Many public monuments in the United States depict people who have done hideously immoral things. Almost all depict morally imperfect people. If we accept that some statues should be left in place and some should be torn down, what principles determine which should be torn down?
Despite being over forty years old, Roger Errera's interview of philosopher Hannah Arendt in the New York Review of Books may be as timely as ever. Could something approaching totalitarianism be unfolding before us today—either in America or abroad? We hear echoes throughout the interview that may remind you of our current political situation.
Richard Fletcher was a rarity among historians. A medievalist, Fletcher published books on Anglo-Saxon England and Moorish and Christian Spain prior to the actual beginnings of the Reconquista in the 11th century (which is usually dated to the 8th century). Another of his impressive scholarly accomplishments was The Barbarian Conversion (1999), which looked at Christian missions into the dark heart of Europe between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Reformation, with an eye to happenings in the Eastern Roman Empire, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Last week saw the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, situated on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The project is the result of one half billion dollars in fundraising. Its dedication was attended by every living president, from James Carter, through a wheelchair bound George H.W. Bush, to a spry, and comparatively young, Barack Obama.