AHA Leadership > From the Executive Director

AHA Addresses Historical Issues in Supreme Court DOMA Case

The American Historical Association has joined a group of individual distinguished historians in signing an amicus brief in US v. Windsor, a case before the Supreme Court contesting the validity of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). As is so often the case in legal contexts, the details can get lost in the swirl of broader issues and we want to clarify some important aspects of the AHA’s decision.

Recasting History? Further Comments on the Ongoing Discussion

Editorial note: Responding to a report by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) on reading assignments at two Texas universities, Elaine Carey, AHA vice president, Teaching Division, and James Grossman, AHA executive director, wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education that attracted a response from, among others, Samuel Goldman writing for the American Conservative.

February 5, 2013

Obama and His Historians: A Suggestion

As a historian, not to mention as the executive director of the AHA, I was pleased to read in the New York Times yesterday that President Obama listens to historians and discusses history but is “no history buff.” He appears to be serious in thinking about the past and how he can learn from it, rather than being merely satisfied with a handful of anecdotes. Moreover, he certainly included distinguished and thoughtful scholars in the sessions described in this article.

AHA Roundtable: The Presidential Debate of October 22, 2012

Last night’s debate began with a reference to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.   My inner (or perhaps not so inner) AHA geek immediately jumped to recent efforts to make accessible to the public government documents relating to that event that are still classified.  But I also was drawn to recent reflections (here, and here) on whether flawed historical interpretations have yielded equally flawed policy lessons – conventional wisdoms that were on display once again last night.  It’s all about manhood and steely resolve, rather then the subtleties and occasional humility of collaboration and negotiation.