history history relevance practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

THIS Is How to Use History in a Pragmatic Fashion

I am always on the lookout for pragmatic uses of history, particularly ones that attempt to drive important changes in society. While history is like air in that it is all around us and constantly being used (and, thus, often ignored), it isn’t always used with such deliberation as the example I found earlier this week. The Trump Administration has actively been attempting to ban transgender people from military service. Its latest maneuver has been…

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observations thought fodder

Facebook Is Our New Town Square

I promised a second blog post that was inspired by this Facebook meme. Here it is. As much as we might hate it, Facebook has become our new town square. Starting in this last U.S. pre-election cycle, political posts overtook Facebook as individuals shared their views and tried to sway family, friends and co-workers  with their opinions. Often, nasty things were said. Post-election, the political sharing has become more intense as citizens attempt to figure…

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observations thought fodder

We Need to Stop Treating the U.S. Government Like a Furnace

This meme greeted me on Facebook one day and it irked me, as often these Facebook memes do. Usually, it’s because they strip complicated issues down and leave important parts out, serving as sound bites that rarely get analyzed. I can’t not analyze them and argue back. This one is so irksome to me that it’s generating at least 2 blog posts. Here’s the first. Until the most recent election cycle and the takeover of…

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reading thought fodder

The Prescient “Dark Age Ahead”

Working in the field of public history, one cannot escape hearing about Jane Jacobs eventually. She was a journalist who ended up in the field of architecture, becoming an outspoken advocate for sane development that is more adapted to humans than cars. The book most mentioned within the Jane Jacobs canon is “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” I have never read it, but a tweet (by Richard Florida, I believe) led me to Jane…

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