This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

President Donald Trump speaks to the White House conference on American History at the National Archives on Sept. 17, 2020.

(Image: AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

What Trump Is Missing About American History

Leslie M. Harris and Karin Wulf

Politico

On Thursday, Donald Trump waded into a version of an argument that we’ve heard for decades. “The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies,” Trump said an event at the National Archives. He accused universities and schools of “[rewriting] American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom.”

Trump’s immediate target was The 1619 Project of the New York Times, a collection of essays marking the first arrival of Africans in Virginia in 1619 and which sought to integrate slavery more deeply into the discussion of American history. The authors recently issued a school curriculum designed to promote more discussion in schools of slavery and its legacy of racism that continues to this day. A Times spokesperson, Danielle Rhoades Ha, defended the project, saying “it deepened many readers’ understanding of the nation’s past and forced an important conversation about the lingering effects of slavery, and its centrality to America’s story.” (Read more)

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This Week’s Top 5 Picks in International History and Diplomacy

Opinion | Trump's insulting the troops is just the latest episode of the 'nothing  matters' presidency - The Washington Post

(Image: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters)

Trump’s insulting the troops is just the latest episode of the ‘nothing matters’ presidency

Max Boot

Washington Post

At the end of James Michener’s Korean War novel, “The Bridges at Toko-Ri,” an admiral notes the bravery of aviators who are flying perilous missions against the enemy. “Where do we get such men?” he asks.

Apparently President Trump wonders the same thing — but not in a complimentary way. The Atlantic’s editor in chief, Jeffrey Goldberg, quotes Trump telling aides that the men and women who have given their lives for their country were “suckers” and “losers.” “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” he reportedly asked his then-homeland security secretary, retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, as the two men stood by the grave of Kelly’s son, who was killed in Afghanistan. Trump’s own view of the military seems to echo Sonny Corleone’s. In “The Godfather, Part II,” the mafia scion says of the men enlisting after Pearl Harbor: “They’re saps, because they risk their lives for strangers.” (Read more)

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