London has become my favorite city in the world, but Paris was the first outside of my native land where I spent any significant amount of time, and it retains a special hold on my imagination. The last time I was there was January — just a week after the Charlie Hebdo attacks… And now a day … More Paris
I’ll be at Bethel’s commencement exercises in an hour, so a relatively short set of links this Saturday morning: Here… • What does it mean to be Midwestern? @jwilson1812 @cgehrz few other regional identities (which are all imagined & constructed) come w/ as many caveats & apologies & self-doubt — Paul Putz (@p_emory) May 21, … More That Was The Week That Was
Offered as a daydream, as by one who trusts rather than knows that the grading will get done and this impossibly busy academic year will reach its end… John Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Harvard UP, 2012) A big part of my summer reading is simply playing catch up, and I’ve already got a head start on that … More Is It Too Early For a Summer Reading List?
Just a few of the more interesting history-related posts and articles that appeared during my month off from blogging: • Christopher Columbus, Captain Cook, and nine other explorers to know. • The Charlie Hebdo shootings have rocketed Voltaire’s Treatise on Tolerance — published in 1763 — to the top of French bestseller lists. (Lots of important … More That Was The Month That Was: History
Coming into this centenary year for World War I, there’s been a predictable resurgence of books written about that conflict. Which got me wondering how the war has ebbed and flowed over time as a subject for historians and other writers. I came up with two highly imperfect ways to satisfy this curiosity: I was challenged earlier this summer … More Tracking the Popularity of WWI in Books and Dissertations
It is a date that marks the start of events that would go on to change the course of millions of lives – tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the day Britain declared war on Germany and the First World War began. So said Britain’s The Independent, yesterday, of today. But is August 4, 1914 — with its … More When Did World War I Begin?
“We live in a time of exile,” writes Carl Trueman in the August 2014 issue of First Things. “At least those of us do who hold to traditional Christian beliefs. The strident rhetoric of scientism has made belief in the supernatural look ridiculous. The Pill, no-fault divorce, and now gay marriage have made traditional sexual ethics look outmoded at … More Some Advice for Christians Who Think They’re Living in a “Time of Exile”
I’ve sometimes dreamed of having a holodeck-like classroom in which the walls were massive screens that could be changed to make it seem like we were suddenly sitting in the middle of the same physical environment we were discussing. To teach the French Revolution while sitting in the middle of Paris’ Place de la Concorde, … More What Did History Smell Like?
After nearly three years of blogging, you’d think that I’d have exhausted my ability to reveal semi-embarrassing details of my life. But I’m not sure I’ve yet mentioned that, in the summers after 3rd and 4th grades, I spent a week at French camp. It was called Lac du Bois. I lived in a cabin … More The French Are Coming! Language Immersion as Soft Power
Here… • Having to teach a new course on the history of WWII for three hours each afternoon during Bethel’s J-term has definitely made it a challenge to find time for blogging. But getting ready for that course also yielded this meditation for Epiphany, on finding light in the “thick darkness” that covered the earth … More That Was The Week That Was