Bonfire of the Humanities

Facts are standard fare for historians, but intellectual fashions are what entices them: nationalism, Marxism, postmodernism, globalization…
Facts are standard fare for historians, but intellectual fashions are what entices them: nationalism, Marxism, postmodernism, globalization… [More]

History of lying

Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts…
Here’s the thing about lying: We all do it – three times in every 10 minutes of conversation – while finding it the most blameworthy of acts… [More]

Rhetoric of Cowardice

Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence…
Cowardice and courage no longer carry the moral resonance they once did. They now tend to be used as goads to violence… [More]

New Left history

The writing of history has its own history, which was indelibly shaped by the ambitious and flawed New Left historians…
The writing of history has its own history, which was indelibly shaped by the ambitious and flawed New Left historians… [More]

Changing Climates of History

The less we know about the deep past – and we don’t know much – the more climate looks like an all-purpose explanation of economic and political change…
The less we know about the deep past – and we don’t know much – the more climate looks like an all-purpose explanation of economic and political change… [More]

history of hogsheads, kegs and puncheons

Beer, whiskey, wine, grain, tobacco, molasses, cement, fish, coins: The barrel is far from a simple idea…
Beer, whiskey, wine, grain, tobacco, molasses, cement, fish, coins: The barrel is far from a simple idea… [More]

History of Drunkenness

Alcohol, death, and the devil. In the 17th century, booze was rumored to turn men into swine, to expose their bodies to Satan’s touch…
Alcohol, death, and the devil. In the 17th century, booze was rumored to turn men into swine, to expose their bodies to Satan’s touch… [More]

History of Fairy Tale

It’s said that fairy tales at are the roots of fiction. Probably so. But scholars can’t even agree on what constitutes a fairy tale…
It’s said that fairy tales at are the roots of fiction. Probably so. But scholars can’t even agree on what constitutes a fairy tale… [More]

History of trolls

Magnificently grotesque, vicious, or perhaps comic, the troll is a resilient character. Why we need trolls…
Magnificently grotesque, vicious, or perhaps comic, the troll is a resilient character. Why we need trolls… [More]

Sympathy for censorship

East German censors saw their role as enabling literature, not suppressing it. That’s not to say, of course, that texts weren’t rejected as “late bourgeois”…
East German censors saw their role as enabling literature, not suppressing it. That’s not to say, of course, that texts weren’t rejected as “late bourgeois”… [More]