Daniel Johnson

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Theodore Roosevelt

Canadian Holocaust Memorial Neglects to Mention Jews

The architecture of Canada’s new National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa is both symbolic and haunting, with six concrete triangles depicting the stars that Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany, and that marked millions of them for extermination during World War II.<p>But while the structure’s …

San Francisco

Darth Vader Statue

A monument to Lenin has been transformed into a statue of everyone's favorite black-helmeted, fool-choking Sith Lord.<p>He was supposed to bring balance …

Noam Chomsky

Battle Over Confederate Monuments Moves to the Cemeteries

MADISON, Wis. — One by one, Confederate monuments are coming down from their perches in front of courthouses, in public squares, along city boulevards.<p>Now opponents to the memorials are looking through cemetery gates for more.<p>Local officials and residents, outraged by the violence in …


Confederate Statues and American Memory

In moments of national fragility, history rears its head. The past becomes a vast storehouse of grievance. Revived memory is manipulated to produce violent nationalism. This is what is happening today in the United States, a nation suddenly at war with its past.<p>There is a reason for this war. …

Robert E. Lee

Goodbye, Yosemite. Hello, What?

HOTELS generally don’t figure prominently in my imagination, but Yosemite Valley does, and so does the glamorous Ahwahnee Hotel. When my father took me on Yosemite climbing trips in the 1980s, we never stayed at the Ahwahnee — it costs a fortune — but Dad always brought clean dress shirts so that …

National Parks

Memphis Wants to Remove a Statue Honoring First Grand Wizard of the KKK

Berlin Boyd, chairperson of the Memphis City Council, was seated at the head of a conference table at Memphis City Hall when he held up a pair of …

Rights & Freedoms

Why We Should Put Women on Pedestals

It’s a perilous time to be a statue.<p>Not that it has ever been a particularly secure occupation, exposed as statues are to the elements, bird droppings and political winds.<p>Just ask Queen Victoria, whose rounded frame perches atop hundreds of plinths across the Commonwealth, with an air of solemn, …

George Bernard Shaw
Robert E. Lee
South Africa

The Stubborn Persistence of Confederate Monuments

A new report identifies some 1,500 memorials to the Civil War’s losing cause, from schools to state holidays, ranging from the Deep South to the Pacific Northwest.<p>For most Americans, today is the second day of work this week. But state employees in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia are just kicking …

When History’s Losers Write the Story

I visited a summer camp in western Russia in July 2015. Its theme was “military patriotism,” and it involved dozens of teenagers lounging around in tents, wrestling, carving wood and making garlands. They were also taking history classes. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader who killed millions of …