History

Why Is England Called England?

Why is England called England? “England” means “the land of the Angles.” It is not named for the country’s jagged coastline but for some of the people who live there. The original inhabitants were not from England but from central Europe and were called Picts or Celts or Britons. It is probably not fair to […]

The American West

The American West was an eight-part documentary series that ran on the AMC network last summer. With Robert Redford as executive producer, it focused on a series of prominent personalities, “heroes,” forceful men who “took what they wanted.” These men were described in this documentary series as representing the American character of strength and enterprise. […]

On The Monstrous Regiment of Women

People have long wondered why the Scots would send their armies into battle dressed in skirts. The reality is that these soldiers were not men in skirts but actually ugly women. This truth has been suppressed by the English, who write most of the history books and who don’t want to admit that their armies […]

A Forgotten Anniversary

“Why would you want to write about Quebec Separatism?” someone asked. “Nobody is interested in that anymore.” It was 20 years ago today that Canada narrowly avoided breaking apart. On October 30, 1995, a referendum to separate Quebec from Canada failed by just 54,288 votes, about 1% of the almost 4.8 million votes cast. Today […]

Something Different

Today I am announcing something very different. My four previous published novels were John Smyth murder mysteries. My newest novel is not. 1995: Je me souviens, published last month, is a political novel. It is based on a simple question: What would have happened if the Yes side had won the 1995 referendum, separating Quebec from the rest […]

Informatory

There is an old platitude that says that governments are defeated, not elected. In other words, voters tend not to vote for a new party based on what they expect that party to do but against the current party in power based on what that government has already done. The corollary is that the longer […]

Church Revivals

A while back, a former student wrote to ask me to elaborate on a comment I had made in a Church History class. What I had said in the class is that “No revival in church history has ever started in a church headquarters.” The evidence for this assertion is in one sense negative. I […]