Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We Are the Blog of the Week at "A More General Diffusion of Knowledge"

The Way of Improvement Leads Home has been chosen as the "Blog of the Week" by Jim Dick's blog "A More General Diffusion of Knowledge."

Thanks for the shout-out!

Here is a taste of Jim's gracious comments:

John holds a Ph.D from Stony Brook University and is the Chair of the History Department at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books and the winner of a few prizes for those books. Two of those are on my shelves waiting to be autographed eventually. In addition, he has authored many articles for quite a few journals and newspapers. He has lectured at various universities and is a guest speaker for many groups, churches, and historical societies. (I have no clue how he gets everything done!)

That short paragraph is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to John's academic work. The list is long, really long of what he has done. Our focus here is the blog which is one of the better blogs. This blog went live on June 23, 2008. He had made some guest posts on Religion and American History, but while working on his book The Way of Improvement leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment he began this blog. Here we are, almost 7 years later and he remains strong with his blogging skills.

In fact, John has expanded his skills and added several features to his blog which I have found very useful. One of these is his Virtual Office Hours section which you can also find on YouTube.  I really do not know how many of these he has, but I do know that I have found them quite interesting and useful. In fact, I sought John's permission to use one of them in my introduction to the American History survey course. (More on that in tomorrow's According to Jim).

This blog is on Blogger which I found to be an excellent platform for a blog. The captcha feature makes posting on the blog a conscious act and I think helps cut down on the trolling. The content on this blog is excellent. John is not trying to write academic articles, but his own thoughts on various subjects. I find that to be very important. As John is an experienced professor and author the posts are insightful as to his thought process. He is not focusing exclusively on any one subject, but instead covers a wide range of topics.

Plus, how can a Bruce Springsteen loving historian be that bad? He can't. I first found John's blog while looking for blogs written by people who knew what they were talking about and were not partisan rants. Although I will say that any historian who is on Glenn Beck's bad side and writes about religious history is somebody that interests me. John has an outstanding blog that is one I check daily. His book reviews (recently done by Megan Piette) are interviews with the authors. I have added a few books to my must read list right off of these interviews.