print logo

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.