Category Archives: History

Wednesday’s Book Review: “The U.S. War with Mexico: A Brief History with Documents”


The U.S. War with Mexico: A Brief History with Documents. Edited by Ernesto Chavez. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2008. The 1846-1848 Mexican-American War may be interpreted as a bald-faced adventure in conquest; it may also be interpreted as an unfolding of … Continue reading

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The Beatles Come to Kansas City, Fifty Years Ago


Time flies. It seems like only yesterday, but it was actually 50 years ago. My colleague, Mike Green, and I published a biography of Charles O. Finley, owner of the Kansas City/Oakland A’s between 1960 and 1980 in the summer of 2010. … Continue reading

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The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations


I am planning to give the paper, “The Railroad and the Space Program Revisited: Historical Analogues and the Stimulation of Commercial Space Operations,” at an upcoming conference entitled “Spinoffs of Mobility: Technology, Risk & Innovation.” This is the theme for … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge”


Colonialism and its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India. By Bernard S. Cohn. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996. This is a collection of five previously published essays that explore aspects of British colonialism in India during its five … Continue reading

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Announcing the Publication of “Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It”


David H. DeVorkin and I have just published a collected work on the history of the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble’s Legacy: Reflections by Those Who Dreamed It, Built It, and Observed the Universe with It appeared in August 2014 (ISBN 978-1-935623-32-8) as part … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Turning the Black Sox White”


Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey. By Tim Hornbaker. New York: Sports Publishing, 2014. The dominant interpretation of Charles Comiskey was established for most in the United States by  Eliot Asinof in his 1963 … Continue reading

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Guaranteeing Aeronautical Innovation: Is that Possible?


For the twentieth century no set of technological innovations are more intriguing than those associated with aviation. Perhaps no technological development in this century has more fundamentally transformed human life than the airplane, coupled with its ground support apparatus and … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Historians of the American Frontier”


Historians of the American Frontier: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook. Edited by John R. Wunder. (Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1988. Pp. viii, 827. Bibliography, index. ISBN 0-313-24899-0, $75.00.) I have been asked recently by several people what they should know about the … Continue reading

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The NACA and the Documenting of Progress in Aerodynamics


The aeronautical research that the NACA between 1915 and 1958 undertook found dissemination in a complex set of technical publications that the agency made available to all on an equal basis. Most NACA research was accomplished “in-house” by scientists or … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Astronauts Wives Club”


The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story. By Lily Koppel. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2013. Illustrations (some color), author’s note, acknowledgments, 272 pages, hardcover with dustjacket. $28 USD. On one level Lily Koppel’s new book is a breezy, entertaining … Continue reading

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