Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Are pious Catholics a problem for liberalism?

Marilynne Robinson’s latest Gilead novel

Editing RBG


Cheap stuff in America

1820 and 1920

Women’s domesticity and 1950s ads

Is Uncle Tom’s Cabin guilt lit?”

Do the framers of the Constitution still own it?

Amy Coney Barrett and the conservative legal movement

Blatant lying…characterizes much of the Christian propaganda for Donald Trump

Defending white freedom

A monument to a Jewish Confederate

Gene Seymour reviews Rick Perlstein, Reaganland: America’s Right Turn, 1976-1980

Rewatching Ken Burns’s The Civil War after a summer of racial unrest

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Alan Jacobs on reading books from the past. And a review.

Democracy vs. Epistocracy

Empathy for Teddy

Selling soap


The pandemic spiral

Learning humility from Ben Franklin

White churches and white supremacy

Socialism and the American trail system

American democracy and the U.S. postal service

Slavery and the Trail of Tears

The Jefferson Bible

Tom Seaver: “If the Mets can win the World Series, then we can get out of Vietnam.”

When the Christian Right stopped loving their neighbors

Complexity, nuance, and the removal of monuments

Jia Lynn Yang reviews James A. Monroe, Republic of Wrath: How American Politics Turned Tribal, From George Washington to Donald Trump

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

The Colfax Massacre

Grant Wacker on the fall of Jerry Falwell Jr.

Suffrage and Black women

Socialist Sunday schools

What is Jill Lepore reading?

Donald Trump and John Wayne

Liberty University in the post-Falwell era

Two new books on the history of nativism

A “flying train” in 1902

Trump’s use of imagery

Manichaenism in presidential politics

Women’s suffrage after the 19th amendment

1968 and 2020

Randall Kennedy reviews Jon Meacham’s His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the Power of Hope

The Conversation tackles the Falwell scandal here and here.

Did a sermon provoke violence during the Stamp Act crisis?

The fight over monuments

Christopher Lasch and local culture

Most popular posts of the last week

Here are the most popular posts of the last week at The Way of Improvement Leads Home:

  1. The Jerry Falwell Jr. story takes a bizarre turn
  2. This interview tells us a lot about John MacArthur and the movement he represents
  3. Why did Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr. post a picture of himself with his pants unbuckled, underwear showing, a glass of “wine” in his hand, and his arm around a woman’s waist?
  4. The “pool boy” tells his side of the story and it’s pretty damning for the Falwells
  5. The last fundamentalist empire died yesterday in Lynchburg, Virginia
  6. John MacArthur’s views on slavery sound eerily familiar
  7. Half the “key speakers” at the Republican National Convention this week are Trumps
  8. GOP: No platform this year. We are just supporting Trump
  9. It looks like Falwell will be out tomorrow (Tuesday)
  10. Jerry Falwell Jr. resigns as president of Liberty University


Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Os Guinness responds to Abram Van Engen and other “Christian scholars”

The bond between an author and his assistant

When Andrew Jackson politicized the post office

Cancel culture is not new. The Harper’s letter in historical context.

Leonard Downie reviews Harold Holzer’s The Presidents vs. the Press


David Blight on Barack Obama’s DNC Convention “jeremiad

Using churches to host K-12 classes

Errol Morris on the anatomy of Trump’s St. John’s church photo-op

The Puritan ethic

Jemar Tisby reviews Robert P. Jones, White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

Evangelical colleges respond to the death of George Floyd

Richard R. John and Joseph Turow on the U.S. Postal Service

Can Joe Biden really “hurt God?”

Janelle Peters reviews Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder, A Century of Votes for Women

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Gerald Russello reviews George Scialabba, How to be Depressed

The World Socialist Web Site on the death of Bernard Bailyn

What makes for a successful vice-presidential pick?

A historian on university openings and closings

Thomas Frank on populism


A panel discussion on the Black Lives Matter movement

Joe Biden: “Griever-in-Chief

Dan Walden reviews Matt Walsh’s Church of Cowards: A Wake-Up Call to Complacent Christians

The never-Trump conservative intellectuals

Rebecca Onion interviews Richard Kreitner, author of Break It Up: Secession, Division, and the Secret History of America’s Imperfect Union

H. W. Brands reviews Marjoleine Kars, Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast

Jefferson Davis’s pro-slavery nemesis

Who owned the Liberty Tree?

Kamala Harris and the future of American religion


The pro-life movement and Black voters

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Visiting Frederick Douglass’s birthplace

Pro-lifers prepare for a post-Roe world

Ruth Graham on Falwell’s leave of absence

COVID-19 workers seen through 19th-century tintype photography

What should the American Museum of Natural History do with its Teddy Roosevelt statue?

Drew Gilpin Faust on William Faulkner and race

A history of hurricanes

Katie Ladecky swims with a glass of chocolate milk on her head

The Gilder-Lehman Institute of American History and Hamilton

The power of The New York Times

The four historic threats to American democracy

The story of a Black cemetery in Waco, Texas

Why Americans rejected only educating the children of the rich

Fara Dabhoiwala reviews three new books on slavery in the West Indies

The meaning of statistics in the Progressive Era

Manute Bol’s son

David Roediger reviews Walter Johnson, The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States.

Julian Zelizer reviews three new Trump books

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Emmett Till was my George Floyd

The “Judeo-Christian tradition” never existed

Does this also apply to historians?

When the first women voters registered to vote…

Reading and civic culture

Demon sperm in historical context

John Inazu on religious liberty and churches during the pandemic

John McWhorter on Harper’s “Open Letter”

White Christians must confront its faith’s legacy of racism

Andrew Sullivan on “wokeness

The American Anti-Slavery Society and the dissemination of facts about slavery

Black Italians

When Fort Wayne, Indiana tried to honor its founder, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne

Why does an NHL team in Calgary have a name that recalls Sherman’s March to the Sea?

Christian faith at John Lewis’s funeral

Lin-Manuel on writing

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

What happens to the humanities after COVID-19?

Keeping track of monument removals

Sean Wilentz on John Lewis

Best sellers

Andrew Sullivan is back

Sanger, eugenics, abortion, and Planned Parenthood

Real diversity in the academic benefits students

How history can save lives in a pandemic

Jon Meacham on Jackie Robinson

Academics as the new conservatives living in a crumbling ivory tower

An important take on a Junipero Serra monument

Monuments in the context of urban and art history

Philip Jenkins on the religious Black Atlantic

What Lasch knew

Columbus statues and Italian Americans

William Barr: Catholic culture warrior

Will Aristotle be cancelled?

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

“The first think you’ll notice is the quiet

Walt Whitman and the Civil War

Douglas Brinkley reviews Thomas Frank, The People, NO: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

Susan-Mary Grant reviews Brian Holden Reid, The Scourge of War: The Life of William Tecumseh Sherman

An art historian reflects on monuments

When John Lewis forgave George Wallace

The Army’s Jim Crow forts

Matthew Sutton talks religion and spies

The masks of 1918

82 cases of COVID-19 at a Christian camp

Writing “below the line

Randall Stephens reviews Peter Thuesen, Tornado God: American Religion and Violent Weather

A liberal arts president on higher ed in a pandemic

The founding fathers and the storming of the Bastille

How Jesus became a white European

Biden and religious voters

John Adams dialogues with a dead Ben Franklin

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

George Scialabba on how to be depressed

City Journal, the Manhattan Institute, and Trump

Eric Hobsbawm

Can the humanities really be taught online?

Conservatism and home

Memorializing slaves and victims of racism

Evangelical betrayal

Archives and politics

Clarence Thomas and the wall of separation between church and state.

Why do we still have an electoral college?

Watching Hamilton in the age of Trump

Why Hamilton is “perfect” in for this current moment

When abolitionists went to Kansas

American identity after the death of democracy

Consumer boycotts and the end of slavery

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Popular writing should be as rigorous as scholarship–but much easier to read

Ibram X Kendi on the Fourth of July

A funny critique of Hamilton

Trump’s border wall

Charleston’s John C. Calhoun statue

Wilfred McClay on profanity

Mormon socialists

When African Americans co-opted July 4th

Grant Wacker reviews Daniel Vaca, Evangelicals  Incorporated: Books and the Business of Religion in America

The ending of Hamilton

Frederick Douglass on monuments

Clyde Haberman reviews David Paul Kuhn, The Hardhat Riot: Nixon, New York City, and the Dawn of the White Working Class

Action Park

The Lincoln Memorial was made for this

Should Teddy Roosevelt come down?

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

David Blight: Let the Freedmen’s Memorial stand

White Jesus

The 1918 flu at Harvard

David Blight reviews Colin Woodard, The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood

A database of Black American funeral programs

Historians on Richmond’s Robert E. Lee monument

Harriett Tubman used naming in a way to evoke power

Andrew Sullivan on monuments

Drive-in theaters

“If you ever wanted your smartest friend to lead you in spiritual reflection, this is it


Browsing in a bookstore

Super-spreader megachurches

Brenda Wineapple reviews Wendell Bird, Criminal Dissent: Prosecutions Under the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798

Is there a left-conservative tradition in America?

The “strange” decision to topple a U.S. Grant statue on Juneteenth

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

Brett Malcolm Grainger reviews Bruce Hindmarsh, The Spirit of Early Evangelicalism: True Religion in a Modern World

The Confederate monument at Ole Miss

When Trumpism came to an Alabama Baptist church

A Black Lives Matters march in Harrison, Arkansas

The global reach of the civil rights movement

Is market logic killing us?

Aunt Jemima

The Confederate flag and World War II

Dan Walden reviews Eugene McCarraher, The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity

Heather Cox Richardson

First Things is now billing itself as a “nourishing” journal of “hope”

Paula White

Trump’s performative display at St. John’s Church

Frederick Douglass on John Brown

What should conservatives think about Confederate monuments?

George Washington: Dad

Sunday night odds and ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

The fear thesis seems to be catching-on

What is fascism?

A multiracial community of drag racers

White evangelicals and Trump

Female slave owners

Robert Kennedy and our current crisis

Douglas Brinkley reviews Doug Swanson, The Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers

New monuments?

Three new books on the intellectual vocation

A plea for intellectual diversity

The 1965 Immigration Act and today

What is Juneteenth?

Black Christian nationalism

A journey through the evangelical heartland

Sam Kleiner reviews Mary Kate Nelson, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and the Native Peoples in the Fight for the West

Shawshank Redemption, Lana Rey, Stephen King, and Wendell Berry in the age of COVID-19

Race, religion, and photo-ops

Outdoor worship

The religious roots of the “Fairness Doctrine


Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

On anti-racist reading lists

A black history reading list

An anti-racism reading list from Eerdmans


Benjamin Rush and yellow fever

Republicans are complicit

White nationalism and the Christian Right

Toussaint Louverture died in prison

Sanitizing the mail

The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

St. John’s Church would have been open to a Trump photo-op. He never asked

How the anti-abortion forces might respond to the tear gas

Jemar Tisby and Tyler Burns: “Black Christians “cannot do this alone

Charles Royster, RIP

How to live a long life

The Southern Baptists are in decline

The George Floyd protests in historical context

A historian self-publishes

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

When a day of lament for Lincoln’s death coincided with the Jewish holiday of Shavuot

A Minnesota historian and native reflects on the George Floyd case

Melissa Rogers on religion and public life


Is there a religious left?

Lizabeth Cohen reviews Robert Dallek, How Did We Get Here?: From Roosevelt to Donald Trump

Modern nostalgia and re-watching our favorite TV shows

The National Book Festival moves online

Coffee and coffeehouses

Future historians of COVID-19 and Wikipedia

Is anti-intellectualism killing us?

Keith Hernandez

Supporting writers during COVID-19

Ryan Boyd reviews Kevin Gannon’s Radical Hope: A Teaching Manfisto

Getting rid of a home library

The Jamaican slave revolt of 1831

A short history of Twitter

New books in early Canadian history

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

White backlash and American progress

Fauci on college openings

The “tyranny of virtue” in the American academy

The danger of historical analogies

Pundits cannot predict the future

Interesting piece on the Washington Examiner

Book proposals

Marilynne Robinson on education and COVID-19

The lives of women

Jane Roe was a human being. And what the anti-abortion community is saying about her “deathbed confession.”

Joseph Epstein on solitude

Sanctuary churches

Historians on pandemic narratives

David Nasaw reviews two new books on immigration history

Mary Beard on lecturing

Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:

We see through a glass darkly

The woman who turned Woodrow Wilson into a supporter of the Nineteenth Amendment

“What would make leaders [of colleges and universities] gamble with human life this way?”

Hope for the humanities

Alan Jacobs on First Things

The case for books

Grateful Americans

Teach My Research

COVID-19 and the end of paper money

Women reading through the Great Depression

Jill Lepore‘s new podcast

Blogging” through a 17th-century pandemic

Karin Wulf reviews Whitney Martinko’s Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States

Kwame Anthony Appiah reviews three new books on Franz Boas

Marjoleine Kars reviews Serena Zabin, The Boston Massacre: A Family History

18th-century schoolmaster’s salaries


Sunday Night Odds and Ends

A few things online that caught my attention this week:


Nostalgia is our modern condition

The rise of Christianity

50 years ago a liberal arts college in Iowa cancelled graduation


Mia, the Land O’Lakes butter maiden

Corey Robin reviews two books on the history of American communism

Allen Guelzo reviews Bradley C. Watson, Progressivism: The Strange History of a Radical Idea

Jon Meacham on pandemics of the past

What is historian Robert Caro doing during the pandemic?

Bowling alleys

Abigail Adams in an epidemic

Teaching the American Revolution with no syllabus

The founding fathers and economic regulations in times of crisis


Running the Race” and Ahmaud Arbery

David Swartz interviews Lauren Turek, author of To Bring the Good News to All Nations: Evangelical Influence on Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Relations