- Historic Sites
Frederic Smoler has been teaching literature and history at Sarah Lawrence College since 1987; focusing on intellectual and literary history in Europe. He is the Adda Bozeman Chair in International Relations. In addition to his contributions to American Heritage, Smoler also writes for First of the Month, The Nation, and The Observer.
Articles by this Contributor
VINTAGE 1929 Gallows Humor from the First October Catastrophe
A lifelong student of military history and affairs says that nuclear weapons have made the idea of war absurd. And it is precisely when everyone agrees that war is absurd that one gets started.
Slam Marshall, who is regarded as one of our great military historians, looked into the heart of combat and discovered a mystery there that raised doubts about the fighting quality of U.S. troops. But one GI thought he was a liar…
What the past tells of America’s role in the current crisis is sometimes contradictory—but always worth listening to
Those who believe America’s power is on the wane look to the example of Britain’s shockingly quick collapse. But the similarities may be less alarming than they seem.
The fiercest struggle going on in education is about who owns the past. Militant multi-culturalists say that traditional history teaching has brushed out minority ethnic identities. Their opponents say that radical multiculturalism leads toward national fragmentation.
For years people have argued that France had the real revolution and that ours was mild by comparison. But now a powerful new book says the American Revolution was the most sweeping in all history. It alone established a pure commercial culture—a culture that makes America the universal society we are today.
A long-time Republican-party insider and close student of its past discusses how the party has changed over the years—for better and for worse —and where it may be headed.
A historian of the ancient world believes that in every era humankind has reacted to the demands of waging war in surprisingly similar ways, and that to protect our national interests today Americans must understand the choices soldiers and statesmen made hundreds and even thousands of years ago
Why do we need a national nonprofit membership society for American history?
“Save America’s Treasures” has been totally eliminated—the largest Federal program supporting preservation of such treasures as the original Star Spangled Banner and George Washington’s tent.
65% of Americans don’t know what happened at the Constitutional Convention, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
The “Teaching American History” grants—the largest Federal program supporting history education—have been completely eliminated.
Visits to the Top 20 Civil War battlefields have dropped in half from 1970 to 2009 according to official National Park Service statistics.
40% of Americans can’t identify whom we fought in World War II, according to a recent survey by Newsweek.
A quarter of Americans believe Congress shares power over U.S. foreign policy with the United Nations, according to a recent Annenberg survey.
“There is little that is more important for an American citizen to know than the history and traditions of his country,” John F. Kennedy wrote in American Heritage.
The “We the People Program,” which touched some 30 million students and 90,000 teachers over 25 years, has been completely eliminated.
Two-thirds of Americans could not correctly name Yorktown as the last major military action of the American Revolution, according to a recent national Gallup survey.
The National Heritage Areas and Scenic Byways program, the only major Federal program encouraging visits to historic places, has been completely eliminated in Congressional committee.