Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bismarck and Social Security



Bismarck has a well- founded reputation as the innovator of a social security system.  This link gives some idea of his contribution to, or, if you're against Social Security, his role in the destruction of civil society.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/ottob.html

Friday, November 15, 2013

Book Proposal

Starting to put together a formal book proposal, using advice from the web and other published authors.  It's oddly difficult to be convincing.  This is necessary, though, to face the facts:  I've never published a book.  I have no formal training in history or historical fiction writing.  I'm a lawyer, trained in a somewhat artificial style, unused to belles lettres.
On the plus side, I have a good idea, fully fleshed out to at least 500 pages.  I checked and lots of writers have written on aspects of the events of 1870. No one has written a book that puts all those events together and examines their implications for today's world.  And, last but not least, I'm a lawyer, writing every day and trained in staying on point and delivering work on time.  
As to the topic, I've been reading and studying about European history for about ten years, including several trips to Europe, the battlefield at Sedan, Rome, Paris.  I speak French pretty well, read it better and have some proficiency in Italian, German and Russian.  
So I am looking forward to making up a plausible proposal with the needed chapter drafts.

I will endeavour to persevere.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Alternate History

I spent some time figuring out what would have happened right up to today if 1870 hadn't happened the way it did.  Convincing?  For rank speculation, I suppose so!
Plausible, though, right up to the EU.  I am encouraged by the robustness (antifragility?) of the counter-concept.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Marshalling my forces

Taking my computers on vacation.  Have to get them all in shape or the publishing explosion of 2013.  It's a definite learning experience.  Making images, maps and charts dance to my tune can't be all that difficult.  My goal - bring Tufte's principles to the web and Kindle.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Maps and charts and images

I can tell I have a lot to learn about putting images, maps and charts and graphs in my book.  For instance, this image goes fine in this blog post:

(Although I'm not quite sure how to get beyond it!) In Word or in "Pages" on my iPad, though, it seems difficult to handle, unpredictable.

Here's an image:

Or, rather, here isn't an image because it won't transfer.  I'm doing something wrong.  More work needed.  I guess I should leave this to the experts.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Putting it all together

Putting things together for the first time for 1870.  Quite exciting.  Still a long way to go.  But it feels like it all goes together.  I've left some room for my opinions, not just history.

Now to gather some maps, some more images, maybe a few charts.  Engage every sense.

Preface

Doing an Introduction or a Preface or a Foreword - subtle distinctions - is much harder than a continuing historical or fictional narrative.  It has to set up the story and "pre-qualify" the reader.  I don't want anyone even trying to read my book who isn't a good fit for it - that is, who isn't historically literate and highly skeptical, especially of sacred cows such as the Enlightenment.  And I want to give an  accurate idea of what's contained and what great ideas may be contained.  Tantalize and excite but don't give everything away - that's the idea!

Pictures - maybe some maps and graphs - would seem to be vital.  My gosh, but a book is a lot of work.  Lots less with the Internet, though.

Football's coming on TV today, but I'll still get some stuff done.