Dr. Betty Wood
Sad news to report first. Since I published Slaves Selling in the Deep South (below) based in part on the work of historian Betty Wood, I was saddened to learn that Betty had died just days earlier. Plans for a scholarship in her name at Girton, her college at Cambridge University, are afoot, and I will report back once those emerge. Here’s a tribute from one of her Cambridge colleagues.
Betty was not only brilliant and innovative, but, as the tribute makes clear, wonderfully down to earth, as are many of the Cambridge and Oxford dons I’ve met. Her humor and kindness were a reminder that truly great people don’t feel moved to prove how distinguished they are.
Trust Me! I’m a Historian!
So how trustworthy is Non-Boring History? From the start, I have made it a point to remind you over and over that I will, inevitably, get things wrong. And that I will tell you when I do. That’s because, just like professors in classrooms, I am almost always writing outside my field of research expertise, strictly speaking, at Non-Boring History. But I’m still a professionally-trained historian, PhD and publications, and know enough to know when I’m not sure. I not only hold my horses at times, but I also consult esteemed colleagues to be sure I don’t misrepresent their work.
So, how reliable am I?
My Communications and Quality Assurance Gnomes here at Non-Boring House have told me I should get permission to share with you occasional excerpts from the very nice emails I get from historians.
So I’m starting with a quote from an email I got from Dr. Tim Lockley, on whose work I partly based Slaves Selling in the Deep South, and who has kindly consented to allow me to share with you:
"You did a great job of making a very complex situation believable and clear to a non-academic audience."—Prof. Timothy Lockley, MBE, University of Warwick, UK.
Why, thank you, Tim! Thankyouverymuch (said in my best Elvis voice).
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Coming Up: An MLM That Sells Hate (No, it’s Absolutely NOT LuLaRoe)
On Sunday, I’ll be writing about a Multilevel Marketing company, or MLM. MLMs are the companies that sell kitchenware, vitamins, and what have you, at parties in homes and on Facebook, via independent “consultants” who work on commissions, not only from sales, but from recruiting other “consultants”.
MLMs are much in the news right now, thanks to a fascinating documentary series called LulaRich, about leggings company LuLaRoe. In case you’re up for a cheeky bingewatch, all four parts are on A*****n Prime (sorry, I wish there were an alternative). Here’s the trailer.
So I have decided to tell the fascinating story of an early MLM involved in selling merch, memberships, community, and hate. My post will be sent to (and available exclusively on the site for) Nonnies, the folks with paid subscriptions who keep the lights on at Non-Boring House. Can’t do it without you or my fellow academic historians whose work is the absolute bedrock of Non-Boring History, folks, and I do mean that. Thanks to you all.
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