Walter Moss

Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces (2008). For a list of all his recent books and online publications, including many on Russian history and culture, go here:

About Walter G. Moss

Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University. His most recent book is An Age of Progress?: Clashing Twentieth-Century Global Forces (2008). For a list of all his recent books and online publications, including many on Russian history and culture, go here:

Global Warming, Waste, and Greed


Walter Moss: In keeping with our unrestrained consumptiveness, the commonly accepted basis of our economy is the supposed possibility of limitless growth, limitless wants, limitless wealth, limitless natural resources, limitless energy, and limitless debt.

The Folly of War: Europe 1914, Ukraine 2014

war in ukraine

Walter Moss: This year marks the centennial of the beginning of World War I. Some observers believe we humans are close to beginning another war—in Ukraine.

Duke Energy, Cigarettes, Pollution, Profits, and Philanthropy


Walter Moss: By 1907, thanks largely to Duke’s advertising and marketing efforts—in 1889 alone, he spent $800,000 on marketing—U. S. cigarette smoking began to take off, quadrupling in the last 15 years of the nineteenth century.

Crimea and the Dark Side of Self-Determination

Crimean Self-Determination

Walter Moss: If we are to avoid in our present century much of the bloodshed characteristic of the previous one, any such slogans, including self-determination, have to be constrained by a hierarchy of other values. Among them peace, empathy, and tolerance are not the least important.

Professors and Politics a la Wendell Berry


Wendell Berry Politics: If liberal professors had half the influence O’Reilly feared, we would be living in a more just world than we are.

Environmentalism and Why I’m a Vegetarian (Almost)


Vegetarian Health: What convinced me to cut back on eating red meat was when I realized the environmental consequences of consuming it.

Love in Films, Fiction, and Life


Love in Films: I sometimes think that in life we are meant to proceed by shrinking our egoism while broadening and intensifying our love.

What We Got Here Is a Failure to Imagine: The Economy and Environment, History and Happiness, Peace and Politics


Failure to Imagine: If we dare to imagine boldly and creatively enough, we private citizens can help create a more progressive economy.

Wendell Berry on Women and Feminism


Wendell Berry Feminism — The proper type of freedom to seek is the freedom to love, to enter into a loving, mutually-respecting relationship.

Capitalism Versus Democracy


Capitalism Versus Democracy — Democratic socialists have often claimed that democracy fits better with socialism than with capitalism.

A Progressive American Culture Is What We Need


Progressive Culture I envision would battle against our still dominant capitalist consumer culture.

Leo Tolstoy and Wendell Berry: Pacifists and Critics of Modern Life

berry plowing

Leo Tolstoy and Wendell Berry — Both their fiction and non-fiction is full of criticism of modern industrial life and ideas of progress.

California: Arriving, Leaving, Moving, and Staying


California Dreaming — Berry has consistently criticized those seekers always ready to take off in search of better economic opportunities.

Pope Francis: Christian Capitalist Criticism

Pope Francis

Walter Moss: “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly home­less person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?” – Pope Francis

What Is Progress and Are We Progressing?


Are We Better Off — We need to ask ourselves whether on a global scale at the end of the twentieth century people were better off than at the beginning of it.

Wendell Berry’s Pacifism: Part II, 1970-2013


Walter Moss: In his 1968 anti-Vietnam-War speech Berry mentioned the claim that we are a Christian and a democratic country, but that he found “nothing in the Gospels or in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution to justify . . . our slaughter of women and children.”

Wendell Berry’s Pacifism: Part I, The Late 1960s


Walter Moss: To Berry, peace implies a whole way of life including reverence for our environment and harmony in our communities and with the rest of the world.

What Is Progressivism?


Walter Moss: What unites us, as it did the early Progressives, is resistance to–in Muir’s memorable phrase–“trying to make everything dollarable.”

Love and Politics: Reflections on Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice


Walter Moss: Lest one conclude that Nussbaum neglects the value of scientific insight, she balances her reliance on the humanities and arts with an ample use of experimental scientific studies from cognitive psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and neuroscientists.

True Patriotism: Veterans Day Reflections


Walter Moss: The best patriotism involves not just love of country, but also valuing compassion, justice, equality, freedom, toleration, and inclusiveness.

Wendell Berry’s Reflections on Racism


Walter Moss: What I like most about Berry’s comments on racism is his linking it with a broader perspective on what type of society and culture he thinks the United States should have. More about that later, but first it should be noted that his general view is consistent with most liberal/progressive thinking.

The 1960s, the Thatcher/Reagan Era, and Today’s Political Divide


Walter Moss: Despite the utopianism and extremes of the 1960s, those on the Left today are much more sympathetic to that decade’s War on Poverty, civil rights marches, anti-war sentiments, environmental causes, and rejection of “the establishment’s” corporate-dominated consumer culture.

Help Reduce Mandatory Minimum Sentencing


Walter Moss: Let’s not just complain about our dysfunctional Congress. Let’s demonstrate that ordinary citizens still have a voice that matters in our democracy.

Right-Wing Truth-Trampling

fracking 300px

Walter Moss: The most egregious recent example of some right-wing organizations’ truth-trampling is their praise for newspaper columnist Diana West’s revised version of McCarthyism in American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Character.

Have Congressional Republicans No Shame?

gop freak show

Walter Moss: House Republicans once against demonstrated why they so well deserved the contempt of most Americans and why the question “Have You No Shame?” is so appropriate.

The Greatness of Les Misérables and Anna Karenina: The Books Not the Films


Walter Moss: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina are great works. Having recently watched their latest film versions, I can’t say the same for them, though Les Mis seemed better than Anna.

Coping with Information Overload

soren kierkegaard

Walter Moss: There is much evidence that the broadening of choices has led to more uncertainty, stress, and anxiety.

More Money But a Sicker Planet?

global marshmallow

Walter Moss: We tend to forget or marginalize environmental problems while putting to the forefront more immediate concerns like money or whatever stories our media tells us are most important

From 1900 to the Boston Marathon: Reflections on Killing


Walter Moss: American Media coverage makes it almost impossible to ignore the tragic deaths mentioned in places like Newtown and Boston, but to empathize with all the similar sufferings in the rest of the world, and to ask ourselves how the USA contributes to any of it, we have to exert ourselves.

The Senate’s Shameful Lack of Courage on Guns

nra trophy

Walter Moss: In the aftermath of the “shameful day” we have just experienced, where among any of the Senate nay-voters is conscience, ethics, integrity, morality? Gutlessness, not courage, seems triumphant.

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