iOS app Android app

Joseph A. Palermo
GET UPDATES FROM Joseph A. Palermo
Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento. Professor Palermo's most recent book is The Eighties (Pearson 2012). He has also written two other books: In His Own Right: The Political Odyssey of Senator Robert F. Kennedy (Columbia, 2001); and Robert F. Kennedy and the Death of American Idealism (Pearson, 2008). Before earning a Master's degree and Doctorate in History from Cornell University, Professor Palermo completed Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master's degree in History from San Jose State University. His expertise includes the 1980s; political history; presidential politics and war powers; social movements of the 20th century; the 1960s; and the history of American foreign policy. Professor Palermo has also written articles for anthologies on the life of Father Daniel Berrigan, S.J. in The Human Tradition in America Since 1945 (Scholarly Resources Press, 2003); and on the Watergate scandal in Watergate and the Resignation of Richard Nixon (CQ Press, 2004).

Entries by Joseph A. Palermo

The Gary Webb Story: Still Killing the Messenger

(1) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 7:54 PM

Few things are better at getting the word out about a past injustice than a Hollywood movie and Kill the Messenger starring Jeremy Renner and directed by Michael Cuesta does so with depth and drama. For the first time the true story about the courageous investigative...

Read Post

Students of Jefferson County Colorado Give the Nation a History Lesson

(2) Comments | Posted September 28, 2014 | 10:26 PM

When high school students in Jefferson County, Colorado walked out in protest against the right-wingers on the school board who purged their history curriculum of content they deemed "unpatriotic" they probably learned more in a week of direct action than they could...

Read Post

Ken Burns' 'The Roosevelts' Reveals Everything Wrong With Our Current Political Class

(17) Comments | Posted September 21, 2014 | 8:39 PM

Ken Burns' seven-part PBS series on the lives of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, is a remarkable achievement. Burns sheds a poignant new light on the personal and public lives of three monumental figures in 20th Century American history. And in doing so,...

Read Post

The Real Winners (and Losers) in America's New War Against ISIL

(14) Comments | Posted September 12, 2014 | 3:21 PM

Che Guevara famously called for "one, two, many Vietnams!" The idea was that constant warfare around the globe could at some point bleed dry the United States. Today, we hear similar calls for "one, two, many Iraqs!" Yet these noises aren't coming from a charismatic socialist revolutionary but from American...

Read Post

Ferguson, Missouri: Opening Up Old Wounds

(6) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 6:49 PM

It's difficult to write about the racial and political implications of the killing in Ferguson, Missouri, of an unarmed African-American teenager, Michael Brown, at the hands of a white police officer without rehashing what has been said a million times. When the inevitable incidents of police brutality or racially-tinged violence...

Read Post

It Can Be Done: Negotiate an End to the Siege in Gaza

(8) Comments | Posted July 25, 2014 | 7:10 PM

The gutless American political class has abdicated its responsibility for the actions of the Israel Defense Forces. Few people living in the Middle East or anywhere else make the distinction between the United States and Israel, nor should they with all those weapons stamped "made in the USA." It's supremely...

Read Post

Iraq and the Neocons: The Sequel

(161) Comments | Posted June 18, 2014 | 8:43 AM

It makes perfect sense that out of the horrors of the war in Iraq a resistance army would arise that is far more pernicious, ruthless, and fanatical than the original enemy the US sought to defeat. The level of sectarian violence Iraq has experienced from 2003...

Read Post

Smearing Private Bergdahl: the Republican Right Descends to a New Low

(68) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 8:32 AM

I thought Karl Rove's 2004 Swift Boating of John Kerry's Vietnam service record in the US Navy was pretty disgusting, but the recent smears against President Barack Obama for winning Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release have descended to a new low. Instead of rejoicing in the homecoming...

Read Post

The FCC, Net Neutrality, and Corporate Power

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 5:55 PM

With the Federal Communications Commission's proposed rule changes that could sound the death knell for Net Neutrality, context matters. And the context within which citizens must operate who want to defend a free and open Internet is one of relentless corporate lobbying and political power.

Read Post

Welcome to "Post-Racial" America

(77) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 5:41 PM

On November 5, 2008, the day after the country elected its first African-American president, an op-ed appeared in the Los Angeles Times written by the conservative black academic Shelby Steele titled "Obama's Post-Racial Promise." In it Steele asks: "Doesn't a black in the White House put the lie to both...

Read Post

The CIA Is Not a Fourth Branch of Government

(123) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 4:08 PM

John F. Kennedy once said he wanted to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds." He reached that conclusion after CIA officials, including Director Allen Dulles, had misled him on many of the planning details of the disastrous April 1961 Bay of...

Read Post

Plutocrats Despising the Poor: An American Tradition

(168) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 3:39 PM

It's not surprising that greater numbers of Americans these days tell pollsters they believe corporate CEOs are grossly overpaid, or that they support an increase in the minimum wage, or agree with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren's proposal to open an alternative banking system through the U.S....

Read Post

'President Chris Christie': How Does That Sound Now?

(110) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 8:11 AM

Just when you think you've seen everything in American politics another story line develops where fact is wilder than fiction. From the time he was first elected New Jersey governor in 2010, the corporate media gave mad love to Chris Christie. He was a "new" kind of Republican...

Read Post

Maybe It's Time to Find a New Word for "Reform"

(77) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 1:58 PM

George Orwell famously examined the malleability of political language in the hands of society's rich and powerful. "Political language," he wrote, "is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." Throw in the innovations and conscious attempts to manipulate...

Read Post

The Times Acknowledges the U.S. Invasion of Iraq Unleashed a Sectarian Bloodbath

(4) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 6:07 PM

It's always intriguing when the Newspaper of Record, even tacitly and buried inside an article, acknowledges that a U.S. policy it once trumpeted as vital to the nation's security turned out to be an unmitigated disaster.

In a front-page, above-the-fold piece that features Michael Gordon as one...

Read Post

The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Part Three): Legacies

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 12:01 AM

During this 50th anniversary season, there has been a flourish of commentary in the mainstream news and entertainment media about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Publishers and producers know a good story when they see one. The New York Times editor, Jill Abramson, laments Kennedy's blurry...

Read Post

The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (Part Two): Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 4:19 PM

On November 24, 1963, when Jack Ruby gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas police station he lit the fuse of what became fifty years of controversy. Had a jury convicted Oswald for the murder of President Kennedy in a legal proceeding that was perceived to...

Read Post

The 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Part One)

(36) Comments | Posted November 8, 2013 | 10:26 PM

As the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy grows nearer the inability of the Establishment news media to consider fairly the facts in the case remains as pronounced as it was during previous commemorations. In trying to explain why opinion polls have shown for decades now...

Read Post

Now Who Is the Real "Narcissist"? Edward Snowden or the NSA?

(168) Comments | Posted November 3, 2013 | 5:50 PM

In an informative lead story in Sunday's New York Times, "No Morsel Too Miniscule For All-Consuming N.S.A.," Scott Shane describes the scale of the National Security Agency's eavesdropping on the world's communications. Based on the revelations of Edward Snowden the article sheds light on the NSA's $10.8 billion-a-year...

Read Post

The Republican Shutdown and Time Magazine's False Equivalency

(22) Comments | Posted October 8, 2013 | 8:28 AM

Time magazine's current issue has nice cover art referencing the Republicans' government shutdown and their threat of defaulting on the national debt, but the featured article by Michael Scherer and Alex Altman replicates the same false equivalency to which too many journalists who know...

Read Post