Research is a big part of what I do here. I like to go into a story with an open mind and interpret it in my own way.
Hear are some of my sources. These books are all great reads and very inspiring. If you really want to dive into these stories even deeper, give these books some of your time. And check out these other websites as well. They have helped me create and improve this site.
The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley - A somewhat mind blowing book about how much our lives have improved over the entire course of history. Matt explains how all of the negativity in our culture about the future is almost certainly wrong, and how the future is almost certainly going to be downright awesome.
Cicero by Anthony Everitt - An amazing story of men who witnessed in thier lifetime Rome change from a republic to a dictatorship. Cicero also has some moving things to say about friendship.
From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun - A very ambitious chronicle of 500 years of Western cultural life. Starting with the Reformation, Barzun describes the growth of Western Culture over the past half millennium.
Classic Romantic, and Modern by Jacques Barzun - A chronicle and explanation of the seasons of our culture. In this very interesting take on cultural history, the author concludes that our culture shifts back and forth from a romantic to a rational mindset. Alternatively dominant and submerged, romanticism and rationalism both exist simultaneously within our culture, constantly challenging each other. A great short read and my favorite book.
The Birth of Plenty by William J. Bernstein - The story of the birth and progress of our modern economy. William describes how growth of per capita GDP, adjusted for inflation, was relatively flat for all of human history up until about the year 1820. From then on the average person has become about 2% richer every year in spite of all the wars, recessions, depressions, etc. He goes on to describe what he believes to be the four causes of our modern prosperity.
The Bach Family by Karl Geiringer - The legacy of this remarkably talented family ranges for more than two centuries from the sixteenth-century miller Veit to Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst (1759 - 1845), Johann Sebastian's grandson. All totaled seven generations of musical genius.
La Place de la Concorde Suisse by John McPhee - A look at Switzerland's elaborate landscape engineering defenses. In effect, the Swiss military has wired the entire country to blow in the event of foreign invasion.
Stories from English History - A short introduction to early English history with six vibrant tales spanning from the Celtic champion Caradoc all the way to Sir Francis Drake.
A History of Germany - A history of Germany written at the turn of the Century by H. E. Marshall.
Religion and the Rise of Western Culture by Christopher Dawson - The author describes how the passion and energy of the barbarian tribes north of the Alps was guided and further inspired by Christianity. It is the combination of these two that greatly contributed to the richness of Western Culture.
The Labyrinth - A list of resources for medieval studies put together by Georgetown Univerity.
The Irvine Company - A great site showing the history of the Irvine Company in California. If you're interested at all in city planning this is an amazing story.
MIT Classics - The Massechusets Institute of Technology has an archive of many classic texts translated into English in this section of their website.
German History in Documents and Images - A comprehensive collection of primary source materials documenting Germany's political, social, and cultural history from 1500 to the present.
Welcome new readers!
In a hope to share any interesting historical stories I come across in the future I will be writing and posting articles whenever I can. Hopefully quite often.
I'll also be keeping you up to date on any good reads I come across in the Recommended section.
Looking for something in particular? Find it more quickly on the Search page.
And here is a complete list of all articles since the beginning.
Size of the Known Universe
Disappearance of Great Nomads
The Eclipse of 1919
James Cook - His First Voyage
A History of Personal Wealth
The Christmas Truce of 1914
Dona Nobis Pacem
The Battle of Tours - 732 AD
Western Civilization prior to WWI
The Bedrock of New York City
Roman Emperor Constantine
The Family Tree of J. S. Bach
Eratosthenes - Earth's Circumference
"It is possible to believe that all the past is but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been is but the twilight of the dawn."
~ H.G. Wells
The Discovery of the Future