The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

What is a Terrorist? An Introduction

“Terrorist” in English texts dating from 1800 to 2008: Image via Google Books Ngram viewer

After 9/11, the word “terrorist” dramatically increased in American discourse, and yet for many—including the United States government—its definition still lacks clarity.

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Turmoil: Syria as a French Mandate

French troops during the Franco-Syrian confict

Syria’s current strife can be traced back to 20th-century French rule, a failed experiment that ended with the ascendancy of the Assad family.

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Remembering Forgotten Memorials on Veterans Day

Worcester Memorial Auditorium

Historian Kristina Reardon weighs in on remembrance and public support for American war memorials.

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Writing War’s Full Range of Emotions: The 1914 Christmas Truce

On Christmas Eve of 1914, German, French and British soldiers in Belgium waited in the trenches, now sure the war would not be over by Christmas. Yet optimism that the war might soon end had not died, and, according to war lore, neither had the spirit of the season.

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Countering the Orchestra of Orthodoxies: A UMass Amherst Fulbright Scholar Returns from Qatar

How has the US-led overthrow of Iraq’s former government and ongoing military presence changed American and Middle Eastern societies?Several broad answers are obvious. The 2003 war led Iraqis to more personal andpolitical freedoms. Yet this came alongside widespread death, violence, and insecurity, bringing back the relevance of philosophers like Thomas Hobbes, who prioritize the need for political order over rights and democracy. I

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