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May 28, 2024: It is amazing to watch a tiny human, my granddaughter, develop language for herself.

May 25, 2024: Whenever I finish fixing one thing on my site, a new issue arises. Still, if I tell my perfectionist self to get over it, I can have a good weekend, …

May 20, 2024: This is just a test post from Drafts.app (MacOS and iOS) to Micro.blog, which will then crosspost to Mastodon and Bluesky. Later, I will hit a …

May 19, 2024: Cleaning up my blog posts, which I’ve moved to Micro.blog, reveals just how much extra unnecessary garbage markup WordPress.com has dumped into …

May 12, 2024: I am migrating my website from WordPress.com to Micro.blog in order to simplify its maintenance, reduce costs, and streamline my online communication. …

Sep 19, 2023: Juggling Social Media Platforms I quit the old bird site last December, and I’ve been a happy Mastodon user instead ever since. Nonetheless, I’ve recently begun …

Sep 17, 2023: Driving north on Rt. 16, I can still be surprised by the appearance of the White Mountains from a few hilltops between Wakefield and Ossipee. For a …

Sep 1, 2023: It’s a beautiful day over here in Down East Maine, where my mother is undergoing a two-part procedure while I wait outside. The picture here is …

Aug 28, 2023: Ukrainian Media at War In the past, I rarely watched YouTube, but the bird site’s corruption has seen me on YouTube much more often, as I search for content about …

Aug 25, 2023: Sign of Life My last post was of snow and now August is almost over? Yikes! After commuting thousands of miles between DC and New Hampshire since my fathers …

Jan 7, 2023: Snow-covered trees with a moon behind them in Center Conway, NH, on the evening of January 6, 2023. The slightly visible lines in the sky are a light …

Jan 6, 2023: Links: Russo-Ukrainian War Here are some worthwhile articles related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. No paywalls – all links lead to freely available texts. Under Cover …

Jan 1, 2023: Ringing in the New Year: Peace and War, Hope and Fear Puck cartoon marking the new year in 1914. A young man (the New Year) in a smoking jacket and a vest labeled 1914 says to the old year, dressed as …

Dec 27, 2022: Choices Many conservatives and liberals share an ableist worldview that says getting COVID is now a matter of individual responsibility. Entering society to …

Dec 23, 2022: Red Cross Poster with Christkind, circa 1917 Repository: Library of Congress. "Christmas collection of the Bavarian Red Cross for our men in field gray" reads the caption of this Red Cross …

Dec 21, 2022: The press conference this afternoon reminds me of what a disaster we averted by showing the orange blob the door after one term. I get frustrated by …

Dec 18, 2022: Ongoing Saga It’s so hard to look away from Musk’s wrecking ball when I go to Twitter for voices on Ukraine. Also hard not to comment on other …

Dec 4, 2022: Bye Bye Birdie The new owner of Twitter is behaving in a way that has forced me to make a decision. Can I, in good conscience, continue to produce content that earns …

Nov 23, 2022: Mastodon The new owner of Twitter is turning that site into something of a dumpster fire, so I have set up an account on a Mastodon server as well. I’m …

Nov 23, 2022: Death Wish for Their Soldiers I can’t shake these lines from Stasik’s “Lullaby for the Enemy” about Ukraine’s Donbas: You wanted this land Now mix …

Oct 27, 2022: Brute Force Power at its most menacing and totalising is also insecure and unsustainable. Yangyang Cheng, Xi “Jinping has purged China of hope – but he …

Sep 25, 2022: Writing is Thinking Fifteen years ago, I wrote a short post encouraging students to write for themselves on a regular basis. Writing is hard work for almost everyone, no …

Sep 7, 2022: Potato Harvest Harvesting potatoes on a collective farm near Kyiv in 1959, via the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2021791980

Aug 11, 2022: More than a Euphemism Perhaps Putin’s phrase “special military operation” should be seen as something more insidious than a euphemism for war. At the very …

Jul 17, 2022: Justitia Again The following cartoon and comment, which I posted on February 5, 2017, did not age well. After the latest Spiegel cover and all the news it embodies, …

Jul 15, 2022: The Old House and Barn My brother took the above photo on his trip to New Hampshire last month. It’s the old barn at the house we grew up in, viewed from a dirt road. …

Jul 15, 2022: To Everything There Is a Season It feels strange to be back home in DC after nine months away in rural New Hampshire. And I’m driving back up next week for my father’s …

Jul 12, 2022: Wordpress no longer supported the blog theme I was using, so I decided to start from scratch with a minimalist block theme (Livro) that allows full …

Jan 17, 2022: We Are the Problem We blame the virus for the disastrous condition of our schools the catastrophic state of our hospitals the ruinous structure of our workplaces the …

Dec 16, 2021: New Hampshire Winter In-home and residential care options for octogenarians have become extremely limited in these trying times, so I’ve been spending the last …

Aug 17, 2021: Ten Helpful Tweets on Revising Read the full thread on the Wayback Machine.

Jul 14, 2021: American Sociopathy In the United States in the year 2021, you, as an American citizen, do not necessarily have the right to vote. You do not necessarily have the right …

Jul 10, 2021: Open Access Article on 'History of Knowledge' Blog A short article I wrote with Kerstin von der Krone about History of Knowledge, the first blog in the German Historical Institute Washington’s …

May 17, 2021: 'Keep Clean' WPA poster by Erik Hans Krause, ca. 1936–39. Repository: Library of Congress.

May 4, 2021: The Self I believe the self is, at least in part, a cleverly disguised deception that allows the social world in and allows us to be “overtaken” …

Apr 19, 2021: Springtime in Glover Park, Washington, DC Photo by author.

Apr 19, 2021: Russian Anti-Austrian War Propaganda, 1914–15 “An Austrian went to Radziwill and came right on to a peasant woman’s pitchfork,” Russian print by Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, …

Apr 17, 2021: Getting the News Crowds lining up to get their letters and newspapers at the post office on Pike and Clay Streets in San Francisco, California, ca. 1850. This was a …

Mar 1, 2021: Pandemic Dreams Recurring theme in my pandemic-era dreams: I am in a social situation with many other people, and then I notice none of us is wearing a mask. These …

Mar 1, 2021: “I’m a Short Afternoon Walk and You’re Putting Way Too Much Pressure on Me” by Emily Delaney

Jan 11, 2021: Leadership Failure . . . As senators and House members trapped inside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday begged for immediate help during the siege, they struggled to get …

Dec 23, 2020: Statistics and Tears “In fact, the more who die, sometimes the less we care,” [Paul] Slovic said in an interview. In greater numbers, death becomes impersonal, …

Dec 15, 2020: Leadership and Trust Trust is fundamental, reciprocal and, ideally, pervasive. If it is present, anything is possible. If it is absent, nothing is possible. The best …

Nov 2, 2020: Children Watching “The Children Were Watching,” dir. Robert Drew and Richard Leacock, USA 1961, 25 min. – This documentary doesn’t feel as old to me as I wish it …

Sep 28, 2020: Depression in Two Senses of the Word Shot in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, in 1934. Source: Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013647257.

Jul 13, 2020: 'Absurdist Tropes'

Jun 8, 2020: Looking forward to a more productive week in quarantine now that martial law and the end of our democracy appear to be off the table for the time …

Jun 3, 2020: Curfew The disturbing emergency alert sound from my phone (for DC’s 4th curfew night) makes me think of an air raid siren. The blaring is an apt metaphor for …

May 30, 2020: Riots Minnesota Governor Walz’s assertion that ongoing riots are no longer about George Floyd ring true in a way. But were they ever about one man? …

May 29, 2020: 'Mr Smith Goes to Washington' I watched "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) last night. Despite the many differences to today's world and the oversimplification of the state …

May 18, 2020: Alpharetta, Georgia [A] great American experiment got underway in a place promising “the luxury of the modern South” with none of the death. Stephanie …

May 2, 2020: Quarantine Life Cold-brewing some tea, two hibiscus and one lemon balm Photo by author

Apr 3, 2020: 'The Public Health' (1840) Via JSTOR Daily, which describes an 1840 pamphlet advocating "a four-pronged approach to public healthcare that sounds remarkably like our own."

Mar 7, 2020: Two Faces of America To stand in Mann’s study today, with editions of Goethe and Schiller on the shelves, is to feel pride in the country that took him in and shame for …

Feb 25, 2020: The Sod Leveling hummocks in dust bowl, thirty miles north of Dalhart, Texas. Farmer: "Every dime I got is tied up right here. If I don't get it out, I've got …

Feb 24, 2020: Social Cognition “Naomi [who denounces ‘climate alarmism’] said her political activism was sparked a few years ago when she began asking questions in school about …

Feb 19, 2020: Migrant Girl in the Dust Bowl "Migrant worker looking through back window of automobile near Prague, Oklahoma. Lincoln County, Oklahoma," 1939. Repository: The New York Public …

Feb 14, 2020: Happening Here WPA Federal Art Project in New York City, ca. 1936/37. The play was based on a novel about fascism happening here. Repository: Library of Congress …

Feb 14, 2020: 'Authoritarian Style' “Trump’s authoritarian style is remaking America” by Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post

Feb 11, 2020: 'Emigration—Detailing the Progress and Vicissitudes of an Emigrant' (1833) Here is a 15-panel satire by C.J. Grant, perhaps meant for working-class Britons. In it, British emigrants could get away from taxes, but expect …

Feb 11, 2020: Saco River Saco River in Conway, NH, just upstream from the covered bridges on the afternoon of December 25, 2019. Photo by author.

Feb 9, 2020: Mt. Washington Mt. Washington from Intervale, NH, on January 31, 2020. Photo by author.

Mar 17, 2019: Consumer Engineering Another editorial project is nearing completion. Waiting for the page proofs now for Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s: Marketing between Expert …

Mar 17, 2019: New Blog My latest editorial project: Migrant Knowledge, a blog with Andrea Westermann and Swen Steinberg for the German Historical Institute Washington.

Feb 8, 2019: Walls Speaking of imagined walls, here’s one from 1916, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Feb 7, 2019: Munitions Workers Female employees of the German munitions factory WASAG in their work clothes, 1916. The one on the right seems to have been “conscripted” …

Nov 20, 2018: Astoria, Oregon

Nov 20, 2018: American Psycho Is insidious destruction of our democracy by a bureaucratic samurai with the soothing voice of a boys’ school headmaster even more dangerous than a …

Oct 24, 2018: The Changing Faces of Nationalism As a historian who sometimes teaches about Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I have to give Trump credit for one thing: His constant …

Jun 16, 2018: Organiz­ing and Commu­ni­cat­ing Historical Knowledge: Some Personal Observations First published on History of Knowledge, February 3, 2017. In my initial academic encounters with Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of …

Jun 13, 2018: Blogging before Conferencing We tried something new in connection with a conference called Learning by the Book. The conveners asked participants to submit a blog post to History …

Jun 9, 2018: On the Metro All DC area residents have complaints and even horror stories to tell about the Metro. Since introducing it to children in the family from out of …

Jun 9, 2018: Elephant Seals Some elephant seals seen on the coast of California on May 14, 2018 (photo by author).

Dec 27, 2017: Monsters in the News If you have the stomach for more on relating to a filmmaker's work who you now know (but perhaps tried to forget) is a child molester, this piece from …

Nov 11, 2017: Emperor Mussolini The caption reads, "I've decided to accept God, but he has to become Italian." The German here for "accept," "gelten lassen," could also be …

Oct 13, 2017: Noooo! I have had health insurance through my employer these past seven years, but I still depend on the Affordable Care Act. It has made the scope of …

Oct 6, 2017: How Open is Open Access? The following quote from an article about art education seems to have broader implications: Early excitement for the Internet’s democratic potential …

Sep 16, 2017: WYCA Poster, ca. 1918 WYCA Poster, ca. 1918, Library of Congress.

Sep 15, 2017: Writing "The Writing Lesson" (pastel) by Morris Schulman, sponsored by the WPA, ca. 1935–43, The New York Public Library. I blogged some thoughts on this …

Sep 15, 2017: 'Colonizability' This 1899 map's legend makes sense within a late-nineteenth-century imperialist framework, and the brutality of its seemingly objectively portrayed …

Aug 9, 2017: North Korea Dear National Security Establishment, Please stop your collective freak-out about North Korea. The power of that country's weapons lies mainly in our …

Jul 23, 2017: Information and Meaning False information gains strength from its roots in stories that make sense to a lot of people; mow down the latest false facts and more will soon …

Jun 25, 2017: War Savings Stamps Poster, 1917 I find this 1917 poster interesting because it seems to target urban, working-class immigrants.1 Besides the dress of the people waiting in line to …

Jun 23, 2017: War, Gender, and Nation in 19th-Century Europe: A Preliminary Sketch I wrote this preliminary introduction for a thematic handbook article that was not to be. Looking back at this 2015 draft, I think it contains enough …

Jun 22, 2017: Angry America Jeet Heer's provocative commentary in the New Republic is worth a read: "America Has Always Been Angry and Violent." The historical rhetoric he offers …

Jun 22, 2017: Cultural History and the History of Knowledge In a blog post earlier this month, "From Cultural History to the History of Knowledge", Johan Östling and David Larsson Heidenblad examine the …

Jun 15, 2017: 'Near East Relief' Appeal, 1919 Poster from 1919. Repository: Library of Congress.

Jun 15, 2017: 'Dead, but the remains are still with us' Mars, the god of war, from late 1918. Repository: Library of Congress.

May 2, 2017: Child Labor in the United States Blogged on History of Knowledge in honor of May Day: "Sources: Child Labor in the United States"

Mar 9, 2017: Blogging …The iterative practice of regular blogging has its own set of joys. For me, writing begets writing. The blog doesn’t distract from my formal …

Mar 5, 2017: Global History’s Blind Spot "Global history preferred a scale that reflected its cosmopolitan self-yearnings. It also implicitly created what the sociologist Arlie Russell …

Feb 26, 2017: A Refugee in New York, 1942 Repository: Library of Congress

Feb 26, 2017: Duck and Cover: 1951 Civil Defense Film for Kids [archiveorg id=DuckandC1951] [archiveorg id=DuckandC1951 width=320 height=240] Interesting to consider that this was a reality for school kids in the …

Feb 20, 2017: A Hard Thing to Teach "What was once seen as standing ‘outside’ history, demanding silent contemplation but resisting explanation or contextualisation, has now been firmly …

Feb 19, 2017: Military History Check out Mark Grimsley, “Why Military History Sucks Sucked,” Blogging Them out of the Stone Age, June 2, 2016 (originally 1996). This is an older …

Feb 19, 2017: Information, Sociability, Reality Check I've been off RSS readers for a while, in part because of Google's exit from the game, but also because of information overload. Thinking about using …

Feb 17, 2017: Old Photographs I had fun putting together a variety of old photographs for the History of Knowledge blog. You can view them in a high-resolution slide show here: …

Feb 15, 2017: Kyrie Performance of an earlier, prizewinning choral composition by my son, while at the San Francisco Conservatory. (The choir sheet music is here.) …

Feb 14, 2017: 10,000 Threads Some vocal music composed by my son and performed by two of his friends. (There is a Bandcamp alternative to the YouTube link I’ve embedded …

Feb 14, 2017: Bicycle Taxi Driver The latest performed by my brother, Matthew, with Orquesta Aragón de Cuba, and posted by a fan on YouTube (sung in Spanish and with lyrics displayed …

Feb 13, 2017: Teachers "With any luck at all, the best teachers . . . are the ones who aren’t done learning how to teach." Elizabeth Lehfeldt, “What’s in a Name?,” Tales …

Feb 13, 2017: Social Media Behavior If we pass around quotes on images without even a hint of the quotes’ origins, aren’t we part of the problem?

Feb 12, 2017: An Encounter between our Enslaved and our Immigrant Pasts I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity, and when there is a supposed conflict between human and national rights, it is safe …

Feb 12, 2017: Intersections After fleeing the Nazis, many Jewish refugee professors found homes at historically black colleges. And they were shocked by race relations in the …

Feb 11, 2017: The History of Knowledge and Contemporary Discourse on Science The polarizing contemporary debate on science in the United States could be extraordinarily interesting for historians of knowledge, if it were …

Feb 11, 2017: Richard Evans on Trump "How do the early days of the Trump administration look like the Third Reich? Historian Richard Evans [an important historian of Nazi Germany] weighs …

Feb 10, 2017: Seen at Dupont Circle tonight Photos by author.

Feb 9, 2017: What's Going On? No really, Laurel Leff wants to know. This isn’t a poltical-rhetorical question but something bigger. What are we to make of the president’s recent …

Feb 8, 2017: Banned Immigrants "Today’s Banned Immigrants Are No Different From Our Immigrant Ancestors," by Tyler Anbinder, AHA Today, February 7, 2017

Feb 7, 2017: Assault on Facts and Credibility All administrations lie, but what we are seeing here is an attack on credibility itself. The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov …

Feb 5, 2017: Justitia After the latest Spiegel cover and all the news it embodies, this cartoon by Sam Machado feels really good, particularly with its use of gender …

Feb 3, 2017: Don’t be a Sucker (1947) There is an infectious simplicity about this film, which rings true politically in these times, even if the history it tells was more complicated. …

Feb 3, 2017: German Magazine Cover Feels more like a lobotomy to me, but this image by the leading German news weekly works too.

Feb 2, 2017: Totally Normal Asked whether federal workers are dissenting in ways that go beyond previous party changes in the White House, Tom Malinow­ski, who was President …

Feb 2, 2017: History under Trump Interesting comment today by Cameron Blevins: History and Its Limits under Trump.

Jan 29, 2017: Please Make It Stop Being a historian right now feels like being kept awake through brain surgery. Elizabeth Catte on Twitter, January 28, 2017

Jan 29, 2017: The Past in the Present Am still shaking my head over the new administration’s discriminatory ban on Muslims entering the United States. It was no surprise after the hateful …

Jan 28, 2017: From the Historian who Brought us 'Ordinary Men' "I would suggest that a major source of our unease — beyond Trump’s personal unfitness for the presidency — is not that Trump is going to attempt to …

Jan 22, 2017: Feminism Seen yesterday at the Women's March in Washington, DC (photo by author).

Jan 22, 2017: Gaslighting I have been learning new terms these past months. Today it was “alternative facts,” which goes together with an older term, apparently repurposed for …

Jan 18, 2017: Ludwik Fleck on Cognition Cognition is the most socially-conditioned activity of man, and knowledge is the paramount social creation [Gebilde]. Ludwik Fleck, Genesis and …

Dec 21, 2016: Hate Speech and Fresh Air Hate speech is like mold: Its enemies are bright light and fresh air. Howard Gillman, “Bigots at the Gate: Universities Shouldn’t Duck the Fight …

Dec 20, 2016: Academic Prose “Science Articles: A Guide” (to the ratio of subject matter complexity to prose complexity) by SMBC Comics

Dec 20, 2016: 'Kill the Historians' [www.instagram.com/p/BOGaR68...](https://www.instagram.com/p/BOGaR68Brhf/)

Dec 19, 2016: WordPress Email My apologies if you tried to contact me earlier via the WordPress email form. Your message never reached my inbox.

Dec 17, 2016: Preparing to Fight the Last War? Maybe Not Prussian War Academy ca, 1900 via Wikimedia Commons. I've been taking some time to think more about a slow-moving article on Wilhelm Groener I've been …

Nov 13, 2016: ACLU’s Open Letter to Mr. Trump Published in the New York Times on Nov. 11, 2016:

Nov 12, 2016: Grafenwöhr 1983 A younger historian on Facebook called this picture a “Nice primary source of the late Cold War!” I don’t know what that makes me, the guy in front, …

Nov 10, 2016: 'American Tragedy' . . . A friend called me full of sadness, full of anxiety about conflict, about war. Why not leave the country? But despair is no answer. To combat …

Nov 10, 2016: Values American national leaders gain their legitimacy by competing in compliance with not merely the outward forms but the clear values of our …

Oct 22, 2016: #GHImaps Some participants of the conference I referenced in the previous post took it to twitter. See #GHImaps.

Oct 20, 2016: Tonight’s Lecture My initial personal takeaway from tonight’s lecture on digital mapping: It looks useful as an analytical tool, and for presentation, but in the end we …

Sep 24, 2016: Automation I was standing near the driver in my bus yesterday, waiting for the light to change so I could get off. When the light turned green, but the car in …

Jul 25, 2016: 'The American Face of Fascism' It is no surprise that the American face of fascism would take on the forms of celebrity television and the casino greeter’s come-on, since that is as …

Jul 9, 2016: ‘Black Man Driving’ A woman I met way back when my son and her daughter were still in kindergarten or the first grade has written a piece that drives home the unfortunate …

Jul 8, 2016: A Few Notes on the History of Knowledge One of the new research focuses at the GHI since our director, Simone Lässig, began her tenure last October is the history of knowledge.1 The study of …

Jun 27, 2016: Experts <—> Public In most of today’s university disciplines, professional training serves to distance an individual from the public, to refine them into an …

Jun 27, 2016: Rates of Change Technology, institutions, mentalities and practices change at different rates. Technology, especially in the age of what has been called ‘the …

Jun 27, 2016: Commonplacing Some years ago, I used a Tumblr blog as a kind of commonplace book. That fell by the wayside, but lately I’ve felt the need to have a place to save …

Apr 16, 2016: Georgetown University’s Massive Slave Sale This New York Times story sure hits close to home: 272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? As a human being and …

Nov 9, 2015: Historiographical Impasse I have had to withdraw from an interesting handbook project because of excessive overlap with two other chapters. My topic was on the matrix of …

Jul 30, 2015: Communism, Consumerism, and Currency Seen at an upscale mall in Guiyang, China this summer. (Photo by author)

May 3, 2015: Kitchens of the Future Imagined in the 1950s (a future seemingly impervious to changes in normative gender roles), two kitchens on YouTube: .embed-container { position: …

Mar 8, 2015: History and the Packaged Gnocchi One evening after work recently, I was half-starved and wanted something I could cook quickly. I saw some packaged gnocchi in the cupboard, made by De …

Dec 12, 2014: 2014 Archival Seminar Report Here is my report on the 2014 Archival Summer Seminar in Germany. Besides saying what we did, it discusses why, and it considers the various …

Dec 8, 2014: Terence Zuber, Military History, and Culture Officers, some on horseback, at a Kaiser Maneuver in 1898. Source: Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg. I recently noticed that the English translation of …

Dec 5, 2014: German Scholarly Monographs At the end of his English-language review of Anne Sudrow’s long book (in German) about the shoe in National Socialism, Neil Gregor has some choice …

Nov 29, 2014: Why Study Atrocities? I study European history, so why did I post about Sand Creek earlier today? And why excerpt seemingly gratuitous violence? I have no expertise in U.S. …

Nov 29, 2014: Sand Creek In the New York Times, Ned Blackhawk reminds us, “It’s the 150th anniversary of one of the most appalling massacres of Indians ever.” In terms of …

Nov 27, 2014: Digitized Resources for World War I Research At Portal Militärgeschichte, Markus Pöhlmann reports that a joint German-Russian digitization project has made available a substantial number of World …

Nov 25, 2014: Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 23, 2014: Housekeeping I have closed my old blog, Clio and Me, and I will be slowly migrating select material to this blog. I will keep the original dates of the migrated …

Nov 21, 2014: 'Not a Military Historian' At a recent lecture on the Great War, Roger Chickering said, “I'm not a military historian.”1 The phrase stuck in my mind because he said it two more …

Oct 31, 2014: Work Update Although this blog would seem to indicate otherwise, I am still alive. Here's what I've been up to besides my usual not-blogging: Archive Seminar …

Oct 15, 2013: Archival Summer Seminar 2013 The report for the 2013 GHI archival summer seminar is finally available. Stay tuned for information about applying for the 2014 trip.

Jun 6, 2013: Archival Seminar I am excited to have the opportunity to lead this year’s summer archival seminar in Germany, which will bring me to Speyer, Cologne, Coblenz, and …

Jan 13, 2013: Book Review: GDR and Consumption I recently reviewed an interesting anthropological study by Milena Veenis entitled Material Fantasies: Expectations of the Western Consumer World …

Sep 29, 2012: Teaching Notes: Synthesis and Process The main assignment for my graduate survey of modern Europe this summer was to write an essay that incorporated all of the assigned books and most of …

Jul 3, 2012: Reflections after Class One of those questions came up in class tonight with a group of MA students discussing Peter Fritzsche’s Life and Death in the Third Reich (Cambridge, …

Jun 14, 2012: Requiring Students to Use Chicago Style (or Turabian or Whatever) While talking in class tonight about forthcoming papers, I heard from several students that many of their professors haven't cared which system they …

May 13, 2012: Military History Conference I went to the annual meeting of the Society of Military History this year, because it was in the DC area, if way out in Crystal City. It was good to …

Apr 28, 2012: Command Culture by Jörg Muth Last week I read Jörg Muth, Command Culture.1 The book’s main subject is about training U.S. officers for war, and it draws on the German officer …

Mar 18, 2012: Who Should Groener’s Schlieffen Plan Matter To? As I try to write an article about Groener’s understanding of war, which led him to write about Schlieffen’s supposed “recipe for victory,”, I have to …

Mar 3, 2012: Separating Writing from Formatting As I began writing a manuscript that I plan to submit to a specific journal, I thought it would make sense to follow that journal's style sheet, which …

Feb 27, 2012: Refuting Straw Men and Explaining What Happened In a recent German History forum, Paul Lerner offers an interesting aside: "I used the medical Sonderweg as more or less a straw man in my 2003 book …

Feb 26, 2012: German Handwriting from 98 Years Ago This evening I pulled out old handwritten sources from 1914 to reexamine some quotes, because I wanted to use them in a different way than I did in my …

Feb 19, 2012: Working through More Journals I've been working through more journals, putting interesting articles and reviews in my bibliography database and reading the things. It might be …

Feb 14, 2012: Catch-Up Reading and Article Idea Am I the only one who can get years behind on relevant readings? Silly me let teaching and editing get in the way of basic readings. But maybe I'm not …

Feb 13, 2012: Dissertation on Internet Archive Uploading one's dissertation to the Internet Archive is certainly not for everybody, because publishers will not want to publish something that one …

Feb 11, 2012: Terence Zuber’s Image of War and the Schlieffen Plan Debate When writing my dissertation, I was forced to confront Terence Zuber's claims that Wilhelm Groener and others had "invented" the Schlieffen Plan, and …

Feb 5, 2012: Still Reading the Dissertation I am continuing to reread and ponder the dissertation. After getting over its many weaknesses, I see there is lots of good stuff in it, even if it is …

Jan 31, 2012: Military History and Business History My research deals with war and society, while my editorial work addresses mainly consumption history. One might think these are two different worlds, …

Jan 28, 2012: From Dissertation to . . . What? I have just finished reading William Germano, From Dissertation to Book (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005), which I can recommend to any …

Jan 22, 2012: Another Fresh Start For a historian, I seem to have a rather cavalier attitude towards preserving my own past on the web. This site was once a personal blog in which I …

Apr 10, 2011: Consumption History Again Park & Shop Shopping Center, Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC, via Library of Congress. Yesterday I asked how I could integrate the …

Apr 9, 2011: Editing and Consumption History Since I began my editing job a little over a year ago, I have begun learning a little about a lot of history that I had previously never experienced. …

Mar 14, 2011: Using an iPad to Grade Student Papers Caleb McDaniel offers a useful blog post on grading with his iPad. I find his take helpful, because he combines the practical with the pedagogical. …

Nov 10, 2010: Foreign Language Competency in the U.S. Francisco Marmolejo's "Deficiency in Foreign Language Competency: What Is Wrong with the U.S. Educational System?," which appeared on The Chronicle's …

Aug 14, 2010: Learning to Synthesize History When confronted with history too narrowly conceived or framed, I often think back to one graduate course I took, "Issues in British Literature," which …

Mar 22, 2010: The Politics of Identity and How We Learn History There is an interesting article in yesterday's New York Times about how Texas is changing the content of its American high school history textbooks. …

Jan 12, 2010: History without Reading In "History without Reading," Jim Cullen talks about a dirty little truth: a lot of students in our courses do not read, but we teach the courses as …

Jan 7, 2010: History 100 Again I have been pretty happy lately with my [[thematic]] approach to George Mason University's required History 100 (Western Civilization); however, …

Jan 7, 2010: Plagiarism Again I had no plagiarism cases this fall. Maybe it is because I had an unusually ethical group of students, but it probably also had something to do with …

Oct 28, 2009: Contemporary Political Rhetoric and Teaching History Earlier this month I did a post on my Hist 100 blog that might be of some interest to readers here, "Contemporary Politics and History." My audience …

Aug 28, 2009: What Having a Socialist Nazi in the White House Means for the Classroom I am probably not alone when I say that I have a hard time taking GOP “socialism” rhetoric seriously. The same goes for right-wing attempts to equate …

Jul 23, 2009: Miracle Workers by Taylor Mali I know my university history teaching and my work with adults learning to speak English is different than what Taylor Mali does with high school …

Mar 8, 2009: A Different Approach to History 100? George Mason's Hist 100 courses are supposed to cover Western Civilization in one semester. To manage this Sisyphean task, I switched from a …

Dec 26, 2008: Is College Worth It? In "America's Most Overrated Product: the Bachelor's Degree," Marty Nemko argues, "College is a wise choice for far fewer people than are currently …

Dec 25, 2008: A Christmas Short Film from 1898 The British Film Institute has a YouTube channel that offers a lot of historic films. Here is “Santa Claus' by G. A. Smith in 1898. Apparently …

Dec 22, 2008: Atrocities in the Franco-Prussian War, 1870–71 Illustration of peasants in the Vosges shooting at German soldiers, titled “Paysans des Vosges faisant le coup de feu.” Source: …

Dec 21, 2008: A New Personal Record in Plagiarism Cases I had a new personal record in plagiarism cases this semester: eight. With ninety-seven students total on my rolls at the end of the semester, that …

Nov 16, 2008: Language Study Tip: Daily Practice The following post originally appeared on Language for You (now closed) on on this date under a slightly different title. When learning a foreign …

Nov 15, 2008: Online Forums: Blackboard and Wikispaces My Western Civ courses last winter and spring had some mandatory discussion components. Students had to visit the Holocaust Museum and talk about …

Sep 25, 2008: Professor Wikipedia Here’s a satirical video about Wikipedia as a person by CollegeHumor on YouTube .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: …

Aug 26, 2008: Lessons from the Classroom Last winter and spring I had my students write Wikipedia articles and then monitor those articles to see what edits other people made. The point was …

Aug 4, 2008: “Conflict” (USSR 1983) A stop-motion short by Garri Yakovlevich Bardin (born 1941) about the dangers of possessing, then using, a doomsday weapon. .embed-container { …

Jul 30, 2008: The Vocabulary of Grammar Looking back, I am surprised at how easy it was for me to get through high school and many college courses without knowing a lot of basic vocabulary …

Jul 27, 2008: The Most Famous Closed Trial with Secret Evidence Sometimes history just leaps off the pages and proclaims its relevance for our own times. On December 24, 1894, The Times of London published a long …

Jul 22, 2008: Blogging and Myth-Busting Kevin Levin of Civil War Memory has posted good material to his academic blog under the category, myth of black Confederates. Several recent posts …

Jul 6, 2008: Authors of Interrogation Handbook Abuse Their Sources In a piece called "Mind Games: Remembering Brainwashing" from today's New York Times, Tim Wiener points to one of the more irresponsible uses of …

Jul 4, 2008: Received Rights versus Human Rights in the 'Declaration of Independence' Featured image: The famous "Declaration of Independence" painting by John Trumbull Today citizens of the United States celebrate Independence Day. …

Jun 1, 2008: Summer Term The summer term is upon me. Here is this summer’s version of “Western Civ” at George Mason University and “Euro Civ I” at Georgetown University. Both …

May 19, 2008: Do You Link to Your Sources? This following piece appeared on this day on the blog of the now defunct Blog Catalog.. At the time the site was a hybrid blog portal–social …

May 18, 2008: Ignorance or Deliberate Abuse? I can't decide whether the White House is deliberately insulting our intelligence with Bush's recent appeasement accusations or if they really don't …

May 15, 2008: Human Rights in the History Survey I have been teaching History 100, the one-semester survey of Western Civilization that is required for all students at George Mason University. Yes, …

May 10, 2008: Language and Culture: The Way We Speak I originally posted this piece on this day on my old teaching blog, Language for You. Learning English is not just about sentence structure, grammar, …

Apr 15, 2008: Textbook Costs I heard a report on Marketplace this evening about the high cost of textbooks and how Congress wants to force publishers to reveal to professors the …

Mar 14, 2008: Fostering Historical Thinking with Brecht’s Galileo Spring is almost here, which means its time to order books for the summer term. Summer in DC gets hot, and the summer terms are short, so I usually …

Mar 12, 2008: Spring Break and Teaching It's spring break at George Mason University (GMU), and, starting tomorrow, I will have the apartment to myself during the day. Of course, there is a …

Jan 21, 2008: When Experts Are Forced to Talk to Outsiders Teaching undergraduate students forces me to deliver narratives and explanations to people who do not share my professional assumptions about how the …

Jan 14, 2008: Historians Speak about the Profession Producing Knowledge Mills Kelly of Edwired responds to the notion that the historical profession is about writing and therefore about publishing in …

Jan 10, 2008: When Google Gets it Wrong My wife is reading a crime story I got for Christmas and read over the holidays, Christian von Ditfurth, Mann ohne Makel. It's sleuth, Josef Maria …

Dec 8, 2007: Germany and the United States on the Eve of the Cold War Almost anyone who has lived in Germany over the past sixty years will find the following video very strange indeed. It appeared in the early days of …

Nov 23, 2007: Military Studies in Liberal Arts Education Samuel R. Williamson Jr and Russel Van Wyk make an interesting point on the last page of an undergraduate documentary history of the Great War's …

Nov 23, 2007: Fluency and Accuracy The following piece, for my ESOL students, originally appeared on Language for You (now closed) on this date. Students who have spent many years …

Nov 11, 2007: Donald Duck Goes to War Here’s an interesting piece of American propaganda from the Second World War. The working man pays “taxes to sink the Axis.” …

Oct 28, 2007: Outsourcing Revisited: Doonesbury at War Checking out his email in the kitchen and talking to Reverend Sloan, B.D. says: Man, does Ray seem down lately. He keeps asking if people at home …

Oct 9, 2007: Historians and Politics The following post originally appeared on my old history blog, Clio and Me, on this date. Yesterday I wrote about the present in this blog about my …

Oct 8, 2007: Outsourcing Military Tasks There has been much scrutiny in the press recently about the U.S. outsourcing military missions to private companies like Blackwater. P. W. Singer …

Sep 11, 2007: Six Years Ago Georgetown University in Washington, DC, did not cancel classes on September 12th, so I went into a class packed with mainly freshman at 9:15 a.m. By …

Sep 9, 2007: Stumbling onto a Dissertation Topic Historical scholarship can be as much the result of accident as planning. How on earth did I come to write a dissertation on Wilhelm Groener? I …

Aug 28, 2007: The Cold War Museum The Cold War Museum does not yet have a permanent home, but you can visit it on the web. While I welcome this resource, I am disappointed that it …

Aug 25, 2007: Wilhelm Groener (1867–1939) Image via Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin Meet Wilhelm Groener, an unassuming Swabian of modest social provenance who rose to the number two …

Aug 13, 2007: Good Old Stalin History can be used to justify all manner of circumstances in the present. Want to justify an authoritarian regime in Russia? Referring to …

Jul 26, 2007: Stereoptic Views of the Great War These stereoptic cards offer a tale of war reduced to two basic elements: soldiers on parade at home followed by the unburied corpses of soldiers on …

Jul 21, 2007: Across Generations When I went to the student coffee shop on Friday, the student at the cash register guessed my order before I could tell him what I wanted. I remarked …

Jul 21, 2007: Paradoxes I was looking through Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s The Physicists, a play I have used a few times in a survey course on modern Europe. In the back of …

Jul 10, 2007: Politics in the Classroom Do partisan politics have a place in the classroom? No. On the other hand, in a history class it is hard, even impossible to discuss many subjects …

May 23, 2007: On Writing Writing is hard work for almost everyone, no matter how talented or inspired. Writing is thinking. Good writers do not usually have finished ideas …