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Steven M. Gillon
Steven M. Gillon is the Scholar-in-Residence at The History Channel and professor of history at the University of Oklahoma. He is teaching a new online class available to students and lifetime learners. See:

Entries by Steven M. Gillon

Transforming Higher Education

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 5:54 PM

Most Americans are painfully aware of the soaring price of higher education. In 1974, the average annual tuition at a four-year private college stood at a reasonable $2,000. Today, tuition at a private university is roughly $31,000. In 1974, the average cost of a public university was $510. Today, it...

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The Gingrich Revolution and the Roots of Republican Dysfunction

(1) Comments | Posted October 12, 2015 | 7:26 PM

A coalition of roughly 40 Republican lawmakers, who refer to themselves as the "Freedom Caucus," recently forced John Boehner to step down as House Speaker. Now they are holding the party, and the Congress, hostage by demanding fidelity to their hard-core conservative agenda. Its more than issues that separate them...

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'Separate and Unequal': Revisiting the Kerner Commission

(1) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 12:40 PM

During the summer of 1967, riots ripped through dozens of American cities. In response, on July 27, President Lyndon Johnson announced the creation of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, popularly known as the Kerner Commission after its chairman, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner. The President asked the Commission to...

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The Education Innovators

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 1:42 PM

There has been lots of talk the past few years about the coming "disruption" in higher education. Technology, critics suggest, will present traditional colleges and universities with daunting challenges. Some have estimated that half will be forced to close their doors in the next 15 years.


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Moving Beyond MOOCS

(1) Comments | Posted April 21, 2015 | 3:46 PM

Since 1985, the cost of a college education has risen three times faster than the rate of inflation. A 2013 Huffington Post poll showed that a majority of Americans -- 62 percent -- believe they cannot afford a public college education. Many of those who do...

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Indiana and the Politics of Backlash

(2) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 3:49 PM

The controversy in Indiana over religious freedom bill is part of a much larger cultural struggle that dates back to the 1960s. Until the 1960s there was a clear cultural hierarchy in America. That hierarchy, reinforced by law and custom, placed white, heterosexual men at the top of the pyramid....

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Searching for the American Dream

(1) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 3:33 PM

This week the New York Times reported that only 64 percent of the public still believe in the American Dream, which they defined as a faith that "hard work could result in riches." But the reports of the death of the American Dream are premature. The Dream has...

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Rethinking the JFK Legacy

(53) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 1:10 PM

As we approach the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination we are reminded of his enduring hold on the popular imagination. Once again countless magazine articles, newspaper stories, books, and television stories will focus on the man, his presidency, and his death. Politicians from both parties continue to...

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Cautionary Tale in Shutdown for Both President and Speaker

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 12:19 PM

The last government shutdown in 1995 offers cautionary lessons for both sides in the current standoff.

The two men at the center of the last shutdown, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, shared a closer, but also more explosive, personal relationship then the protagonists in the current Washington...

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Health Care Reform and the Laws of Unintended Consequences

(35) Comments | Posted July 23, 2012 | 5:13 PM

When the Supreme Court ruled that President Obama's sweeping overhaul of the nation's health care system was constitutional, about the only thing critics and supporters could agree on was the historic importance of the legislation itself. But if history is any guide, there will be one other inescapable truth: The...

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Was FDR Given Cocaine?

(6) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 12:37 PM

While researching my new book, Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the Nation Into War, I came across circumstantial evidence that FDR was treated on December 7, 1941, and perhaps on a regular basis throughout much of his presidency, with cocaine.

I came across the discovery by accident. A review of...

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FDR, Pearl Harbor and Presidential Leadership

(3) Comments | Posted November 29, 2011 | 12:24 PM

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, it is useful to reflect on the qualities of presidential leadership that Franklin Roosevelt demonstrated in the critical hours after the assault. Those qualities are the central focus of my new book, Pearl Harbor: FDR Leads the...

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President Gingrich? Not as Scary as It Sounds

(31) Comments | Posted November 22, 2011 | 3:51 PM

A recent surge in the polls has brought added scrutiny to the presidential ambitions of Newt Gingrich. While Republican primary voters seem to be willing to give the former House Speaker a second look, he remains a long shot to win the nomination.

But what would a Gingrich presidency...

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New Document Reveals Measures Taken to Protect FDR in the Days After Pearl Harbor

(1) Comments | Posted November 9, 2011 | 1:14 PM

A recently declassified secret service document details the extraordinary steps taken to protect President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the hours after the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

The document, written by Mike Reilly, head of the presidential protection detail, is revealed in my new book, Pearl Harbor: FDR...

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Taking Another Look at LBJ and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

(35) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 3:39 PM

As we approach another anniversary of that fateful day in Dallas, it is useful to reassess the role that Lyndon Johnson played in the critical 24 hours after the assassination. As I argue in my book, The Kennedy Assassination: 24 Hours After, history has not been fair to LBJ.

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The Lessons of 1994

(2) Comments | Posted November 4, 2010 | 2:16 PM

Democrats are still absorbing the electoral drubbing they suffered at the polls this week. As the New York Times reported, nearly every congressional district in America voted more Republican in 2010 than in 2008. Republicans rode a wave of well-financed and carefully orchestrated (but no less genuine) public anger at...

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The Kennedy Assassination: New Details About the Transfer of Power

(436) Comments | Posted November 2, 2009 | 5:54 PM

Exactly when did doctors give up their efforts to save Kennedy's life? And when did Lyndon Johnson learn that JFK was dead? These are the central questions that need to be addressed in understanding the transfer of power on November 22, 1963. The questions may be obvious; the answers are...

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A New Wrinkle in the JFK Assassination Story

(2229) Comments | Posted October 30, 2009 | 11:25 AM

This month will mark the 46th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A recently declassified oral history by Brigadier General Godfrey McHugh, President Kennedy's military aide on the Dallas trip, sheds new light on the critical hours after the shooting. McHugh makes startling claims about Lyndon Johnson's...

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"It's the 60s, Stupid"

(13) Comments | Posted May 21, 2008 | 6:11 PM

A few years ago, while doing research for my book, The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry that Defined a Generation, I asked President Clinton to highlight his differences with Speaker Gingrich. "If you want to understand the differences between me and Newt you have to go back...

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In Monica's Shadow

(17) Comments | Posted April 19, 2008 | 1:28 PM

The angry tone of this year's primary season reminds us of the deep partisan differences dividing the nation. Whether its Iraq or the economy, the two parties are far apart and show no signs of compromise. The moderate middle has disappeared.

There was a brief moment,...

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