The Pope in the mid-eighteenth century had nothing on Empress Maria Theresa.[1] The outcome of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) ensured that she would rule the Holy Roman Empire for the next three decades. Britain helped, but that alliance meant little to the queen when the next war came around. Catholicism began to drive the empress’ foreign policies forward. When tensions renewed between Great Britain and France, Empress Maria Theresa began to rework (more…)

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With over 260-million views on YouTube, Donald Glover’s (aka Childish Gambino) “This is America” actually repeats history. By that I mean to state that Glover is using song and wit to tell a story.[1]  As a cultural historian, I appreciated Glover’s approach to satirize deep-seeded problems in American society. But the expression of topics in musical form is nothing new. (more…)

Last week I found myself growing ever more addicted to the research on Admiral John Byng’s trial. I have notes on this trial dating back to 2009. I have not seen some of my own research regarding Byng’s court-martial since 2014, the year I turned in my dissertation. Back then, I turned in four chapters none of which approached (more…)

According to Politico Magazine, Devin Nunes, the California Republican who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, may have selectively edited data to target the FBI. Along partisan lines, the committee voted to send this redacted memo to President Trump which allegedly proves FBI bias against him as they conduct an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Politico stated that the Bureau then went on a media offensive, their effort to discredit the already infamous Nunes memo before its contents become (more…)

Here is the presentation paper I gave at the Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol, ‘Rethinking History from Below: Origins, Trajectories, Prospects’, held on 16 June, 2017.


I want you to imagine a riot. I want you to place yourself in the midst of that riot, dead center. What do you see? What’s going down?

Now let me show you one in which there was a sale. The year:1766. The town: Cirencester in Gloucestershire. A crowd numbering about a thousand descended upon the town. They came from (more…)

A remarkable, and may I add “restricted,” document discovered deep within the archives of the British Library revealed much of the politics that surrounded Admiral John Byng’s court martial as well as the subsequent government inquiry into how the island of Minorca fell to the French in April of 1756. Those two went together. But prior to both, the Newcastle government collapsed: too many (more…)

I’ve just over a week until I leave California and return to the archives in London. The four chapters I wrote for my dissertation are simply not enough to produce a serious book: a few chapters too short! There remain four unanswered questions which are:  (more…)