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The Edge of the American West

"History can save your ass."

This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.

The Chronicle Blog Network, a digital salon sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, features leading bloggers from all corners of academe. Content is not edited, solicited, or necessarily endorsed by The Chronicle.

Posts from The Edge of the American West


It’s time to shut down The Edge of the American West. It’s been a long run, and I’ve enjoyed it, but blogging has become less compelling over the last year or so. I want to stop before writing for Edge actively becomes a chore. The blog has already had a number of lives, and different…


The 100th anniversary of World War I is upon us, and for the next four years, there will be a flood of remembrances, celebrations, and lamentations. There will be books, web sites, and TV shows. Yours truly (self-aggrandizement warning!) is currently appearing on the History Channel in one of those…

The Southern Strategy

Jamelle Boule Bouie calls out the deceptiveness of conservatives noting that the Democrats have historically been the party of Jim Crow: The problem with Fund’s argument is that he takes these facts, divorces them from historical context, and spins them into an unconvincing indictment of the modern…

Burying the Lede

The Senate is paralyzed, Paul Kane of the Washington Post points out. Why? Personalities:

“A Sea of Women and Children”

(formerly Son of Putin Redux. Phrase from here)

Putin, Redux

Old Blood and Iron Himself Wait, you mean that Putin is now backing off Ukraine? Now that he’s sown chaos in Ukraine—but uneager to participate in someone else’s civil war—President Vladimir Putin has thrown the rebels under the bus. In June, rebel leader Igor Strelkov said that “Putin betrayed…

Don’t Know Much About...

President Obama is -- according to a recent survey -- the worst American President since World War II:

The “End of History”

Francis Fukuyama still doesn’t understand either.

The Dumbest F***ing Guy on the Planet

Is back, and Politico thinks that he’s worth quoting on Iraq:

I Don’t Know Is Not An Answer

Justin Wolfers gives David Brat a pass on a confession of ignorance: When an MSNBC interviewer asked David Brat, the economics professor at Randolph-Macon College who toppled Eric Cantor in a primary challenge Tuesday, whether he opposed the minimum wage, he responded on Wednesday, “Um, I don’t…
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