EVIL WOMEN TYRANTS: Is History Telling Us the Truth?

This is the text of a talk delivered at a symposium at Sias University in May, 2010. I have tried to keep it simple, as the audience was made up of non-native English speakers. It’s about women, but it’s also about the uses and abuses of history, and about critical thinking. Historians have a responsibility for maintaining the highest level of integrity, and one of their greatest sins is to destroy another person’s reputation. This essay is about two people who have been particularly maligned, and is an attempt to set the record straight. Continue reading

Todd Genealogy & Old Family Photos

My link to the old family photos is at the end of this essay.

A while ago I submitted DNA samples for a genealogical database. It prompted me to post my family information online for the benefit of anyone who is interested. I had done some research in this area when I was a graduate student, and thought that there might be others who would want to know what I learned. So I will post here what I can from memory. The bulk of my research is stored with my son in Texas. I plan to retrieve it this summer and add it to my website. In the meantime, here is what I know: Continue reading

Huangdi: First Ancestor of the Chinese People

Xinzheng, in Henan Province, is best known as the birthplace of Huangdi, the “Yellow Emperor.” I am going to attempt to make some sense of the Huangdi legends. However, I should point out that what we actually know about Huangdi is approximately nothing, so anything I say may be almost as useless as everything else people say about him. Continue reading

My Philosophy and Practice of Grading

I have taught for over 30 years, mostly history, but also courses in philosophy, government & political science, psychology, English, and a few other things. I have taught in public and private high schools, public community colleges, a private sectarian college I helped to found, maximum and medium security penitentiaries, two major American universities, and two Chinese universities. Throughout that time my philosophy and practice of grading has not changed one bit. Continue reading