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Cynthia Wachtell
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Cynthia Wachtell is the author of "War No More: The Antiwar Impulse in American Literature, 1861-1914" and a research associate professor of American Studies and director of the S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program at Yeshiva University in New York City. She holds a PhD from Harvard in the History of American Civilization and a BA and MA from Yale in American Studies.

Entries by Cynthia Wachtell

Governor Cuomo's Faulty Math and Why He's Wrong About New York's Schools

(9) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 3:34 PM

I recently received a troubling message from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. It landed in my email inbox and was all too revealing. Oh, there was no nudity, not so much as a selfie in taut boxer shorts with a strategically placed Empire State Building. There was nothing naked about it,...

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No Place for Poetry on My Son's Common Core ELA Test

(7) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Despite its poetically alliterative name, the Common Core has little use for poetry. There was not one stand-alone poem this year on my seventh grade son's four-and-a-half-hour long New York State English language arts (ELA) test. I know because my son was counting.

Recently, in anticipation of the test, I...

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Public School Standardized Testing: Enough Is Enough for New York State Kids

(5) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 9:37 AM

Here is a modest proposal. Let's have private school students take the same standardized tests that public school students now take each year.

While we are at it, let's require private school teachers to be absent from their students' classrooms for the same number of days as...

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Ann Romney, Military Mom? No Romney Sons in Service and Mitt Dodged Vietnam

(48) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 11:59 AM

In the film Saving Private Ryan an American mother sends her four sons off to World War II and very nearly loses them all. Perhaps, Ann Romney should make a date with Netflix this Mother's Day.

I won't touch the recent flap-up about whether she has ever worked a day...

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Battle Hymn of the Pacifist Mom: A Mother's Day Peace Proclamation From Author of Battle Hymn of the Republic, Julia Ward Howe

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2011 | 8:52 PM

Last week, I received an email message from the Ploughshares Fund, a nuclear disarmament advocacy foundation, asking, "What does Mother's Day Mean to You?" Suspecting that the correct answer was something other than a dozen roses and a box of chocolates, I read on:

Over the years, we've...
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US Army Recruiters' Banquet at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas: Military Excess in the Shadow of the Alamo

(13) Comments | Posted November 29, 2010 | 10:57 PM

Recently I visited San Antonio, Texas for the first time. I even went to the Alamo. My taxi driver from the airport, a middle-aged fellow from Cyprus, warned me against it. He ranks the Alamo as the most disappointing tourist site in America and considers the historic standoff that took...

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An American Tradition of War and War Protest

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 5:11 PM

Next April, America will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. A few months later, in July, President Obama has promised to begin troop withdrawals from Afghanistan, signaling that war's long awaited end. And, of course, just weeks ago, on August 31, the President declared an...

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Sarah Palin's Hometown, Wasilla, Alaska: What Are They Reading? (PHOTOS)

(48) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 7:25 AM

Earlier this month I was in Alaska and could not resist the temptation to pay a visit to Wasilla, the home of the original Mama Grizzly.

I arrived on an overcast afternoon, and after watching the Wasilla Warriors practice football outside the high school, photographing a colorful "Guns and...

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