Alan Watts, in some of his lectures, tells stories of the experiences of Zen teachers and their students- a sort of mystic, mythic history from ages past. Are there books of these sorts of legends? [more inside]
I spent about five years compiling a technology timeline. It started as a class project and grew into an obsession. For a while, I was making an enormous number of Wikipedia contributions. After a while, I started posting my work to my blog . Then, I started writing "This Day in History" columns for a few paying venues. It's actually grown well beyond what's currently available on my blog. The problem is that I've grown bored of pouring time into the project. [more inside]
I'm looking for an objective history of the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina (preferably in book form, but I'll take on-line sources where appropriate) if such a thing exists. Everything I've been able to find so far is pushing an agenda and I would like to find a source of real information that strips away all of the political baggage. [more inside]
Does anyone know of any good podcasts or audio books covering viking history, Norse mythology or both? I'd very much like to learn about Vikings through my ears. Bonus points for series rather than one offs.
What's the best history book on the immediate aftermath of Columbus' discoveries in Europe? Looking for something that covers, say, the first 50-100 years after the discovery of the New World, and discusses what was found out & when and how people reacted. [more inside]
I wrote a lengthy scholarly article last year, put a preprint of it on my university's institutional repository, and thought no more about it. In January this year, a British journalist published a piece of popular military history with a major British trade press that appears to contain about 6 pages of very, very close summary and paraphrase of my article. What to do? [more inside]
My son has recently gotten interested in history. He's been asking a lot of questions. I paid attention in high school, took some history classes in college, and read some history in spare time. So, I can often provide a halfway decent answer to his questions. However, I really didn't know what to say when he asked me this weekend why WWI started and what the war was "about". I said some vauge things about Archiduke Ferdinand and pre-exsiting tensions and alliances. I am sure, based on his past behavior, he wasn't satisfied and will ask again. I'd like to do better next time. I've read books on this topic, but don't know how to distill them into an answer. What would you recommend saying? I want to help him understand what happened, at least to the level he can appreciate at this age, while avoiding the sort of pat explanations that might make the war seem sensible or noble.
Due to some personal motivations, I've been reading a lot about paranoia lately and most of the delusions I hear about involve modern technology, ie. wire taps, hidden cameras, etc. What are some examples of paranoid delusions before that technology existed?
In general, which elementary school grades cover prehistory? American colonial history?
My buddy posted a link to this awesome digital collection of acquaintance cards from the 1870s on Facebook recently and we've been trying to figure out what the phrase "when are you going to pay the old lady for your last week's washing," which is printed on a couple of the cards, is referring to. [more inside]
Does anyone know what the last segregated event was in the US ? I'm curious about "major events", say around 10,000 people. [more inside]
Books on Judaism and Hebrew? [more inside]
I'm working on an architectural research project on late gothic Germanic churches (from about 1500-1650), and feel hamstrung by my ignorance of the cultures and economies in which the architecture was produced. [more inside]
I'm asking specifically for nostalgia for a time before you were born, i.e. the Blitz parties/40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars in the US. I'm thinking of nights that require you to dress in theme specifically and celebrate that time. [more inside]
I feel like high school Canadian history class, which was mostly a list of wars, sort of killed any interest in history that I may have had. Please recommend me some European/world/ancient history documentaries that will change my mind! [more inside]
I'm currently enrolled in a History Ph.D. program and will be eligible to leave with an MA in a couple of months. I've applied to finish my doctorate elsewhere, but, given some recent developments in my department, have decided that I would really rather leave after my MA regardless of whether I get in elsewhere this cycle. Help me brainstorm options. [more inside]
I've recently developed an interest in ancient history (yes, the recent history-related posts on the blue may have helped) and am looking for good books on the subject that I can buy/check out from the library. I'm particularity interested in technological and cultural histories of major ancient civilizations. [more inside]
Is there a list of important historical events which are now regarded (by at least a majority of historians) as true/accurate, which are or were recently regarded as fringe theories, hoaxes, or legends, or which are viewed as unimportant and given short shrift in US / western public school curricula and popular narratives? Links to lists or individual items appreciated. Thanks!
What good articles have you read about the Great Recession? I'm particularly interested in resources that help explain the causes, effects and responses to the recent Recession. Bonus if the article/video/infographic/etc. helps explain how the causes, effects, or responses are similar to or different than the causes/effects/responses to the Great Depression. [more inside]
Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up! Great resources on the early history of Hollywood? [more inside]
I'm a grad student in conservation biology who has always had a strong interest in conservation issues. However, I feel like the technical side of my education is much stronger than the philosophical side, and I want to restore that balance. Who should I read, what resources should I look into, what organizations or publications are out there that will help me gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical, and cultural components of environmentalism? [more inside]
I'm trying to learn more about the history of the bombing of Dresden, and am looking for the most reliable (yet accessible) source. [more inside]
This is driving me crazy...it was a very readable book that described several (eleven?) American historical disasters, including I think the S.S. Sultana tragedy. (Or, some other steamship fire.) [more inside]
I'm interested in tea and its history, especially its role in global trade and conflict. Are there any great nonfiction books that cover the subject without focusing exclusively on a certain time period or location? [more inside]
I was thinking back to high school, when I spent hours browsing archives such as the Jargon File, the d20 SRD, and bash.org. Of course, these are just scratching the surface - I read pages and pages of D+D files, funny anecdotes, and interesting stories on personal sites. I miss the magic of diving into a site like that - any recommendations?
Baa Baa Blacksheep, Twinkle Twinkle, and the alphabet song are all the same tune. How is it that one song has been used for three well known songs? What are some other examples of songs being the exact same tune but with totally different lyrics? (I'll accept rip off/coincidence type things like Born This Way/Express Yourself, but I'm looking more for examples where the identical-song-different-lyrics thing was deliberate and done knowingly.)
I'm looking for any pointers to articles, books, or information about the history of pre-modern, non-Western thought about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. (To be clear, I'm not looking for anything about "ancient astronauts" or whether the ancient Egyptians were guided by aliens or anything like that.) [more inside]
I would like to harvest file-system activity from my operating system on an ongoing basis so that in the future I can look back on the data to see what files I was working on at a given time. I'm using windows 7. Basically something like the web history in a browser, but for my local files and applications. [more inside]
I recently came upon the work of Noam Chomsky and it opened up a whole new world of information and ways of seeing the world. How can I become more informed about our world's recent history and be accurate about it? [more inside]
For job applications, what should I do about a few months long job where I was terminated after being moved between projects? [more inside]
What are some good English-language resources to learn about Japanese mythology? Book recommendations are welcome, too. My interest is mostly to gain some background knowledge that would help me understand better Japanese novels or manga, in the way that knowing Greek or Norse mythology is helpful when reading Western literature.
Trying to find the perfect book to scratch a partner's literary itch for macrohistories related in some way to music. Details within. [more inside]
I'm trying to remember details about a book written about the US in the 1920s from the perspective of a visiting fundamental Muslim. The book, from my memory, was influential in the progress of fundamental Islamism (and later terrorism) as the book described the jazz age, black people, women's sexuality, etc. in a very bad light. Strangely Google isn't helping me with this. Thanks!
History Buffs of MeFi: Please share your most favorite, most compelling sources. Movies, books, graphic novels, fiction - everything is fair game. [more inside]
Looking for a fun gift for an 8-year-old that might fuel his interest in American history (or any history) ... Any ideas? (Some specifics provided inside.) [more inside]
My nine year old just read "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry. It is her first introduction to really high quality historical fiction. She is excited to read more books that teach her about history, but are also fun to read because they are fiction. Do you have any ideas about historical fiction books that are excellent quality like "Number the Stars" but that are age appropriate for my nine year old? Thank you.
My dad loved the series Deadwood. He also loves biography and historical non-fiction books. I would like to give him an interesting history of Deadwood for Christmas but not necessarily one connected with the show (which seems to be most of them). Any recommendations?
I'm going to New Orleans in a few days to cover a conference for a client. I will be going a half day early and staying an extra ~2 days more. I have limited time to do research, and do plan to go through the archives and NYT recommendation article. However, I was hoping to dig up any recommendations as to other things to see/check out when I'm there, and this seems to be an easy way to do so. [more inside]
My local news can barely report stories accurately when they happen on the same day, in the same town. How can I trust the validity of information that's been whispered-down-the-lane for decades, centuries or millenia? And if history isn't intended to be entirely factual, then what are we supposed to be gaining by studying it? [more inside]
Sounds simple, but we were wondering because in 2000 for religious reasons they cut opium production and we're curious where they stand.
Congress readmitted several Southern states to the Union in an “Omnibus Bill” it passed on June 28, 1868. Where can I find the text online?
If you were the average climber/mountaineer in the mid-to-late 19th century, how aware were you that your gear was basically crap in terms of providing protection from falls? [more inside]
How long did it take to sail from the Americas to England in 1609? And vice versa? [more inside]
On the weekend I discovered a great series of German magazines/publications: Karfunkel, especially the Karfunkel Combat series. I know my son would love this stuff, but his German is super basic. So is there an English magazine series anything like these? [more inside]
I am looking for one or more professionals to find interesting moments in the history of one of the detroit car makers. someone who can i.e. provide me with information out of which I can make interesting "on this day in 1952, this happened" articles. how should I go about finding the right person for this project? [more inside]
I have inherited several memoirs and other paper documents produced by family members before the digital age made document creation, storage, and dissemination so easy and extensive. What's the best way to make sure these documents survive and are accessible to those who might be interested in them? [more inside]
In short, the "Question Title" provides my question... Why are there multiple versions of the Gettysburg Address? [more inside]
I'm writing a trivia game for a birthday party. What are events from the 1950s through today that 60 yr olds would have a good grasp of that I would miss out on just by scanning through wikipedia? [more inside]
I just caught a scene from the 1953 film Stalag 17. In it, some WW2 prisoners of war hold a dance, and for obvious reasons, half the male dancers are following. Can anyone help me fill in the imaginary back story as if I were watching this film in 1953? [more inside]
I really want to find out more about the history and progress of LGBT rights. Namely, early forms and social codes to express homosexuality, the civil rights movements and how psychology viewed before and now, and what led to finally removing homosexuality as a disorder from the DSM. [more inside]