American Civil-Military Relations

by eea | Monday, June 18, 2018 - 12:00 PM

Why does the world’s strongest military willingly take orders from unarmed politicians who are unschooled in the logic of professional violence? In a world where “might makes right,” why doesn’t the American military insist on getting its own way in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill? Americans have become so comfortable with our exceptional norm that we fail to appreciate—or even recognize—the political puzzle we inhabit.

As Plato considered the design of a political community, he wrestled with the paradox of guarding the guardians. How can a community keep its protective force disciplined for the common good—“fierce to its enemies, but gentle to its friends?” In the United States, the guardians tend to guard themselves pretty well. Americans enjoy the luxury of a powerful and effective military that has no desire to involve itself in political rule. A strong sense of non-partisan subordination underwrites American military culture; it’s a point of pride among military members to serve whomever the people elect.

A noble professionalism therefore keeps the US military out of politics, but the practical expression of this professionalism takes varied forms in the daily grind of civil-military interaction. These varying expressions of professionalism are rooted in...Read More

Cold War Perspective on the North Korea Summit: Lessons from the Berlin Crisis

by eea | Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 8:00 AM

Cold War Perspective on the North Korea Summit: Lessons from the Berlin Crisis

Jenny Thompson and Sherry Thompson are the authors of The Kremlinologist: Llewellyn E Thompson, Ame rica's Man in Cold War Moscow , recently published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

A summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, inconceivable a few months ago, now offers the tantalizing possibility of solving one of the world’s major diplomatic challenges. Harsh rhetoric seemed to be leading the U.S. and North Korea into a situation where one of the two would have to face humiliating retreat or put their missiles where their mouths were. But then a meeting between South Korea and North Korea opened a door to a roller coaster ride of an on again off again summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un.

A meeting between Trump and Kim would have pleased the old-school diplomat nicknamed the “Cold War Owl.” Llewellyn Thompson served six presidents over a distinguished four plus decade career, including serving as Special Advisor on Soviet Affairs to both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He was on hand for most of the...Read More

Mental Health Resources from JHUP

by eea | Monday, June 11, 2018 - 2:58 PM

MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS

Mental health is something we should not take for granted. Depression, anxiety, mood disorders and other mental health issues impact the well being of millions of Americans everyday. Yet many of us don't know how to talk to each other about mental wellness. Below is a list of resources and texts aimed at promoting discussion and equiping readers with the facts and tools to fight for mental health. If you or a loved one suffers from depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues please know you are not alone. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Take care. Ask for help. Be Well.

Enter the code HTWN on our website to get 20% off any of these titles.

Explaining the basics of mental health—including sleep hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, routine and structure, and avoiding isolation— Managing Your Depression empowers people to participate in their own care, offering them a better chance of getting, and staying, well.

In her book, When Someone You Know Has Depression , Dr Noonan describes effective communication strategies to use during episodes...Read More

Northern Italy in the Roman World

by eea | Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 12:00 PM

I started writing this book , Northern Italy in the Roman World , with a question: what effects did the Roman Empire have on territories under its control? That question has been a mainstay of Roman studies for decades, and I was hoping to apply it to northern Italy, an area that has been relatively neglected in scholarship on the Roman Empire.

In attempting to answer that question, I encountered further questions. What did I mean when I spoke of the Roman Empire? Was it the Roman state? Was it a larger imperial system of emperors, administrators, soldiers, and economic infrastructure? If so, how did this system function, and did that system evolve over time? Combined evidence from ancient inscriptions, archaeological remains, literature, and material culture eventually suggested that the Roman Empire was a complex and ever-changing system. Correspondingly, the effects of the Roman Empire on territories under its control changed as the empire itself changed.

Those effects can be seen throughout northern Italy. A good example can be found about 70 miles from Venice, in the small town of Aquileia. While the town now has just over 3,300 inhabitants, in the Roman era it was one...Read More

Hydrocarbon Nation

by eea | Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 12:00 PM

As a political historian, my initial objective when writing Hydrocarbon Nation was simply to investigate the role that fossil fuels have played in influencing America’s political and economic advance. My sense was that although most environmentalists view these natural resources as fundamentally evil, in fact, they had been central to the rise of the United States as a global power. I spent a few years researching and writing about this before recognizing that in many ways the more incredible story was how a loss of energy security, presaged by the peaking of domestic oil production in 1970, revealed fundamental weaknesses in our governing model and eroded foundational norms that we had long cherished. This resulted in a partial redirection of the book project. Rather than focusing solely on writing a narrative examining how our hydrocarbon largesse was used within what I call the INNATE revolutions (INdustrial + N + Agricultural + Transportation + Electrification), I determined that it was necessary to chronicle the impact that reduced energy security had on contemporary politics. After working on this account for more than a year, it occurred to me that the book would still be incomplete without some serious...Read More