Nick Capo
Writing Website
Nick Capo is an associate professor and departmental chair of English at Illinois College.  This website's content illustrates his views as a private citizen and public scholar.

His e-mail address is

He occasionally attempts to "Tweet" at

Change and Progress

15 May 2013
I've been working on a few talks and speeches, so it been a while for a column.  Here's a new one in today's Journal-Courier.

20 March 2013
I have a new column about guns and violence in today's Jacksonville Journal-Courier.

18 February 2013
Here's my new column at LA Progressive.  I'm trying to build a list of admirable political leaders, and I decided to start with Thaddeus Stevens.

6 February 2013
I posted a new Journal-Courier column.

11 January 2013
I posted links to a few more Journal-Courier columns.  I also recently finished Hans Trefousse's book Thaddeus Stevens: Nineteenth-Century Egalitarian.  A very interesting biography.

30 November 2012
This column is in this week's Illinois Times.  The Illinois Times, by the way, is a great progressive independent weekly.

29 November
My new column in the Journal-Courier is mostly about education reform, but it could just as easily apply to this idiotic "fiscal cliff."

10 October 2012
Here is my new column in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier.  Julia Gillard, Australia's Prime Minister, just verbally dismantled a political opponent by attacking misogyny in this video.  The political backstory is a complicated mess, but this attack is razor sharp.  

12 September 2012
I finished watching all five seasons of Chuck a few days ago.  My column about the show appeared in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier today.  That was just a wonderful television show. 

2 August 2012
I started a new blog--Public Actions--today.  I'm going to post versions of all of my Journal-Courier columns on it.  This will take some time.

16 July 2012
My most recent column for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier appeared today.  It was a defense of popular culture and was triggered by our trip and the truly enjoyable experience of watching old episodes of Chuck and Justified.

11 July 2012
Beth and I are just back from a great trip to Scandinavia.  Sweden and Norway, in particular, are fantastic places to visit.

30 May 2012
I just used Tameichi Hara's Japanese Destroyer Captain in a column.  It's a very interesting look at the front edges of the naval war during WWII in the Pacific.

8 May 2012

Richard Frank's Guadalcanal is simply a superb work of military history.

4 April 2012

Along with his friend Paul Findley, Senator Dick Durbin spoke at our campus on Monday.  It was a great day for Illinois College.

28 March 2012

I've been thinking about our apparent inability to admit that it is time to leave Afghanistan.  I've also been thinking about Chris Hedges' book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.  I frequently disagree with Hedges, but he is often right and always interesting.

15 March 2012

Once upon a time, in a mythical land called the United States, there were progressive Republicans and Democrats.  Take a look at or read more about Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette.

5 March 2012

I like what Rick Wade is trying to do with The Jacksonville Free Press.  John Nichols describes this kind of activity as the "Next Media" system.  This system, which we're all still trying to figure out, potentially increases individual power but also decreases the influences of the gatekeeper publications.

4 March 2012

This article--"And Now, the Catfood Party," by Carl Bloice--was interesting and disturbing.  Tom Friedman has been pushing the idea of a new third party for a while now, but such a party cannot be simply business as usual by another name.

2 March 2012
I started a Twitter account today; you can follow me at this link.  Slowly but steadily, I am joining the twenty-first century, but on my terms (i.e., I'll try to "tweet" more than once every five months, but certainly not every five minutes).

1 March 2012

A small group of bankers and lawyers apparently are calling themselves Occupy the SEC, and they're trying to influence the writing of the regulations that govern Wall Street.  This is important.  Check out this petition at

26 February 2012

LA Progressive, an online social justice magazine, published one of my new columns today.  This magazine is like an oasis of sanity.  Dick and Sharon have close to fifty regular progressive writers and many other writers who are well worth your reading time.  Steve Hochstadt, a colleague and historian, also writes for this magazine.

15 February 2012

I stumbled across a gem of a book--Eleanor Roosevelt's You Learn by Living (1960)--in my college's library recently.  To my delight, there was also a fiftieth-anniversary edition easily available through online bookstores.  The two chapters on engaged citizenship--"How Everyone Can Take Part in Politics" and "Learning to Be a Public Servant"--still are directly relevant to today's political realities. 

9 February 2012

David Ruderman is gathering signatures for a petition to save the U.S. Statistical Abstract.  Strike a blow for democracy by signing it at this link.

30 January 2012

Christopher Hitchens wrote Letters to a Young Contrarian some time before his early death from cancer.  The book is worth your time.

12 January 2012

I'm 150 pages into The Price of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity by Jeffrey Sachs.  The chapter "The Distracted Society" probably should be required reading in every classroom in the United States.

21 December 2011

I purchased a hardback copy of Jac Weller's Wellington at Waterloo at a book sale in June.  Weller presents the battle almost entirely from Wellington's perspective, but it's a remarkably good book.

9 November 2011

Try Sylvia Nasar's Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius if you're looking for a book worth your time.

5 October 2011

Nicholas Kristof is scheduled to visit our campus to talk about the book he wrote with Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity Worldwide.  I'm expecting to find it very interesting.

11 September 2011

Randall Kennedy recently visited our campus to deliver a major convocation address.  I enjoyed his earlier book Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal, and I'm looking forward to reading his new book The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency.

5 August 2011

You could choose far worse summer reading than Robert Kuttner's The Economic Illusion: False Choices Between Prosperity and Social Justice.  The times they call for his brand of economic sanity.

21 July 2011

David Brooks, the conservative columnist and television commentator, has written some pretty sane, and even hilarious, columns in recent weeks.  Try his July 18 column "The Road Not Taken."

23 June 2011

On his blog, Robert Reich has posted a video--"The Truth about the Economy in 2 Minutes and 15 Seconds"--that offers a clear diagnosis of our economy's illness.  This argument, one of many competing explanations, is the one that makes the most sense to me.

8 June 2011

Progressives should know about Gene Sharp and the Albert Einstein Institution.  The Institution's publication 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action is very, very interesting.

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