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Book Review: Death of an Assassin by Ann Marie Ackerman

For the second time in a year, I’ve had book encounters with 19th century European assassins who eventually fled to the United States and began new lives under different names. The first was Sergei Degaev, who assassinated the chief of Tsar Nicholas’s security organization in 1883. Sixteen years later he would become a popular professor […]

American regression

Every day the onslaught continues, more and more straw falling on the camel’s back. And Trump lending aid and comfort to Nazis and racists is just further evidence that we’re backsliding from decades-old principles. This is especially so when both he and Congress want to deprive millions of health insurance and make sure corporations and […]

Book Review: Crowns in Conflict by Theo Aronson

While reading Theo Aronson’s Crowns in Conflict: The Triumph and Tragedy of European Monarchy 1910-1918, an essentially biographic approach to World War I’s effect on Europe’s monarchies, I often thought of another book I read years ago. The Fall of Eagles, C.L.Suzberger’s account of the fall of the Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Romanov dynasties, was on […]

Immigration discrimination is an American tradition

Millions of us are appalled by Trump’s Muslim refugee ban. I’m equally appalled that so many of those who claim “a war on Christmas” is proof of religious persecution see no problem with this ban. Yet the fact is there’s a long history of discrimination in American immigration policy. As Savannah Cox recently wrote:

Denying […]

South Dakota’s socialist experiment

The last couple months revealed a gap in my education: South Dakota history. Granted, I know the basics — the Homestead Act, sod homes, Indian tribes and treaties, the railroads, agriculture, the Dirty Thirties, meatpacking, credit cards. But I’ve never had a South Dakota history course and it became apparent when I learned South Dakota […]

From 19th Century Russian terrorist to South Dakota college professor

As an initial aside, this post embodies what one can learn learn from just one sentence in a book.

While reading The Romanovs, a nearly 800 page tome on the dynasty that ruled Russia for four centuries, there was a paragraph on page 465 about the head of the Narodnaya Volyaan (“People’s Will”), a terrorist […]