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‘Great again’ plucks a familiar American chord

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 15, 2016

Part of the exceptional Donald Trump campaign is his not-so-exceptional slogan, “Make America Great Again.” Demanding and promising a return to Glory Days is centuries-old American theme, shared by both the political right and political left, based on the conviction that today’s America is less than yesterday’s America. Trump channels a grand mythic feature of American cultural life, of … Continue reading »

Remembering history, recovering “No Irish Need Apply”

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | August 2, 2015

Historical research is challenging: you cannot simply go and see what happened, you have to trace back through a welter of documentary sources that may themselves have been selected in ways that impede your search for knowledge and understanding, that can be contradictory, and that are always only part of the potential evidence you might … Continue reading »

Atheist evangelism: ‘Nothing new under the sun’

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | November 19, 2013

Atheists are getting evangelical and congregational, bemused press reports would have it. There are the international bus ad campaigns – “Why believe in a God? Just be good for goodness’ sake,” in the U.S., and “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life” in Richard Dawkins’ Britain. More recently, a global effort, perhaps tongue … Continue reading »

Writerly baseball – opening day 2013

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 26, 2013

Writers – academic, commercial, and intellectual – have for generations indulged themselves writing about baseball. (This post, of course, becomes a further meta-indulgence.) There is nothing close in either American fiction or literary nonfiction about football or basketball, however much those other sports dominate the TV screen these days.[1] Much of the baseball genre now … Continue reading »

The ’60s turn 50

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | February 19, 2013

We have a commemoration going on about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the great social changes, such as the Emancipation Proclamation, which accompanied it. There’s another anniversary coming up over the next 12 months or so: the 50th anniversary of “The ’60s,” by which I mean the 1960s as a distinct social, … Continue reading »