Getting From Here to There in Our History: Table of Themes and Modules


First some navigational and organizational guidance. Because this is so new–and the concept a bit unusual for a comprehensive history of a policy area and profession–it will be useful to have a place to go where the reader can access the published themes and their respective modules. At the moment there are two Themes published. Theme 1 has nine modules and Theme 2, twenty. The Modules are the working units of the Online History. Their titles are pithy and hopefully descriptive, but you knows how that goes.

If the reader wants to get a quick sense of the two themes, what’s in them, and figure out if, and how you want to use them, then this Module is for you. It is the basic Table of Contents. It works great when there are only two themes, but that will not last for long. The Table will become ponderous and lengthy, and we also have a second navigation path to select the desired Theme and then click to see its resident modules–an extra step, but digestible. As the History matures, so will the site and its navigation.

Once you have inspected the contents of the two themes, you will have a sense of what is to come. Theme 3 will (hopefully) be published sometime in the summer. I will keep you posted–but since I am writing these from scratch–with new research–it takes longer than I originally expect. These modules are NOT literal copies from my book, A History of American State and Local Economic Development: As Two Ships Pass in the Night (or simply As Two Ships in the modules). Most of the material in this Online History is brand new–but based on As Two Ships which is a detailed (752 page) reference book. 

The modules in this Online History are more succinct, and are meant to be a soft-conversational form of academic history, complete with sarcasm, horribly bad puns and mixed metaphors. Modules are meant to be digestible in one reading–and then the next one read whenever the impulse strikes. This Online History is not designed for binge reading. Read one or two a week, and by the summer you’ll be ready for Theme 3.

Each module deals with a topic which I believe to be important to the Theme. Each Theme is not “comprehensive”. It does not attempt to tell you everything known about that Theme or Time Period. You will only taste several elements of my Chapter One Model in Theme 1, for example. Theme 2 only selects certain key topics in the First Century (1789-1890), and dwells on something I call External-MED and discusses only the first three “wings” of American Community Development. It has introductory modules on Southern First Century ED and Western First Century ED–which is to be developed in the forthcoming Theme 3. What I don’t discuss in a given theme, may likely be picked up in a later theme–or I may in the future add a module or two to an existing theme, if feedback suggests this useful.

Comments are solicited, brief and civil, but “feedback” and questions are best emailed. I typically do not respond to comments, but I will respond to email. If I made a mistake please email and let me know. I trust but please verify in those instances.

Taken in sequence these modules provide an online course in the history of state and local ED, with no certification of course. To a certain extent each module (except certain multi-module case studies) stands on its own, but there is no summary at the end. I strongly suggest wandering through Theme 1: Our Conceptual Framework because without it you will be lost on my sea trying to figure out what I mean by Ages and what the devil are these Two Ships.

Here is what is published in the initial installment–the initial Table of Themes and Modules

Select and Click as Desired–At the End of Each Module a Link will be Provided to get you back here.

Theme 1: Our Conceptual Framework: the Chapter One Model

Theme 1: Module 1: Getting Started

Theme 1: Module 2: Eras (and Ages) of American Economic Development AND the Early Republic Era (1789-1870)

Theme 1: Module 3: “Big City” Industrial Hegemonic Classical Era (1870-1975)

Theme 1: Module 4: Transition Era (1975-2000) AND Intro to Contemporary Era (post-2000)

Theme 1: Module 5: What is this TWO SHIPS Thing? Political Culture and American State/Local ED

Theme 1: Module 6: What is this TWO SHIPS Thing? Quo Vadis MED, CD, and Political Cultures

Theme 1: Module 7: What is this TWO SHIPS Thing? Mainstream Economic Development (MED)

Theme 1: Module 8: What is this TWO SHIPS Thing? Wings of Community Development (CD)

Theme 1: Module 9: Overview of the Five CD Wings

Forthcoming–Theme 1: Module 10: The Stripped-Down Chapter One Conceptual Framework