Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Miscellaneous historical things this morning

1.. British historian John Burrows's history of history-writing, A History of Histories, reviewed here.

2. I only know Daniel Walker Howe's What Hath God Wrought, the big book on 19th century American history that won the Pulitzer Prize in history yesterday, from this review by Jill Lepore. Lepore made it sound pretty terrific; made her sound a pretty good historical critic too.

3. Not exactly the golden treasures of Tutankhamun -- but a fascinating story on evidence of early human presence in North America from, um, the turds they left behind.

4. Last week's post on proportional representation brought in a couple more comments, mostly questioning my character or my sanity. But one anonymous poster told me the whole policy of moderating comments, let alone discouraging anonymous comments, was "cowardly."

I don't agree. This web thing is still evolving its practices, and I've been intrigued by the arguments for and against anonymity, often via The Ethical Blogger (see link at right). So far I feel more solidarity with the blog authors who encourage signed contributions. I'm not wedded to that; I do think the practice is evolving, and I'm still thinking about it. Thanks for your notes, even the unsigned and unpublished ones.

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