John J. Tierney Jr. is a Professor Emeritus at IWP and Former Special Assistant and Foreign Affairs Officer for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
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Why Commemorate Pearl Harbor?

Nearly eighty years ago, the United States suffered one of the most disastrous moments in its history when Japan decimated the naval and air fleet sitting in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. As President Roosevelt told it to Congress the next day, the attack by hundreds of carrier-based planes was “a day which will live in infamy”…

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History: The “Dead” Science Comes Alive

Americans are supposed to be “ahistorical” by nature, meaning that the subject has not preoccupied them as opposed to the more dynamic topics that fit in better with the momentum and optimism of the so-called American “dream.” Henry Ford, one of the architects of this dream, once called history “bunk,” as it had little to…

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How New Will the Better World Be?

In 1943, historian Carl Becker ended his long and distinguished career at Cornell with a little book with this title. Becker’s purpose was to dispel any post-war sentiment that the end of Hitler and Tojo would magically bring forth a new “world order” resplendent with peace, prosperity, and “justice for all.” The high hopes at…

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At War with the World

The current crisis over Syria against Turkey on behalf of the Kurds may be a bit distant to most Americans. That, however, does not prevent many of them to view the situation with the utmost intensity and dire warnings, either opposed to the administration or in favor. But it really makes little difference. The “Foreignness”…

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Can America survive its own success?

Success The possibility of being too “successful,” or too “good,” at what you do might just drive yourself out of the market. “Too much of a good thing” is an old phrase, but relevant when/if there comes a time when the enterprise simply goes overboard by its own ambitions. If your team has won 52…

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First Battle of the Marne

The Most Important Battle in History

What is the most important battle in history? Many claim that the answer is too complicated, as it “depends” on what one defines as “important” and as “history.” Fair enough. All this, however, only begs the question: what was the most important war in history? A significant battle in an obscure war has to be…

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The Nonpolitical Country

It may be widely assumed that the millions of immigrants who have flocked to this country, legally or not, flee their own homes because of oppression there and freedom here. That’s probably a safe assumption and certainly the one promoted now and throughout history. But everything is not politics, and there are many more advantages…

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Upside Down

After the British defeat at Yorktown (1781), their marching band played an old favorite, “The World Turned Upside Down,” signifying the loss of the American colonies, a “first” in British history. There are signs in the modern American culture indicating that history has come “full circle,” it’s now our time. Backward is Forward Having studied…

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Charge of the Light Brigade

“To Hell in a Handbasket”: The continual cycle of war in history

“Going to hell in a handbasket” is a phrase of frustration going back centuries to describe conditions so unsettling as to be irreversible. Today, it is commonly used as an everyday expression in situations that defy origin or cure, within which all must persevere. The phrase is used universally from home to factory, nation to…

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