Historically Thinking

Historically Thinking


Latest Episodes

Episode 235: The Great Little Madison
November 18, 2021

If there’s one thing Americans know about James Madison, it might be that he was the shortest American President, ever–just 5’4”, or that he was married to Dolley Madison, who was not only a first lad

Episode 234: The Fall of Robespierre
November 15, 2021

“We seek an order of things in which all the base and cruel passions are enchained, all the beneficent and generous passions are awakened by the laws; where ambition becomes the desire to merit glory

Episode 233: Generation Myth
November 08, 2021

Each year millions and millions of whatever currency you’d care to have are spent explaining generations to one another. Inherent in that expensive explantation is the idea that people born at about t

Episode 232: Talking About Each Other’s Gods
November 01, 2021

In 1924 the eminent nerve-specialist Sir Roderick Glossop urged Bertie Wooster and his friend Charles “Biffy” Biffen to attend the British Empire Exhibition being held at Wembley. “It is the most supr

Episode 231: Multiple Perspectives, or, Seeing the Same Thing in Different Ways
October 28, 2021

This is another episode in our year-long series about the skills of historical thinking, and today our focus is on multiple perspectives. Putting it in the form of a question, it’s when a historian as

Episode 230: What the Amish Can Do For Us
October 25, 2021

When people speak of “the Amish” they are using a very simple term that covers over rather than reveals. It’s a term that applies to forty affliations or subgroups, each with a distinctive way of life

Episode 229: Mr. Jefferson and His University
October 21, 2021

Alumni of the University of Virginia enjoy pointing out that while Thomas Jefferson’s tombstone declares his foundation of that university as his third great achievement, it does not so much as mentio

Episode 228: The Intellectual Life in Difficult Circumstances
October 18, 2021

Joseph Wright, a native of the West Riding of Yorkshire, started working in a factory at the age of 6. He did not learn to read until he was 15, inspired to do so by a workmate who read news bulletins

Episode 227: The First French Revolution
October 11, 2021

In the last days of 1358, thousands of French villagers across northern France revolted against a faltering regime, from Normandy in the west, to Picardy and Champagne in the east. Castles and manor h

Episode 226: Adventures Through Time, with Dominic Sandbrook
October 04, 2021

Go into an American bookshop, and you’ll get the impression that the only two most important events that ever happened in all of human history were the American Civil War and the Second World War. In