Historical Hypochondria

I have begun to wonder if historians, or at least history students, don’t suffer from a similar problem to that experienced by medical students. Medical students often start to self-diagnose with various ailments during the course of their studies, especially when confronted with list after list of symptoms. They find themselves ticking off symptoms and …

Important Lessons in History

In some ways, being a historian is like being a detective. Yet, where Sherlock Holmes (and his real-life counterparts) could look at many disparate clues and say “this is what must have happened!” This is not how history works. A murderer or robber will probably have one motive, but historical events are the result of …

Quote on History

“Human nature is the same in every age if we make allowance for the difference of customs & Education, so that we learn to know ourselves by studying the opinions and passions of others” -William Bradford (paraphrasing Hume) in a letter to James Madison, October [1772], original in the collection of the Historical Society of …