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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