Category Archives: Personal

Good Charlie/Bad Charlie: What Made Charlie Finley Tick?


Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City/Oakland A’s between 1960 and 1980, had a public persona as one of the dark princes of Major League Baseball. He engaged in manipulation, connivance, and cajolery for what he wanted, and … Continue reading

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Embracing the All-American Automobile


No doubt, the railroads of the nineteenth century enabled Americans to move about with a speed and ease never possible before. Even so, they did not provide the freedom to which Americans have long believed they have a special right. … Continue reading

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Space as Battlefield or Sanctuary?


For more than fifty years since the first space satellites were orbited the world engaged in activity in outer space for military scientific, and commercial purposes, but without placing weapons there or engaging in serious efforts to target objects in space. … Continue reading

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The Conspiracy Motif and the Nineteenth Century RLDS Church


While the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS) emerged from elements in the early Mormon movement that accepted more mainstream American religious and social ideals its membership also spun its own formidable conspiracy theory. An early and … Continue reading

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Toward a Theory of Conspiracy Theories


The recent conspiracy theories surrounding the military exercise, Jade Helm 15, being planned by the U.S. Department of Defense in the summer of 2015 has led me to consider the place of conspiracies in American history. There are a lot of conspiracy … Continue reading

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Zion in Mormon History: An American Promised Land


Mormonism’s self-identification as a modern replacement for ancient Israel mandated the quest for Zion as a literal place. The establishment of what the Saints called Zion had been the most persistent goal of the early Mormon movement. The early Latter-day … Continue reading

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My Top Ten Teams at the Start of Spring Training in 2015


We are now at the point where the 2015 Spring Training is underway. I love this time of year, the majority of the off-season moves have been made, the endless speculation is about to be met by actual performance, and … Continue reading

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Core Identity and the Nineteenth Century Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints


I have spent many years studying the history of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), renamed the Community of Christ in 2000. This was the most successful of any of the non-Utah variety of churches … Continue reading

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Have You Ever Seen the “Abilene Paradox” in Action?


I’m pretty sure you have seen this dynamic, although you may not be aware of it with this name. It is fundamentally a construct of Jerry B. Harvey, now a retired professor of Management at George Washington University. He first described … Continue reading

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Meeting Jesse Lemisch: Historian of the American Revolution, Critic of the Status Quo, and Social Activist Par Excellence


I was truly honored to meet Jesse Lemisch at the American Historical Association annual meeting in New York over the past weekend. My partner, Monique Laney, took this picture of us. I suspect that many people at the reception did … Continue reading

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