H.G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle & Other British Authors Sign Manifesto Backing England’s Role in WWI

≡ Category: History |Leave a Comment

Thinkers have said a great deal about the relative might of the pen and the sword—often one well-known phrase in particular—but still, the subject of intellect versus might remains a matter of active inquiry.


The C.I.A.’s “Bestiary of Intelligence Writing” Satirizes Spook Jargon with Maurice Sendak-Style Drawings

≡ Category: Comedy, Creativity, English Language, History |Leave a Comment

Ten years in academia gave me a healthy dislike of clichéd jargon, as well as an appreciation for jokes about it. There are a few, like the academic sentence generator and Ph.D. Comics, that capture a bit of what it’s like to go to school and work in higher ed. Corporate drones, of course, have Office Space and Dilbert.


Take Big History: A Free Short Course on 13.8 Billion Years of History, Funded by Bill Gates

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Last month, The New York Times Magazine published a long piece called “So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class …”, which begins with these very words:
In 2008, shortly after Bill Gates stepped down from his executive role at Microsoft, he often awoke in his 66,000-square-foot home on the eastern bank of Lake Washington an


Photos of Hiroshima by Hiroshima Mon Amour Star Emmanuelle Riva (1958)

≡ Category: Film, History, Photography |1 Comment

Hiroshima Mon Amour, Alain Resnais’s landmark 1960 meditation on war and memory, was Emmanuelle Riva’s first starring role. She plays a married actress (catch a scene here) who, while making a movie in Japan, has an affair with a Japanese architect played by Eiji Okada.


Woman Takes LSD in 1956: “I’ve Never Seen Such Infinite Beauty in All My Life,” “I Wish I Could Talk in Technicolor”

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A decade before tens of thousands turned on, tuned in, and dropped out at the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park, psychiatrist Sidney Cohen was investigating the effects of LSD on human consciousness.


Ben Franklin’s List of 200 Synonyms for “Drunk”: “Moon-Ey’d,” “Hammerish,” “Stew’d” & More (1737)

≡ Category: Food & Drink, History |Leave a Comment

How many Americans could, off the top of their heads, tell you exactly why history remembers Benjamin Franklin? Not many, I suspect, though we all know that he did a great deal worth remembering, even by the standards of a Founding Father. (Something got him on the $100 bill, after all.


Bruce Springsteen Plays East Berlin in 1988: I’m Not Here For Any Government. I’ve Come to Play Rock

≡ Category: History, Music, Politics |2 Comments

And you thought Ronald Reagan single-handedly brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War with his “Tear Down This Wall Speech” in 1987….


Declassified CIA Document Reveals That Ben Franklin (and His Big Ego) Put U.S. National Security at Risk

≡ Category: History |1 Comment

Benjamin Franklin might have been a brilliant author, publisher, scientist, inventor and statesman, but he was pretty lousy at keeping state secrets. That’s the finding from a recently declassified CIA analysis of Franklin’s critically important diplomatic mission to France during the Revolutionary War.


Hear the Nazi’s Bizzaro Propaganda Jazz Band, “Charlie and His Orchestra” (1940-1943)

≡ Category: History, Music |Leave a Comment

As you might expect from a vicious political movement fronted by a frustrated illustrator, the Nazi party had a complicatedly disdainful yet aspirational — and needless to say, unceasingly fascinating — relationship with art.


Free Download of The History Manifesto: Historians New Call for Big-Picture Thinking

≡ Category: Books, History |Leave a Comment

Briefly noted…
Cambridge University Press has just published a new book called The History Manifesto by Jo Guldi (Assistant Professor, Brown University) and David Armitage (Chair of Harvard’s History Department).


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