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 posts, point out where I first published them, and update any outgoing links as necessary. I will also add the category Clio and Me, but I will probably not carry over old comments, unless something strikes me as still especially relevant in this new context. I hope the slow migration does not cause havoc with subscriptions. Update, November 24, 2014: I am… Read more Housekeeping →
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 Someone else will be doing the GHI’s archive seminar next year. Part of me wishes I was still doing it, because I enjoy working with the students, and I was looking forward to rethinking part of the program. At the same time, I need all the time I can get at the GHI for editing at the moment. Editing I’m finishing up the editing for a… Read more →
The report for the 2013 GHI archival summer seminar is finally available. Stay tuned for information about applying for the 2014 trip.
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 Munich. Here’s a report from the 2012 seminar, which was led by the same colleague who organized the 2013 version. And here’s a description of the program and application process.
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 is rather different from what I am used to. I noticed, however, that I was constantly looking things up, from the very first sentence. How do I cite that source with this particular system? How do I spell that word in British English? How do I handle quotation marks for this particular situation? It was hard to get any thinking and writing… Read more Separating Writing from Formatting →
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 dissertation. To my initial consternation, I found them hard to read. (That’s what I get for letting so much time pass without reading that old handwriting.) Fortunately, there are so-called Deutsche Fibel around that children used to learn this handwriting back in the day. I’ve got a couple of these books that I used to teach myself well over a decade… Read more German Handwriting from 98 Years Ago →
I’ve been working through more journals, putting interesting articles and reviews in my bibliography database and reading the things. It might be faster just to search databases for what I’m interested in, which I also have to do, of course, but browsing many issues of a journal offers a helpful overview of what’s going on in the scholarship more broadly. I still have to pick and choose from the huge mass of offerings, but at least this way I see things that I likely never would have looked for otherwise.… Read more Working through More Journals →
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 the only one who gets behind. As much as I appreciate discussions about how digital scholarship could speed up the dissemination of research results, sometimes I’m quite glad these results come out slowly through journals, and that these journals are available online through the library for me to look at as time permits. I’m trying to get caught back up… Read more Catch-Up Reading and Article Idea →
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 clearly in no way close to a book (following William Germano). There’s also no easy way to extract articles from it. These will have to be conceived and written from scratch, although the dissertation contains plenty of useful building blocks for essays on Groener and the Schlieffen Plan debate, military culture and the General Staff, images of officering and professionalism, and… Read more Still Reading the Dissertation →
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 politicized, philosophized, and mused about the economic crisis that began hurting people some five years ago; about the presidential race that led to a wonderful, if cold inauguration day here in Washington, DC in 2008; and, less frequently, about aspects out of my everyday life, past and present. I’ve saved that stuff for my own records, but I don’t know what… Read more Another Fresh Start →
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 the special effects were quite a feat 110 years ago. For something longer and more in tune with this blog’s recurring theme of war and society, see “Christmas Under Fire” (1941), which looks at Britain at war on Christmas Eve. This film from the Ministry of Information has an American narrator for an American audience. It was made before Pearl Harbor, when the American… Read more A Christmas Short Film from 1898 →
Soviet anti-war animation
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 the occupation, when the Cold War was still only on the horizon and a strict anti-fraternization policy made sense to the U.S. military leadership. By the way, if you are a Dr. Suess fan, listen to the language. I’ve read many of his stories to my son, and I can hear the hand he had in this film. If that film appears ridiculous,… Read more Germany and the United States on the Eve of the Cold War →
Video: Here’s an interesting piece of American propaganda from the Second World War. The working man pays “taxes to sink the Axis.”