Author Archives: George Vascik, Historian

About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at http://peasantsandjews.org. Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). http://www.dolchstosslegende.com. I also invite you to visit my profession web page at http://georgevascik.org.

Micro-level electoral analysis

Today I came across this amazing article in which Benny Johnson collects and displays precinct-level election returns for the U.S. presidential elections of 2008, 2012 and 2016. It very much the sort of thing that I do with historical German elections, … Continue reading

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End of Semester Reflections

Another semester winds to an end. Looking back, how do I think it went? I continue to be thrilled with my online sections of Western Civ, both sprint and semester-length. I require so much more work from online students, its not … Continue reading

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The Pax Romana

Pax Romana. War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World by Adrian Goldsworthy arrived from the library just as I was scheduled to lecture on the topic! How very frustrating. I immediately began reading the book in my typical ADD-style … Continue reading

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The Viking Saga

I have earlier on these pages linked to sources addressing the current fascination with Northern peoples. I highly recommend to anyone interested Northmen. The Viking Saga AD 793-1241 by John Haywood.

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Why did we choose to industrialize?

This Saturday, I had the great pleasure of participating in a book roundtable on Robert Sweeny’s Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? at the Social Science History Association conference in Chicago. Robert is an incredibly engaged and engaging scholar. We (Martin … Continue reading

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Opening Christ’s Tomb

I found this several weeks ago and have been waiting to post it. When I was in Jerusalem in June, I went multiple times to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is such an inspiring and interesting place on … Continue reading

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Roman elections

I was out in Washington state last week and taken aback to find these ubiquitous “ballot boxes”. Many more than USPS drop boxes. Color me traditionalist! I have of necessity voted absentee on occasion, but I love the regularity of … Continue reading

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Roman economic difficulties 

Here is an excellent, if problematic, article that purports to show how Roman central planners destroyed the Empire’s economy. He is absolutely dead-on regarding Diocletian’s reforms, so beloved of textbook authors. Students interested in the decline/transformation of the Roman world … Continue reading

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A History of the World in Maps

Shocking really, what you can find on the Internet. I found this incredible video on one of the blogs that I follow. It charts world civilization, displaying political entities year-by-year. Utterly fascinating. (BTW, it displays much better on a laptop … Continue reading

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New Books

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reviewed two new books on evergreen topics that are sure to be of interest to students. The first is a biography of the Duke of Monmouth, the bastard son of Charles II who put … Continue reading

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In defense of the college lecture

Finally! I decided to become an academic historian because of a brilliant lecturer and Bede scholar, Roger Ray. My whole career, I have attempted to emulate Roger and taken every opportunity to improve content, delivery, engagement, etc. I wrote about … Continue reading

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Israeli archeologists uncover a Philistine cemetery 

Haaretz reports that a team of archeologists working at Ashkelon have excavated Philistine cemetery, the culmination of 21 years of work by the Leon Levy expedition. The site has implications for both Biblical and Egytpian archeology. Students will find reference … Continue reading

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Our deadly species

While on vacation, I saw links to two article detailing our wonderful propensity to kill each other. Here in tabular form the deadliest conflicts in human history. http://ai.mee.nu/historys_bloodiest_wars_and_who_to_blame If cutsie Millennial websites are your thing, perhaps this article from American … Continue reading

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Clash of Civilizations

In the post-1945 world, we continue to arrogantly assume that we (or at least the West) have transcended history, as if violence and the will-to-power has somehow gone away. The events in Germany in the past week – and now … Continue reading

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Research in the Holy Land

I have been back one week from a quick research trip to Jerusalem. As part of my work on Peasants & Jews, I needed to track down the records of East Fresian Jews who survived the Holocaust. As part of this, … Continue reading

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The Beginnings of Agriculture

I found this very interesting figure in a non-scientific article on the Neolithic agricultural revolution. I tried for several hours to track down the paper it referenced without success. The hypothesis is interesting: agriculture arose at different places around the … Continue reading

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An interesting essay on the Roman frontier

I read a very interesting article this morning by Jakub Grygiel in The American Interest this morning. In “The Stages of Grief at the Frontier”, Grygiel looks at the life of St. Severinus along the Danubian frontier and details the … Continue reading

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Stab-in-the-Back available in August

Forthcoming in August, available now for pre-order, The Stab-in-the-Back Myth and the Fall of the Weimar Republic. A History in Documents and Visual Sources.  

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The latest on Bronze Age Greece

My students might be forgiven if they get the notion that I believe the entire world revolves around my Western Civ classes. Sometimes, however, it does. Yesterday I found online the announcement of of two incredible finds from Bronze Age Greece, … Continue reading

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A Dictionary from Uruk

This Tweet came across last night and I immediately thought of our class discussion last Tuesday. Ancient dictionary from Uruk, thought to be one of the first. Dates to the middle of 1st millenium BC. 📷Louvre Museum pic.twitter.com/z5ZfIxkW3V — Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) … Continue reading

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