February 2014

Re-Run: Word With A Past–Maffick

February 28, 2014

The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) started badly from the British point of view. British troops, supposedly the best trained and best equipped in the world, suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of Boer farmers. (Anyone else hear echoes of another colonial war that pitted farmers against British regulars?) The only bright spot […]

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Re-Run: If You Only Read One Book On Islamic History…

February 25, 2014

Last year I discovered the best general book on Islamic history I’ve ever read:  Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes by Tanim Ansary.  I underlined as I read.  I annotated.  I put little Post-It tabs at critical points, the durable ones so I could go back to key arguments in the […]

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Re-Run: Road Trip Through History–The Utopian Communities of New Harmony

February 22, 2014

My Own True Love and I dearly love a road trip, especially if it includes a historical site or three, a quirky museum, a regional delicacy to try, walking paths, and plenty of roadside historical markers. (Anyone who thinks she might want to travel with us, be warned. We are the kind of people who […]

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Re-Run: Muslim Spain–The Soundtrack

February 19, 2014

The perversity of the universe being what it is, the final stages of renovating our new-old house and finishing my book proposal have collided.  Instead of driving myself mad trying to write blog posts or letting History in the Margins go blank for a few weeks, I decided to run some of my favorite posts […]

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An Extra Helping

February 14, 2014

I’ve recently started posting on Tumblr. Like History in the Margins, my Tumblr posts focus on history, writing, and writing about history, plus an occasional odd bit. Unlike my posts here, they are snapshots (sometimes literally) of what I’m working on, thinking about, and reading. I suppose you could describe them as Marginalia. If you’d […]

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Word With A Past: Vaudeville

February 11, 2014

In 1648, revolution broke out in the streets of Paris. Known at the time as the Fronde ,* it was in many ways a rehearsal for the French Revolution(s) that would follow. Barricades went up in the streets. Aristocrats were pulled out of their carriages and shot at. Militias paraded in the public squares. There […]

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Déjà Vu All Over Again: Climate Change

February 8, 2014

Earlier this week I stood in a line that moved very slowly. As we waited, people began to tell weather stories–the natural consequence of five weeks of alternating snow and deep freeze. At first the stories focused on the efforts individuals had made to be in that line when the ticket office opened for a […]

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Samurai: The Last Warrior

February 5, 2014

John Man combines travelogue, history and social commentary n Samurai: The Last Warrior, using the story of Saigo Takamori, popularly known as the “last samurai”, as his central focus. In 1877, Saigo led a hopeless rebellion against the Japanese government. Six hundred samurai armed with traditional sword and bow fought the government’s newly trained modern […]

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Road Trip through History: The Colchagua Museum

February 2, 2014

We might not have gone to the Colchagua Museum in Santa Cruz, Chile, if one of our local hosts hadn’t recommended it so strongly.  The guidebooks described it as a private collection that had been turned into a museum–something I always approach with the caution.  Private collections fueled by a personal passion often create a […]

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