Skip to content

The History of the World in Nineteen Minutes

September 6, 2017

This is fun …

George Washington and the Dignity of the Presidency

June 29, 2017

George Washington infused the American presidency with his personal dignity and restraint. That may seem a hazy contribution, but it has shaped our nation. “President” was a new title for a head of state in 1789, and no well-known republic had ever created such a strong one-man executive. America’s presidency could easily have become a sleazy office known for naked power, with none of the royal charisma the Eighteenth Century expected of national leadership. Such a graceless office might have degenerated into a banana republic strongman’s post. Or America might have suffered the sort of “citizen leadership” that destroyed the French Revolution, with executives relentlessly accusing and slandering each other. But no. Our first president was another sort of man. Read more…

The History of Japan in Nine Minutes

June 26, 2017

This is fun …

A New Timeline — and an Old Brain — for Homo Sapiens

June 11, 2017

Anthropologists recently made a fascinating discovery: Homo sapiens fossils found in Morocco date back 300,000 years. Until about a week ago, we thought our species reaches back only 200,000 years. The extra hundred grand opens up all kinds of possibilities for how and where we evolved — possibilities anthropologists have hardly begun to digest. Read more…

Jericho River Article at Ancient History Encyclopedia

May 17, 2017

Ancient History Encyclopedia has just published an article about me and about my book, The Jericho River. Please check it out! Read more…

Teaching Center: News from the Turbo-Charged World of Education

April 20, 2017

This is how the world should work …

The Democracy Watch List

March 5, 2017

Here’s what to watch for.

How would the Trump administration erode American freedom and democracy, if it went down that road? I’ve approached this question as a lawyer and amateur historian, studying democracies that lost freedom in recent years, as well as some currently on the brink. I’ve put together a list of their leaders’ moves against liberty — then deleted those I consider barely possible in the United States, thanks to our culture and Constitution. The result is below: steps the Trump administration and its GOP allies might take without obviously violating the Constitution. Read more…