Popular Culture

When Paris Went Dark

September 19, 2014

When Nazi troops marched into Paris in June, 1940, the city surrendered without firing a shot.* In When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944 , historian Ronald C. Rosbottom explores face-to-face interactions between occupiers and occupied, the effect of the Occupation on daily life in Paris, its psychological and emotional […]

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First Known Serial Killer Terrorizes The Slums of London

August 12, 2014

On August 6, 1888, Martha Tabram was stabbed to death in the Whitechapel neighborhood of London–many believe she was the first victim of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.* Between August and November, five more women were murdered within a one-mile radius in London’s East End. All were prostitutes and all but one […]

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The Lost Art of Dress

July 29, 2014

I’ve put off reviewing Linda Przybyszewski’s The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish for several months now. In part because life was busy life-ing. In part because I had other things I wanted to write about. But mostly because I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the book. The […]

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The Warrior Queens

May 10, 2014

I’m in the midst of re-reading an old friend–Antonia Fraser’s The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War. If I were a more patient sort, I would wait to finish and then write a reasoned post with carefully thought out conclusions. But sometimes you just […]

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A Treasure Trove for History (And Film) Buffs

May 2, 2014

If you’ve been hanging out in the places I hang out on line, you already got the word:  British Pathé has put its 85,000 historic newsreels on YouTube.  My first reaction was “Cool.  That’s a great resource for people who write about the 20th century.”  Then I looked a little closer. The company’s founder, Charles […]

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The Invention of News

April 3, 2014

At a time when digital media is transforming the way news is delivered–and by whom– Andrew Pettegree offers a reminder that newspapers too were once a revolutionary form of delivering information. In The Invention of News: How The World Came To Know About Itself, Pettegree looks at the changing definition, use, control, and distribution of […]

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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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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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