One of the objectives of this blog is to encourage alumni and students of this department to cultivate habits of lifelong learning. While many of our former students don’t work in jobs directly related to history, we assume that their undergraduate interest in the past never entirely went away — and ought to be nourished by continued reading, museum visits, film watching, and other activities.
That’s why we collect a series of historical blog posts from around the Internet and post them as “Weekend Reading” every Saturday morning.
To a similar end, each month we’ll be highlighting other blogs that discuss history in an interesting, well-researched, and well-written fashion.
First up, a blog from Smithsonian Magazine that promises “History with all the interesting bits left in.”
Frequency of Posts: every 3-5 days
Five Most Recent Posts:
- Blue vs. Green: Rocking the Byzantine Empire (about chariot-racing and mass politics in 6th century Constantinople)
- The Aftermath of Mountain Meadows (about the infamous massacre in 1857 that nearly brought about war between the U.S. government and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
- Colonel Parker Managed Elvis’ Career, but Was He a Killer on the Lam? (pretty much what the title says)
- A Spectacle of Horror – The Burning of the General Slocum (about the worst peacetime maritime disaster in American history)
- The Mysterious Mr. Zedzed: The Wickedest Man in the World (the story of the mysterious Zacharius Zacharoff, one of the most infamous con men of the late 19th and early 20th centuries)
As wide-ranging as the museum with which it’s associated, Past Imperfect features magazine-quality writing that synthesizes recent scholarship into accessible but in-depth posts on pretty much any topic under the sun. (American history probably predominates, and — as you can see from the most recent posts — there’s a bit of sensationalism at work. A whole category is simply called “Scandals.”) Karen Abbott’s post about two famous female pirates of the 18th century won “Best Blog Post” in the 2011 Cliopatria Awards.