Articles by John Steele Gordon
100 Years of the Panama Canal
Friday, August 15, 2014
- One of the supreme engineering feats of the early 20th century, the canal has been an immense boon to shipping and of major geopolitical benefit to the United ...
How the South Came to Rise Again: The Civil Rights Act of 1964
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
- Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed one of the most significant pieces of legislation in American history.
The Catastrophe of the 20th Century
Friday, June 27, 2014
- Even today, with the world far richer and more technologically advanced than it was 100 years ago, the doubts engendered by the Great War remain. We have yet ...
Time for a New Contract with America
Friday, May 16, 2014
- One way to turn probable pick-ups into a 1994-style rout this midterm would be for the Republicans to, once again, nationalize the election with a new Contract ...
Nixon in China
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
- Nixon’s visit to China turned out to be his greatest moment as president. He had brought about a diplomatic revolution that produced the modern diplomatic ...
The First Presidential Election and Other Firsts
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
- The first presidential election was 225 years ago today. Although it was not democratic, it was a first in human history.
JFK's Assassination, 50 Years Later
Friday, November 22, 2013
- When great events are precipitated by little people, it is common for conspiracy theories to abound.
‘A Few Appropriate Remarks’
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
- Why was Lincoln’s prophecy that ‘the world will little note nor long remember what we say here’ so spectacularly wrong?
Obama, Johnson, and Congress
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
- LBJ shepherded vast amounts of major legislation through Congress; President Obama has seen most of his initiatives stymied. What explains this difference?
How Bureaucrats Captured Government
Thursday, June 20, 2013
- Like reforming the spoils system of the 19th century, dealing with today’s incompetent, lazy, and corrupt public employees is a good deal easier said than ...
The Uses of Scandal
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
- One of the greatest uses of scandal is to vividly demonstrate what new laws are needed and to create the political conditions to get them enacted.
Reforming the Law
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
- Is it possible for the legal profession to reform itself?
Congratulations! You Have Arrived at the Greatest City on Earth
Friday, February 8, 2013
- I have never failed to be moved by Grand Central’s incomparable (and irreplaceable) architectural grandeur.
The Personal Income Tax at 100
Sunday, February 3, 2013
- Few areas of American public life are more in need of thorough reform — and, alas, more difficult to change — than the tax system.
Voyager I at the Heliopause
Friday, January 18, 2013
- An extension of human ingenuity will soon reach the farthest limit of the sun’s empire. Beyond is true interstellar space.
The Politically Correct Calendar
Monday, December 24, 2012
- Among the more irritating manifestations of political correctness, at least to this historian, is the attempt to replace the terms AD and BC with CE and BCE.
Debt and the Constitution
Thursday, December 13, 2012
- Congress and Congress alone is granted the power ‘to borrow money on the credit of the United States.’ Can Congress delegate that power to the president and ...
The Scariest Day of My Life
Monday, October 22, 2012
- ‘It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet ...
Churchill and the Power of Words
Friday, August 17, 2012
- Had Winston Churchill never set foot in the House of Commons, he would still be remembered today as one of the major writers of his time.
George Orwell, Call Your Office
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
- Intellectuals, especially in the social sciences, have a nasty habit of thinking that, 'This is the way the world should be, therefore this is the way the ...
What’s in a Name?
Thursday, March 22, 2012
- Our naval ships should recall two centuries of American sea power and naval heroism, not battles on Capitol Hill.
‘A Sympathiser with the Poor’: Charles Dickens at 200
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
- Dickens knew a different world growing up, a world that would imbue him with a deep interest in social reform.
Long Live the Queen!
Monday, February 6, 2012
- Intellectuals tend to snobbishly decry any love for royalty, but the British would be crazy not to exploit their unique national asset.
Snapshot of a Creative Destruction
Monday, January 23, 2012
- Kodak, Rochester, and the decline of the industrial northeast.
Good as Gold?
Thursday, December 15, 2011
- Both very rare and useless for anything else, gold is uniquely useful as a store of value. While a gold standard will never return, here’s a way to make money ...
Occupy Wall Street Faces a Winter of Discontent
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
- When a vehicle parked at Wall and Broad Streets exploded, it was a deliberate attempt at mass murder. The year was 1920. Historian John Steele Gordon looks at ...
The Henry Ford of Our Time
Friday, August 26, 2011
- Like Ford, Steve Jobs took something that had largely been invented by others and transformed it—and the world—by making the technology accessible to the ...
English: The Inescapable Language
Thursday, August 18, 2011
- Native speakers of English have a great advantage. Learning English at our mothers’ knee is almost like being born able to do algebra.
The End of the Book?
Saturday, May 21, 2011
- The book business will go through a transformation in the next decade or so more profound than any it has seen since Johannes Gutenberg introduced printing ...
An Immodest Proposal Regarding the Estate Tax
Thursday, January 7, 2010
- Here’s a plan that both Republicans and Democrats should like.