Richard, my supervisor, and I were musing over a primary document some years back. Our attempt to dissect the words of an eighteenth-century letter had somehow devolved into a curious struggle to pinpoint the author’s state of mind. How can you really see tone in a letter written in the 1750s? Can you truly get inside the mind of someone who lived 270 years ago and judge their emotional state (more…)

With racism a major topic of discussion in these here United States, and the manner in which ideas of race are portrayed in the news (fake or real), one could, mistakenly, believe that the USA is the only country where this happens. Not so.

Race is indeed a global phenomenon. However, a lot of folks have a hard time with (more…)

The simple fact of the matter is that the United States of America exists within something called “global competition.” I would even argue that current global competition is hyper-competitive beyond its norms. This is certainly true when it comes to the topic of education. The manner in which we teach our citizens is juxtaposed against the manner in which other nation-states do the same. The last ranking by the United Nation’s Human Development Index (HDI), the one published in 2013, placed the United States (more…)

The Republican, “Alt-Right” President, Donald J. Trump, and his recent tirades against judges and lawyers who dare to block his “in-your-face” political agenda possess deep historical roots. If the reshuffle of presidential portraits hanging in the oval office is any indication, a showdown between the executive and judicial branches will surely (more…)

As I work through some key issues for my book on John Byng, it became difficult to avoid the fact that the admiral participated in Britain’s pre-emptive strike against France in 1755. Yes, the Seven Years’ War had many precursors prior to the official declaration of war (May 1756), the Channel Campaign among them. Pre-emptive war is familiar to us thanks to the United States invasion of (more…)

As the “fake news” stories spread throughout social media, I am reminded that at my college we rely on CRAP. In fact, we sometimes demand that our students perform CRAP tests. This CRAP acronym; Currency, Reliability, Authority, Purpose or Point of View, is meant to help our young “scholars in training” assess (more…)

Labor Day blog? Yes, I’m realizing my social media feeds appear empty, too few extolling the virtues of the history of the working class. What would E. P. Thompson say? What can I say, except to point to a William Blake poem. Written in 1789, “The Chimney Sweeper” appeared in a small poem book called Songs of Innocence. These are early Blake poems, typified by observation, allowing the simplicity of words and rhymes to act as a sort of (more…)