I’m here to learn about history, and learning is what this website is all about.
I am not a professional historian. I do not have a degree in history. My B.A. is in English and Theatre, and my resume includes such roles as reporter, editor, proofreader, playwright, and novelist, but nothing in the field of history.
However, for many years now, I’ve enjoyed learning about history on my own, primarily U.S. history. I’ve recently branched out into British and Russian history as well, and I intend to continue branching out. I have a lot to learn. I’ll never be finished learning. And that’s what this is all about.
I’m a student, not an expert. I’m here to explore, not preach.
An important part of learning is sharing what we learn, and that’s what I’ll do here. This will help my own retention and hopefully encourage others to embark on their own studies, or help them discover new books.
The topics will vary, and I’ll jump around through history quite a bit, sort of like a series of Doctor Who episodes (minus the episodes set in the future, alas). I’ll talk mostly about books I’ve read, but also interesting articles or videos I’ve come across, and maybe even historical sites I’ve visited (living in Virginia, I’ve got more than a few within range).
Like any student, I’ll almost certainly make mistakes along the way. So, while I will strive for accuracy, take anything I say with a grain of salt and do your own research. Again, I am not a professional.
And I’m realizing that the above disclaimer is in the spirit of the disclaimers George Washington would issue. In accepting command of the Continental Army, Washington said, “I beg it be remember[e]d by every Gent[lema]n in the room that I this day declare, with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I [am] honoured with” (Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow).
Washington typically lowered expectations and apologized for not being perfect, right up through his farewell address, when he wrote, “Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend.”
See? Even a historical figure as phenomenally successful as George Washington can teach us something about humility. The lessons of history are applicable in so many ways.
I will not be a perfect student of history, but I aim to improve.
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions or constructive criticism.