle of Pines. In a surprising plot twist, however, the audacious Cuban rebels recast their military failure as a propaganda victory by claiming the date of the attack as the name of their movement—the 26th of July Movement (M-26-7). Continue Reading Tiffany A. Sippial: The 26th of July Movement: Remembering Failure, Celebrating Victory

UNC Press books in Chicano/a Studies offer timely insights

In reality, scholarship in the fields of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies defies such easy simplifications, revealing that the struggle for citizenship, inclusion, and social justice in this country has historic, deep roots, and that forces for change do not always begin and end in Washington. Continue Reading UNC Press books in Chicano/a Studies offer timely insights

Michael H. Hunt: Obama and the War on Terror: Toward Greater Realism

Reading the address delivered 23 May at the National Defense University surprised me not just because it went well beyond the drone issue to address the conduct of the war on terror. More than that, Obama took some significant steps toward dealing with the war in terms of classical realism. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Obama and the War on Terror: Toward Greater Realism

Interview: Lee A. Craig on Josephus Daniels

Josephus Daniels was a progressive, a warm-hearted family man, a man who genuinely cared about the country’s less-fortunate and down-trodden, at least as he defined them. Yet at the same time, he was a white supremacist, who used the coercive powers of the state to keep blacks in a socially and economically inferior state for generations. Continue Reading Interview: Lee A. Craig on Josephus Daniels

Eric S. Yellin: Woodrow Wilson’s Inauguration a Disheartening Anniversary

It was not just careers that came to an end in Woodrow Wilson’s Washington. African Americans also lost a claim to their legitimacy as American citizens and participants in the national state. Marked as corrupt and untrustworthy, black Americans have struggled ever since to clear their names as honest and trust-worthy citizens, a struggle that continues into our own time. Continue Reading Eric S. Yellin: Woodrow Wilson’s Inauguration a Disheartening Anniversary

Rod Andrew Jr.: When South Carolina Had Two Governors

Hampton sought to overthrow the corrupt Republican regime in Columbia and promised to protect black civil rights; Chamberlain had tried to bring reform and publicly dismissed Hampton’s promises to black voters. Continue Reading Rod Andrew Jr.: When South Carolina Had Two Governors

Gordon K. Mantler: For Latinos, It’s Not All about Immigration

The argument that an endorsement of immigration reform by the GOP—or, for that matter, by many Democrats—will miraculously translate into more votes by Latinos reflects a simplistic understanding of their experience and history. Continue Reading Gordon K. Mantler: For Latinos, It’s Not All about Immigration

Lisa Materson: African American Women, the Great Migration, and the Obama Presidency

The political influence of black Chicago emerged decades before Obama announced his first candidacy for president, during the years of the Great Migration when tens of thousands of southern blacks relocated to northern cities. Continue Reading Lisa Materson: African American Women, the Great Migration, and the Obama Presidency

Fiona Deans Halloran: Thomas Nast, Horace Greeley, and the Gift of Gaffe

Where did he find his inspiration? Frequently in what we would call gaffes. Those little slips that so reveal the true character of any politician helped to inspire Nast’s pencil to new heights. Continue Reading Fiona Deans Halloran: Thomas Nast, Horace Greeley, and the Gift of Gaffe

Marc Stein: Five Myths about Roe v. Wade

On 22 January 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Roe v. Wade, the abortion rights case that culminated in one of the most controversial legal rulings in the country’s history. Forty years later, numerous myths continue to circulate about the contents and meanings of Roe. Here are five of the most significant. Continue Reading Marc Stein: Five Myths about Roe v. Wade