(Chris W here - Jamie has left the key under the mat for me while he's away)
Erik Lund's blog, Bench Grass, is not especially easy reading. His writing style involves randomly riffing on life in British Columbia, Canadian politics, colonial American literature, and complex military-technical history, interspersed with pop videos. His favourite topics include (but are not limited to) the UK military-industrial complex of the 1930s, the 'collapse' of Mycenae and of Rome; and the demographic history of the Americas. He needs an editor, to an extent so great that I cannot think of a metaphor to illustrate it. Nevertheless, aside from that, as the preceding paragraph makes clear, he's one of us.
I have a sneaking suspicion that about 15% of Erik's conclusions are really wildly wrong in an Erich von Daniken / Martin Bernal style. I also suspect that about 50% of the rest is stuff that specialists in the relevant eras have taken as read for decades. But that leaves 35% which is probably new, true and useful. Now I only need to work out what belongs on which pile.
But, one of Erik's meta-points is this:
it continues to be my opinion that we're not going to get American history until we start taking the Book of Mormon seriously,
and today I read this:
For a faith that has often been persecuted, Mormonism, it seems, has never been more American.
I think that Erik's on to something. Keep an eye out, therefore, for new revelations about the relationship between Sir John Carden-Lloyd and the nitriding process; the hidden contacts between Europe and north American in the C15th, and the relationship between Malthus, Trajan, Alexander, Adrianople and Math.