The Years. Examining History A Year At A Time

I’m a sucker for history. When I went to West Point, back in the Old Corps days, when men were men, we ate rocks for breakfast, and the sheep ran scared, they said the education was like trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant turned full blast. I think I averaged around 22 hours a semester in academics; on top of parades, inspections, being on the marathon team, military training, intramural, etc. We had classes six days a week. Despite that, we didn’t graduate with a specific major, just a concentration.

Mine was in psychology, so when I went back to graduate school, imagine my surprise to find out I couldn’t get a Masters degree without an undergraduate major. I discovered, given the hours I had at West Point, the quickest way to that, was to take a couple more undergraduate history courses. Apparently I took a lot of history at West Point. They were big on it. Also, though, growing up, going to the library constantly, I not only read a lot of fiction, I also got the old Dewey Decimal System pretty much memorized and was always drawn to the 900 section. I have a brain full of weird stuff, yet can’t remember what is in the refrigerator that we bought the other day. Seriously. Deb just has to put it behind something and I’ll never find it or remember it was there.

I use to upload my keynote/powerpoint presentations. I’ve got most of my ones I use at conferences on writing uploaded, along with ones on my various books. This morning I just pulled together 28 years of history on 28 separate presentations and managed to link them all. Quite tedious and I’m not good at tedious, but it’s done.

So for those of you who likes history and facts and weird stuff, here is the master slideshare for all of it:



  1. Thanks, Bob. I’ve always been a weirdsmobile about history. I CLEPed history in college and later regretted it. I took a Bachelor’s in English-Communications and a couple of years of teaching later went from the second lowest paying career track to the lowest paying career track (if you don’t count writing the great American novel and I’m not sure that counts as an actual career track except in movies). I went into the nonprofit sector and they don’t call it that for nothing. But over the years as I researched for annual reports, direct mail campaigns, proposals and staff training manuals, I kept stumbling across history and started reading everything I came across on history. I read Bruce Catton’s Civil War trilogy, Shelby Foote’s stuff, U.S. Grant’s memoir and Winston Churchill’s books. I love reading the original sources. I’m a historical fiction junkie and like to check the author’s facts. It’s kind of why I got into political commentary – I don’t take much on faith from politicians.

    At any rate, thanks for this, Bob. I always get a kick out of your solid historical background for your books and I’ve checked up on you. Haven’t enjoyed anyone’s historical time travel fiction this much since I discovered Poul Anderson.

    • Books are the life blood of civilization. Grant’s memoir was striking, especially the backstory; he didn’t want to write one, but he didn’t want his wife left destitute and his cancer had been diagnosed. Mark Twain published it for him and it became one of the top selling books of the century. Grant finished it just days before he died. I named my team the Time Patrol in honor of Poul Anderson’s books!

      • I knew about the Mark Twain connection with Grant’s book. It’s a fascinating story. I thought your Time Patrol may have been an homage to Anderson’s. The historical backstories in both series were so well folded into the stories. Never was a fan of the Vonegut style of time travel story. Way to post-modernist for me.

  2. Love it–from another history buff!
    Thanks for your constant encouragement, Bob!
    XX from NZ
    Book 2 is out and 3 is on track. xx

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