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Civilization: Withstanding the Test of Time (With A Few Dark Ages)

I owe a lot to Sid Meier. In 1991 he released the first installment in what would become the wildly successful series of turn-based strategy games for the computer: Civilization. I received a copy of Civilization II while in elementary school, and have since played every installment in the series up to 2017’s Civilization VI. […]... Read More
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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
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A Nervous World: Present Day Reflections from Austrian History

In my previous post, I took a moment to reflect broadly on the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an anachronism in its own time and an Empire very much lost to history, its legacy splintered across central and eastern Europe. As I explained then, imperial Austria’s history is of special interest to me for these very reasons which […]... Read More
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The Strange Longevity and Disappearance of the Habsburgs’ Patchwork Empire

The great modern European empires we read about in our history books are gone. British, French, German, Italian, and Russian imperial ambitions all collapsed, in turn, over the various disasters which befell their empires during the course of the twentieth century, suffering from two world wars, occupations, revolutions, and the ever-blowing, seemingly inevitable winds of […]... Read More
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We Love Them Anyway: Guilty Pleasures in TV and Film

Movies and TV shows are often some of the most compelling ways to tell history, but they’re not without cost. Along with every attempt at bringing history to the big or small screen comes the critiques of historians, and we’ve certainly analysed our fair share. Whether it’s structural inaccuracy or imperfections in costuming and makeup, the challenge of adapting the mess of history to a neat narrative always results in some problems, minor or glaringly major. Despite these flaws, however, there are some stories you can’t help but enjoy. Here we’ve assembled a taste of our historical guilty pleasures: movies and TV shows we fully recognize have problematic relationships with the history they portray, but we love them all the same.... Read More