My interests include religion, political philosophy, history, classical music, literature, movies, and architecture. I write about high culture and pop culture as time permits. Some of my blog posts are revisions of articles I wrote about libraries for Examiner.com Chicago.
On Sunday, October 13, 2019, I introduced two subscription plans ($5 per month and $50 per year, respectively). Going forward, articles on current events at Chicago’s cultural institutions, The LEGO Group, and Mold-A-Rama; short film reviews and film lists; and book reviews will remain free. Premium content will be password-protected. Subscribers will receive the password by e-mail to access them. This premium content is material that has taken me weeks or months and even years to research and write. These essays include profiles of Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs, analytical film reviews, and monographs on historical subjects and topics that cover ancient and medieval European history, Latin American history, American history, the history of cultural institutions around the world, and the evolution of time consciousness. In some cases, these essays are excerpts from future books.
Thus far, I have contributed to four reference books published by ABC-CLIO. Firstly, I wrote the chapter “Businesspersons” to the history book Jazz Age: People and Perspectives, edited by Mitchell Newton-Matza and published in 2009. Secondly, I wrote three entries on the 1812 Fort Dearborn Massacre in Chicago, the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, and the 1944 ammunition ship explosion in Port Chicago, California, for Disasters and Other Tragic Events: An Encyclopedia of Catastrophes in American History, edited by Mitchell Newton-Matza and published in 2014. Thirdly, I wrote chapter-length biographies on D.W. Griffith and John Ford to the reference book 100 People Who Changed 20th-Century America, edited by Mary Cross and published in January of 2013. Fourthly, I wrote two entries for Historic Sites and Landmarks that Shaped America, edited by Mitchell Newton-Matza and published in 2016: “Chicago Portage” and “Hyde Park.” In addition, in 2011, I wrote the essay “A Period of Ineptitude and Corruption: Perceptions of the U.S. in the 1970s” for ABC-CLIO’s American History Academic Database.
I have delivered presentations at four Illinois History Conferences in Springfield, Illinois. On Friday, October 9, 2007, I read a paper, “Chicago Time,” on the introduction of, and opposition to, Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time in Chicago at the 9th Annual Conference on Illinois History. The next year, on Thursday, October 30, 2008, I delivered the PowerPoint presentation “A Temple for the Muses: The Museum of Science and Industry,” at the 10th Conference on Illinois History. Subsequently, I gave this same presentation for the Museum of Science and Industry Volunteer Council on Saturday, March 28, 2009. Later that year, on Thursday, October 1, 2009, I delivered the PowerPoint presentation “Where Art and Science Dwell: The Intertwined Histories of Chicago’s Museums in the Park and World’s Fairs,” at the 11th Annual Conference on Illinois History. The next year, on Friday, September 3, 2010, I delivered the PowerPoint presentation “The Interconnected Histories of Chicago’s Aquarium and Zoos,” at the 12th Conference on Illinois History. Three years later, on Wednesday, September 26, 2013, I delivered the PowerPoint presentation “The Metropolitan Library Compact and the Development of the Chicago Public Library, The Newberry Library, and The John Crerar Library,” at the 15th Conference on Illinois History.