history practical history pragmatic historian purpose of history using history

Historic Aerial Photos to Track Climate Change

I was writing an article on history and climate change for work when a thought dawned on me regarding how to document areas affected by climate change. The Expected Effects of Climate Change I opened my article with information about the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and its Gold Nugget Museum. I also discussed the Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II, which was recently released by the federal government. The report discusses…

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A Great Partnership – Writers & Historians

I saw the following exchange on Twitter between @GregWiker and @Chris_Levesque_ and had to jump in. Here was my response: As I indicate in the tweet, writing and the study of history go hand-in-hand. It can be difficult for students to come up with interesting content to write about, particularly when they are young and don’t have a lifetime of experience to expound upon. Meanwhile, historians have more topics to write about than they could…

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Museums for Clocks & Watches

Okay, I’m writing a super easy post tonight, which will go live tomorrow at 8:33 a.m. In contrast to the other blogs I’ve kept, with which I have written posts and published them immediately, with The Pragmatic Historian my goal has been to write posts ahead of time and schedule them. It was bound to happen sooner or later, but here I am on a Wednesday night after a full day of writing and editing…

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Reexamining Stereotypes Through Historical Details

Over the weekend I watched “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” on Netflix. This is the new Coen Brothers movie that they call an anthology because it contains six unrelated stories. Well, except they are related in that they are all westerns and feature death and lonely people. As I don’t know where I’m going to end up with this post, I’m giving you a SPOILER ALERT right now. If this is a movie you want…

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THIS Is How to Use History in a Pragmatic Fashion

I am always on the lookout for pragmatic uses of history, particularly ones that attempt to drive important changes in society. While history is like air in that it is all around us and constantly being used (and, thus, often ignored), it isn’t always used with such deliberation as the example I found earlier this week. The Trump Administration has actively been attempting to ban transgender people from military service. Its latest maneuver has been…

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