I don’t concentrate on any one period of history; I like to locate my stories in wildly different eras and places. I seem to be drawn to large, sprawling, uncomfortable swaths of American history, finding embedded within them a tight narrative that involves strife, heroism, and survival under difficult circumstances.
The argument that capitalism was dependent on slavery is, of course, not new. In 1944, Eric Williams, in ‘Capitalism and Slavery,’ made the case.
One of the things that has made America exceptional – compared to other crisis-prone and class-conflicted countries – is that it has long enjoyed a benefit no other modern nation in the world could claim: the ability to engage in ceaseless, endless movement outward.
Defenders of Wilson are correct to beg for context when considering his legacy. But it is they who ignore the context: the role Wilson played in using war, including Haiti’s racist counterinsurgency, to nationalize white supremacy, militarism, and Christian evangelism.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic don’t just share an island, Hispaniola, but a history, one that includes all the signal events that went into creating the modern world: Columbus, conquest, genocide, slavery, imperial war, revolution, and U.S. counterinsurgencies and military occupations.
In 2015, El Salvador suffered nearly 50,000 cases of dengue. Cuba had 1641 cases, no deaths, and one of the lowest incidence rates in the Americas.
Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, heavy-handedly provoked South American governments on any number of issues, including a rush to endorse the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, which only worked to steel resistance and build solidarity.
It wasn’t until 1973 that Congress and journalists began to investigate ‘Operation Menu,’ around the same moment that the Watergate scandal was unfolding.
In Texas, the rangers were established on an ad hoc basis in the 1820s to protect the settlers making inroads into Spanish borderlands. Soon, Mexicans and Mexican Americans replaced Native Americans as the prime target of ranger repression.
Genghis Khan decreed religious tolerance for all of his conquered peoples. So I think he definitely would approve of our constitutional protections of freedom of religion. I think he would also approve of the way the U.S. has been able to attract talented people from all over the world.