history Archives - Ethics & Public Policy Center

Columbus Day: Accuracy & Public Honor Can Co-Exist

Columbus’ legacy is as important as ever today because it reminds us that historical accuracy and public honor are not mutually exclusive. While recognizing Columbus’s imperfections, we can also honor the good he passed down to us.

In Defense of Saints and Statues

The mob-led campaign to erase Father Junipero Serra illustrates the problem with the crusade against public monuments.

Glory Days

Napoleon’s latest biographer manages to do justice both to Napoleon’s achievements without flattery and to his grave flaws without invocations of totalitarian oppression or genocidal mania.

A Century After the Armistice

As a military matter, World War I may have ended a century ago. The devastating cultural effects of the Great War are still being felt today, though.

Civil Discourse and the Fate of Republics

All political conduct in a republic depends on a common reverence for the forms and norms and procedures of public life—including the institution of public assembly. Where disrespect or disregard for the form of political life exists, fundamental breakdown is likely to follow.

Shall We Have Civil War or Second Thoughts?

Have we reached the tilting point on the subject of race? Americans don’t quite know anymore what they mean when they say “we.”

Paradise Recycled

The lives of 19th-century utopians were more interesting than the utopias they imagined.

Did an Ancient Greek Anticipate Trump?

Heraclitus’ view of the world in constant flux found echoes in Hegel and now in the president.

Two Washington Women

Dovey Johnson Roundtree, an accomplished lawyer who died recently at 104, and the victim in her most famous case were a fascinatingly contrasted American pair.

Profane Reality, Sacred Memory

Fifty years after his death, Bobby Kennedy remains a case study of the “Euhemeristic” process at work in the modern American framework of religion, politics, celebrity, all mingled—a vivid man in passage from the intense, profane reality of his time to the realms of sacred memory.