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! […]

Read more "Dan at the Hill Cumorah Pageant"

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 […]

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

President Adams is Laughing.

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."

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 […]

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