Five Things on Doc Ridler’s Mind

Quick list for the bored and the ADDish. Five things scratching my brain.

1. Non historians writing history/biography: historians often get cranky and righteous when those who have not survived the gauntlet of a Ph.D. programme try their hand at writing history. I indulge, though not out of hand. Lots of great history written by folks with MAs, or journalist, or (on rare occasion) political scientists (I can already hear my old War Studies crew laughing, but it’s true). What I can’t stand is bad history, regardless of pedigree. Stories that have no context, no appreciation of people and places, that seem little more than a rehashing of the primary sources. Just read one book like this on guerrilla warfare that was abysmal and yet the guy got another book out (hardbacks, no less!) Boo!

2. Finished reading Fred Kaplan’s 1959, about how that year was more pivotal to the revolutions of the 1960s than previously assumed. I liked his CIA history, WIZARDS OF LANGLEY, but I found myself screaming “but what about Dr. Omond Solandt and the Defence Research Board!” a lot while reading both books. I am likely the only human being on earth who had that reaction. The section on The Beats and jazz, though, were great.

3. Still want to see HAYWIRE, because that gal knows how to fight for real and it looks like fun. Hope it hasn’t vanished from the theater.

4. I’m collecting ideas for the next novel. All I can say now is that it will be a cold war fairytale. ‘Nuff said.

5. You’d think after drinking coffee for over twenty years that I’d realize that you don’t get rid of a coffee headache with more coffee.  NOPE!

Secret Bonus #6: Jesse Malin is amazing. He makes Ryan Adams look like a third rate Paul Westerberg wannabe.

Have a good weekend!



About ridlerville

Jason S. Ridler is a historian, writer, and improv actor. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and has published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Mr. Ridler holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Richmond, CA. Visit him on Facebook at
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