“The past is the mirror in which we may discern the dim outlines of the future.” — Frederick Douglass
I’m Aaron Barnhart, and like you, I am shaped by history.
In 1994 I began my writing career doing just what I’m doing now — giving away my stories on the Internet. Back then it was a weekly roundup of late-night television called Late Show News. Then it was TV Barn, a blog about television and media, the beat I was privileged to cover for 15 years for the Kansas City Star. I published the best of TV Barn a few years ago in a volume called Tasteland.
Until now, I haven't done a blog since quitting journalism in 2012. Instead, I've dedicated my work to making history relevant in an age of constant news, entertainment, and distraction.
With my wife Diane Eickhoff, we’ve made a living publishing and speaking about history. Our six books include a road-trip guide to our region’s incredible heritage, and the events that shaped the American story; plus four works of nonfiction narrative history that are both distinctive and of distinction. They're all in the store.
We also do talks for the humanities councils of Missouri and Kansas. If you are involved with a nonprofit in either state, we would love to bring our history show to you for little or no cost. Here’s the info.
Since you’ve read this far, I’d like to share with you why I decided to take up blogging again with History Is Power.
Simply put, I don’t know of anything I’ve done in my life that’s had greater impact than the simple act of putting stories out there and having people read them.
It’s taken a long time to develop the editorial focus for HIP. In a nutshell, I only write about topics that can meet one of these four objectives:
- Empathy: Seeing history through the eyes of those who lived it helps us engage with the past.
- Honesty: Getting history right enables us to learn from the past.
- Insight: Acknowledging the ways we carry our history with us helps us understand how we got here.
- Inspiration: Learning from the past equips us to imagine a better future.
Now, can I make a very simple request of you? Join my list.
And if you’ve already joined, would you share my stories using the share buttons on each page of this blog?
There’s a role everyone has to play in making our society a better place for our kids and grandkids.
Mine is to help people understand how history affects our everyday lives.
We’ve seen in recent times the perils of having people in leadership who don’t understand history, who are ignorant about how we got to where we are today, and who are more interested in going backward than forward.
So please, join and share. Thank you!
“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it … History is literally present in all that we do.” — James Baldwin