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Switching Sides: Hell on Wheels, Season 5

The final season of Hell on Wheels is radically different than all that came before. In search of his missing Mormon wife and child, Bohannon quits the Union Pacific and ends up the chief engineer of Collis Huntington’s Central Pacific, blasting his way through the Sierras in the race to beat Cullen’s previous employer. As the closing episodes race through the conclusion of the Bohannon-Swede grudge match and the completion of the railroad in Utah, viewers might be a bit disappointed by the varying quality in episodes and the abrupt way some storylines conclude (especially the dangling threads of the revenge plot that began the entire show, now completely forgotten and never addressed). Nevertheless, the decision to switch focus to the Central Pacific comes with exciting new historical ground to cover.... Read More
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Of Archivists and Historians: A Chat with Sharon Wolff

This week, we’ve invited one of our frequent readers to join us for a dialogue about the relationship between historians and archivists. Sharon Wolff earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees in Information Science at the State University of New York at Albany while working as a student assistant in the special collections/archives department. She […]... Read More
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Mormons! Hell on Wheels, Seasons 3 & 4

The finale of Hell on Wheels’ second season is draining. Cullen Bohannon’s budding life on the railroad is shaken to the core, and all that exists for him to care about now is finishing the road. As we enter Season 3, we find Cullen a (literally) frozen shell of a man, but as winter ends and the railroad thaws out, our familiar cast of characters returns and Cullen begins to pick up the pieces and move on.... Read More

Looking Back: A 2017 Historical Retrospective

With 2017 behind us, the staff of Concerning History took some time to speculate what the events of this year might mean to people in the future. As the job of the historian is to consider the past, this task is naturally beyond our expertise and abilities. Nonetheless, we think that a preliminary consideration would be worthwhile for what it says about the experience of living through this year. Throughout our conversation, we’ll be guided by the following question: What will future historians talk about when they talk about 2017?... Read More