I recall from the then-regnant ethnocultural politics paradigm of the 70s that historians and political scientists posited that cultural politics tend to seize the public mind during relatively prosperous times when pocketbook issues are less important to the voters. This observation was applied to the 1920s, for example. It got me to wondering about the current wave of battle flag take-downs and removals of Confederate memorabilia from public spaces in the South. I've heard it mentioned in the commentariat that the killings in Charleston were but a catalyst to a growing black middle cla
I received with great sorrow the news that my doctoral advisor and mentor, Michael O'Brien has passed away at the age of 67. Michael directed my dissertation at Miami University, Ohio, and continued to guide me for several years after I earned my Ph.D. in 1995. In 2002, after a period of spending half of a year in the United States and half in England, he returned to his native land to a full-time position at his alma mater, Cambridge University. At the time of his death from cancer, he was about to retire from Jesus College. He taught me to write and profoundly influenced my thinking.