The United States of America: we take the name of our nation for granted. From the perspective of nearly two and a half centuries of history, it appears obvious that we should be one country, bound together by constitutional principles, stretching from the Atlantic to Pacific Oceans.
Americans are terribly present-minded. We are mostly concerned about the here and the now. Please consider for just a moment the very unique role of the individual in our American story and what it can teach us about the critical role of citizens in a republic.
As head of the PTA at a Brooklyn public school, having listened to my tales of female derring-do in the suffrage movement while treating my dastardly plantar fasciitis, Dr. Stephanie decided that children ought to know what it took to win the right to vote. She set it up.
Can we -- Americans of the twenty-first century -- secure those Enlightenment ideals of self-government for ourselves? It is fitting that we pause now, during this "Prelude to Independence," and rededicate ourselves to this nation's humanities heritage.
Whether and how well we teach civics are important questions, especially in the midst of an election campaign in which millions of Americans are being asked to sort through complicated issues and navigate an increasingly difficult voting process.
History in Israel and Palestine comes in two versions: Jewish Israeli and Palestinian. Four excellent new books, in four different ways, address the implications of this dichotomization for youth, education, justice and peace.
Europeans outperform Americans on "historical facts about the world." Since Americans start the race 200 paces behind Europeans, why try in the first place? As a nation, we feel disadvantaged historically-speaking, so why further embarrass ourselves?