Today’s What We’re Reading features thoughts on how film can make a historian’s work better, a summary of the “relevance of history” forum, the Redskins controversy reemerges from an unlikely source, LOL my Thesis, and much more!
Now available at Perspectives on History online, Robert Brent Toplin, longtime editor of Perspectives’ popular Masters at the Movies series, offers his take on 12 Years a Slave, which will likely be an Oscar contender in February.
As we lift the pay gate on Michael Kazin’s contribution to the Masters at the Movies series, I’m reminded of how deeply the public mind has absorbed Frank Capra’s masterfully crafted image of the heroic filibuster from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. As readers are no doubt aware, the US Senate is in the throes of an unprecedented number of filibusters. President Obama and others have remarked that a simple majority is no longer sufficient for legislation to pass—that the only vote count which really counts is the supermajority required to break a filibuster.
Two of our favorite columns in Perspectives on History are being expertly filled this month by David Lowenthal and Michael Kazin, writing for the Art of Historyand the Masters at the Movies series, respectively. We are also exploring a new column, Thinking Historically, with an essay by Susan Ferber on Hurricane Sandy, and we have two articles in our Teaching section—Jeremy Adelman on the massive open online course (MOOC) he taught at Princeton, and Mart A. Stewart on the history class he took to Vietnam.