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{ Category Archives } History

San Martin and Maoland – US Training of Police in the Art of Crushing Protests

Watching the events as they unfold in Egypt and earlier in Tunisia, I have been fascinated by the evolving role of the police. Though also true in the Tunisian case, the Egyptian police has long been particularly infamous for its rampant use of torture, a fact sometimes taken advantage of by the US. These police […]

History Job Market

I dropped in on a history department event for graduate students about the job market for the coming year. I didn’t stay for some of the reports from those who have seen the market and lived to tell the tale but essentially the main message of the opening session was: the market sucks, but you’ll […]

The Power of the Ellipsis

Anyone who has written for or about media, politics, or in fields like history know the power of the ellipsis to shave away important context. I came across this today when assembling some quotes on Churchill’s evolving views on employing terror as a matter of military strategic policy. Among them, one in particular is yet […]

Comments on Katyn

I watched the Polish movie Katyń (2007) on the Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish military officers in 1940. I felt the acting was mediocre, the “shaky camera” technique used annoying at times, and the background music rather primitive, but there were also many strengths to the movie. It had some excellent scenes that capture […]

Well Written History

The majority of the research is done. The sources have been found. The books and documents have been photographed or photocopied. Some of them have even been read. I’ve got ideas. I’ve got outlines. I’ve got hundreds of pages of notes. I have years of training in the destruction and dismissal of other people’s arguments. […] Voyage Record Images Project

I have already had occasion to mention my mother’s online historical project but I wanted to write a short post to congratulate her on the completion of a remarkable achievement. My mother’s ship lists contains detailed information on hundreds of Norwegian merchant marine vessels from World War II that played a key role in […]

When Archive Digitization Goes Wrong

Last week I paid a visit to a wonderful archive in a medium sized city of Shandong province, China. There I looked up various documents from the 1940s for my dissertation research that are a bit more local in scope than those I have been looking at in the Shandong Provincial Archives here in Jinan. […]

An “Englishman” Visits the Cabin

I spent some time going through entries in a “hyttebok” (literally cabin bok) or “dagbok” (diary) for a small cabin owned by the family of my great-grandfather some two hours hike into the forest from my mother’s hometown Hegra. These cabin guestbooks are a wonderfully fun source to read through as well as being of […]

Jinan Used Book Market

I have just gotten settled in here in Jinan, in Shandong province, China. Except for a few weeks in Shanghai and Nanjing, I’ll be here until the end of next April doing my dissertation research affiliated with Shandong University. A young history masters student who has been helping me out since I got here and […]

Charles Tilly

I just heard from Sayaka that Charles Tilly passed away. He was an amazing scholar whose work has had a powerful impact in the fields of sociology, political science, and my own field of history. I have learnt much from reading his work and attended several of his talks. I have always been impressed by […]