Historians Against the War

2017 Steering Committee Elections

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Candidate Statements

Name: Marc Becker
Institution: Truman State University (Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: Modern Latin American history
Political Background: My initial entry point to politics was organizing against Carter’s reinstating of draft registration in 1980 in reaction to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I subsequently worked extensively with Central American solidarity groups, including a stint with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua. More recently, I have worked with Indigenous rights movements in the Americas and am a founder of NativeWeb, the premier Internet site on Indigenous issues. Politically I identify myself as a socialist in the tradition of José Carlos Mariátegui, although I am not a member of any party.
Reason for Running: I have been involved with HAW since its founding at the AHA in January 2003, and for the last couple years I have served as co-chair of HAW’s steering committee. My motivation for joining HAW was to challenge imperialistic policies that run counter to our interests. I have worked on HAW’s web page and am interested and willing to continue in that capacity.

Name: Mark E. Blum
Institution: University of Louisville (Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: modern Europe, specializing in the history of ideas
Political Background: My political interest in peace began with the paper I wrote on disarmament treaties in the first half of the twentieth century. The intrinsic human urge for power in every situation, and its constraint, is my interest. Politically I am a Marxist-oriented pacifist, but in our culture a Democrat. I have published several books on Austrian Marxism which reflect my political understandings. At the core of peace between persons and nations is dialogue. Forums for this dialogue exist, and the means to guide such dialogue exist in disciplines I have studied, such as group dynamics or what Habermas calls the Pragmatics of Social Interaction.
Reason for Running: Only institutional structures can be the foundation that provides the gravity for peace. I think active support for extant structures pledged to the interdependence of nations, whose mandated tasks have to do with defusing international conflict, can be effective. These supranational structures such as the United Nations, the European Union, as well as the many national economic alliances formed in the past decades suffer now from public opinion that overlooks the political-social significance of their activity. Historians Against War and other such groups should work with these supranational entities to improve their efficacy and the public’s understanding of them.

Name: Matthew F. Bokovoy
Institution: University of Nebraska Press (Senior Acquisitions Editor, Native/Indigenous Studies, History of the American West and Southwest Borderlands, and Creative Nonfiction of the American West)
Historical Specialization: California, Western, and US-Mexico Borderlands History; History of Higher Education; American and European Intellectual History; History of American Radicalism.
Political Background: Registered Democrat; unaffiliated American Marxist. In 2004 and 2008-2009, I uncovered administrative corruption and political philanthropy at both Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma. At OSU, I worked with and advised a student reporter for the campus newspaper to uncover non-discretionary spending and computer code theft by two Vice Presidents for Technology, who were dismissed from OSU after our disclosures. At University of Oklahoma, I worked with Students for a Democratic Society and its adviser to expose a politically philanthropy at the OU Honors College by Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. The $5,000,000 contribution was for a pro-energy think-tank within the Honors College with 5-8 endowed chairs in Energy Studies. After disclosures of our research to the press, there was an attempt at a cover-up, the dean was fired, and the donation turned away.
Reason for Running: In 2012, I assisted with finding an institution that would host a HAW conference, which was Towson University, with my colleague Akim Reinhardt. In the coming years, I am very interested in assisting to organize another HAW conference as well as working with the Steering Committee to raise the profile of HAW through writing platforms (such as a WordPress presence; Twitter; and other social media).

Name: Sandra McGee Deutsch
Institution: University of Texas at El Paso (Professor of History)
Political Background: In Chicago I worked for Harold Washington’s mayoral campaign. In El Paso I have been active in Habitat for Humanity and solidarity with Chiapas. I organized a teach-in against the Iraq war on my campus. Since last November I have been involved in Convivencia, which seeks to awaken political consciousness at my university and in El Paso. I have belonged to HAW since its inception.
Reason for Running: As a specialist in the study of fascism and antifascism, I feel compelled to act. Historians may argue about whether the Trump administration is fascist, but at least one can say that the resemblances are disturbing. Working with HAW would give me the opportunity to apply my skills as a historian to the resistance. And I want to be involved in the reshaping of HAW’s mission.

Name: Carolyn “Rusti” Eisenberg
Institution: Hofstra University (Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: 20th Century US Foreign Policy, author of Drawing the Line: The American Decision to Divide Germany, 1944-49  and completing a new book on Kissinger, Nixon and the National Security State.
Political Background: Antiwar activist, 1965-present. Co-Chair, Legislative Working Group. United for Peace and Justice, Co-Founder Brooklyn for Peace.
Reason for Running: I am interested in encouraging historians to engage issues of war and peace, and to give greater emphasis to America’s global role in scholarship, teaching and political advocacy. I believe that historians can make a special contribution to the urgently needed public debate over the militaristic thrust of American foreign policy and the impact on our domestic institutions, I have been a member of the Steering Committee since HAW’s beginning and have drafted statements, appeared on HAW panels, and helped to organize a speaker’s bureau for educational forums.

Name: Barbara Epstein
Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz (Department of History of Consciousness, Emerita)
Political background: In high school, late 50s, early 60s, the peace movement (Students for a Sane Nuclear Policy). in college: Communist Party (out of identification with the Popular Front, not the Soviet Union) and SDS. In the later 60s, in Berkeley: I left the Communist Party, was involved in the anti-war movement, the socialist feminist wing of the women’s movement, and the New American Movement. In the 70s I was on the collective of Socialist Revolution, later renamed Socialist Review. I was associated for some time with Monthly Review; am now with Socialist Register. In the late 70s/early 80s the non-violent direct action wing of the anti-nuclear movement. More recently I have been involved in efforts to end the Israeli occupation of Palestine. My research and writing is on the history of social movements, mostly in the US.
Reason for Running: I am running for the HAW Steering Committee because I want to help promote resistance, and a left alternative, to the authoritarian regime now in power. I think that left historians can make an important contribution. I live in Berkeley and believe that I could pull together a HAW network in the Bay Area.

Name: John J. Fitzgerald
Institution: Longmeadow High School (Retired - former teacher and department chair)
Historical Specialization: Vietnam War - Co-author: The Vietnam War: A History in Documents, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Political Background: Vietnam veteran. (1964 - 1968) Wounded in action. Bronze Star for Valor, Purple Heart, etc. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Eugene J. McCarthy campaign, Moratorium (1969), Student Strike (UMass Amherst) 1970, McGovern campaign of 1972. Veterans Education Project in Western Massachusetts and Veterans for Peace. I am currently a member of Western Massachusetts Jobs with Justice and the Center for Popular Economics in Amherst. I am also a member of the Longmeadow School Committee and the Longmeadow Democratic Town Committee. I believe that we should impeach President Donald Trump. I support Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. I am 75 years old and wiser than I was when I was 25 years old.
Reason for Running: I have been involved in HAW since the summer of 2006. I have enjoyed working with the Steering Committee and hope to continue to do so. I prepared the Teaching Guides for “Teaching the Vietnam War” and for “Teaching the Iraq War” which are now located on the HAW web site. I am a life member of the OAH and The New England Historical Association.

Name: Jerise (Jeri) Fogel
Institution: I trained as a classicist (Greek and Latin languages and literatures), with an emphasis in Roman political rhetoric. I currently adjunct at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ. I am also a working artist (calligraphy, graphic design, painting).
Political Background: I belong to several peace and social justice organizations (e.g. Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, Brit Tzedek, CCR, and some others) and I try to contribute time and energy especially to progressive and immigrants’ rights issues. On the HAW Steering Committee, I have been secretary and on the 4-member Executive Committee. I have helped to edit and publish several of the HAW Pamphlets on various issues, especially the Palestine-Israel conflict over the Occupation. I plan to be spending more energy at the local level in the near future.
Reason for Running: I still believe that HAW does important work, and I am hopeful that our renewal during these hard times will lead to concrete progress on several fronts. I have enjoyed working on various projects (conference, newsletters, pamphlets) for the HAW-SC. I think it is important now for historians, whether career or avocational, to bring perspective and reason into public debates over citizenship, interventions abroad, tools and tactics of warfare, and the U.S. military budget. I’m especially interested in working to nurture less adversarial and more communitarian methods of self-governance and political involvement.

Name: Van Gosse
Institution: Franklin and Marshall College (Associate Professor of History))
Historical Specialization: 20th Century U.S., African American
Political Background: Antiwar and electoral activism, 1969-76 (the usual); El Salvador solidarity, 1982-1995 (CISPES and related organizations); Peace Action’s Organizing Director, 1995-2000. Helped found HAW and served on Steering Committee since then. Elected to United for Peace and Justice’s Steering Committee three times to represent HAW. Member of the Editorial Collective of the Radical History Review since 1990, chair 1994-2001.
Reason for Running: I am committed to helping lead HAW’s new direction to focus on peace and democracy in the context of a truly dangerous “national-populist” administration. We need to mobilize the community of historians, students, teachers, and historically-minded activists who will, in fact, speak historical truth to deluded power.

Name: Martin Halpern
Institution: Henderson State University (Professor Emeritus)
Historical Specialization: Labor and Political History
Political Background: active since the 1960s in the civil rights, peace and labor movements. I’ve organized a number of teach-ins, worked in a variety of coalitions, and written many op eds on peace, justice, and labor issues.
Reason for Running: I served on the HAW steering committee in 2010-12 and helped write the HAW response to Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address, which received wide distribution. I’d like to help HAW play a significant role in promoting peace at this dangerous moment.

Name: Tom Harbison
Institution: Sotheby’s Institute of Art (E-Learning Specialist)
Historical Specialization: Educational history, Civil Rights Movement, New York City
Political Background: Served as Managing Editor of the Radical History Review since 2005. Active in anti-war, pro-democracy campaigns at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County since 2013, supporting this work through direct participant and as chair of stewardship and finance and administration committees.
Reason for Running: For more than a decade I have been inspired by the anti-war scholarship and political activism of my colleagues at the Radical History Review and the CUNY Graduate Center. I have greatly enjoyed coordinating communications within the RHR Editorial Collective and with the public through our print and online publications, and look forward to advising HAW on related processes.

Name: Jeremy Kuzmarov
Institution: University of Tulsa (Assistant Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: American foreign policy, war and society, criminology.
Author of The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs (Massachusetts, 2009); Modernizing Repression: Police Training and Nation Building in the American Century (Massachusetts, 2012).
Political Background: I have been active in Historians Against the War, and local peace organizations like Tulsa Peace Fellowship and other kinds of activism such as environmental activism.
Reason for Running: I think we need to revitalize HAW at a time when the United States is engaged in multiple wars on many fronts, has escalated the “defense budget” when social services are being cut and the social fabric at home is deteriorating, and when we have a reckless president who seems to be bombing another country every week. The academy has become quite staid in many aspects, particularly related to issues of war, peace and empire. HAW can help shake things up among our colleagues and on the campuses, and can help historians find a public voice in trying to raise public awareness and consciousness.

Name: Patrick Lagendijk (half-Irish and half-Dutch)
Institution: British International School of Cracow, Poland, where I teach the International Baccalaureat syllabus with modules on the causers and effects of twentieth-century wars. For more, please see: http://bisc.krakow.pl/patrick-lagendijk.html.
Historical Specialization: Reformation studies; Middle East; Buddhist Studies.
Political Background: For many years I remained without political conviction - I was a child of a diplomat who looked at the world through very privileged eyes. I am still privileged - this has not changed, no doubt as a result of being blessed with a first-class education (I received an MA in History from St Andrews University). My political views can be said to have been born with the birth of my son - no more was I living for myself. This, together with my discovery of Buddhist ethics, allowed for compassion to rise. The political expression of this is left-wing politics.
Reason for Running: While I realise I am not an academic in the traditional sense of the word (I do not publish on my specialisation), I am a professional in that I love my job (I teach History in secondary school) and take time to develop my teaching skills. I have become increasingly aware that there is a glaring difference between ‘image’ and ‘reality’, between narratives that are given prominence and others that are not. My interest in joining the Steering Committee reflects both my support for the Mission Statement but also my willingness to inform political convictions with an understanding of Buddhist ethics.

Name: Staughton Lynd
Institution: Independent scholar
Historical Specialization: American Revolution, 20th century labor history
Position: retired (but still practicing) attorney. Author of several books, including Moral Injury and Nonviolent Resistance: Breaking the Cycle of Violence in the Military and Behind Bars (2017, with Alice Lynd).
Political Background: An unaffiliated Marxist and Quaker; Chairperson of the first march against the Vietnam War in Washington, DC in April 1965. Left academia after being blacklisted in late ‘60s due to prominent role in anti-war movement (including trip to North Vietnam with Tom Hayden and Herbert Aptheker in December 1965).
Reason for Running: continue work on veterans issues; member of HAW-SC since its inception.

Name: Jim O’Brien
Institution: University of Massachusetts Boston (sort-of)*
* I used to teach history and writing as a contract faculty member in the College of Public and Community Service at UMass, but at present my only involvement on the campus is volunteer teaching in the learning-in-retirement program. Myself, I’m not fully retired - for income I do freelance editing and book indexing.
Historical Specialization: US radicalism
Political Background: Have been active off and on since being part of the radical student movement in the 1960s. Was an editor of Radical America magazine till 1984; active in the Boston-area Central America movement 1983-96; co-editor of the Radical Historians Newsletter, 1970 till it stopped publishing in 2002; in Radical History Review Editorial Collective since 1999; board member of Resist 2007-15; on HAW Steering Committee the last dozen years (as co-chair for the past ten).
Reason for Running: I enjoy working with the other people on the Steering Committee. and have been glad to feel useful in a cause that seems important to me. I’m not willing to continue as co-chair but would like to keep on contributing as best I can; would probably continue sending out the occasional “recent articles of interest” list unless someone else wants to take it over.

Name: Roger Peace
Current Occupation: Independent scholar. Originator and information coordinator of the progressive peace history website: http://peacehistory-usfp.org.
Historical Specialization: PhD in American Foreign Relations, Florida State University (December 2007).
Political Background: After graduating with a B.A. in history from Sonoma State, California, in 1976, I worked for most of the next two decades with peace and justice organization. This included creating a foundation to raise funds (M.K. Gandhi Trust), helping to create and run the Tallahassee Peace Coalition until 1992, assisting the development of a “Practicum in Peacemaking” course and a new peace studies program at Florida State University, and writing a book on the U.S. peace movement in the 1980s, A Just and Lasting Peace (1991). After obtaining a M.A. in history in 1998, I taught history for 17 years, mostly at the community college level, my specialty being “U.S. in the World” courses. My dissertation and subsequent book was on the anti-Contra War campaign (Central America Movement) in the 1980s. “Retired” in 2015, I began the U.S. Foreign Policy History and Resource Guide, a synthesis of progressive historical scholarship that is written for non-history majors and the general public.
Reason for Running: I believe that HAW can play an important role in both the history profession and general society, a conscientious voice in a profession without a rudder. I would like to assist in the development of common projects, and to gain assistance in the website I have begun.

Name: Margaret Power
Institution: Illinois Institute of Technology (Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: Latin America, Chile, Puerto Rico, gender, and women. Political Background: active in anti-war movements (Viet Nam, Central America, and Middle East) since 1970s. Also very active in the women’s movement. I work very closely with the Puerto Rican community and with HAW. I am also a member of the Illinois Coalition Against Torture.
Reason for Running: I served as co-chair of HAW for three years and I have really enjoyed working with other historians against the war. I think HAW is a great group. We need to decide what to do given the current and changing political context we are in.

Name: Ellen Schrecker
Institution: Professor of History, retired (we don’t need the gendered titles, do we?) Yeshiva University
Political Background: I’ve been studying, writing, and speaking about McCarthyism, higher education, and political repression for most of my professional life. It’s my main political activity. I’m currently working on a book about the politics of the academic profession during the 1960s and early 1970s. I’ve also been active in the AAUP and other - often ephemeral - organizations dealing with civil liberties and the academy.
Reason for Running: I have belonged to HAW from the start. My late husband, Marvin Gettleman, was an original member of the Steering Committee and I would like to carry on his work as a committed historian against war in these all-too troubled times.

Name: Andor Skotnes
Institution: The Sage Colleges, Troy, New York  (Professor of History and Society)
Historical specialization: recent social struggles, especially working-class and African American, and on oral and public history
Political Background: I have been involved in a variety of movement activities since the mid-sixties. I was a co-founder of HAW in 2003. I was active on the HAW steering committee for the first decade or so, and then dropped back for other pursuits.
Reason for Running: With the Trump administration in place, and a new period of struggle in the US, I believe that HAW (or however it is renamed) can play an important role in building the broad resistance coalition that is emerging, and in encouraging the organized participation of historically oriented intellectuals and activists in that coalition. I want to participate on the HAW steering committee in that process.

Name: James L. Swarts,
Institution: State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo (Adjunct Lecturer in History, on leave 2017)
Historical Specialization: 20th Century U.S., Presidential history, Family History/Genealogy
Political Background: As a Vietnam era veteran my political views became informed from President Nixon’s illegal expanded war in Southeast Asia, and the Kent State killings. Over the past fifteen years I have been active in organizing local peace/anti-war demonstrations and tabling at conferences and other events. I have been a peace/anti-war guest speaker on several radio talk shows and also as a guest speaker before student groups at local colleges. I was one of the early signers of the HAW declaration opposing the war in Iraq and have been a member of HAW since then. I was first elected to the HAW Steering Committee in 2011.
Reason for Running: I believe HAW is one of the most reasoned intellectual voices speaking out in opposition to the United States war policies. As HAW redefines its role in light of the changing geopolitical U.S. led militarism, I would like to continue working with other members of the Steering Committee to follow through on that work. I also believe HAW can become a more public voice in opposition to U.S. military policy and I want to help in being part of an effort to move HAW forward.

Name: Barbara Weinstein
Institution: New York University (Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: Modern Latin American, Brazil, race and gender, labor and political economy
Political Background: Have been active in anti-war movements since the late 1960s. Most of my political work has taken place within the academy: I’m on the editorial collective of the Radical History Review and am currently a senior editor of ILWCH. As AHA president and member of the general council I initiated and supported efforts to get the AHA to take more explicitly critical positions on issues of transnational significance (such as the exclusion of scholars from the US on the basis of security concerns and the invasion of Iraq). More recently, within the community of North American scholars of Brazil I have been active in protesting the recent legislative coup in Brasília and the turn to the right on social issues.
Reason for Running: I think historians are especially prepared to critique militarism and to interrogate the many ways in which “war” becomes thinkable and comes to seem “unavoidable.” And HAW is an important site for that kind of criticism and activism.

Name: Max Weiss
Institution: Princeton University (Associate Professor of History and Near Eastern Studies)
Historical Specialization: Middle East, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, intellectual history, Arabic literature
Political Background: active in Palestine solidarity movements since the 1990s, including BDS and Open Hillel, activism against the Iraq sanctions during the 1990s, organizing against the Iraq War in 2003 and other antiwar actions. I also serve on the Committee on Academic Freedom - Middle East and North Africa Division of the Middle East Studies Association of North America.
Reason for Running: Given the escalation of U.S. militarism at home and abroad, it is as important as ever for historians, young and old, to bring their diverse voices and historical understanding to bear on the widespread and growing threats to intellectual freedom, public liberties and peace in the Age of Trump, both in the United States and around the world. HAW has an important part to play in this regard.

Name: Kevin Young
Institution: University of Massachusetts Amherst (Assistant Professor of History)
Historical Specialization: I just published a book called Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia (2017), and I’m currently putting together an anthology on the Latin American left in the 20th century.
Political Background: I’ve worked as an organizer in the antiwar, labor, immigrant rights, climate justice, single-payer, and Latin American solidarity movements, and that work has deeply informed my approach to teaching and scholarship. I also run a rudimentary webpage featuring materials for use in counter-recruitment: https://militaryrecruiterslie.org/.
Reason for Running: As part of the HAW Steering Committee, my priorities would be compiling additional teaching resources for the HAW website, developing new teaching materials based on HAW needs and priorities, increasing the site’s traffic, and developing an aggressive media strategy for placing op-eds and letters in newspapers and online media. I do not have web design skills myself, but can help work on content.