Welcome Messiah College Community of Educators!


Parmer Hall, Messiah College

When this post appears on the blog (9:50am on Monday, May 20, 2018) I will be sitting with Drew Dyrli Hermeling on the magnificent stage of Parmer Hall at Messiah College hosting a special episode of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  The episode is being recorded right now in front of a live studio audience at Messiah’s “Educator’s Day.”  Every year, Messiah College’s community of educators gather on the Monday following graduation for a day of professional development.  This year’s theme is “Flourishing in a Digital Age” and the administration has asked me to dedicate a podcast episode to digital scholarship and teaching at Messiah College.

We have done 38 full episodes of the podcast thus far.  I have interviewed Pulitzer Prize–winning authors and all kinds of other important people in the history field, but I have never been more nervous than I am this morning.  There is something different about having to host this podcast in front of a few hundred of my colleagues!

I think it is fair to say that most Messiah College educators are not familiar with the blog or the podcast.  Many will be finding their way to http://www.thewayofimprovement.com from their phones and laptops as they listen to us recording the podcast on stage. If you are one of those educators, welcome to our online home!  Feel free to explore a bit and get acquainted with what we have been doing here for the last ten years!  🙂

History of Capitalism Month at “Process”


The history of capitalism is hot right now.  Over at Process, the blog of the Organization of American Historians, June is “History of Capitalism Month.”  Here is a taste of the announcement:

It’s history of capitalism month at Process! Inspired by The American Historian’s May issue on consumption, we will be featuring posts on the history of labor, taxation, infrastructure, consumption, and more.

If you are interested in contributing a post on American history and capitalism for this month, please contact us.

The latest post is Ryan Patrick Murphy’s “Labor History and Passenger Outrage in the U.S. Airline Industry.”

The American Historical Association is Looking for Summer Bloggers


Here’s the skinny:

The AHA is seeking two aspiring graduate-student bloggers, each to write a series of posts on historical documents from their research projects. If you are looking to hone your blogging skills and share the process of doing history with a wide audience, consider applying to be a summer blogger on AHA Today, and show readers how historians’ habits of mind shape the way they see the world.

This year, we’re challenging our summer bloggers to select a historical document and write about its significance to their research. (Think of “document” expansively—it could be a letter, a memo, an article in a community newsletter, a photograph, a map, an oral-history interview, a sound recording, or a nontraditional primary source.) We especially want to hear about how engaging with this particular document led you ask different questions and how it took your research in exciting new directions. You might also consider these questions:

Read the entire call at AHA Today.


How You Can Support the Work of The Way of Improvement Leads Home?


Contribute at the “Pound” level and receive this TWOILH mug!

As many of the faithful readers of The Way of Improvement Leads Home already know, we are trying to deliver quality content at the intersection of American history, American religion, politics, and K-20 education.

We do that it many ways.

Most importantly, of course, is the daily The Way of Improvement Leads Home blog.  Many of you have benefited from our 2016 election coverage, the Author’s Corner, Sunday Night Odds and Ends, our “So What CAN You Do With a History Major?” series, and a host of other regular and not so-regular features.  Thanks for reading!

We also produce a bi-weekly podcast focused less on politics and cultural criticism and more on American history and historical thinking.  Many of you already enjoy the The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  Thanks to your support we have been able to commit to a third season. (Episode 17, the first of the Season 3, dropped last week).  Today we recorded episode 18 on the internationalization of American history.

If you appreciate a particular blog post or have been entertained and informed by a podcast episode, please consider a donation at our PATREON campaign.  (At the moment all the money pledged goes directly into podcast expenses, but in the future, once the podcast has reached financial stability, we hope to expand the blog as well).

I know that these fundraising posts can be annoying, but after eight years of blogging at a steady rate and three seasons of podcasting I have come to the realization that we aren’t going to last very long without a support base.  Thanks for considering a pledge or a one-time gift.

Again, click here to contribute.