Inspired amateur historian.
June 5, 2001 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Inspired amateur historian. This self described no one in particular with pretty slim credentials synthesizes history with clear and useful maps and analysis. Whatever its shortcomings, this is the kind of website that reminds me why I love the Internet.
posted by geronimo_rex (16 comments total)
kinda reminds me of zompist. nice find, thanks! i like the "fourth age" map of middle earth :)
posted by kliuless at 2:38 PM on June 5, 2001

This is awesome.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 2:40 PM on June 5, 2001

God god, and he doesn't even have a domain name or anything. What a resource!!!
posted by SpecialK at 2:59 PM on June 5, 2001

posted by dong_resin at 3:41 PM on June 5, 2001

Anyone remember the Chris Crawford DOS game called "Balance of Power?"
posted by crunchland at 4:00 PM on June 5, 2001

Great find, geronimo_rex.

I don't know if this is particularly useful or not, but I created an animated version (GIF, 112K) of the 20th century gov't maps. A new media version of Tufte's multiple miniatures?
posted by jkottke at 4:18 PM on June 5, 2001

Favorite quote from that site so far (it'll be days before I have it all read):
I don't understand why Americans bemoan the lack of leaders in this country. Hitler was a leader; Napoleon was a leader; so was Lenin. The US has had 200+ years of relative peace and prosperity because we avoid leaders and place non-entities over us instead. The only presidents of the 20th Century to have even slightly interesting personalities were Kennedy, Nixon and Clinton -- and look at what happened to them (shot, resigned and impeached.)
posted by darukaru at 4:40 PM on June 5, 2001

Love the quote, darukaru, (and I agree with it's sentiments) but he seems to have forgotten Teddy Roosevelt (stormed up a hill, built a canal, and carried a big stick).
posted by dchase at 5:02 PM on June 5, 2001

Kottke... My good gawd, Democracy and freedom are enroaching quietly on the majority of the world! Stand up, comrades, and protest this blasphemy!

*tounge firmly in cheek*

Thanks, that's really cool.
posted by SpecialK at 5:16 PM on June 5, 2001

Anyone remember the Chris Crawford DOS game called "Balance of Power?"

Remember it? Heck, I did some of the QA for the Apple II and Amiga versions of it as a part-time bug tester for Mindspring software.
posted by briank at 5:25 PM on June 5, 2001

There's an animated gif showing the rise and fall of communism on the site itself, too.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 5:50 PM on June 5, 2001

Besides having a wonderful hobby, Matthew White also has a very active imagination. He even chronicles a hypothetical Moslem Australia, pieced together from world history. I agree - this is what makes the web so great.

Has anyone told him of this thread yet?
posted by tamim at 6:41 PM on June 5, 2001

geronimo rex - thank you. best link in weeks.
posted by davidmsc at 6:43 PM on June 5, 2001

sort of OT, but if anyone's interested j. bradford delong has a great economic history of the 20th century online -- "slouching towards utopia." i like this quote a lot:

In this century governments and their soldiers have killed perhaps forty million people in war: either soldiers unlucky enough to have been drafted into the mass armies of the twentieth century, or civilians killed in the course of what could be called military operations.

But wars have caused only about a fifth of this century's violent death toll. Governments and their police have killed perhaps one hundred and sixty million people in time of peace: class enemies, race enemies, political enemies, economic enemies, imagined enemies. You name them, governments have killed them on a scale that could not previously have been imagined. If the twentieth century has seen the growth of material wealth on a previously- inconceivable scale, it has also seen human slaughter at a previously-unimaginable rate.

posted by kliuless at 6:43 PM on June 5, 2001

I love his most overrated events of the 20th century, especially the 'Every President but FDR' part. 13, are you paying attention?

I love this stuff. And I agree with his observations, mostly!
posted by norm at 7:06 PM on June 5, 2001

Nice stuff. Is he using mapping software to create the maps? Does anyone know what it is?
posted by tranquileye at 7:07 PM on June 5, 2001

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