Tim Spofford | SpoffordBooks
Tim Spofford, Author, Civil Rights, Human Rights
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May 08 2018

Nerves, Nukes and the Oval Office

The president seems unstable, impulsive and prone to threatening other nations with bombs. Even his top aides worry about his unchecked power to set the globe afire. This was in the 1970s, and president was Richard Nixon – not Donald Trump, who has bragged that his nuclear button is bigger than Kim Jong-un’s in North Korea. Kenneth B. Clark, the most prominent black scholar in 1970, raised his voice about unstable nuclear leaders, their fragile egos, lust for power and unchecked ability to wipe out the human race. Without mentioning...

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May 01 2018

Civil War Valor, Two Portraits in Black

When it comes to Civil War heroes, we seldom think of sailors or black men. But two new biographies focus on black sailors who snatched ships from the Confederacy and delivered them to the Union against tremendous odds.  One sailor was 27-year-old William Tillman, a free black cook aboard the schooner S.J. Waring.  In the summer of 1861, soon after the war started, Tillman and his ship left New York for South America.  Eight other men were aboard, all of them white, according to Brian McGinty, author of Tillman’s biography, The Rest I...

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Apr 24 2018

American Racism, a Model for Nazis

Adolph Hitler found much to admire in America as he rose to power: its dynamism, its historic westward expansion, and its exceptional racism. He once praised America as the white nation that “gunned down the millions of Redkins to a few hundred thousand.” After Hitler gained power, his lawyers designed new laws to marginalize Jews and other minorities to keep them from polluting German blood. Looking abroad for models, the Nazis found one nation that stood out for its racist laws: America. Some of our laws were so harsh that even the Nazis...

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