Category Uncategorized

A Tale of University Bureaucracy, in 89 (or so) emails.

January 10, 2018: M applies for a seminar that I am running. January 15, 2018: I write M to congratulate her on being accepted to the seminar. January 17, 2018: M confirms that she will attend the seminar. January 18, 2018: I inform all of the seminar attendees about the reimbursement procedure. March 9, 2018: […]

The Vanishing Academic Conservative Historian (Part 2: the bet is accepted)

Alright, folks, I’ve received quite a few reactions to my post from July 4th.  It seems that all you have to do is mention politics in academia and everyone gets into a tizzy. If only Dutch history were so popular. At any rate, someone has taken me up on the bet, that within the next […]

The Vanishing Conservative Academic Historian

Let’s say you are a young conservative undergraduate, and you would like to go to grad school in history. Where would you look for a friendly advisor? If you are considering an Ivy League school, you might want to think again. According to research by Langbert, Quain, and Klein, available data indicates a ratio of […]

Graduate Students and Elite Historian Networks

It is my intuition that the best-placed young historians today come from a small set of elite universities.  But, as Lavar Burton would say, don’t take my word for it.  Take a look at the 2015 article by Clauset, Arbesman, and Larremore, “Systematic inequality and hierarchy in faculty hiring networks”    which shows that the […]

The Coolness of Deirdre McCloskey

Deirdre McCloskey, professor emerita of everything, once wrote a book chapter titled “The Coolness of Alexander Gerschenkron”  about her mentor in the economics department at Harvard. I’m beginning to think someone ought to write a full-length piece about the “Coolness of Deirde McCloskey.” I once wrote an article criticizing a small bit of McCloskey’s work, […]

Zeno’s Tax Paradox

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

Book Event – Netherlands East Indies

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:

Introducing the Hampshire County History Podcast

I’m starting a podcast about local Hampshire County, West Virginia, history, partly to educate myself about my new home region, but also with the goal of increasing historical consciousness for community building. I believe that awareness of history is central for overcoming problems of social alienation and disregard for the local environment. Join me in […]

When you’ve read too much old-fashioned prose and have a new (old) typewriter

How to Find the Perfect Antique Store

In about 2011, I became interested in using antiques for group discussions in my history classrooms. I was living in central Illinois at the time, and since I didn’t have much else to do, I began to make long antique-hunting trips across the plains. I began to devise strategies to find the perfect antique store, […]