What We’re Reading: October 25, 2012

Today’s What We’re Reading features Decision 2012, a look at an underused lifeline for student debt, and a reflection on the life and career of George McGovern.

Decision 2012
The Presidential Debate of October 22, 2012
If you haven’t already, check out the final AHA roundtable on the presidential debates, with contributions from historians Carol Anderson, Elizabeth Borgwardt, Leila Fawaz, Max Paul Friedman, Richard H. Immerman, and Kenneth Pomeranz.

The Chronicle of Higher Education offers a revealing series on the academics advising President Barack Obama and presidential challenger Mitt Romney

Higher Education News
Calling Mary Poppins: Should Colleges Teach When Parents Don’t?
Claire Potter for Tenured Radical offers an insightful look at in loco parentis and the juxtaposition educational institutions face when dealing with ill-mannered students.

The Narrowing of the American Mind
Carol Gear Schneider, writing an op-ed for the Chronicle of Higher Education, discusses the problem with measuring higher education in terms of earning potential.

MOOCs: Excitement and Apprehension
Richard Wilson blogs for Alma Mater about his apprehensions to embrace the MOOC movement.

An Underused Lifeline
“Amid rising concern about student debt, fewer borrowers are taking advantage of the Education Department’s income-based repayment option—which lets them pay 15 percent of their monthly income toward federal student loans—than could benefit from it.”

History in the News
Professor Grumpy’s Historical Manifesto  
“Professor Grumpy” to his students: “Now—all this, I am sure is making some of you a bit uncomfortable. Good. History is meant to make you uncomfortable. Clio, the muse of history, is like Jesus: she brings not peace but a sword. She will make you rethink everything you think you know; everything you think you hold dear; she will make you question everything. Everything you were brought up with; everything you thought natural.”

And God Spoke to Abraham (Lincoln)
Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey on the New York Times Opinionator: “When Lincoln invoked the Almighty during his Second Inaugural, he tapped into the widespread sense in the North that something spiritual was happening during the war.” (Blum’s commentary for the AHA on the second presidential debate can be found here.)

U.S. Interior Department Names 27 New Landmarks
The U.S. Department of Interior has designated 27 new National Historic Landmarks, including homes of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Black Jack Battlefield, and the Denver Civic Center.

Fun with History
Man Who Witnessed Lincoln’s Assassination Was on a Game Show in 1956
DCist has uncovered video of a man who witnessed Lincoln’s assassination when he was a young boy on the CBS game show I’ve Got a Secret.

Clouds over Cuba
Marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the JFK Library has sponsored a documentary film chronicling the events of the crisis.

In Remembrance
A Prairie Liberal, Trounced but Never Silenced
The New York Times offers a look at the career of George McGovern, United States senator and former AHA member. In addition to the Times obit, Ben Alpers, writing for the United States Intellectual History blog, touches upon the various roles McGovern held—including historian and politician. 

Anna K. Nelson, AU History Professor
The Washington Post reflects on the life and career of Anna Nelson, historian of U.S. foreign relations.

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