What We’re Reading: May 14, 2009 Edition

Monroe County Historical Museum Civil WarWe’re not even halfway through 2009, but it’s already budget request time (FY 2010) for the Obama administration. See what the president has requested for NEH, then visit the National Coalition for History’s web site for complete coverage of which institutions may see budget increases. Speaking of funds, according to Inside Higher Ed, lack of them is causing some faculty to postpone retirement. In other news, Louisiana State University Press is in trouble, JSTOR has posted 5,900 new pamphlets, and the Monroe County Historical Museum seeks to highlight one of their resident’s participation in the Civil War. Finally, read a response to a NYT article on history and torture, check out an excerpt of a new book on Alger Hiss, and review the recent history of the Hubble Space Telescope.

  • President Obama requests $171.315 million for NEH in FY 2010
    On Thursday of last week, the White House released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget request for the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Obama administration’s proposal calls for a FY 2010 budget of $171.315 million for NEH, an increase of $16.3 million over the FY 2009 enacted level. Also see the National Coalition for History’s coverage of the Obama administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget requests.
  • Staying on the Job
    Inside Higher Ed reports on a survey of faculty retirement trends by TIAA-CREF that confirms our anecdotal evidence that some older faculty plan to continue teaching until their retirement portfolios improve.
  • Louisiana State U. Press Might Get the Axe
    Jennifer Howard at the Chronicle reports the future health of Louisiana State University Press, one of the most distinguished publishers of U.S. Southern history, is in grave danger due to university budget cuts.
  • New Content Added to 19th-Century British Pamphlets
    Approximately 5,900 new pamphlets have been added to the JSTOR archive as part of the LSE Selected Pamphlets. These selected pamphlets cover political party materials, including election manifestos and political cartoons. There are also collections from pressure groups such as the Fabian Society, Imperial Federation Defence Committee, Poor Law Reform Association, Workhouse Visiting Society, Liberal and Property Defence League, and from cooperative movements such as the Cooperative Women’s Guild collections. (Text from a JSTOR Update)
  • Forgotten Civil War History in Michigan
    Colonel Norman Hall of Monroe County in Michigan played a significant role in both the attack on Fort Sumter and the victory at Gettysburg. Dave Ingall of the Monroe County Historical Museum hopes to commemorate their local Civil War hero, who died shortly after the war at age 30.
  • American Torture: No Sense of History, No Sense of Tragedy
    William Astore, a retired lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Air Force, responds to a recent New York Times article, “In Adopting Harsh Tactics, No Look at Past Use”, which discusses the Bush administration’s neglect and omission of American history. More specifically, he responds to the administration’s use of waterboarding in 2002, which “the U.S. had defined […] as torture and prosecuted it as a war crime after World War II.”
  • Alger Hiss and the Battle for History
    Read an excerpt from the first chapter of Susan Jacoby’s new book, Alger Hiss and the Battle for History, where she explores the infamous Hiss-Chambers trials of the 1940s and 50s.
  • A Hubble History
    “It all began at 3:38 p.m. on April 25, 1990, when astronaut Steven Hawley, operating the shuttle Atlantis’s robot arm, released the Hubble Space Telescope into open space as the orbiter and its costly payload sailed 381 miles (613 kilometers) above the Pacific Ocean just west of Ecuador.” The rest is space history.

Contributors: Arnita A. Jones, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

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