RCH: Cassius Clay as the “greatest American” of the 20th century

My latest at RealClearHistory:

It was also the heyday of the Cold War, a nearly 50-year struggle for power between the liberal-capitalist United States and the socialist Soviet Union. The struggle was real (as the kids say today). The United States and its allies were losing, too, at least in the realm of ideas. The Soviet Union was funding groups that would today be considered progressive — anti-racist and anti-capitalist — around the world. One of the sticks that Moscow used to beat the West with was racism in the United States, especially in the officially segregated South.

It is doubtful that most of the African-American groups who took part in the struggle for liberty were funded, or even indirectly influenced by Soviet propaganda. The clear, powerful contrast between black and white in the United States was enough for most African-Americans to take part in the Civil Rights revolution. Yet Soviet propaganda still pestered Washington, and Moscow wasn’t wrong.

Please, read the rest.

Nightcap

  1. A good intuitive argument for authority Michael Young, Policy of Truth
  2. The Cold War’s killing fields Daniel Immerwahr, the Nation
  3. In defence of Jeremy Corbyn Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling
  4. Deeds and ghosts (imperial twilight) Gavin Jacobson, Times Literary Supplement

Nightcap

  1. Chinese and Soviets backed South African liberation movements…and apartheid ones, too Martin Plaut, QZ
  2. The dilemmas of competing with Xi Jinping’s China Peter Mattis, War on the Rocks
  3. Frankopan’s New Silk Road: A review Francis Sempa, Asian Review of Books
  4. How the sneaker conquered the world Luke Leitch, 1843

Nightcap

  1. The passion for a kind of justice born of righteous rage Waller Newell, Claremont Review of Books
  2. Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Cold War: Less Than Grand Strategy Andrew Bacevich, the Nation
  3. No, Sex Wasn’t Better for Women Under Socialism Cathy Young, Reason
  4. I am Ashurbanipal, king of the world, king of Assyria Samuel Reilly, 1843

RCH: 10 countries that didn’t survive the Cold War

My weekend column over at RealClearHistory is worth a gander. An excerpt:

Aside from the Soviet Union, this list is loaded with countries from Asia and Africa, thanks to the process of decolonization that occurred after World War II. The French and British empires crumbled under the weight of the Nazi war machine, and Paris and London tried to oversee an orderly transition of their colonies from administrative units within an empire into sovereign states in an international order.

This transition saw three different competing worldviews, two of which were much more successful than the third. Socialists and traditionalists (or conservatives) both argued that colonies should be independent, sovereign states to be placed on equal footing in the international arena with the likes of France and the U.K. The arguments of these two worldviews largely won out, and when it came time to actually govern as sovereign entities, the blood started to flow.

Please, read the rest.

RCH: Grenada and the polarization of democratic society

I’ve been so busy enjoying Jacques’ series on immigration that I almost forgot to link to my latest over at RealClearHistory. A slice:

Grenada is a small island in the Caribbean about 100 miles to the north of Venezuela. The island gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1974 and held elections that year. In 1979, communists violently overthrew the democratically elected government of Grenada and installed a dictatorship. By 1983, infighting between communist factions produced yet another coup, and the leader of the first coup was murdered and replaced by a more hardline Marxist faction (the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation, or New JEWEL, movement). Pleas from democrats inside Grenada were heard by Reagan and he ordered the invasion of Grenada, which was bolstered by troops from most of Grenada’s neighbors. Today, Oct. 25 is celebrated in Grenada as Thanksgiving Day, in honor of the United States coming to the defense of Grenada’s fledgling democracy.

Please, read the rest.

Nightcap

  1. Legendary fart battles in the Samurai Era Richard Farrell, Vintage News
  2. The other side of Weimar (Germany) art David Bennun, 1843
  3. India’s ingenuous approach to life Christian Koch, BBC
  4. Revisiting the American Century Ronald Radosh, Claremont Review of Books