Historian’s Corner

VDH UltraAssaults on the Idea of America and Ignorance of the Fragility of the United States

As the 2020 election season began, the New York Times, promised its readers a recalibration of American history called “The 1619 Project.” The ensuing series of essays and media kits had a twofold agenda. One was to rewrite the origins of American history as the four-century foreign intrusion into a pristine North America. It was …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part Six:

Were There Really Two Opposing Alliances? As we noted, from June 25, 1940, to December 7, 1941, there were not formal “Allies.” The British-Western European alliance, such as it had been, disappeared with the fall of France in June 1940 and the appeasement or absorption of all of Western Europe. True, Britain encouraged and aided …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part Five:

Was Britain Really the Weak Allied Partner? Wars are not always just conflicts of men and materiel; will and principles weigh in as well. In this context, the moral leadership of Britain during World War II proved invaluable to the Allied cause, even if it was often guided at times by imperial concerns. Britain was …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part Four:

One-Dimensional Versus Global War If in 1939–41, Moscow had sent Nazi Germany huge deliveries of cereals, wheat, soybeans, 100,000 tons of cotton, nearly a million tons of oil and ores and minerals essential to German industry, it would be unable to divert some of such aid to its new friends in its new fight against …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part Three:

Did the Soviet Union Really “win” the war? There is something amoral in even posing such a question given the horrendous loss of Russian life resisting Nazi aggression. Superlatives are exhausted when describing the four-year-long Eastern Front between June 22, 1941 and the surrender of Nazi forces to the Soviets on May 9, 1945. While …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part Two:

How Did Germany Lose a War It Had Won? At the dawn of 1941, there was no expectation in Moscow that Germany would violate the tense but still very much viable August 23, 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, or that the U.S. would intervene on Britain’s side. The U.S.S.R. was eager to stay out of any second …

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VDH UltraHistorian’s Corner: Some Mythologies of World War II: Part One:

Did Germany Win the World Wars Before It Started a New One? “World War II,” or the Anglicized “Second World War,” began formally on September 1, 1939 when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. It ended officially with the surrender of the Japanese on September 2, 1945 on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo …

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VDH UltraWhen Citizenship Dies: Part Four

An Afghanistan Postscript There are real foreign policy consequences for a society adrift from its origins and foundational principles of citizenship. So, it was only a matter of time until the US had a rendezvous with tragedy abroad given the unhinged assumptions it was operating upon at home. I list a few symptoms, in no …

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VDH UltraWhen Citizenship Dies: Part Three

Victor Davis Hanson // Historian’s Corner All of these ad hoc challenges share a common symptom, the steady erosion of the chief tenets of citizenship. The diminution of the middle class, the porousness of our borders, and the dangerous idea that race is incidental not essential to who we are, occur almost organically. It is …

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VDH UltraWhen Citizenship Dies: Part Two

Victor Davis Hanson // Historian’s Corner Yet rarely do we connect America’s malaise, its divisions, and its obsessions with national decline, to a loss of citizenship—the original glue that once held together the American experiment. Perhaps we assume that a “citizen” is a natural concept that arose organically with the ascent of civilization itself. It …

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