History buffs should be reading Brad DeLong

History buffs should be reading Brad DeLong November 14, 2011

This is just a note to any history buffs who haven’t yet discovered Brad DeLong’s “Liveblogging World War II” series.

DeLong’s been doing this for more than a year, posting contemporary accounts from all sides of that conflict 60 years to the day after they were originally written or spoken. On Nov. 13, for example, he provided a first person account of Nov. 13, 1941 from Eleanor Roosevelt. On Nov. 11, he posted FDR’s 1941 Armistice Day speech.  On Nov. 7, DeLong posted a Nov. 7, 1941 speech by Josef Stalin (with video!).

So that’s the pattern — following the unfolding of that massive event day-by-day with glimpses of first-hand history as recorded by participants in the conflict, whether American, British, Russian, German, Italian, Japanese, French, etc. All posted 60-years to the day later.

Right now it’s November 2011 and DeLong’s “liveblogging” is tracking World War II through November 1941. And thus next month will be December 2011 and he will be tracking the daily unfolding of World War II in December of 1941.

The point here being that if you’re a history buff and you haven’t yet discovered this series of posts, you should check it out. Because I’m guessing that starting next month, this is going to get even more interesting.


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  • Anonymous

    Because I’m guessing that starting next month, this is going to get even more interesting.

    More interesting for that subset of the world population whose country became involved in the conflict in December 1941, that is. Readers in Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia have no doubt been following the series avidly for a couple of years.

  • Anonymous

    DeLong is also a really good source for information on the absurdities which are passed of as “economic analyses” by the conservative crowd.

  • More interesting for that subset of the world population whose country
    became involved in the conflict in December 1941, that is. Readers in
    Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia have no doubt
    been following the series avidly for a couple of years.

    Hell, what about Americans who understand things like The Battle of Britain and The Sinking of the Bismarck and The Rape of Nanking?  Not to mention things like the air raid on Taranto, which had the extremely interesting far-reaching effect of teaching the Japanese that, yes, it is possible to take out a fleet at anchor in a protected harbor using nothing but aeroplanes?

    That’s the weird thing about being an “American” and also “a history buff.”  My nation’s history wouldn’t be what it is without the actions of many people outside of my nation, some of which existed before my nation was founded or the continent upon which it rests was “discovered.”  So finding WWII interesting only after December 7th, 1941 is anathema to me.  It’s like being fascinated by Byzantium but not giving a crap about the Roman Empire.

  • Lori

      Readers in Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia have no doubt been following the series avidly for a couple of years. 

    Is Brad DeLong that well known in Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia?

  • Anonymous

    More interesting for that subset of the world population whose country
    became involved in the conflict in December 1941, that is. Readers in
    Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia have no doubt
    been following the series avidly for a couple of years.

    Pfft, c’mon.  Everyone knows WWII started only after the Nazis bombed the Maine at Tripoli and Saddam Hussein invaded Panama.  Didn’t you pay any attention in history class?!

  • Remember the Maine!

  • Allie

    …Plymouth Rock, and the Golden Rule!

  • Jenny Islander

    My small-town paper did the same thing in its 60th year.  I got to read about the year when my town simultaneously incorporated and militarized.

  •  “We experience no serious shortage either of food, or of arms or equipment.” 

    If you say so Joe.  I suppose that as long as there’s plenty of frozen and preserved corpses lying about with their rifles nearby that’s true enough. 

  • Anonymous

    One minor nit-pick:

    1941 was 70 years ago, not 60. :)

  • Anonymous

    *adds to bloglist*
    Thanks for the link – I will be very interested to see more of this.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    More interesting for that subset of the world population whose country became involved in the conflict in December 1941, that is. Readers in Europe, Russia, India, China, Japan, Canada and Australia have no doubt been following the series avidly for a couple of years.

    Glad to see this was the first comment, because Fred’s US-centric remark gave me the shits. WWII was already interesting enough in Poland, for example, well before some Americans cared about it.

  • Elef

    By the time of Pearl Harbor, my mother’s father, sister, nephews, and assorted other relatives had already been killed by the Nazis.  So her war started in 1939.

    elef

  • Does anyone know of an index to his WW2 posts?  I’d like to read them, without having to slog through his other posts (he’s quite prolific!)
    Of course, that’s exactly how I originally read Fred’s Left Behind recap, and now I read all his posts…