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History As It Happens

Oct 21, 2021

The death of the soldier-statesman Colin Powell threw into relief his remarkable public career and historic times, from his humble origins in the Bronx to his place in the halls of power at the transformative close of the Cold War era. When a major figure dies, historians have to weigh the person’s influence on...


Oct 19, 2021

Today the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is considered an important pillar of the U.S. military establishment. ROTC programs are offered at approximately 1,700 colleges, providing enrollees a path of upward mobility in exchange for their military service and good citizenship. Yet its prosaic presence in American...


Oct 14, 2021

In 1990 the U.S. possessed one military base in the Middle East, a small naval installation in Bahrain. In August of that year Iraq invaded Kuwait, and the U.S.-led response in the Gulf War would lay the foundation for the “forever wars” of our own time. The United States would establish dozens of permanent army,...


Oct 12, 2021

China’s wave of military exercises over Taiwan, which is raising the possibility of armed conflict, is overshadowing the development of the Biden administration’s soft power approach to confronting China’s coercive economic measures in the Indo-Pacific. In late September the White House hosted the first in-person...


Oct 7, 2021

Christopher Columbus, a Genoese navigator, never knew America existed. He did not step foot in North America; until his death he believed he had reached the outskirts of China. Yet Columbus became an American hero, the story of his voyages woven into the U.S. origin story by historians in the early nineteenth century....