Course Syllabus: The Economic Interpretation of History and Understanding American Politics Today

This is the syllabus for an upcoming course being taught at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UM (MOLLI) January 15 through February 19, 2019 titled “The Economic Interpretation of History and Understanding American Politics Today”. Course Syllabus With the publication in 1913 of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, Charles Austin […]

MOLLI 2018

Charles Austin Beard: The Return of the Master Historian of American Imperialism

The Economic Interpretation of History as a Way of Understanding American Politics

With the publication in 1913 of An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948) became one of the most famous, influential, and controversial historians in America.


Italy’s Populist Earthquake

“We have the sensation of being on the eve of an earthquake,” Corriere della Sera economics writer Dario Di Vico observed on the day of Italy’s elections in early March. The results would show that some 65 percent of the electorate was opposed to the political status quo represented chiefly by the center-left Partito Democratico of Matteo […]


George-Scialabba

George Scialabba’s “Last Men and Women” Seminar at the University of Montana

George Scialabba spoke in the President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana on Monday, 12 March. He gave this year’s Ezio Cappadocia Memorial Lecture in Politics and History in the series. An essayist and critic, Scialabba has a highly unusual background for an American intellectual. As a high school student and then at Harvard […]


Left-Wing Populism Meets ‘La Grande Crisi’: Making Sense of Italy’s Five-Star Movement

If China, now the factory of the world, has been the biggest winner in the globalized economy, Italy has been one of its biggest losers. The Italian economy has suffered from low growth and rising levels of income inequality for the past twenty years. The global economic meltdown of 2008 made Italy’s already bad situation worse. As economics writer Dario Di Vico observes in his analysis of growing income inequality in Italy, “We risk entering a lasting regime of descending mobility: the [social] elevator is going down instead of ascending….”

Beppe Grillo

Review: GIOVANNI MARIO CECI. Il terrorismo italiano: Storia di un dibattito.

Review of GIOVANNI MARIO CECI. Il terrorismo italiano: Storia di un dibattito. Giovanni Mario Ceci. Il terrorismo italiano: Storia di un dibattito. (Studi Storici Carocci, no. 199.) Rome, Italy: Carocci editore, 2013. Pp. 342. €35.00. By Richard Drake The American Historical Review, Volume 122, Issue 5, 1 December 2017, Pages 1699–1700, https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/122.5.1699 Published: 11 December […]


Why Every European Country Has a Trump or Sanders Candidate 1

The following article first appeared on The American Conservative on August 28, 2017. The suicide in the Friuli region of northern Italy earlier this year of a 30-year-old man, identified in the newspapers only as Michele, has become a symbol of the country’s unemployment tragedy, particularly as it affects young people. Though much worse in […]


Passport, April 2017 Cover

The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire

The following review of The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of the American Empire by Stephen Kinzer appeared in Passport: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations Review, April 2017. That Stephen Kinzer, an outstanding foreign correspondent and world affairs columnist, had contemporary American foreign policy uppermost in mind when he wrote […]


“Italy’s Next Crisis Could Be Its Worst” from The American Conservative

The following article first appeared on The American Conservative on June 6, 2017.   Italy’s Next Crisis Could Be Its Worst Anarchist violence and Muslim extremism might produce a near-failed state.   Italy is not Greece. The latter is technically a failed state because of its overwhelming public and private indebtedness. But Italy is in […]


Two recent articles which reference writings about Julius Evola

Here are links to two recent articles about Italian neo-fascist philosopher Julius Evola Both of these articles refer to research and writing I have done on Evola. His ideas have been a significant source of inspiration for the radical right in Europe and now have begun to attract increasing attention in the United States, particularly […]


Historical Lessons for Our Time: Italy’s Response to the Challenge of Terrorism

From Tiempo devorado, Vol. 3, No 1 (2016): Bales per vots. Activisme i violència política a Europa des de 1991   ABSTRACT During the so-called years of lead, Italy had the highest rate of terrorist violence in the industrialized world. Terrorist groups, descending ideologically from the country’s Marxist­ Leninist and neofascist traditions, sought to destroy its democratic […]


Reflections on the 100th Anniversary of the Sykes-Picot Agreement

Monday marks 100 years since the Sykes-Picot agreement between Britain and France. With the then-secret agreement, they planned to divide up much of the Mideast between them at the end of World War I, which was still going on at the time. This post was the result of an interview conducted by accuracy.org, an independent media […]