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About Charlotte Allen

I’m an award-winning journalist who has published prolifically in the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Insight, City Journal, Washington Monthly, the New Republic, and the Atlantic. I’m the author of “The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus” (1998). I have a B.A. from Stanford, an M.A. from Harvard, a law degree from U.S.C., and a doctorate in medieval and Byzantine studies from the Catholic University of America.

I can be reached at charfleur at aol dot com.

43 Comments
  1. Charlotte,
    Just read your Kelo essay. Great piece of work. I grew up in Groton and was furious about the Kelo travesty, but what really impressed me was the quality of your writing.
    Thanks,
    Joe Kirkup

  2. David Frazier permalink

    Hey Charlotte: I read your essay “Privacy Down the Toilet” in National Review. You raise some very practical points. I am curious, however, as to whether Americans’ restroom routine of “separate but equal” is peculiar to us only. Do you know what is the custom in the rest of the western world?
    Thanks,
    David Frazier

    • David:

      As far as I know, Western countries uniformly have separate restrooms for men and women–although you do occasionally run into unisex bathrooms, usually in small establishments that may have only one restroom period.

      Charlotte

  3. From your piece on Grapes of Wrath in the December 29, 2014 issue of The Weekly Standard: As time rolled on, it became clear to everyone except English teachers that Steinbeck had gotten everything wrong in The Grapes of Wrath, per…”

    This is right-wing political tripe published in a tarnished rag that only lovers of Rush Limbaugh could appreciate.

    Per Wikipedia: “The Weekly Standard is an American neoconservative opinion magazine published 48 times per year. Its founding publisher, News Corporation [founded by Rupert Murdoch], debuted the title September 18, 1995. Currently edited by founder William Kristol and Fred Barnes, the Standard has been described as a ‘redoubt of neoconservatism’ and as ‘the neo-con bible’. Since it was founded in 1995, the Weekly Standard has never been profitable, and has remained in business through subsidies from conservative benefactors such as former owner Rupert Murdoch. Many of the magazine’s articles are written by members of conservative think tanks located in Washington, D.C.” [In other words, the magazine is a fascist propaganda organ.]

    You’re a propagandist with about as much credibility as a Li’l Orphan Annie comic book, itself a fantasy of right-wing propaganda.

    Glaring among your ridiculous lies is: …Steinbeck had no clue as to what those people could have been thinking about in real life.

    As a young man, Steinbeck worked among the migrant workers as a farm laborer. As an accomplished writer (Of Mice and Men and three other novels had been published) he was hired by a magazine to investigate reports about terrible conditions of migrant workers in California’s Central Valley. He toured the labor camps and became so appalled by what he witnessed that he felt compelled to memorialize the suffering in a novel. He wrote history as it was happening. The threat of communism during the Great Depression was real. By holding up a mirror to the grim realities of capitalism, Steinbeck may have helped prevent a revolution. The novel even embarrassed Eleanor Roosevelt into touring the labor camps.

    Steinbeck made sure that someone with years of experience in California farm labor–Tom Collins, head of the Arvin/Weedpatch/”Wheatpatch” labor camp featured in the book and novel–was hired as the film’s technical advisor, making it a condition of sale of the film rights.

    When Darrel Zanuck, himself a conservative, produced the John Ford (another conservative)-directed film of TGOW, he hired investigators and found conditions worse than Steinbeck reported in the book.

    TGOW won a Pulitzer. They don’t give such awards to insensitive distortions of history. You embarrass yourself by posting neoconservative (aka “fascist”) propaganda here. You embarrass humanity.

    Who’s paying you, Murdoch or the KOCH-topus?

    • “TGOW won a Pulitzer. They don’t give such awards to insensitive distortions of history.”

      You do know, don’t you, that “they” gave a Pulitzer prize to Gone With the Wind?

      I know that the original comment is an old one, but having come upon it in a fit of insomnia, I could not resist responding.

      • “Gone With the Wind” is actually extremely well-constructed, with vivid characters, and in its way it’s a pretty good take on the Civil War, which it regards as a folly that ultimately destroyed the South. Most of the men who eagerly sign up for the Lost Cause end up dead. It’s a potboiler, but it’s actually a much more complex book than the relentlessly didactic “Grapes of Wrath.” It’s not taken seriously nowadays because it doesn’t beat a leftist drum about the evils of slavery, and its planter-class characters aren’t evil “Django Unchained” caricatures.

  4. Charlotte Allen should know some scripture, having written The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus.

    Perhaps she is familiar with Matthew 25:37-40: 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Allen has a string of degrees from top schools and a doctorate in medieval and Byzantine studies. But where is the evidence she has a SOUL?

    All that time and money spent on an education that she’s throwing away pandering to the wealthy 1%, people who need her the least. She needs to get out of her ivory tower and experience a bit of the suffering of which see seems so callously ignorant. Maybe, hopefully, then she’ll sing a different tune. (If she hasn’t bought too deeply into Randist propaganda.)

    (signed: Tom Joad)

    • Diane Silva Bettencourt permalink

      Mr. Joad,

      I can assure you that Charlotte Allen indeed has a soul. I am her ” little sister” (Big Brother / Big Sister organization). Charlotte came into my life and unselfishly gave of her time and money to make a difference in my life. I was the child of a welfare mother. From Charlotte I gained confidence, a strong work ethic and was motivated to get a graduate degree. As a result I did embarked on a great career thus ending the cycle of poverty in my family. I saw firsthand that there were many people on welfare that were just too damn lazy to work / be productive, etc. Women having babies just so they could collect welfare. Yes, welfare has its place, but not to be a crutch lasting a lifetime.

      Charlotte’s love and support, especially when I was still a child has instilled compassion and a thirst for education. It has enabled me to earn a high salary so I can selectively assist animal charities and those that seem to be truly in need.

      You Sir, do not know her. I am proud to call her my ” sister”.

      Signed,

      Diane Bettencourt

  5. You have a very interesting blog. I will be back to read more in the future.

  6. Diane permalink

    Charlotte, most welcomed. And it’s all true. You’ve made an incredible difference in my life. What was stated and much more.

  7. Dear Ms Allen,

    Just a brief word to tell you how much I enjoyed reading “The Human Christ.” I was particularly impressed by how you tied many of the ideas current in each generation to scholars’ perceptions of Jesus and his teachings.

    As was true throughout the last few centuries, was true also in the first century. You might enjoy reading my book “A Rabbi Looks at Jesus’ Parables” (available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc). It traces the Jewish background to the teachings and stories attributed to Jesus in the Gospels.

    Shalom,

    Rabbi Frank Stern

  8. B. FINDLEY permalink

    Just because you are educated does not mean you have good political judgements. Trump as example. He is dangerous a literal Trojan horse. YOUR Weekly standard pedigree stealth mode. You must be looking for some sort of compensation or job with the German immigrant. YOU think we should build a wall in Germany to keep Trumpters out.

  9. David Ermold permalink

    I saw your article about us today on facebook. Thanks for doing such wonderful investigative journalism. Yes, that is sarcasm…

    “Another gay male couple, David Moore and David Ermold, who were also refused a marriage license and who filed a separate lawsuit against Davis that is currently on hold pending final resolution of the Miller case, display a similar demographic profile. Moore works as a graphic designer for Morehead State, while Ermold is an assistant professor of English at the nearby University of Pikeville. In other words, the Davis litigation is a classic confrontation of the thriving educated class and the struggling working class—in a town where the townies are generally at significant socioeconomic disadvantage compared to the gown-wearers.”

    –> Except that Ms. Davis isn’t part of a lower socioeconomic class. She IS educated, and I’m fairly certain if we compared salaries, we wouldn’t be coming out on top. It’s interesting how a writer living in Washington, D.C. thinks they know everything there is to know about small town issues but can’t even run a salary search online. Perhaps the writer of the piece might consider visiting and interviewing people here in Morehead before passing judgment. What a waste of a writer and reader’s time. <–

  10. http://opendoor.ky.gov/search/Pages/SalarySearch.aspx Ms. Davis’ salary does not show up here as she is an elected official, but she makes over $80,000 a year. She makes more than both my husband and I combined. Interestingly, she makes more than just about everyone in litigation with her with the exception of one person that makes $1,000 more. Your analysis is completely flawed, and your facts are flat out wrong. Period.

    • With the link I posted, you can search for the salary of every faculty and staff member of Morehead State University that has been updated as of last year. Also, due to our new Tea Party Governor, you can count on those salaries decreasing in the fall, as my husband and the entire staff of the university was furloughed over the last few months. Two minutes of your time would have netted you the understanding that Davis is the one with a socioeconomic advantage in our county, and it is not the other way around. This was a fight due to our civil rights being denied. Nothing more, nothing less. You can frame it how you want, but facts are facts. My salary does not appear in the above as I work for a private college, but I can certainly tell you that faculty in Kentucky don’t make the wages others do in more populous states. I don’t know what your agenda is with this piece, but it’s full of disinformation. How you won previous journalism awards is beyond me if this is how you conduct research.

  11. Davis started making that $80,000 only after she was elected to public office in 2014.

    • David Ermold permalink

      Point being what? Davis makes more than almost any of those litigating against her. If anything, the couples litigating are on somewhat equal footing with Ms. Davis in regards to socioeconomic status. Your article is disingenuous. I don’t know how they do it there in Washington, D.C., but here in Kentucky, we teach our students that when they are wrong, they should accept responsibility, reconcile their mistakes, and move on with their life. You are wrong here as you didn’t do the necessary research. I teach research, writing, and communication, and I am telling you, you are making false insinuations bordering on lies. If you feel you need to defend yourself to save your conscience and/or ego, then so be it, but you are not fooling anyone. Good day to you.

    • Plus she get 4% of all fees, taxes paid. She was one of the highest paid deputy clerks in the state of Kentucky, $68,000+. But her mother was the Clerk……The State Auditor expressed concerns and this office was investigated for repeated overtime being paid to Kim. Oh my….$80,000 for not doing her job.

  12. David Ermold permalink

    I don’t need to, as I know the facts; you don’t. As I said, good day.

  13. Diane permalink

    The fact that you won’t, means you haven’t done YOUR research fully. It’s pretty enlightening! Lol

    • David Ermold permalink

      I don’t base my research on opinion, I base it on facts. The google search Ms. Allen suggests is a link to countless articles to which I do not share the opinion of. Genuine journalism relies on facts and not opinion. Ms. Allen needed to base her article on fact in which she did not.

  14. Diane permalink

    Well, 80,000 a year and slightly more

    is a very low salary by my measurements. But for not doing her job?

  15. BELINDA WEBB permalink

    Hey,
    Just read your article about the, “Bullet Train to Nowhere” and had to tell you it was really well done. I was amazed at how you took a complex, tangled up mess and made sense of it.
    I live here in Merced county and this train is a joke, a sad sad joke.
    Thanks again for an informative article and I hope you follow up on it in another 15 years to see where its at.

    Belinda Webb

  16. Charlotte. Long time WS reader and privatization manager based in New York. Just read your CHSRA article. Brilliant job

  17. Joey Moore permalink

    Hey Charlotte, just want to let you know that you are a hypocrite. Go ahead and mutilate your genitals if you think it’s so great. No one should have the right to cut another persons healthy genitals in the name of culture or religion. Any religion that requires genital mutilation to become a member needs a serious review. You suck for supporting HGM, human genital mutilation.

    • How crazy are you?

      • Joey Moore permalink

        Crazy for human rights! By supporting the genital mutilation of infants, YOU obviously do not care about human rights.

  18. Are you just going to write the same comment over and over?

  19. “Human rights”! What a hilarious way of describing it.

    • Joey Moore permalink

      You don’t think a person should have the right to decide what irreversible cosmetic surgeries are done to their own body? Cutting healthy genitals is wrong. I read your article about circumcision. It’s a disgrace, you mock victims. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  20. Jews have been doing it for centuries with little ill effect.

    • Joey Moore permalink

      So what? Why is it being promoted as ‘medicine’ by the medical community? What about female circumcision? Sure some suffer, but it too has been going on for centuries with little ill effect to most of the women globally. Does that somehow make it ok to carry on? NO! Any form of alteration to another human beings body in the name of culture or religion is wrong! You cannot support one and demonize the other. It’s time to stop cutting the genitals of healthy babies ALL OVER THE WORLD.

  21. Just wanted to say that its a great blog, and a refreshing perspective. Keep up the insights.

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