I wrote a review of Jeroen DeWulf’s, The Pinkster King and the King of Congo: The Forgotten History of America’s Dutch-Owned Slaves (Jackson, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2017) for BMGN, the top history journal in the Netherlands. BMGN is short for Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlands. Of course. I […]

I wrote a short article for FEE.org, the website of the Foundation for Economic Education.  

 I’ve shown y’all some examples before of difficult historical handwriting. This is the digitized version of the microfilm copy of the 1859 Pella Gazette  (in Iowa). It’s about politics. I’m reading hours of this stuff and its like listening to a record that is 50% static. At least it is in English. There is plenty […]

I’m hosting a book event this Thursday for Fred Borch, a historian who has written a new book on war crimes of the Japanese in the Netherlands East Indies (when Indonesia was still a Dutch colony). I’ll be serving as the interviewer/ moderator for the discussion. More information about the event is here:

In my forthcoming book Creative Historical Thinking (Routledge), I describe many ways in which people have different structural views of time: timelines that go up and down, this way and that; mental images of the week, month, or year, that organize information in different way. This Dutch Calendar has the days running from top to […]

Literacy was power, and those who could read and write were able to hold political office, interpret legal documents, participate more readily in the marketplace, and stay informed of news from beyond the valley. Periodical subscriptions in the valley were limited to an elite audience, and the “nonsubscribing masses” were therefore dependent on these elites […]

In the thousands of names and dates inscribed on the walls of Virginia’s Grand Caverns I see a giant puzzle, a sort of tapestry of American culture, two hundred years in the making. Some names, dating as early as 1808, were engraved in the form of type-set letters, the red walls carefully scarred to reveal […]