And how can you contact me or buy me some coffee?

U.S. Marines caffeinate before invading Mexico, 1914.

Hi, everybody. I’ve been blogging for a very long time (more than 4,000 daily posts!) in addition to writing on Medium for over two years. I blog daily about history; on Medium, I write about history, education, the environment, and politics.

If you’re interested in contacting me, either to hire…

Don’t be fooled by Trump

Donald Trump, photographed by Gage Skidmore

Well, Donald Trump is offended now. After Joe Biden said on January 6 that Trump’s attempts at subverting elections are like “a dagger at the throat of democracy,” Trump responded. He helpfully cleared things up, releasing a statement that claimed, “Remember, I am not the one trying to undermine American…

We can’t fix our problems if we don’t face their consequences

Photo by Egor Ivlev on Unsplash

In April, 1942, Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the American people via radio broadcast. He acknowledged that Americans had been through terrible times already — a decade of economic depression, followed by five months of a war that threatened to stretch into the foreseeable future.

Notably, Roosevelt didn’t sugar coat things…

Will we want to remember the last two years once it’s all over?

Seattle police in 1918 (Wikimedia Commons)

One of the most striking things about John Barry’s book on the 1918 “Spanish” Flu pandemic, The Great Influenza, is what happened, or actually didn’t happen, after the pandemic had ended.

The 1918 pandemic was clearly a defining event in millions of people’s lives. Maybe a third of the human…

Why even a short delay of Build Back Better will have a long-term impact

Photo by Wilhelm Gunkel on Unsplash

Somebody made Joe Manchin sad (or maybe the coal millionaire from a coal state whose campaigns are funded by other coal millionaires never had any intention of doing much on climate). This means that the Build Back Better bill is in trouble. At best, it will be postponed until after…

The improbable, disastrous reign of a young archduke — and how it ended in madness and death

Maximilian in 1853, before he became emperor, in his Austrian uniform (Wikimedia Commons)

TThe nineteenth century was full of ridiculous European imperial schemes, but there may not be any quite as weird as the three years when a 30-year-old Austrian archduke ruled as the emperor of French Mexico between 1864 and 1867.

Like much of Latin America, Mexico had achieved independence from Spain…

George Dillard

Illuminating forgotten corners of history to think about the present. Also: Buy me a beverage:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store