The Xenophile Historian Newsletter, #24
( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/ )
Greetings once again to all my loyal readers! Charles Kimball returns, to give you the latest news on my world history website. It has been a year since my last newsletter went out, and I did not have to leave Kentucky after all. I finally found work last April, twenty-five miles from home, and I am enjoying it so much that I hope to stay at this job until I am old enough to retire. For those who did not read my previous newsletters, I was a victim of the Great Recession, having been unemployed for thirty-two months in a forty-two-month period. And this was the second time I applied for a job at the place that hired me, showing that persistence pays off. When the interviewers asked me to put down in writing what I had been up to since my previous job ended, I called that essay "My Lost Years."
In the last newsletter I said I was devoting some of my free time to writing new history papers and updating the old ones. Now that I am working again, my gain is your loss, but still there are achievements on the website to report, so here goes.
The biggest and most recent announcement is that after four years, my journey south of the border is finished! In November 2010 I began writing a complete history of Latin America and the Caribbean; last week I completed and uploaded the final chapter in the series. Called "Contemporary Latin America," Chapter 6 covers events that happened between 1959 and 2014, so we are looking at the present-day era, both during and after the Cold War.
I have been working on Chapter 6 since last April, making it a seven-month job. It is not the longest history paper I have written, but it sure comes close! Not only was I covering thirty-four nations here (more than in the previous chapters), but I am also old enough to remember most of the current events mentioned, so I felt I had to say something about them. So you won’t overtax the server (or your Internet connection) when you visit the chapter, I divided it into seven parts before uploading it. Here are the topics covered, and links to the pages:
One More Overview
The Roller Coaster Ride of Economics
The Abandonment of the Monroe Doctrine
The Pink Tide
The Changing Role of the Church
Getting Along and Meaning It
The Drug Trade
Cuba: The Revolution Continues
Venezuela’s Democratic Interlude
Brazil: The Death of the Middle Republic
Weak Radicals and the Argentine Revolution
Colombia: The National Front
Democracy Breaks Down in Chile
Peru: The Revolution from Above
Mexico: The PRI Corporate State
Meet the Duvaliers
Honduras Goes From Military to Civilian Rule
Ecuador: From Yellow Gold to Black Gold
Tupamaros and Tyrants
The Somoza Dynasty, Act Two
Part III ( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/latinam/la06c.html )
Paraguay: The Stronato
Brazil: The Military Republic
Bolivia: The Banzerato
Red Star In the Caribbean
The Perón Sequel and the "Dirty War"
Panama: The Canal Becomes Truly Panamanian
The Dominican Republic: The Balaguer Era
The Guianas/Guyanas: South America’s Neglected Corner
The Salvadoran Civil War
Belize: A Nation Under Construction
The Guatemalan Civil War
The Southernmost War
Among the Islands
Bermuda, the Bahamas, and Dominica
St. Kitts & Nevis
The Netherlands and French Antilles
Colombia: Land of Drug Lords and Guerrillas
The Pinochet Dictatorship
Peru: The Disastrous 1980s
The Switzerland of Central America
Nicaragua: The Contra War
Ecuador After the Juntas
Argentina’s New Democracy
Hugo’s Night in the Museum
Democracy Comes to Bolivia (at Last)
Haiti: Beggar of the Americas
Peru: The Fujimori Decade
Brazil: The New Republic
Cuba’s "Special Period"
Chileans Put Their Past Behind Them
Colombia’s Fifty-Year War
Uruguay Veers from the Right to the Left
Daniel Ortega Returns
Ecuador: Dollarization and a Lurch to the Left
The Chavez Administration, Both Comedy and Tragedy
Part VII ( http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/latinam/la06g.html )
Argentina: The New Millennium Crisis, and the Kirchner Partnership
Guatemala Since the Peace Accords
Can Paraguay Kick the Dictator Habit?
Honduras: The Zelaya Affair
Peru in the Twenty-First Century
Bolivia: The Evo Morales Era
The Mexican Drug War
Puerto Rico: The Future 51st State?
In case you haven’t seen the previous chapters in this series, they are as follows:
Chapter 1: Ancient America (before 1492 A.D.)
Chapter 2: The Age of the Conquistadors (1492-1650)
Chapter 3: A New World No More (1650-1830)
Chapter 4: Post-Colonial Blues (1830-1889)
Chapter 5: Uncle Sam’s Backyard (1889-1959)
You can access all of these by going to http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/latinam/index.html and clicking on their links.
Okay, so what else has gone up on The Xenophile Historian in the past year? During the first part of this year, before I got started on Chapter 6 of the Latin American history, I updated the Indian history series. This part of the website was badly in need of it; I wrote the first edition of those papers in 1988, rewrote them in 1991 and 1998, and only gave them minor, cosmetic changes for the next fifteen years.
All four chapters have new stuff. For Chapters 2 and 3 I mainly added new pictures, while Chapters 1 and 4 were completely rewritten. For Chapter 1 that meant adding new material to cover archaeological discoveries made since the 1970s. With Chapter 4 there are five new sections. India and Pakistan got new sections for events in the twenty-first century, and Bangladesh got its own section; previously I simply lumped Bangladesh with Pakistan, which made sense when most people were old enough to remember that Bangladesh used to be called East Pakistan. Finally, new sections were created for Bhutan and the Maldives, two countries I barely mentioned previously. Here are the topics covered in Chapter 4 now:
Chapter 4: Recent South Asian History
The Road to Independence
India Under the Nehru Dynasty
Is This the Indian Century?
Pakistan: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Pakistan in the War on Terror
Bangladesh: The Difficult Years Since Independence
Nepal: An Ex-Kingdom In the Clouds
Bhutan: A Real-Life Shangri-La?
Sri Lanka: Paradise Lost–and Regained?
Maldives: The Sunny Islands
All four chapters in the Indian history series are accessible from http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/india/index.html .
Are you "Pinterested?" I have had an account with Pinterest, the famous picture-sharing website, for a couple of years, since I learned that pictures from The Xenophile Historian were being "re-pinned" there. You can see what readers of my history papers like on this page:
Anyway, in September I decided to share the rest of the history-related pictures I have posted, in order to attract more traffic. 929 "pins" have gone up so far, on eight different boards. You can check them out here:
Speaking of traffic, in March the website counter passed the 1,500,000 mark. It passed 1 million in the fall of 2009, meaning it took four and a half years to get the latest half million hits. Still, those visits are welcome no matter how long it takes.
For Chapter 2 of the Russian history series, I added a new section detailing the Russian conquest of Siberia in the seventeenth century.
And I reorganized Chapter 4 of the Russian history, "Soviet Russia." Now it is in three parts, and this time, instead of breaking off in 1985, it includes the whole Soviet era, from 1917 to 1991.
Because my chapter on classical Greece, Chapter 2 of the European history, is one of the longer chapters on the site (though not as long as the latest Latin American chapter), I decided to subdivide it, this time into four parts. I also added a section on the early part of Alexander’s career, before he became great, so I called it "Alexander the Pretty-Good."
It’s definitely tragic that there are so many shooting sprees in the news these days, so here are my views on gun violence:
Here is a sarcastic response to the emails and other hoaxes I received in 2013:
And finally, the website has a simpler URL. When I moved the website to its current server, fourteen years ago, I said it finally had an address that made some sense. Well, http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/ gives you some idea of what to expect, unlike http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/1591/ or any of the other URLs it had back in the 1990s. Still, I have to admit it was a challenge for anyone besides me to remember it, and when I wrote it down for the benefit of others, I felt a bit like Nebuchadnezzar at an autograph session! So I tried purchasing a domain name that matched my real name; those who know me in real life wouldn’t have much trouble remembering charleskimball.com, right? It turns out somebody in Japan had charleskimball.com already (Why? I don’t know!), and the .org and .net URLs were also taken, but not used.
Fortunately there isn’t as much demand for the newer suffixes (.cc, .biz, etc.), and charleskimball.info was available; thus, I went with that. After all, the purpose of the website is to share information. Now if you type http://www.charleskimball.info/ into your browser’s address field, The Xenophile Historian should come up. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry, I plan to keep http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com for the forseeable future, so you can always fall back on that. Try it:
Now what will I do? I mentioned in the past that every time I complete a paper, that’s one more document I will have to update eventually. Thus, several parts of the site require attention; the pages on China, Korea and Japan come to mind, because I haven’t done any major work on them since the 1990s. I also want to get started on a concise history of Central Asia; I have been promising myself I would do that since 1992, but for some reason other projects have kept getting in the way, and they always seemed to demand I give them priority. Well, maybe now is the time priority will go to the Eurasian heartland. Besides Central Asia, the only other region of the world I haven’t written a history for is the south Pacific–Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and all the little islands in-between. At some point I will have to write about them, in order to make good my claim to have chronicled the rise and fall of just about everybody.
Whatever comes next, I hope you will all come back to the website in the future and read about them. Now with the holiday season upon us, Happy Thanksgiving, Chag Sameach (for those who observe Hanukkah), Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
If you missed older issues of this newsletter and want to see them, they can be downloaded in a zip file from http://xenohistorian.faithweb.com/download/index.html . And the links below go to topics I mentioned in previous issues, that are still valid. Please visit them, if you haven’t already:
The Xenohistorian Weblog, this site’s official blog.
My world history textbook, "A Biblical Interpretation of World History."
And my business website:
Take Care and God Bless,
Charles Scott Kimball
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