Category Archives: American History

“Who was that Masked Man?”: Building a Classroom Persona (Be True to Your School, 4)

[NOTE:  In a previous post in this series, I saluted the two best teachers I’ve ever had, Miss Gertrude Weaver (high school) and Professor James Rabun (graduate school).  In addition to deep knowledge of history and loads of energy and … Continue reading

Posted in "big bucks", American History, building a classroom persona, classroom eccentricities, Delaware, Education, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, History Teaching, jogging, memoir, New Jersey, Prep School, prep school teaching with a PhD, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Ol’ History Curriculum Merry-go-Round Comes ‘Round Again (History Lesson Plans, 12)

[NOTE:  In a two-part series in The American Historian, David Arnold reviews a recent movement aimed at reforming  the way history is taught in colleges and universities.  An eighteen-year veteran of teaching history in a community college, Professor Arnold’s average … Continue reading

Posted in "Education Courses", American History, Education, Elective History Course for 9th and 10th Graders, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, History graduate school, History Teaching, Interdisciplinary Work, memoir, Prep School, prep school teaching with a PhD, Retirement, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Skip James, “Emotional Hermit” of the Blues (Blues Stories, 26)

A Review of Stephen Calt, I’d Rather Be the Devil: Skip James + the Blues. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2008. His music was the defiant product of an emotional hermit: “I wanted it different all the way—I always have had … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, American History, Books, Delta Blues, History, History of Rock and Roll, Popular Culture, Skip James, Son House, Southern History, Stephen Calt, The Blues, Theology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BETTS, A MOTHER’S MEMOIR, 1923-1964, Part VII: After Words–Betts on Family, History, and Family History

[NOTE: When I posted Part VI of this series, I thought it was the concluding installment.  And then I returned to a notion advanced in Part I:  Betts had been a “late-blooming historian.” I still wondered about her decision to undertake … Continue reading

Posted in American History, family history, genealogy, Historical Reflection, History, memoir, Retirement, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Hillbillies

A Review of J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. New York: HarperCollins, 2016. [NOTE:  An inveterate reader of op-eds, I was well aware of this book months before I bought it. According to … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Books, Current Events, Education, family history, Historical Reflection, History, memoir, Popular Culture, The "Great Migration", Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

BETTS: A MOTHER’S MEMOIR, 1923-1964, Part VI: An Independent Woman, 1964-2013

[For earlier posts in this series, see Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, and Part V.] Betts’ work as family historian and memoirist ended in 1995, with the completion of her memoir, which carried the story of her life … Continue reading

Posted in American History, family history, genealogy, Historical Reflection, History, memoir, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

BETTS: A MOTHER’S MEMOIR, 1923-1964, Part V: Trying to Make It in Postwar America

[Note:  This segment of Betts’ memoir carries her family’s story from the late 1940s through the mid-1960s.  For earlier installments, go here, here, here, and here.] * * * * * Shortly after our second son, Rick, was born, on November … Continue reading

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BETTS: A MOTHER’S MEMOIR, 1923-1964, Part IV: World War II

[Note:  This installment of Betts’ memoir takes her from the 1930s through the Second World War. (For previous posts, go here, here, and here.)] * * * * * I spent a lot of summer vacations with my grandfather and grandmother [Dobson] … Continue reading

Posted in American History, family history, genealogy, Historical Reflection, History, memoir, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

BETTS: A MOTHER’S MEMOIR, 1923-1964, Part III: A Depression-Era Childhood

[Note:  This installment of Betts’ story is drawn from her memoir, “Slub of Slife.”  For Parts I and II go here and here.] * * * * * We had no bathroom in the house [in Wilmington, Delaware], so we had an “outhouse” (enclosed … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Civil War, family history, genealogy, Historical Reflection, History, memoir, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Anatomy of a Lynching (Teaching Civil Rights, 6 )

A Review of: Karen Branan.  The Family Tree:  A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth.  New York and other cities:  Atria Books, 2016. [NOTE:  Here we are again, at yet another review of … Continue reading

Posted in Age of Jim Crow, American History, Books, Georgia History, Historical Reflection, History, History Curriculum, Prep School, prep school teaching with a PhD, Research, Retirement, Southern (Georgia) History, Southern History, Teaching, Uncategorized, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments