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With "Out of the Tower" I have created an online history forum that brings historical knowledge to bear on a variety of issues, such as the contours of American constitutional cultural, political history, and gender studies. My blog also touches on my life as an independent historian and primary caregiver of two young children.

Visit the site and join the conversation or see links to my recent blog posts below.




June, 2022

Distinguished Professor of History at American University, and my former PhD advisor, Allan Lichtman has done it again.

With his latest book 13 Cracks: Repairing American Democracy After Trump, Lichtman has given readers a deep dive into the historical context entrenched in the Trump administration’s multitude abuses of power. In the process, Lichtman details different historical examples of how both Democratic and Republican presidents have engaged in practices that have overstepped the appropriate and constitutional level of their presidential power. But, as Lichtman lays bare, former President Donald Trump went beyond the excesses of past presidents because he ripped through all the cracks embedded in U.S. democracy and he broke them open more callously than any of his predecessors.

You can read more about Lichtman's new book, 13 Cracks, at my blog.


April 2021

In this post, I dissect the relationship between women's history and gender history. While the two fields are distinct in their methodologies and priorities, they also share many similarities. As I suggest in my conclusion, both fields can help historians shed light on an emerging debate about civic rights that is taking form in certain social activists circles.

French Medieval Couple

October 10, 2020

A month before the madness of COVID-19 descended upon us, I watched Marielle Heller’s brilliant film, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, the beloved children’s’ television host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The film unearths the long-forgotten virtues of patience, listening, kindness, and the embrace of one’s feelings. I found the film transformational. Yes, even then, when many of us, myself included, enjoyed a relative confidence in the world’s security.


February 29, 2020

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” How did a once inconsequential, dismissed, and somewhat forgotten, sliver of the United States Constitution become such a hotbed of political strife and the source of overwhelming, mass violence?


February 8, 2020

If you, like me, loved Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film, “Little Women,” which starred Winona Ryder as the treasured iconic tomboy, Jo March, you might have been doubtful about the need for yet another Little Women film adaptation. Louisa May Alcott’s cherished nineteenth-century story, Little Women, has been adapted for stage and screen several times, but, for many viewers, the beloved Armstrong version was the definitive visual interpretation of the story. Well, that was the case until Greta Gerwig’s newest film adaptation of “Little Women” hit the theaters this past December. Gerwig’s film stands out not only because it maps new ground for understanding the intricate layers of meaning wrapped in the classic tale, but also because it is a piece of art in its own right.

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