Wikileaks and Historians

30 11 2010


Julian Paul Assange, Editor of Wikileaks

Who will be the biggest losers from Wikileaks? According to blogger and PhD student Guy Walters, the answer is future generations of historians. Read more here. Walters is probably right– sensitive discussions may now be moved from email to phone calls.

Two Business History Related Books Have Won Pullitzer Prizes

15 04 2010

The 2010 Pulitzer Prize for History went to Liaquat Ahamed for Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World, “a compelling account of how four powerful bankers played crucial roles in triggering the Great Depression and ultimately transforming the United States into the world’s financial leader.”

“Also nominated as finalists in this category were “Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City,” by Greg Grandin (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt & Company), an evocative, heavily researched examination of an industrial giant’s grandiose scheme to create a model rubber plantation deep in the Amazon forest; and “Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815,” by Gordon S. Wood (Oxford University Press), a lucid exploration of a turbulent era when a profoundly changing America, despite the sin of slavery, came to see itself as a beacon to the world, demonstrating human capacity for self-government.”

The Pullitzer prize in Biography went to T. J. Stiles for The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt for  “a penetrating portrait of a complex, self-made titan who revolutionized transportation, amassed vast wealth and shaped the economic world in ways still felt today…. Also nominated as finalists in this category were “Cheever: A Life,” by Blake Bailey (Alfred A. Knopf), an absorbing, impeccably researched exploration of the famed writer John Cheever, illuminating his greatness as well as flaws, told in a compelling voice worthy of the subject; and “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography,” by John Milton Cooper Jr. (Alfred A. Knopf), a magisterial work that corrects erroneous perceptions and casts important new light on one of the most pivotal and enigmatic American presidents, fully placing the man in the context of his times.”

I really admire the writing and career of T.J. Stiles and loved his book on Vanderbilt. I haven’t read the book by Ahamed but have decided to put it on my to-read pile.

Personally, I would have wanted Wood’s Empire of Liberty to have won the prize.

Hat tip to the BHC blog.

New Blog on Academic Career Management for Historians

23 11 2009

This blog was announced today on H-Business.


“The blog is called “In the Service of Clio” and is an extended discussion about career management issues early in your scholarly career as a historian. The individual running the website is Nicholas Evan Sarantakes, a professor of strategy at the Naval War College. The blog often features guest contributions from other historians. Previous essays have focused on the admissions process into grad school, strategies on how to get published, and what makes for a good dissertation. The blog is currently running a series of essays from history Ph.D.s who are using their degrees outside of the normal history department where everyone expects to find employment immediately after grad school. These essays have include topics like: teaching at the service academies, working at community colleges, and being a historian for the U.S. government, just to name a few. The blog is intended for grad students and newly minted Ph.D.s but I highly recommend it for all.”