Author & Speaker

Posts Tagged ‘History’

"The Lincoln Deception": One step closer!

I just received a few “advanced reader copies” (i.e., copies for reviewers) of my forthcoming novel, The Lincoln Deception.  It’s a great pleasure to see them, though the book doesn’t go on sale until August 27.  You can reserve a copy by pre-0rder from Amazon. I dedicated this one — a historical mystery that tries to unravel the secrets of the…

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Five Amendments That Would Surprise the Framers

Yesterday, after I delivered a talk on the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a gentleman in the book-signing line asked an interesting question:  “Which of the constitutional amendments would be most surprising to the Framers?” I had to stop and think.  Then I said, “The Prohibition amendment.”  [That’s No. 18, for those who are keeping score…

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Hollywood History

I was both pleased and disappointed with the new Robert Redford-directed movie about the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, The Conspirator.  I need to lower my expectations about such treatments, like the Alexander Hamilton documentary on PBS which I recently wrote about.  I need to view them like the dog who talks — it’s not…

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Amendment Fetish: The Repeal Amendment

While proclaiming undying fealty to the Constitution, the Tea Party movement and its allies are touting a hot new amendment to that otherwise perfect document, which goes by the oxymoronic name “the Repeal Amendment.”  This proposed amendment would allow two-thirds of the state legislatures to repeal any law or regulation of the federal government, so long…

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Professor Wood Challenges His Colleagues

In his rave review of the new biography of George Washington by Ron Chernow, Gordon Wood, now an emeritus professor at Brown University, gives (polite) vent to his frustration with his fellow academic historians.  The history professoriate, he explains in the upcoming issue of the New York Review of Books, increasingly writes for itself, and…

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Are You Ready for Some Sesquicentennial?

It may end up seeming as long as the Civil War itself.  We are warming up for the extended observance of the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States. (“Celebration” seems the wrong word when talking of an event that killed 600,000 Americans.)  Today my gastroenterologist — yes, I have one, don’t you? — engaged me in…

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Historians at the Helm

As I read (really, listened to as a book-on-CD) a recent short biography of Winston Churchill by Paul Johnson, I found myself thinking about the two historian-leaders of the modern era in the West — Churchill and Theodore Roosevelt.  Both were remarkable leaders and remarkable historians. Churchill’s lifelong output of the written word was, according…

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Not for 21 years

On Monday morning, September 13, the Senate Impeachment Trial Committee is supposed to begin its evidentiary hearing about whether to remove District Judge G. Thomas Porteous from office.  It is 21 years since the last impeachment trial before a Senate committee, for which I was the lead defense lawyer.  It involved Judge Walter L. Nixon, Jr. of…

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My New BFF: R. Owen Williams

The current issue of Reviews in American History includes a review by R. Owen Williams of my book about the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, Impeached.  I hasten to note that I have no recollection of ever meeting Mr. Williams, a Yale history Ph.D. and the new president of Transylvania University (no, that’s not where…

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Impeachment — It's Back!

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, impeachment is back in the news.  Yesterday the House of Representatives unanimously approved four impeachment articles calling for the removal of District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans.   Porteous is accused of taking payments from lawyers who appeared in front of him while…

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