Author & Speaker

Archive for February 2013

The horror. The horror.

Sometimes I admire a book of history but am pleased I didn’t have to write it.  Either it seems like a too-long project, or involves difficult research efforts, or requires spending psychic time with unattractive historical figures and situations. All of those emotions arose as I recently read Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin, a harrowing depiction of the…

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Was King Richard III really all that bad?

After 500 years, we now know where the bones of King Richard III of England are.  They have been found under a parking lot in Leicester, England, near the site of the Battle of Bosworth where he was slain. The evil genius of Shakespeare’s history plays, Richard — hunchbacked, vicious, fiendish clever — was the…

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The Brookeville White House

Just off Route 97 in Brookeville, Maryland, stands an 18th Century home, lovingly restored by Sandy and Duane Heiler, that served as America’s capital for about 18 hours in late August 1814. Invading Maryland from ships in the Chesapeake Bay, British troops routed the Maryland militia in the somewhat embarrassing Battle of Bladensburg, then put…

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