Category History Methods

Book Review: David C. Krakauer, John Lewis Gaddis, Kenneth Pomeranz, eds. History, Big History History & Metahistory (Santa Fe Institute, 2017)

The Santa Fe Institute sounds like an Elon Musk/ Lex Luther style lair, where the brightest thinkers come together to hatch a scheme for controlling the planet. What many of the participants of the book want to control is the shape and scope of historical narrative. They want history to be big, to cover grand […]

The State of the History Discipline (and where have the good history blogs gone?)

A new report has historians in a tizzy. The history discipline has lost more undergraduate majors than any other discipline in the country. Meanwhile, over at the History News Network half of the lead articles  (1, 2, 3, and 4) and almost every blog  (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 )  is about Trump […]

Book Review: Sarah Maza, Thinking About History (University of Chicago Press, 2017)

The genre of historians writing about their own field is large and growing. Some of these are quite good, like John Burrow’s A History of Histories, which traces historical writing from the Greeks to the present, or, more relevant to most active historians, Georg Iggers’ Historiography in the 20th century.  But since I’ve also read […]

Interview about Classical Liberal History

Time, where did you come from, where did you go?

Time flows up and down, or in a circle (a nautilus perhaps); it flows from left to right. Where time comes from, and where it goes, depends on the observer. Every time I present my work on spatial conceptions of time, I ask students to draw their own examples. Not everyone has an image that […]

The Weekly Pill Planner: Design and the Importance of Spatial Views of Time

I’ve been writing about all of the interesting ways in which people visualize time in spatial form: images of the day, the week, the month, the year, and story lines. I think that spatial visualizations of time help with memory, and that they help make us better at remembering the past and preparing for the […]

Book Review: Sam Wineburg, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone)

If the modern history textbook was on trial for corrupting the youth, I’d appoint Sam Wineburg as the prosecuting attorney.  His hatred for the standard 1,000-page neon-flashing over-produced textbook was first on display in his 2001 book Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts.  Now, in this new work, Why Learn History (When It’s Already on […]

Book Review: Augustus Schade, The Philosophy of History (1899)

In 1899, an obscure German American named Augustus Schade wrote what is, hands down, the most absurd book ever written on the philosophy of history.  Schade self-published his “The Philosophy of History” in Cleveland, Ohio, of all places. The book claims to be based on the works of a German thinker, Rudolf Rocholl. Schade’s influences […]

Book Review: Rushdoony, The Biblical Philosophy of History (1969)

I picked up a copy of Rousas John Rushdoony’s The Biblical Philosophy of History, after learning about the man from my friend Ben House, who blogs at The Heavy Laden Bookshelf. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in this book. I have sympathy for Rushdoony’s general proposition that there is a God and that he acts in […]

The Generic History Methods Manual

Just when I think I have heard of ever history methods manual written in the past eighty years, I come across a new one. Today, I receive in the mail D.M. Sturley’s The Study of History (London: Longman, 1969). This volume probably qualifies as the most generic history methods manual ever written. Indeed, if I […]