Washington Evening Star


Black and White Shot Through with Red: Poet Claude McKay Brings the Harlem Renaissance to the Soviet Union

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At the confluence of the period of racial violence known as Red Summer (1919) and the first Red Scare (1917-1920), Jamaica-born poet and journalist Claude McKay merged black anger with radical politics in his most well-known poem, “If We Must Die.”

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McKay’s sonnet initially appeared in the July 1919 issue of The Liberator, a radical socialist magazine published in New York City from 1918-24 by Max and Crystal Eastman. The fame and impact of “If We Must Die” was such that it was soon reprinted as a rallying cry in other progressive magazines such as the September 1919 issue of The Messenger, available in African American Periodicals, 1825-1995.

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Black and White Shot Through with Red: Poet Claude McKay Brings the Harlem Renaissance to the Soviet Union

Sifting the Ashes of Counterinsurgency: The Role of America’s Phoenix Program in the Vietnam War

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Fifty years ago the North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive, a multi-pronged military campaign that underscored South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu’s inability to protect his country’s urban areas from attack.

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Although the assaults were eventually repulsed, the heightened focus on the defense of South Vietnamese cities exposed rural areas to greater infiltration by the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) cadre, consisting of civilians and paramilitary personnel collaborating with the communist North.

America formalized the Phoenix Program in 1967 as a means of addressing just this eventuality. Through a melding of rural development with intelligence gathering and targeted detention and killing of suspected Viet Cong, they hoped to turn the tide of the war to the South and democracy.

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Sifting the Ashes of Counterinsurgency: The Role of America’s Phoenix Program in the Vietnam War

Better Learning, Better Classrooms: Why Newspapers Matter

rapt.jpgAlmost every week I’m asked, “How can we use historical newspapers to teach undergraduates?”

Great question!

Mostly it’s faculty who come to me asking for this advice, but librarians wonder about this, too.

Faculty (mostly professors of history, politics, government, and cultural studies) want to be sure their students have an experience in which they truly “touch history.” There’s also a strong desire to have students work directly with primary sources and draw their own conclusions from the materials they encounter. The objective is to instill knowledge, understanding, and critical-thinking skills. That’s a formula, they all agree, for student success.

Historical newspapers, including Readex’s own America's Historical Newspapers, hit the target in every respect. Here are just a few of the ways:

► Students cannot truly understand an event in America’s past without seeing firsthand and in real-time what people said about it. Newspapers are the only certain vehicle for this.

►Newspapers capture “the voice of the moment,” unprocessed, unfiltered, direct, and raw. Students instantly grasp this fact, which drives interest and excitement. Sometimes it even leads to great student papers and presentations!

►Newspapers offer multiple points of view, often across a time span of many days or months or years. They fit perfectly with assignments that require pro-and-con analysis. They also fit perfectly with assignments that ask students to synthesize multiple arguments across time. Newspapers provide most—and sometimes all—of the material a student needs.

Better Learning, Better Classrooms: Why Newspapers Matter

If a Tree Falls in the Demilitarized Zone: Operation Paul Bunyan Pits a Poplar against Pyongyang

The “Bridge of No Return” doesn’t look like much today: four waist-high blue bollards at the eastern end stand guard over grass growing through the cracked roadway. A weathered sign reads, “Military Demarcation Line” in English and Korean. The bridge’s railings are surely inadequate to prevent some desperate soul from leaping into the shallow river below. At the western end a low concrete wall hints that the last pedestrian or vehicle passed over the span long ago.

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As often happens in real estate, location is everything. This bridge spans the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) in Panmunjom, the United Nations Joint Security Area between North and South Korea, in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The DMZ is a heavily fortified and closely monitored strip of land 151 miles long and 2.5 miles wide that approximates the 38th parallel of latitude. The MDL represents the cease-fire line of a war that has been unresolved since 1953. Those who were repatriated across this bridge acknowledged that they could never go back whence they came; theirs was a one-way trip.

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In 1993, protected by a heavily armed Secret Service escort, President Bill Clinton walked over this bridge to within about ten feet of the MDL, scrutinized all the while by North Korean soldiers armed with AK-47s. Obviously President Clinton lived to record this excursion in his memoirs, but on August 18, 1976, two American servicemen supervising a landscaping detail nearby were not so fortunate.

If a Tree Falls in the Demilitarized Zone: Operation Paul Bunyan Pits a Poplar against Pyongyang

Fostering Understanding—and Children: Pearl S. Buck Interprets China for Americans and Chinese Alike

<p> <img alt="15742519179_bd4670e6ab_b.jpg" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/15742519179_bd4670e6ab_b.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 556px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Pearl Buck's bestselling novel The Good Earth (1931)" /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Pearl S. Buck inhabited many roles over the course of her life. Following the publication of her bestselling novel <em>The Good Earth </em>in 1931 she was widely known as a writer who crafted a compelling narrative of life in a Chinese village. After she won a Pulitzer Prize for that book in 1932, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938, she was regarded as a celebrity and a public intellectual as well.</p> <p align="center"> &nbsp;<img alt="Buck 2.png" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/Buck%202.png" style="width: 425px; height: 475px;" title="Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), November 10, 1938" /></p> <p> To many women she was a beacon of the equal rights movement; for many mixed-race children she was quite simply a savior. To the Chinese among whom she lived she was <em>Sai Zhenzhu </em>(賽珍珠, Chinese for &ldquo;Precious Pearl&rdquo;). The communists feared and hated her, but her reputation has since been reappraised and her homes in China are now tourist attractions.</p> <p>
Fostering Understanding—and Children: Pearl S. Buck Interprets China for Americans and Chinese Alike

Assignment in Dystopia: Revisiting Eugene Lyons’ Critique of Russia’s October Revolution on the Occasion of Its Centenary

<p> <img alt="Lyons 1.png" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/Lyons%201.png" style="width: 349px; height: 521px; display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="&quot;Assignment in Utopia&quot; (1937), Eugene Lyons’ second book based on his tenure in the Soviet Union, attracted the attention of writers such as George Orwell and Leon Trotsky." /></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In 1967 author and journalist Eugene Lyons published an article in the <em>Washington</em> <em>Evening Star </em>under the headline, &ldquo;Freedom Came to Russians on this Day 50 Years Ago.&rdquo; A bit of math would place that momentous event in 1917; surely he&rsquo;s referring to the &ldquo;Great October&rdquo; revolution?</p> <p class="rtecenter"> <img alt="Lyons 2.png" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/Lyons%202.png" style="width: 550px; height: 370px;" title="Evening Star (Washington, DC), March 12, 1967, Page 38." /></p> <p> No, his dateline is March 12, and the revolution he&rsquo;s commemorating is the one that actually resulted in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the collapse of the Romanov dynasty. By Lyons&rsquo; reckoning, the true Russian revolution occurred in February (following the Russian Orthodox Julian calendar, which would place it in March according to the Gregorian calendar used in the West).</p> <p> In his article, Lyons took severe issue with the Soviet mythology surrounding the October (Bolshevik) revolution that literally wiped out the most liberal government Russia had ever known, writing:</p> <blockquote> <p style="margin-left:.5in;">
Assignment in Dystopia: Revisiting Eugene Lyons’ Critique of Russia’s October Revolution on the Occasion of Its Centenary

Lifting the Bamboo Curtain: The Rise and Fall of “Guided Democracy” and the Indonesian Communist Party

<p> Consider for a moment the plight of Indonesia&rsquo;s leaders in 1945: how to establish a national identity in a country spread across more than 13,000 islands, featuring hundreds of languages and ethnic groups, all in a precarious balance between the military, Muslims, and communists?</p> <p align="center"> <img alt="Indo 1.png" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/Indo%201.png" style="width: 550px; height: 377px;" title="From the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. (Serial Set No. 11898, Session Vol. No. 2 84th Congress, 2nd Session, H. Rpt. 2147, Page 130. Map No. 20. May 10, 1956)" /></p> <p> During Indonesia&rsquo;s struggle to break free from over 300 years of Dutch colonial rule, and then from Japanese military occupation following World War II, early attempts to govern through parliamentary democracy became synonymous with corruption and bureaucratic paralysis. Between 1950 and 1959 there were seven attempts to build coalition governments, the last culminating in a period of martial law. Clearly a new approach was needed.</p> <p align="center"> <img alt="Indo 1b.png" src="https://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/var/www/vhosts/readex.com/httpdocs/sites/default/files/blog/Indo%201b.png" style="width: 136px; height: 460px;" title="Washington Evening Star, December 29, 1956. Page 1" /></p> <p>
Lifting the Bamboo Curtain: The Rise and Fall of “Guided Democracy” and the Indonesian Communist Party

Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

<p><a href="http://www.readex.com/readex-report/issue/volume-9-issue-1" target="_blank"><strong>IN THIS ISSUE:</strong></a> A stirring look at an iconic abolitionist, the triumphant return of a renowned revolutionary, and a dead poet transmits verses via a mendacious medium.</p><p><a href="http://www.readex.com/readex-report/life-and-times-frederick-douglass-an... target="_blank">The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in Anacostia (Washington, D.C.) as told in the Washington Evening Star</a><br /><em>By John Muller, author of </em>Frederick Douglass in Washington, D.C.: The Lion of Anacostia</p><p><br /><a href="http://www.readex.com/readex-report/life-and-times-frederick-douglass-an... target="_blank"><strong>
Just published—The Readex Report: February 2014

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

NPR has reported that Carl Bernstein, the investigative journalist renowned for his work with Bob Woodward in uncovering the Watergate scandal, will be publishing a memoir about his formative years at the Washington Evening Star

“My understanding of journalism, and the world I've covered and written about, and the life I've led, crystallized in those five incomparable years at a uniquely great newspaper,” Bernstein wrote in a recent press release. 

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

A Crazy Verdict (as seen in the Washington Evening Star)

<p dir="ltr">Look for this new Readex advertisement in the fall 2013 issue of <em>Documents to the People, </em>the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA).</p><blockquote><p><br /><a href="http://www.readex.com/sites/default/files/DttP%20Fall%202013.pdf" target="_blank">
A Crazy Verdict (as seen in the Washington Evening Star)

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