Dan at the Hill Cumorah Pageant

Hi Tangents followers! I recently attended the Mormon Church’s Hill Cumorah pageant outside Rochester, N.Y. This all-volunteer, 75-minute theatrical performance stages the Book of Mormon as a (mostly) family-friendly drama. The show embodies the LDS religion’s messages of supernatural self-fulfillment and a mythic history for the United States. Read more in Emory University’s Sacred Matters magazine! […]

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The History of History 13: Where’d All These Frenchmen Come From?

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 […]

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The History of History 12: How the West Won (For a While…)

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 […]

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The History of History 7: Marx & Engels

Ah Karl, you little rascal, you. Your philosophy inspired heated debates in the nineteenth century, turned the world upside down in the twentieth century, and lies somewhat dormant in the twenty-first century, as the word communism is associated with totalitarian regimes. Moreover, your name frequently overshadows your collaborator, Friedrich Engels. What of poor Engels, who […]

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