Chuck Chalberg

About Chuck Chalberg

John C. “Chuck” Chalberg teaches American History at Normandale Community College, writes from Minnesota, and brings history to life in the persons of G.K. Chesterton, George Orwell, H.L. Mencken, Branch Rickey, and Teddy Roosevelt at History on Stage.

“The Hour of Fate”: Theodore Roosevelt & American Capitalism

By |2020-07-05T13:18:12-05:00July 5th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Books, Capitalism, Economics, Politics, Presidency, Teddy Roosevelt|

Theodore Roosevelt was the obvious victor in both of the “battles to transform American capitalism.” He refused to do the bidding of the coal operators and instead helped engineer a compromise. American capitalism was not so much transformed as tamed in the process. The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan and the Battle [...]

Is America Still Exceptional After the Coronavirus Crisis?

By |2020-05-31T16:11:11-05:00May 31st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Barack Obama, Coronavirus, Politics|

A recent commentary suggests that American exceptionalism has been shattered by the COVID-19 crisis. If we are indeed left “shattered” and “battered” by a mere virus and our response to it, the rest of the world may one day wish that an exceptional America was still on hand to deal with forces seeking to [...]

Christopher Caldwell’s “The Age of Entitlement”

By |2020-04-01T12:00:04-05:00April 1st, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Books, History, Modernity, Politics, Presidency|

Are we a less free people, maybe even a far less free people, than we were in 1963? Partial punch-puller that he is content to be, Christopher Caldwell is not about to offer either a tentative or final answer to such questions. But the evidence that he presents strongly suggests that we are certainly [...]

The 2020 Election Will Render a Verdict on Progressivism

By |2020-01-25T23:58:09-06:00January 26th, 2020|Categories: American Republic, Donald Trump, Government, Politics, Progressivism|

Conventional wisdom has it that the 2020 election will be a referendum on Donald Trump. Perhaps so. But the result could also prove to be a referendum on something ultimately much more important than Mr. Trump. A Trump victory—or a Trump defeat—could prove to be a referendum on the larger phenomenon of modern progressivism. [...]

Bernie Sanders & Dreams of an American Sweden

By |2019-11-25T23:57:16-06:00November 11th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, History, John C. Calhoun, Politics|

Will a Sanders-like agenda produce eventual Democratic success at the polls? Maybe so or maybe not. Either way, it could lead to the achievement of Senator Sanders’ cherished goal of an American Sweden. While Senator Bernie Sanders may never be president, his oft-stated goal may one day be realized. This is especially so, if [...]

George Kennan’s Diaries

By |2020-03-11T14:36:50-05:00September 4th, 2019|Categories: American Republic, Books, Civilization, Cold War, Europe, Foreign Affairs, Politics, War|

George Kennan was—and remains—an important, even compelling, figure in the early history of the Cold War. But these selections from his diaries reveal him to have been something other than what this honest and calm, but not always detached and cool, professional diplomat took himself to be. The Kennan Diaries, edited by Frank Costigliola [...]

George Will’s “The Conservative Sensibility”

By |2020-02-07T18:51:12-06:00August 21st, 2019|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Government, Politics|

In “The Conservative Sensibility,” George Will posits that taming the administrative state and restoring the principles of the American Founding is the great American political project of the 21st century. But is the country up to the task? The Conservative Sensibility, by George F. Will (640 pages, Hachette Books, 2019) If prudence is a [...]

“American Priest”: Father Ted Hesburgh’s Ambition & Conflicted Legacy

By |2019-07-14T02:34:27-05:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, Education, Leadership|

Can there be such a thing as a great Catholic university, if greatness is defined as Princeton and Harvard and Yale—and Fr. Hesburgh—would define it? Probably not. Fr. Hesburgh failed to achieve the goal that he set for himself, while succeeding greatly at something that he did not set out to do. American Priest: [...]

When Republicans Were Progressive

By |2019-05-30T15:31:54-05:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: Books, Politics, Progressivism, Republicans|

Always seeking a perch somewhere just slightly to the right of center, Senator David Durenberger regarded government as a problem-solver of something other than the first resort. Today he is not so sure. When Republicans Were Progressive, by Dave Durenberger (296 pages, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2018) Long before the country was divided into [...]

“My Name Is Lazarus”: G.K. Chesterton’s Converts

By |2019-05-18T22:19:36-05:00May 18th, 2019|Categories: Books, Catholicism, Christianity, G.K. Chesterton|

In “My Name is Lazarus,” a collection of thirty-four essays by thirty-four Chesterton-influenced converts, Dale Ahlquist presents us with a compelling anthology of personal redemption stories. Each tells a story that hits home—probably because each tells a story of coming home. My Name is Lazarus: 34 Stories of Converts Whose Path to Rome Was [...]