I don't really care one way or the other whether Princeton erases Woodrow Wilson from its history - except to the extent that such an action would inevitably invite an endless array of similar claims that would both fundamentally distort the realities of our history and distract attention from the real issues of deeply-rooted injustice in our contemporary society that we need to take seriously today.
Don't get me wrong. I like Sarah Vowell. But her new book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, is something of a puzzle. Vowell's funny. She's smart, quick, and clever. If you've heard her on "This American Life," you'll know she's a sound artist -- working her antic way through the great collection of words left, boxed up, in history's archives.
History's chroniclers will conclude that nation that held itself up as humanity's greatest hope turned out to be humanity's greatest disappointment. The United States Congress succumbed to greed -- the greed of politicians for power and the greed of energy barons to profit as much and as long as possible before the era of fossil fuels came to its inevitable end.