Constitutional Interpretation Brief – Arizona SB 1070

Statement of the Facts The United States currently faces a tremendous burden regarding the constant flow of illegal immigrants across its borders.  The gridlock that remains in the polity of Washington, DC over the immigration issue, combined with the increasing rates of crime, border killings, gang violence and drug cartel skirmishes is forcing Border States […]

Analysis – Confederate Reckoning

McCurry, Stephanie. Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010. 1.   Thesis: Slaveholders that created the “slave power” behind the Confederate States of America neglected the political and social places of white women and blacks to their peril.  These neglected groups took advantage of the new necessities […]

Analysis – The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience

Thomas, Emory M. The Confederacy As a Revolutionary Experience:. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. 1.   Thesis: The Civil War resulted in a radical reshaping and restructuring of Southern society, sparking a revolution that began as an effort to conserve rather than to create.  The opposite took place.   The war led to the alteration or elimination […]

Analysis – The South vs. The South

Freehling, William W. The South Vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. 1.   Thesis: The U.S. is not the only “house divided” during the Civil War.  Divisions between white and black, pro- and anti-Confederates, and varying loyalty of the Upper and Lower […]

Analysis – The Political Economy of Slavery

Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy & Society of the Slave South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965. 1.   Thesis: “Slavery gave the South a social system and a civilization with a distinct class structure, political community, economy, ideology, and set of psychological patterns and that, as a result, the […]

Analysis – The Growth of Southern Civilization, 1790-1860

Eaton, Clement. The Growth of Southern Civilization, 1790-1860: . New York: Harper, 1961. 1.   Thesis: The pre-Civil War South is typically portrayed as monolithic culture filled with a romanticized plantation lifestyle is not the accurate portrayal (i.e. the South was not full of white, pristine tranquil plantations, refined southern gentlemen nicknamed “colonel” and charming southern […]

Analysis – Twelve Years a Slave

Northup, Solomon, Sue L Eakin, and Joseph Logsdon. Twelve Years a Slave: . Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1968. 1.   Thesis: Solomon Northup achieves something quite profound in this book.  The narrative shows how a simple economic institution, backed by law and religion, enforced by those seeking to profit from it, can quickly become […]

Analysis – The Slave States

Olmsted, Frederick Law, and Harvey Wish. The Slave States, Before the Civil War: . New York: Capricorn Books, 1959. 1.   Thesis: The institution of slavery is the inhibitor of civilization and modernization in the South.  It slows the progress of education, morality, community, social mores, customs, culture, infrastructure, economic advances, wages and labor practices.  It […]

Analysis – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave. New York: Penguin Books, 1968. 1.   Thesis: Frederick Douglass persuades the reader that the institution of slavery not only robs the slave of all of the fundamental elements of manhood but also robs the humanity from any person that touches it, becomes a […]

Analysis – Southern Women and the Revolution

Southern Women and the Revolution – Mary Beth Norton 1.   Thesis: The Revolutionary War transformed the social role of women. Depending on which region (North or South) a woman lived in and to which class (rural poor, urban, wealthy white) a woman belonged, their level of dependence to men dictated how they reacted to the […]

Analysis – American Revolutionaries in the Making

American Revolutionaries in the Making: Political Practices in Washington’s Virginia (Charles S. Sydnor, University of North Carolina Press, 1952). 1.   Thesis: Despite the somewhat questionable atmosphere of voting and politics, Virginia’s environment fostered and promoted the most qualified persons to the top of the political sphere and did so brilliantly, providing the fire and conditions […]

Analysis – The Only Land They Knew

The Only Land They Knew: The Tragic Story of the American Indians in the Old South (J. Leitch Wright, Jr., The Free Press, 1981) – excerpt: The Original Southerners. True knowledge of the intricate workings of the pre-contact southern Indian civilization is elusive to grasp.  Despite this limitation, author and historian J. Leitch Wright, Jr. […]

Analysis – Myne Owne Ground

Myne Own Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676 (T.H. Breen and Stephen Innes, Oxford Press, 1980). Conventional historical analysis of the rise of racism and slavery in the South paints a very broad brush of these as imported from European settlers from the outset of American colonization.  Authors Thomas Breen and Stephen […]

Analysis – American Slavery American Freedom

American Slavery – American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (Edmund S. Morgan, W.W. Norton & Company, 1975). Author and historian Edmund S. Morgan takes a very thorough and chronological approach to the growth of slavery as an institution starting from the very first landed settlements all the way to the first struggles of the […]

Alexander Hamilton

Biographical Sketch – Alexander Hamilton

Today, Americans take so many things for granted.  As a nation with a limited attention span and a constant need for instant gratification, we conveniently overlook our own heritage and the difficult work of a few statesmen almost two and a half centuries ago.  All of us have handled a ten-dollar bill at one time […]

Alexander Hamilton

Debate – Federalist Papers and the Origins of Hamiltonian Federalism

Any birth, including the birth of a nation, usually involves the pains of labor.  The birth of the United States is no exception.  The controversy over how to shape a new Constitution pitted court and country parties to form around two movements, the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists.  Led by Alexander Hamilton, Federalists sought to improve […]

Bush v Gore

Legal Case Brief – Bush v. Gore

Facts: Bush v. Gore over the counting of ballots in Florida.  Specifically, both parties are arguing for or against recounts in specific counties throughout Florida.  In addition, some disputes are over “under votes”, voter intent, vote inclusion and possible numerical issues in the count. Procedural History: Further problems come from the petition to and decision […]

Global Financial Crisis 2008

Perspective – 2008 Global Financial Crisis

At a recent International Studies Seminar, Professor Donald Frey walked the audience through the entire history of the U.S. financial crisis of 2008.  Specifically, his lecture gave the audience a better sense of how events, as far back as the late 1970s, shaped the mentality of those in government to react slowly or poorly to […]

Thomas Friedman

Perspective – Thomas Friedman

New York Times writer and author Thomas L. Friedman brings attention to a critical element of the climate and energy dilemma that many overlook.  In his keynote presentation as part of the 2010 Wake Forest University Energy Conference, Friedman stresses the need for a true revolution in our thinking towards energy consumption.  He presents a […]


Perspective – Colombia in the Crossroads

In a recent visit to campus, journalist and human rights activist Robin Kirk joined with Tomas Uribe (son of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe) to discuss Columbia at the Crossroads – the past, present and future issues for Colombia.  These issues include drug-trafficking, human rights violations, U.S.-Colombian relations, violence, urbanization and economic development. Speaking first, Kirk […]

Uncle Sam Latin America

Synthesis – U.S. Democracy to Latin America

U.S. Democracy to Latin America: A ‘Counterproductive’ Export? In a 1979 article for the journal Commentary, Former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick states that there is a belief among educated Americans that the U.S. can transform any autocracy in the world into a democracy.[1] This has evolved into somewhat of an ideological mandate in recent years […]

Weavers of Revolution

Analysis – Weavers of Revolution

Peter Winn, Weavers of Revolution: The Yarur Workers and Chile’s Road to Socialism, (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986). The grassroots revolution in Chile presents a pivotal moment in the history of Latin America, revealing a clear departure from previous violent movements found in Cuba, Argentina and Mexico. Instead, Chile experiences nonviolent change through […]

Juan Manuel de Rosas

Analysis – Argentine Caudillo: Juan Manuel de Rosas

John Lynch, Argentine Caudillo: Juan Manuel de Rosas, (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2001). In the study of early South American governance, author and historian John Lynch focuses on the emergence of a governed society in Argentina driven by the influence of Juan Manuel de Rosas.  Lynch chronicles the lifespan of Rosas beginning with the childhood […]

The Worm in the Wheat

Analysis – The Worm In The Wheat

Timothy J. Henderson, The Worm In The Wheat, (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998). Confusing power shifts and agrarian struggles define the Mexican Revolution.  Author and historian Timothy J. Henderson provides a fresh perspective of the period from 1906-1927 by weaving together historical context with the first-hand accounts of foreign-born hacienda owner Rosalie Evans.  Evans […]

High Noon

Film Analysis – High Noon

In his biography, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: A Life in Hollywood, Stanley Kramer had this to say about his film High Noon:  “It’s a story filled with tense anticipation but very little action. Since all those who read it thought of it as a Western, they expected to see guns blazing and […]

Clockwork Orange

Film Analysis – A Clockwork Orange

Many critics miss the mark with A Clockwork Orange.  Some consider the film one that a) deals with the moral depravity of youth in their trends toward graphic societal violence, b) is some highly veiled attempt at New World Order conspiracy theory, or d) a simplistic glorification of violence.  These critiques are not completely accurate.  […]

Zara Case Study

Strategy – Zara Case Analysis

How specifically do the distinctive features of Zara’s business model affect its operating economics? Zara’s business model allows for substantial economic savings throughout their value chain.  Starting with raw materials, Zara has a policy of acquiring only un-dyed fabric initially, allowing the flexibility to change colors and designs and netting a substantial material savings.  In […]

Finance Chart 1

Finance – Investment Recommendation Memo

To: Potential Investor From: Advisory Group 13 Date: June 18, 2010 Summary Assessment Over the past three quarters, Under Armour stock trends reveal comparable growth to its largest competitors and the DJIA. At first glance, the company appears slightly more volatile with higher risk.  UA, however, is still in its major growth stage and investing […]


Entrepreneurship – ISP Sports Analysis Brief

Entrepreneur/Team The entrepreneurship team begins with Ben Sutton, a former WFU graduate and Associate Athletic Director in charge of marketing.  Sutton approached Bill Merrifield, a former athlete and recent WFU graduate who was a member of his marketing staff.  In 1992, both left WFU to launch what is now ISP.  Sutton is a long-time fan […]

Marketing Case: Burroughs Wellcome

Case: Burroughs Wellcome and AZT Key Players: Shepherd, Haigler, Berry Action Required:  Key players must decide whether to: Option 1:  Maintain status quo – no change to price or dosage Option 2:  Drop price per dosage only Option 3:  Drop recommended dosage amount only Option 4:  Drop both price and recommended dosage Company Factors – […]

Marketing Case: Health Cruises, Inc.

Case: Health Cruises, Inc       Key Players: Susan Isom, DeForrest Young, Investor Board Action Required:  A decision is required within 48 hours.  Key players must decide whether to: Option 1:  Abandon/Cancel the planned cruise Option 2:  Move ahead with cruise despite current insufficient booking numbers Option 3a: Infuse $6,000 to acquire a projected 20 extra bookings […]

Colombia at the Crossroads

In a recent visit to campus, journalist and human rights activist Robin Kirk joined with Tomas Uribe (son of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe) to discuss Columbia at the Crossroads – the past, present and future issues for Colombia.  These issues include drug-trafficking, human rights violations, U.S.-Colombian relations, violence, urbanization and economic development.  Speaking first, Kirk […]

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman: Brief Analysis of Energy Dependency

New York Times writer and author Thomas L. Friedman brings attention to a critical element of the climate and energy dilemma that many overlook.  In his keynote presentation as part of the 2010 Wake Forest University Energy Conference, Friedman stresses the need for a true revolution in our thinking towards energy consumption.  He presents a […]

Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia: 2010 and Beyond

At a recent International Studies Seminar, Wake Forest University Professor Charles Kennedy gave a more detailed overview of the interplay between on-the-ground politics of Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia with overall U.S. national interests.  In the discussion, Kennedy focused primarily on Iraq, discussing the sectarian tensions, recent election results and the difficulties of building a […]

The U.S. Immigration Debate – An Analysis

In a nation of immigrants, the debate surrounding immigration reform continues to surface.  The book Taking Sides presents two opposing views from testimony made before the U.S. Senate in 2006.  Each makes the case for or against the economic impact on the United States.  Both find flaws in the studies of the other, and both […]

Case Study – Roxanne Quimby

{youtube}NADaAvW5_4Q{/youtube} “The way to make a million dollars first and foremost is to make it in your mind.”

Short Analysis of Single Payer as a Cost Control Mechanism

Overview During the current healthcare debates that continue to occupy the majority of media attention in this country, many solutions have been tossed around.  The NEJM panel discusses cost control and the need to balance it with achieving an ultimate goal of universal coverage.  Many cost control ideas are tossed around in the discussion, with […]

Change We Can Believe In – Health Information Technology That Works

Change we can believe in.  That is the motto used by current President Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential election campaign.  As the debate on improving national healthcare continues, this motto bears much impact on the future of healthcare.  Most surveys conclude that a majority of Americans desire true ‘change we can believe in’ when […]

afghanistan troop announcement - gavin smith - white house

December 2009 Afghanistan Troop Surge Announcement

Personality Power Plays Shape New Policy As of the date of this paper, the Obama Administration has just approved the increase of 30,000 additional troops to be deployed to Afghanistan.  It is an issue of controversy that stems from a recent assessment by General Stanley McChrystal of the current situation in Afghanistan.  With rumblings of […]

gavin p smith - obama health care speech to congress

Analysis – Obama Healthcare Speech

On September 9, 2009, President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to discuss an issue of both importance and controversy that has plagued the United States for decades – how to reform healthcare.  Initiated as a main platform in his bid for the Presidency, Obama is pushing for healthcare reform to occur this […]

Short Analysis – Vietnam Failures

For the past few decades, debates continue over why the U.S. experienced failure in Vietnam.  Did the U.S. suffer from a lack of total commitment from civilian leaders and handicap itself in prosecution of the war effort?  Did the military have the wrong style and plan for executing the war?  Did the U.S. ever fundamentally […]

Short Analysis – Vietnam Draft

Since the birth of the United States, a military draft (also known as conscription) has been utilized in all major wars, including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  However, conscriptions were broad and existed only during extreme wartime needs.  There was no federal infrastructure in place […]

Sample Withdrawal Recommendation – Vietnam

Confidential/Classified To: POTUS  RE: Directive –Recommended Actions for Vietnam Conflict  The situation is dire in Vietnam and calls for the United States to make a pivotal decision.  With further destabilization of South Vietnam and further militarization of North Vietnam, the United States now faces two potential conclusions: 1) more decisive and direct involvement militarily, or […]

Sample Policy Objectives – Vietnam 1968

Memo – Confidential/Classified To: POTUS RE: Directive – Overall Policy Objectives and Recommended Actions for Southeast Asia  In the matter regarding current instability within Southeast Asia, it is recommended that the United States immediately bring all ideological, psychological, diplomatic and economic powers and means to bear on the Southeast Asia theatre, particularly in the Associated […]

Vietnam in My Life

When I was born in March of 1973, Vietnam had barely come to a close.  The Cold War was turning into a high-stakes nuclear staring match between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. throughout much of the 1970s until the late 1980s.  Those were the days of Reagan and Gorbachev, times that were marked by nuclear […]