Category History Methods

Populist v. Liberal Conceptions of History (in Dutch)

I recently published an article comparing the populist and liberal conceptions of history for a Dutch magazine/ journal called Liberale Reflecties. Naturally, I’m critically of the populist conception of history, which I see as an emotional (i.e. non-rational) desire to believe in inevitable cycles of history, in which the good, pure people must fight to […]

Counting pounds, shillings, and pence

I came across this back-of-the-page sketching in an 18th century collection the other day.  It is simple addition of sums in pounds, shillings, and pence.

Call for Economic and Business History Case Studies – SAGE

A Doctor of History Fixes Broken Stories

I generally try to avoid using the title “Dr.” instead of “Mr.” because I don’t want to be called upon in an emergency to have to save someone’s life. I can imagine it now:  the captain’s voice comes over the speaker system: “Is there a doctor on the plane?”  When no one comes forward, the […]

Shake out a book: A Library Exercise for a History Class

Here’s a fun activity for historians and students in history classes:  Go to your school or university library, open up old books and shake them out  (not literally shake them, you guys!). How many books might you need to shake out before you find a piece of paper?  Usually its about 20 or 30 books. […]

Illustrated Course Notebooks

A few years ago, when I was still controlling the mic at the classroom podium, I gave my class an assignment to make an illustrated notebook, rather than a final paper.  The purpose of this was to encourage students to go through their notes from 15 weeks of class and re-think them, integrate them in […]

Albertus Van Raalte’s church history – Podcast Interview

On Friday, I was interviewed for 50 minutes for the Research on Religion podcast, run by Tony Gill, a professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. The topic of our discussion was the history of the Dutch immigrant leader Albertus Van Raalte and his church history manuscript that I re-discovered in the archives […]

“Dissident Historians” Interview on the Tom Woods Show.

  I was recently interview about my book What is Classical Liberal History? on the Tom Woods Show. Listen here. I like the title “Dissident Historians” even though I didn’t choose it, and I didn’t try to be radical in my book or in the interview. At any rate, simple believing in open argument about […]

Unbiased History is a Unicorn

A few years ago, I came across a book with a curious title: The Truths of History:A Fair, Unbiased, Impartial, Unprejudiced, and Conscientious Study of History.  The author tries tries to one-up Fox New’s “fair and balanced” motto, but of course, labelled yourself “fair” or your views “unbiased” does not make them so. First of […]

Numismatics for Historians

For whatever reason or reasons, I never had a history teacher who mentioned numismatics, the study of old coins, as a legitimate historical pursuit. Coin collecting falls into the category of antiquarianism, that pedantic collecting and assembling of old things. For the different between history and antiquarianism, I can recommend the works of Arnaldo Momigliano. […]