Category Archives: books

Bearing Witness: Reading and Telling the Great War

Midway through the World War I centenary, I decided that I would use that largely unacknowledged anniversary as the theme for my freshman composition class on writing across the curriculum. The students write a literature review about shell shock for … Continue reading

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Reconsidering the American Consensus–and Rehabilitating the 1950s

The Mering thesis and the roots of consensus history At the University of Arizona in the mid-1970s, John V. Mering inculcated his disciples with a devotion to the consensus historiography whose bedrock was The American Political Tradition: And the Men Who Made It … Continue reading

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100 at 65

Arbitrarily, we deem specific anniversaries more significant than others. The numbers that would seem the most noteworthy are the primes, but we have opted to recognize the boring and uncreative numbers instead. We celebrate multiples of 5 and 10 for … Continue reading

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The Armistice: A Remembrance

The 99th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I took center stage in my English 112 class on Friday, November 10. For more than a year, I have been preparing to guide my students on this journey through … Continue reading

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Reading, Watching–and Smelling–World War I

More than a year ago, I decided to observe the centenary of World War I by using it as the theme of my English composition classes devoted to writing across the curriculum.  To that end, I have immersed myself in a wide assortment of … Continue reading

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I Never Saw a Moor; I Never Saw the Sea

              I never even had a passport. But I know the heather because I have walked the moonlit moors with Catherine and Heathcliff. I know the roiling sea because I sailed on the Pequod and clung … Continue reading

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Metatext: Memories in the Margins

Two weeks ago, on March 18, I saw The Sense of an Ending on the second day of its run at the Cameo Art House Theater in Fayetteville. In 2011–specifically, “Thanksgiving 2011, Lake Mattamuskeet” according to my notation on the flyleaf–I read … Continue reading

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The Many Gifts of Music

Preferring the feel and the smell and the fillable margins of real books, I had never listened to an audio book until I received one as a Christmas gift from a dear friend seeking to relieve the tedium I experience on … Continue reading

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Finding World War I: Fact, Fiction, and Truth in Pat Barker’s “Regeneration Trilogy”

We are living moment by moment through the centennial of the war that neither ended all wars nor made the world safe for democracy–catchphrases so cheap and aims so lofty that even as the armistice was being signed on November 11, 1918, … Continue reading

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Shared Experience, Shared Language: A Review of Lakoff and Johnson on Metaphor

Each of my efforts to write about George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By uncannily comprises a demonstration of its thesis. As I started to plan my review, I wrote, I am late to the dance—referring to the … Continue reading

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