One thing seems clear. Shifting from my original "homemade" site to a more conventional one has substantially ramped up the number of hits I get, simply because War Historian is more easily discoverable by the numerous sites that search out and catalog blogs.
On January 14, for example, the number of visits to War Historian suddenly spiked from its normal tally of about 50 hits per day to 139. I guess that was about the time it showed up on Cliopatria's History Blog Roll. Until today I never took time to look systematically at the referring sites to this blog, faithfully recorded by Site Meter (see the very bottom of this page). When I did, I stumbled upon a few other blogs that have linked to mine. I'll return the favor by linking to theirs:
Early Modern Notes
The Big Tent
Some just give the link, but a few include some editorial description. For instance, The Big Tent notes the appearance of "A new blog from Ohio State professor Mark Grimsley: War Historian. (Hat tip to Cliopatria.) Whether or not you agree with him on everything--and I disagree with him on a lot--Grimsley is a serious and important scholar. His first book, The Hard Hand of War, is simply brilliant. Follow the links from the blog to see his other work."
To this, one reader commented, "He has Robert E. Lee and Che on his website. He is the opposite of Big Tent in every way. Bizzarro Tom?"
As yet I have no idea what it can mean to be "the opposite of Big Tent in every way." But apparently the Big Tent has room for me, because the blogger who posted the description shot back:
For those with reading problems: "I disagree with him on a lot." Of course, I also suggested following the links at his site. Since that obviously did not happen, let me suggest everyone read http://people.cohums.ohio-state.edu/grimsley1/myth/myth.htm and tell me if that disagrees with the Big Tent.
Site Meter got me curious to see whether anyone else out there had commented upon the blog. A Google search of "War Historian" AND "grimsley" led me to a few additional sites, most notably Chez Nadezhda, a blog intended as "a space to share conversations, books, photos and resources on foreign affairs, national security, nation-building, rule of law, political economy, history, religions and beliefs, communication and cultures."
This proved a major find, because although I've as yet had little time to read it, Tom Barnett's The Pentagon's New Map is obviously a major subject of discussion on it.
Like many blogs, Chez Nadezhda maintains an index of links to dozens of others, including War Historian--which, interestingly, is filed under "Minding the Gap," presumably a reference to PNM's "Non-Integrating Gap." But even more interesting was a comment regarding one of my December entries. Here's the permanent link to the comment. If that fails, try this. But for those too impatient to see for yourself, I give the basics below. It occurs in the middle of a long exchange about the growing influence of PNM:
There's a blog I've been meaning to point you to I think you'd find interesting. It's by Mark Grimsley, a militay historian from OSU. He has the same slight reluctance to deal with the breezy presentational aspect. But he clearly thinks Barnett's got ahold of the right agenda -- forcing the right fundamental questions to be asked.
He's reluctantly concluded that "engaging" with Barnett's evolving frame is in fact something important where he can make a contribution to his profession and in turn to the broader question of the US military's role in the world. His longish post in which he describes how he came to that decision is a fascinating episode in the "emotional journeys" of an intellectual, but also quite a case for why Barnett's agenda is important in Grimsley's eyes.
His ruminations of the purpose of military history in the broader scheme of things are also quite intriguing. Just hope he posts more frequently on what he's thinking and up to.
Interesting take on it, and one I hadn't yet considered. Thanks for the tip!Followed by this from the initial discussant:
Ask your Prof about Grimsley. I'm sure they know one another -- by rep if not personally -- given their academic interests. Grimsley is big into the Civil War & RE Lee -- whose photo shares pride of place at the top of his blog along with Che. I'm not quite sure what that combo represents!(Longtime readers can probably already guess the reason I use the juxtaposed photos of Lee and Che as the blog's logo. Newcomers and/or the metaphor-challenged should browse the entries archived under A Postcolonial Military History?, and consider the very different causes for which Che and Lee fought.)