AHA Today

What We’re Reading: October 11, 2012

AHA Staff | Oct 11, 2012

Today’s What We’re Reading features reactions to the current presidential debates, a reflection on the legacy of the Morrill Land Grant Act, and mythbusters’ challenge to the film “Titanic.”

Presidential Debates


AHA Roundtable: The Presidential Debate of October 3, 2012
The AHA has assembled a series of online forums featuring leading historians commenting on the current presidential and vice-presidential debates.  The first roundtable features commentary from historians Patrick Allitt, Alan Kraut, Peter Lindert, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Alice O’Connor, and Amanda Seligman. Be sure to visit AHA Today on Friday, October 12, for the latest roundtable on the vice-presidential debate. 

Vote Lincoln in 2012
The authors of the Historically Corrected series profiled on this blog are back with their take on last week’s popular debate theme:  quoting former President Abraham Lincoln.

The Six Most Memorable Moments in Vice Presidential Debate History
Sean Sullivan for the Washington Post has assembled the six most memorable moments in vice presidential debate history.

Higher Education News

Adjuncts at Wright State Vote to Unionize
At Inside Higher Ed: “Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Wright State University have voted, 92-29, to unionize. They voted to join the existing unit at Wright State, organized by the American Association of University Professors, that represents tenure-track faculty members.”

Let’s Calm Down About Higher Education
John Tierney for the Atlantic traces worries over the decline of higher education to the early republic, and finds our struggles are nothing new.

Is It A Conflict to Assign Your Own Book?
Jane Robbins, writing for the Sounding Board blog, discusses the issues academics face when assigning their own book for a course.

History in the News

National Archives to Open Robert F. Kennedy Records Relating to the Cuban Missile Crisis
The National Archives and Records Administration and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library have announced are releasing an additional seven boxes of materials relating primarily to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Records will be available both online and in the Kennedy Library Research Room.

The Myth That Screwed Up 50 Years of U.S. Foreign Policy
Leslie H. Gelb at Foreign Policy writes that it was careful compromise, not steely resolve, that ended the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the wrong interpretation of history has led US leaders down the wrong policy path ever since.

What the Future of Africa Looked Like in 1959
South African website Politics Web has published a 26-page memorandum from the early sixties detailing the issues the British government foresaw shaping British policy in Africa. 

Past Brown Lectures in Education-Webcasts Now Available
On the eve of the annual Brown lecture in education research, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is offering free webcasts of past lectures.  The ninth annual Brown lecture is scheduled for October 25, 2012, and will feature Vanessa Siddle Walker.

Give a Game Ball to Abe Lincoln for Creating Land-Grant Schools
Blair Kerkhoff for the Kansas City Star reminds readers of the legacy of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts that put in place federal funding for public higher education institutions.

One man’s heroic quest: Cataloging 350,000 medal-of-valor winners
The LA Times covers the efforts of Doug Sterner, who is trying to build a comprehensive database of recipients of military medals for valor.

Fun with History

Google’s Cultural Institute
Google’s Cultural Institute showcases a collection of 42 web exhibitions of 20th and 21st century topics including the holocaust, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and the struggle for civil rights in South Africa.

Adventures in the Archives: Colic and Fatherhood
In the latest installment of this series, Ashley Baggett discusses her experience trolling the archives and asks readers for their thoughts on the reliability of advertisements in historical scholarship.

From the Museum
The FDR Library has organized a digital collection of political campaign posters representing all four of FDR’s campaign.  According to their collection description, the collection “suggests some of the prominent themes employed by FDR’s campaign team during four very different political years.”

‘Mythbusters’ Dumps Cold Water on James Cameron’s ‘Titanic’
Mythbusters visits San Francisco, where they challenge the validity of several scenes in James Cameron’s popular “Titanic” film.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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