Tag Archives: history

The Tale of John Leak and His Foot of Clay

Once upon a time, spring had begun for the more than 4,000 people in a booming Southern town named after the Marquis de Lafayette. Trees and shrubs—forsythia, azaleas, redbuds, and wild cherries— provided a dazzling palette of yellow and pink … Continue reading

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E Plebnista: A Sardonic Meditation on American Greatness

Twenty long days have passed since I last put thoughts to words and words to (virtual) paper. I have not written about the gleeful euphoria with which I anticipated the election of 2016, the exquisite pain with which I learned of … Continue reading

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Rutherford B. Hayes, Who Are You–and Why Are You Tormenting Me?

In the summer of 2012, my husband and his 12-year-old daughter went on a 2,200-mile bicycle trek from Selma, North Carolina, to Austin, Texas. They slept mostly in tents, usually in a manner known to long-distance hikers and cyclists as … Continue reading

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Sticks, Stones, and Mayhem in the Marketplace of Ideas

In a lifetime of writing, I have spent many grueling hours perfecting the art of the compelling introduction–to say nothing of the time spent crafting clever and thought-provoking titles. For my current topic, however, I am afraid that I have … 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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Extrospection: Globe, Google Maps, and the Wound of Geography

I have studied with depth, breadth, and passion not only the literature, but also the history–both political and intellectual–of the American South. During the most impressionable years of my intellectual formation, I was reading Wilbur J. Cash on The Mind of the … Continue reading

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Master, Mentor, Friend

This is the last installment of my reminiscences about my decades-long and life-altering relationship with Professor John V. Mering, 1931-2009. Vicki/Victoria I spent hours during the summer of ’74 in the office of the history graduate students. We discussed history as … Continue reading

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The Mering Chronicles (cont. from 6/11)

Hang-ups, hanging out, and hanging on I visited Dr. Mering’s office often to receive assistance with my writing, to ask for suggestions for outside reading, or simply to satisfy his curiosity about how “this girl from a little mining town in the West” … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part III: John V., Il Miglior Fabbro

Learning at the feet of the master  In furtherance of my naïve but exuberant efforts to learn how to think, my history T.A.-cum-guru John Hosmer suggested that I take a class with his Ph.D. advisor, John V. Mering. It was the … Continue reading

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Rites of Passage Part I: A Motley Pentateuch

Spring 1973: As an overachieving, overprotected, overweight college sophomore, I approached the end of the spring semester with the dread of impending loss. In addition to my accustomed success in school that year, I had incrementally begun the process—equally exhilarating and … Continue reading

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