I will start with some speculation about the possible contents of this blog.
One of the main topics that I plan to cover is my reading, that is, the book that I am reading at the time. I was a history major at Portland State University and at UC Santa Barbara, and I have read history almost exclusively since then. While I doubt that covering arcane historical topics will help me attract a large audience, I am more interested in attracting people with similar interests who might be more likely to follow my posts.
My current book is the two-volume Memoirs of Cordell Hull. He was Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of state for most of FDR’s administration. I am a little over halfway through the first volume, up to about 1937. So far much of the story has concerned Hull’s focus on promoting a reduction of trade barriers.
Hull believed that more free trade would increase prosperity among all nations and help lift the world out of the Great Depression. Lower tariffs and expanded trade opportunities also would reduce friction among nations and reduce the chances of another war.
Hull also hoped to improve the chances for peace by having nations agree to reduce armaments. He did so, however, at a time when Hitler was rearming Germany, Italy was invading Ethiopia and Japan was threatening to attack China after having conquered Manchuria. I am just up to a chapter on Japan and China, so future posts will deal with that conflict.
I also will mention from time to time the music to which I am listening while writing this blog. For awhile that might be Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall almost exclusively, as I bought it recently for a birthday present. It consists of 41 CDs and a DVD and includes recordings from 1943 to 1978, so I have a lot of music that is new to me.
So that is my introductory post. I hope that you find this interesting and that you will return to read more.