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! […]Read more "Dan at the Hill Cumorah Pageant"
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"
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…)"
Introduction Before I get into any detail, I wish to state that I’ve been a registered Republican since I turned 18, about 10 years ago. On Election Day 2016, I cast my vote… for former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate who did not know or remember the significance of Aleppo. Governor Johnson […]Read more "Factional Discontent & Electoral Confusion"
In the wake of Election Day I, like many or even most Americans, have struggled to make sense of the country, of others, of myself. I have struggled to understand what has happened and why, and what may or may not happen in the future. Perhaps what I have struggled with most is the absolutely […]Read more "Election Day, 2016: A Clinical Social Work Perspective"