By Stuart Finkel One of the pivotal issues that western historians of the USSR have debated since its collapse more than 25 years ago is its so-called “exceptionalism.” That is, to what extent should the history of the Soviet Union be considered as but one variation of the remarkable process of state modernization in the […]
by Kate Grover When I was nineteen, I was bestowed with some of the highest praise a person can receive. It happened at a rehearsal for The Vagina Monologues (go figure…) when some cast members I hadn’t met approached me for the first time: “You’re Kate, right? Cool Kid Kate?” “What?” “Cool Kid Kate. There’s […]
By Brittany T. Erwin In the tiny nation of El Salvador, the West dominates. As a result of commercial and political relationships that developed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there has been significant influence in this Central American country from the United States and Western Europe. However, within the Salvadoran context, the predominance of […]
By Madeleine Olson What occurs when elite driven narratives about national identity dramatically different differ from the realities people experienced? During the nineteenth century throughout Latin America, when national boundaries were just beginning to become coherent, the upper echelons of society constructed tales about their nations that often vastly differed from lived experiences. Between 1850 […]
By Ian Goodale In an unpublished letter to the Soviet daily newspaper Izvestiia, Liudmila Chukovskaya wrote that “muteness has always been the support of despotism.” This quote is cited in the booklet, Czechoslovakia and Soviet Public, compiled by the Radio Liberty Committee in New York in August 1968 to analyze the coverage of the Soviet invasion of […]
By Isaac McQuistion Guns and America enjoy a symbiotic relationship, the one constantly evoked when you refer to the other. A Congressional Research Service report estimated that, in 2009, the number of firearms in the United States surpassed the number of people, 310 million compared to 306.8 million. That gap has continued to widen, and […]
By Peter Worger Tucked into the pages of Nikolai Punin’s diary is a sliver of silver paper made into the shape of a fish. Its scales have been drawn with what appears to be black marker or charcoal in an Impressionist style on one side and in a Cubist style on the other. The fish […]
By Diana Bolsinger Robert Jones interprets many of today’s most contentious political and cultural battles as the product of shifts in America’s demographic make-up. He convincingly shows that ongoing demographic shifts in America’s ethnic mix are accompanied by unprecedented changes in religious affiliation. White Christian (by which he means Protestant) Americans dominated American politics and […]
In the study of history, it’s easy to fall back on national identities: “Irish music,” an “English accent,” “American Exceptionalism” are just a few examples. But a closer examination of the local cultures—music, dialects, history—that exist within nations demonstrates how misleading those generalizations can be. Just look through one of the British Library’s “Sound Maps” and you’ll be convinced.
Getz/Gilberto was not North America’s first encounter with bossa nova, the lyrical fusion of samba and cool jazz emanating from the smoky nightclubs, recording studios, and performance halls of Rio de Janeiro in the mid-1950s. Yet the eight-track LP was by far the most successful.