Blame Andy Seal. He made a brief observation that American civil religion might exist in films such as Nicholas Cage’s National Treasure by folding together U.S. history and the exodus story. My obsession regarding civil religion got the best of me as I thought about suffering through a viewing of that film. But, lo! instead I stumbled upon a more substantial “treasure”–Kirk Cameron’s Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure (2011). While ostensibly a documentary, Monumental provides a remarkable fictional account of America’s origins [you know, the single origin story that we all believe in], while delivering an equally remarkable glimpse into a certain American evangelical mind that demands a conflation of the exodus story with the origins of the United States. Continue reading
Inspired by a post over at the Religion in American History blog highlighting a number of forthcoming titles in that field, I thought I would offer readers here a quick run-down of some US intellectual history-related books that are on our radar, and ask readers if they will add some more in the comments. It looks like a very promising crop of new titles, and I’m sure we’ll be discussing many of them here in the coming months. Follow me over the jump for a list: Continue reading
[Editor’s note: This guest post comes to you courtesy of S-USIH member Bryn Upton. Bryn is an associate professor of history at McDaniel College. He recently completed a book titled Hollywood and the End of the Cold War: Signs of Cinematic Change (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014). – TL]
It appears that Throwback Thursday has taken on new meaning today as everywhere I look there are stories about our Cold War era foes Cuba and North Korea. At one time these two nations represented the front lines in the global struggle between Western Democracy and Soviet sponsored Communism, but now the last vestiges of the Cold War are being swept away.
So much of the Cuba story from the 1960s was about proximity. Continue reading