History Articles

Thomas Edison & Steve Jobs: Alter Egos

September 26, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Last week I happened to read two books back to back. The first was Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Steve Jobs. The second was Jacked Up: The Inside Story of How Jack Welch Talked GE into Becoming the World’s Greatest Company (2007) by Bill Lane, Welch’s long-time speech writer. Reading... read more

Soviet Junk: Post-Communist Clean Up

May 20, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

My recent visit to Azerbaijan inspired this blog. As I was being driven through Baku, my guide, Basran, would occasionally gesture at crumbly old buildings and say, “Soviet junk.” I’ve gained experience roaming through countries spewed by the cement mixer of communism: the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria), Russia, Mongolia, and now... read more

Social Change: The Role of Women

March 15, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

For March, which is Women’s Month. The topic is social change. Sociolinguist William Labov has observed:  “While most language forms are stable and customary; a few rapidly changing variables may be closely compared to fashion. Change and diffusion of fashions – in clothing, cosmetics – appears to be closer to... read more

why americans love self help books

The Peculiarly American Love of Self-Help

July 13, 2015 8:57 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Note: I wrote this blog after reading Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Vintage Book, Random House, 2013. The HBO documentary Going Clear was aired in April, 2015. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Accept the place the divine providence has found... read more

How I Create Historical Atmosphere

January 5, 2015 3:11 pm Published by 1 Comment

Science fiction, fantasy, and historical novels bring to life worlds unknown to the reader. Science fiction and fantasy novels invent ones that never existed or don’t yet exist, while historical novels invoke ones that once existed. The standard definition of the most recent temporal limit of a historical at any... read more

puritan attitudes toward romance novels

Puritans and the Romance Novel

August 26, 2014 11:26 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most famous Puritans was Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658.) He was the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1653 until his death. He was instrumental in closing English inns and theaters, which, according to him, were dens of iniquity, and in having King Charles... read more