What is civilization?

This semester I am teaching a class on the Ancient Near East at A Local College. I plan on posting some or all of my lectures here. I can see that these are going to be somewhat long so will figure out what to do about that later. Here is Lecture #1.


WW2: identifying the turning points

Here’s an interesting piece looking at the key “turning points” of the Second World War and wondering what the war might have looked like had those events gone differently.

I think there’s a general tendency when discussing WW2 (and most any other major conflict) to focus too heavily on specific “pivotal points” in isolation, overlooking their place in the context of the broader trends of the war. Individual decisions and pivot-points in a historical event as big as WW2 flow from years’ worth of cultural, military, and economic trends. But that depressing thought aside, it’s always fun to look at an event in history and ask “what if?”