But let’s be honest, it’s impossible to study the past without feeling something. Confusion, fascination, excitement—this is what motivates historians to spend their days poring over obscure manuscripts.
Could Alvarenga really have drifted for 8000 miles from Mexico to the Ebon atoll in the Marshall Islands? If we look into the history of the great Pacific Ocean, we find several stories of survival that suggest Alvarenga is not telling the truth.
Hsia’s book on Matteo Ricci expands the traditional narratives of the Age of Expansion and transforms our understanding of them. Beyond the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds, early modern Europeans, Jesuits among them, also ventured to Asia.
This book recounts a fascinating journey undertaken by an Iranian intellectual to an Israel that existed primarily in the author’s mind. The kind of utopia Al-e Ahmad saw would strike many Israelis as odd.
In the study of history, it’s easy to fall back on national identities: “Irish music,” an “English accent,” “American Exceptionalism” are just a few examples. But a closer examination of the local cultures—music, dialects, history—that exist within nations demonstrates how misleading those generalizations can be. Just look through one of the British Library’s “Sound Maps” and you’ll be convinced.
My mother, Rae Straw, and her friend Pam had an odd assignment in 1979 for two travel agents from Houston: selling the Soviet Union to American tourists. For travel agents, such familiarization or “FAM” trips were a regular occurrence, but going to the Soviet Union during the preparations for the 1980 Moscow Olympics was a unique experience.
How to Cook and Eat in Chinese was the earliest popular, English-language guide to Chinese cooking. First published in 1945 and reprinted several times, it remains in wide use today.
by Jorge Cañizares Esguerra Two flights had been cancelled in Chicago and I had already waited for seven hours to catch a plane. As temperatures kept dropping and a snowstorm was fast approaching, I just jumped on a bus to go to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. I plowed my way to the Morris […]
Even the most gifted teachers had to learn how to teach history and most of us needed a lot of help getting started. This month Not Even Past asked graduate students to reflect on their first teaching experiences as Teaching Assistants in History classes. They responded with insight, humor, and even a little hard won wisdom. Reflections here by Chloe Ireton, Cacee Hoyer, Jack Loveridge, Cameron McCoy, and Elizabeth O’Brien.
During World War II, the governments of Brazil and the United States made an unprecedented level of joint investment in the economy and infrastructure of the Amazon region. The dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1937-45) trumpeted the colonization and development of the Amazon (christened the “March to the West”) as a nationalist imperative to defend a sparsely settled frontier covering some sixty percent of Brazilian territory.