David Christian: Big History, April 2011
Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.
George Dyson: The Birth of the Computer, June 2008
Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer -- from its 17th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers.
Alice Dreger: Is Anatomy Destiny? June 2011
Alice Dreger works with people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and intersexed people. In her observation, it's often a fuzzy line between male and female, among other anatomical distinctions. Which brings up a huge question: Why do we let our anatomy determine our fate?
Niall Ferguson: The 6 Killer Apps of Prosperity, September 2011
Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture — call them the 6 killer apps — that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all shareable.
Edward Tenner: Unintended Consequences, September 2011
Every new invention changes the world — in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.
Jared Diamond: Why Societies Collapse, October 2008
Why do societies fail? With lessons from the Norse of Iron Age Greenland, deforested Easter Island and present-day Montana, Jared Diamond talks about the signs that collapse is near, and how -- if we see it in time -- we can prevent it.
Steven Cromack In a 1999 journal article published in War in History , historian Terence Zuber dropped a bombshell on the academic community...
The following is an excerpt from World’s Bloodiest History: Massacre, Genocide, and the Scars They Left on Civilization by Joseph Cummins (...
Chris Beneke . Before the year ends, it may be worth noting that 2010 marks the fiftieth anniversary of a classic work in American history...
Detail from a late 16th century painting of Richard III, artist unknown. . "Richard III dig: Results expected in January," BBC, No...
Philip White November 30 was Winston Churchill’s birthday. 138 years after his birth, historians, politicians and the public are still as fa...
Randall Stephens I regularly browse the Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division for pictures to illustrate essays, forums...
Philip White Stand up desks are becoming quite hip, even making it onto an episode of The Office . And speaking of hips (and, indeed, lower...
. Historic Maps and Digital Mapping Roundup "Was your street bombed during the Blitz?" Telegraph , December 6, 2012 The year-long...
Aaron Astor I was recently asked to join a local committee to plan the centennial celebration of our local school district. The City of Mary...
Randall Stephens Several provocative "big questions" essays recently appeared in full, on-line. These span over world history, ea...