Wide Angles, Close Quarters: A Human History of the Grand Dérangement


By Christopher Hodson

Nearly two decades ago, I stumbled out of my small hometown (beautiful Logan, Utah, USA) into a PhD program in history at Northwestern University near Chicago. I arrived with the intention of studying and writing about revolutionary France, but after a few months of work, I began an innocent flirtation with colonial America – a field about which I then knew basically nothing, but whose lines of argument I found appealing. It got serious fast. By the end of that first hectic year, it was clear to me that my interests had shifted, and that if by some miracle I managed to write a dissertation and earn a doctorate, it would be as an early Americanist.

This personal revelation notwithstanding, I was still missing one all-important thing: a subject to write about. As a graduate student in the early stages, dissertation topics are everything. In addition to…

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