During a week in which a request to evaluate the efforts of a rookie blogger to explore the bridge between spirituality and psychology arrived in the e-mail inbox and world events delivered a cornucopia of news that ranged from the effect the death of Amy Winehouse had on the Forever 27 website to the Democratic President using Ronald Reagan's method to (make an attempt to) bypass a recalcitrant group of U. S. Congressional representatives, the World's Laziest Journalist decided that it was time to use a new installment of his version of the three dot journalism style of columning to evaluate the challenge to future historians who will work very hard to revisit this historic week that is just outside our doors right now.
Will future books about the summer of 2011 care about the weather? How many books will be written about some aspect or interpretation of the Summer of 2011 Debt Crises Debate? How many books will interpret the Obama Administration in relation to the outcome of that debate? Obviously one or several biographies of Amy Winehouse, who died at the age of 27 last Sunday, will be rushed into print. Will the Murdoch summer be just an example of one of the challenges that Rupert faced in his lifetime or will it be the starting point for numerous books on some additional arrests and assessments of the art of journalism at this point in history?
Historians tend to examine segments of contemporary culture as isolated topics much as a coroner examines body parts separately, while daily newspapers, news broadcasts, and weekly news magazines attempt to deliver a snapshot of a living subject. Some books have been written attempting to deliver the portrait of a particular year, but most books tend to select a very specific topic from the pages of history and examine that segment of the world in close detail.
Some years are more interesting to historians than others.
For example, this columnist has read a number of books (more than a dozen) about
World War II, but it was only while reading Laurence Thompson's book "1940" that we learned Europe experienced sever winter weather in the early months of 1940 and that it had a direct effect on the course of the early stages of the fighting in World War II.
According to Thompson ("1940" William Morrow & Co. New York - 1966 hardback page 16): "From the end of December until mid-February, with only a single break, Britain experienced its coldest winter for forty-five years." The British censors quashed coverage of both the war and the weather.
William K. Klingaman noted in his book, "1941 Our Lives in a World on the Edge," that the weather at the beginning of that year was very cold and harsh in Europe. Didn't the scientists announce some kind of "New Ice Age" theory?
CBS radio journalist Larry LeSueur covered World War II from Russia and titled his book about the period from October 1941 to October of 1942: "12 Months that Changed the World." Didn't sever winter weather tip the balance at Stalingrad?