Sixty Years Ago, A Different Refugee Crisis

by Doug Howard. My teacher, Gustav Bayerle, died in October. Watching the unfolding refugee crisis this winter has reminded me of Gustav’s experiences, sixty years ago in another refugee crisis, brought on by the 1956 Hungarian revolution. When the revolution was suppressed by the tanks and troops of the Soviet army, nearly 200,000 people left …

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Light and Hope

by Doug Howard. During this Advent season we’ve all been grieving the violence in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Mali… the list seems endless, some from our American free access to guns, some from acts of terrorism committed by Muslims. Some are both. We’ve heard Donald Trump scream about barring Muslims from the …

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Army and Navy technicians prepare unexploded ordnance for demolition in 2003 near Baghdad.

History, Politics, and Those Pesky WMDs

by Doug Howard. Although my Google Chrome home page is set to international.nytimes.com, I get my best news from Facebook. The New York Times is great, but it is so conventional, and the articles are so long! I just want to know what happened overnight, or what someone was thinking while I was asleep. For …

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Laugh or Cry?

by Doug Howard. Just so you know, Aamer Rahman apologized for Islam last Friday night. Also—in advance—for daring to tell jokes about terrorism. You can’t be too careful these days. In his show at the Calvin College CFAC, the Australian comedian, who is of Bangladeshi Muslim descent, gingerly felt his way around and through American …

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Reading, Writing, and Sports Broadcasting

by Doug Howard. Weekend before last I was watching the Tigers game against the Padres. The game was being played in sunny San Diego, and my old Indiana University grad school friend and Tigers fan Bill Wood, who now teaches at Point Loma, was texting me from his seat on the third base line. Some …

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“Using” Your History Major

by Doug Howard. The phrase, "I'm not really using my history major," should be banished from the vocabulary of history grads! Ten years out—no, five—you're probably not going to remember more than a few of the facts you learned in History of the Modern Middle East. (I've gotten over it.) I do hope something sticks—especially, …

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