The warring monarchies of early modern Europe are not my specialty, compared to my European-historian peers, so I read Pierre Goubert’s Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen (1966; English version 1970) at a mild disadvantage. Still, I found that I rarely needed to peruse Wikipedia for extra context, as Goubert writes with a non-specialist audience […]Read more "The History of History 13: Where’d All These Frenchmen Come From?"
It was cold but clear out — good weather for a march in January. My girlfriend had made some signs invoking radical political figures past: Shirley Chisholm, the Industrial Workers of the World (perhaps Elizabeth Gurley Flynn is instructive here). We had planned to park in her old neighborhood in south Boulder, in order to […]Read more "Being History: Reflections on the Women’s March in Denver"
This is the fourth year-end wrap-up I’ve written about music. My past discussions of particular songs or albums have tended to be lengthy, so this year I’ll try to assess items with brevity. While 2016 may not have seen as many inventive recordings as in 2015, the year had a proliferation of well-honed albums and […]Read more "Mountains of the Moon, Earth to Heaven: The Best Music of 2016"
What is the story behind 2016? Inevitably what this question is really asking — at least, in large part — is, ”So, what’d you think about the election?” I want to keep this bit as abbreviated as possible, so here are some month-over-month tweets in which I talk about politics (but also gyros). Interestingly enough […]Read more "Goodbye to All That: Banishing 2016"
The organic matter residing within the umpteen dimensions of space and time that constitute the grave of our Second President, John Adams, is emitting laughter. Instead of a dystopian hellscape after the election, we are living in a political outcome that has taken “President Adams ‘great fear’” of factionalism to farcical levels. The 2016 presidential […]Read more "President Adams is Laughing."
After reading Kenneth Pomeranz’s Great Divergence and Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis, we staggered into class this week with the literary equivalent of battle scars. We had read two dense tomes in a week and lived to tell the tale. Most people launched into conversation by stressing the density of Pomeranz, with his many footnotes and nuanced case […]Read more "The History of History 12: How the West Won (For a While…)"
Originally posted on Erstwhile: A History Blog:
On July 10th, 2015, members of a South Carolina Highway Patrol honor guard reeled down the Confederate flag from a pole in front of the statehouse. Ten thousand onlookers roared excitedly as the flag descended, some cheering “USA! USA! USA!” – a traditionally patriotic shout that took on new meaning when…