How Kevin Kruse Became History’s Attack Dog

Posted
December 18, 2018
Kevin M. Kruse

Kevin M. Kruse is swamped. Hunched over his desk on a Wednesday in October, fresh off a lecture that morning, the Princeton University history professor needs to prep for a dissertation defense. He has letters of recommendation to read and emails to answer. Ungraded essays sit in fat stacks on his desk.

Like his colleagues, Kruse balances many responsibilities. But there’s one he’s been neglecting all morning: He hasn’t checked Twitter.

He logs on to shocking news: Pipe bombs have been mailed to Democratic leaders and prominent critics of President Trump, in what appears to be a coordinated series of assassination attempts. Like with so many news stories, people are wondering what it means. Kruse has work to do.

If you’ve heard of Kruse, it’s probably because you’ve read his tweets. Online, the historian specializes in serialized posts, called threads, that lend historical context to breaking news or skewer a version of history spouted by right-wing agitators. Yes, there’s precedent for athletes protesting during the national anthem, he wrote when Colin Kaepernick made national news. No, Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t like Trump, he said in another.

Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education.