The United States is Not a Miracle

One of the points that Richard Dreyfuss hammered home the other day was the idea that “America is a miracle.”  He never got around to explaining what he meant, but I suspect that most people in the room agreed.  For most Americans I assume that some version of this claim is taken as a given. …

Continue reading

The Richard Dreyfuss Show

A few months ago I commented on actor Richard Drefyuss’s new crusade of working to introduce civics back into the high school curriculum.  I did not know at that time that he would be speaking at my school.  Well, today was the big day and I thought I might share a few observations.  Let me…

Continue reading

“The Mythology of Hard War”

This is the final week of my survey course on the American Civil War.  One of the subjects we’ve been looking at is the introduction of what Mark Grimsley describes as “Hard War” policy by the United States in 1864.  The class was assigned a section of Grimsley’s book, Hard Hand of War: Union Military…

Continue reading

Virginia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial Arrives in the Classroom

From the beginning of its formation, one of the central goals for the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission has been educational outreach.  It is doing this in a number of ways from organizing conferences to creating mobile exhibits that will travel throughout the state between 2011 and 2015.  Included in this is the creation of educational materials…

Continue reading