Q: Who are you, and why should we trust the accuracy of your information?

The Short A: Author of the The Great Big Book of Horrible Things (W. W. Norton, 2011)

The Old A: No one in particular, and never trust any information without double checking.

The Long A: My academic credentials are pretty slim -- a couple of years of college and that's about it. I'm not a university professor or anything like that, and I currently earn my living as a librarian.

On the other hand, most of the information here is public knowledge, and you can easily confirm most of my facts with a minimum of research.

Also, frankly, very little history is undisputed fact anyway. Most history is debatable interpretation of fact. On these pages, I'm offering you my interpretations, but obviously you should study other interpretations before you make up your own mind.

Basically, I'm not out to convince you of anything, so you don't have to believe me if you don't want to. I created this page for my own benefit. Maintaining an online atlas gives my research structure and direction. It brings up questions that I can then seek answers to, and let's face it, questions are always better than answers. I would hope that you come away from this site with fascinating questions rather than smug answers. It's the only way to learn.

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