Top Gear

The History News Network, purveyor of quality online history and history-related accessories, has a bi-weekly feature called Top Young Historians, which profiles “interesting scholars who are making their mark on the profession.” I cannot tell a lie: years ago, in my own callow youth, I sometimes raised an eyebrow at HNN’s definition of “young.” Today, however, it is their definition of “top” that seems all too generous: they’ve picked me as their latest “top” “young” historian. Thank you, HNN. I’m pleased, flattered, and not at all sure I belong in such company.



Tags: The best four days in history?

The annual wargame, roleplaying game, and dressing up like an elf convention GenCon (to which I have never been, by the way) bills itself as “the best four days in gaming.” Will the American Historical Association’s annual convention, which starts tomorrow in Atlanta, be the best four days in history? I’ll let you know–I’ll be there. If you’re going to be there too, let’s meet up: drop me a line using the AHA’s weirdly archaic message system, email me (electromail chez robmacdougall dot org, not com), or just look for the guy in the totally bitchin’ elf costume.


Get Your Kicks

Tags: How I spent my summer vacation.

Old is the New New is still on summer hiatus, but here’s the new old content I’ve been promising you: my new summer vacation blog, Route 96!

Ten years ago, in the summer of 1996, I and two friends drove across the USA and back. Actually, that makes the trip sound more linear than it was. Really, we drove around the country, in a big rambling loop. We avoided the interstates whenever possible, taking two-lane highways and seeking out all the roadside Americana we could find: Graceland and Las Vegas, sure, but also things like Carhenge, Roswell’s UFO Research Center, and the World’s Largest Talking Cow. We covered ten thousand miles and visited twenty-five states. It was one of the most excellent things I’ve ever done in my life.

After we returned, I wrote the whole trip up and published it as a zine. Because that was what one did in the days before weblogs. Ten years later, to commemorate the anniversary of that trip, to share the love with a new generation, and to imagine a time where I could seriously contemplate spending four freaking weeks tooling across the continent with my underemployed buddies, I’m going to blog the ten-year-old zine, entry by entry, on this snazzy new weblog. (I’m also using this as a way to play with WordPress, since I’m thinking of switching this blog over to that at some point.)

Come, get your kicks on Route 96.



Tags: Fish are jumping, cotton high, parents highly admirable according to gendered double standard.

I’m still on vacation hiatus busy being somebody’s daddy, but I have a new post for you at Cliopatria, a few new links in the New New sidebar to the right, and here’s a glimpse of the summer vacation treat that’s going to fill up the rest of the summer here. (It may not stay at that URL, so don’t do anything crazy like subscribing to the RSS feed there yet. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.) Old is the New New will return for really real in September.