An American Band with Baggage: Drive-By Truckers and the Weight of History

Erstwhile editor Graeme Pente reviews the historical content and engagement of Drive-By Truckers’ well-regarded eleventh album, released in 2016. “Even in times of vast upheaval, things just don’t change enough.” — Patterson Hood, American Band liner notes The Drive-By Truckers’ eleventh studio album American Band (2016) topped numerous best-of lists last year for its fine compositions…

A Fiction Reading List for Summer 2017

Erstwhile‘s editorial board offers recommendations for good fiction the members have recently read or hope to get to this summer. Last year, Rebecca Kennedy wrote a good reminder about the value of reading fiction. The post proved a good segue into summer, so we have decided to offer some fiction suggestions again. Here are some…

Graphic Histories: “Castro” by Reinhard Kleist

Graeme Pente reviews Reinhard Kleist’s graphic novel surveying the life of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Erstwhile‘s Graphic Histories series.   “No one fears that we should transform ourselves into dictators. Only he who does not have the support of the people becomes a dictator.” — Fidel Castro, January 1959 Few figures of the twentieth century…

Facing Up to Canada’s Colonial History in Gord Downie’s “Secret Path”

Erstwhile contributing editor Graeme Pente explores the implications of a new Canadian multimedia project that encourages the country to confront its colonial history with the region’s First Peoples. You don’t make a dent / In indifference / Ya gotta haunt them, haunt them, haunt them  — Gord Downie, Secret Path (2016) The graphic novel is the…

American Duopoly: A History of Third-Party Challenges to the Two-Party System

As Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s political fortunes fluctuate, Erstwhile editors Beau Driver and Graeme Pente offer an overview of the history of attempts, from both within and without parties, to change the United States’ two-party political system. With the spectacular collapse of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the last two weeks, political pundits are…

Graduate History Conference at CU Boulder this Weekend

Erstwhile introduces this weekend’s conference run by CU’s history graduate students. Every year for the past sixteen years, the graduate students in the Department of History at the University of Colorado Boulder have hosted the Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference (RMIHC). This conference brings together aspiring historians from across the country for two days in…