‘History’ Archive

150 Years Later, People are Getting All Excited About the Confederate Flag June 27, 2015 No Comments

Recently, a young racist terrorist shot a bunch of people in one of Charleston’s historic black churches.  This kind of stuff happens.  But it has aroused a whole new controversy about the Confederate flag, a century and a half after the supposed country it represents was crushed!  Someone has recently proposed that a school in […]

Dynasties and All That June 16, 2015 No Comments

It will occur to the reader that I have been talking about dynasties and this and that without giving any clear background on them.  The time has come to clarify. DYNASTIES In case you don’t know, a dynasty is a period where all the kings, princes, or emperors descend from one ancestor, usually through the […]

What Kevin Starr Doesn’t Get About Small Towns July 9, 2014 No Comments

I have been enjoying Kevin Starr’s volume in his cultural history series, Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance, 1950-1963.  It is a period of which I have some living memory, and I have heard of, or met, in my childhood a number of the characters in this book.  But I’m afraid he doesn’t […]

Why June 28, 2014, is a Really Big Anniversary June 26, 2014 No Comments

First of all, it is the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke (i.e., Crown Prince) Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo.  This led, of course, to the Great War and a series of wars and cold wars that lasted for much of the 20th century and in my view effectively brought ‘Christendom’ in the West, already very thin […]

Spinning the War of 1812 October 6, 2011 No Comments

Canadian Blitzkrieg captures Detroit and Chicago! Toronto and Buffalo left in ruins! British intervene on Canadian side and capture Washington D.C.! Sounds like some kind of a fantasy novel, doesn’t it!  Well, it actually happened.  It was the War of 1812, and Americans don’t remember it much, though our National Anthem came out of it. […]

Learning from Francis Fukuyama August 10, 2011 2 Comments

I have finished Francis Fukuyama’s magnum opus, The Origins of Political Order, and as you might expect I like the way he cuts across traditional categories. Of course I have read his notorious The End of History and the Last Man, which became a laughingstock – somewhat unfairly.  I think his point is that under modern […]