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Politics

Putin's Dirty War, Geopolitical Adjustments and Prospects for Future Wars, Part II

An examination of maps of Europe and Eurasia helps to understand Russia's geopolitical paranoia and its desire to conquer Ukraine, destabilize NATO and the EU and subvert democracy across the world. Russia is sandwiched between Europe's "full" or "flawed" democracies with which it shares a 2,665-mile-long border; and the United States and Japan,...Read more

Putin's Dirty War, Geopolitical Adjustments and Prospects for Future Wars, Part I

Back in March 2020, I commented on the possibility of new civil wars and international armed conflicts. Among the world's most explosive tensions with the potential to ignite into conflagrations I recognized Israel and Iran, India and Pakistan; North Korea and the United States and its Asian allies; and the United States and China over Taiwan. ...Read more

If History Is of Any Value: Revisiting March 2020, Part IV

My March 2020 column also offered prognostications on the worldwide political and geopolitical repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a rise in authoritarianism, a concomitant erosion of democracy, a spike in civil and human rights violations, intensification of popular protests and the explosion of new wars.

"Liberal democracy," I ...Read more

If History Is of Any Value: Revisiting March 2020, Part III

Precisely at the time when the experts quoted in the two previous parts of this column were being surveyed, I was writing the column "Pivotal Moment? What History Tells Us about COVID-19's Future Impact."

MY TWO CENTS' WORTH

Like my colleagues in other disciplines, I ventured into some general prognostications, which I called "potential ...Read more

If History Is of Any Value: Revisiting March 2020, Part 2

While some of the economic and geopolitical predictions of experts surveyed by Politico magazine, Foreign Affairs, Devex and The Guardian in March and April of 2020 materialized (and others did not), forecasts in matters of culture, particularly political culture and social values, were completely off the mark.

Yes, it is easier (albeit still ...Read more

If History Is of Any Value: Revisiting March 2020, Part I

One of my motivations for becoming a regular columnist and later going into syndication with Creators in 2020 was the realization that the COVID-19 pandemic would be a pivotal historical phenomenon with deep and long-lasting global ramifications. For the foreseeable future, I ascertained, there would be a lot to write about, and a historian's ...Read more

I Saw My Entire Life Flash Before My Eyes, Part III

You know the saying: "dog bites man" is not news, but "man bites dog" is. Years ago, I actually came across a true Miami Herald man-bites-dog story from 1996.

Such "weird" news stories have dotted newspapers for a long time, providing respite from news about crime, natural disasters, wars and politics. Several odd news stories caught my ...Read more

I Saw My Entire Life Flash Before My Eyes, Part II

My time-travel adventure at the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room of the Library of Congress felt like binge-watching reruns of old newscasts. It brought back memories of stories going back to the 1960s -- the man on the moon (1969), hijackings of passenger airplanes to Cuba (1970s) and the Clintons' failed attempt to pass health ...Read more

I Saw My Entire Life Flash Before My Eyes, Part I

It has long been said that people see their entire lives flash before their eyes at the moment of death. The case of Swiss geologist Albert Heim is well known. One hundred and thirty years ago, following a mountain-climbing accident, which he survived, Heim reported seeing his life replayed as he was falling. Hollywood has often resorted to this...Read more

Would You Like to Have Coffee with this Author? Part IV

Two more Caribbean authors and a few final cups of coffee and tea; first in Puerto Rico, thence back to Trinidad.

He is best known as a statesman and politician, but Puerto Rico's first elected governor, Luis Munoz Marin, was also a gifted writer (in English and in Spanish). While his poems were, at best, second rate -- "Her hair was as the ...Read more

Would You Like to Have Coffee with this Author? Part III

I invite my history students to have coffee with several other Caribbean authors -- metaphorically, of course. Rather than historians, most are literary figures whose careers straddle between fiction and nonfiction (and between poetry and prose); authors like Nobel laureates V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad) and Derek Walcott (St. Lucia), Carlos Franqui...Read more

 

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Taylor Jones David Fitzsimmons John Darkow Kirk Walters Bart van Leeuwen Lisa Benson