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Ribuffo

USIH as a Lens to Understanding the Election

Dear Readers: Attempts to put the 2008 presidential campaign in the context of U.S. intellectual history are, if nothing else, a good test of the relevance of our sub-discipline. We have had numerous such discussions at this site lately, especially relating Obama and Niebuhr. Using a short piece by historian Leo P. Ribuffo on Obama’s race speech, we asked why Niebuhr has become more relevant, again. In a recent e-mail discussion I had with Professor Ribuffo (who, by the way, was my dissertation advisor), he attempted to answer our question. Ribuffo writes: “Niebuhr is or should be of interest to Read more