You’ve landed at the e-home of Maureen Ogle – historian, author, ranter.
My most recent book, In Meat We Trust , looks at how Americans have raised, processed, sold, cooked, and eaten meat in the past 140 years.
In 2006, I published Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, which looks at 150 years of American beer history. I’ve also written histories of Key West, Florida, and of American household plumbing.
I have a Masters and Ph.D. in American history, both from the (now budget-chopped) History of Technology and Science Program at the Department of History at Iowa State University. Focus: technology, specifically urban America.
My "tenure book" was All the Modern Conveniences: American Household Plumbing, 1840-1890. Let the puns fly. (Come up with one I've not yet heard, and a signed copy of some book or other is yours, pal.)
In 1999, I escaped from academia because I wanted a life.
Blogs are supposed to focused! and targeted! and specific! and consistent! And the entries are supposed to be brief.
Mine fails in every category. It wanders from beer to history to meat; from the pleasures of writing to the future of “print,” with regular stops to ponder life’s daily weirdness. Fact is, I regard blogging as an extraordinary tool for creativity. [Again, for more on that, see The Sticky Post.] Over the years, I’ve written a number of lengthy blog series; for those, see the Books/Projects page.
For a sense of the blog's scope, check the categories in the sidebar at the Observation Post.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
1. Yes, I love speaking to audiences. (For money, of course.) (I’d do it for free if I could. Should I someday win The Lottery, I will.) Shoot me an email. Shoot me an email even if you don’t want me to speak to your group or organization. I’m easy.
2. Yes, I’m a real historian. Well, okay — I have a Ph.D. in history. In some eyes, that makes me a “real” historian.
3. My newest book is IN MEAT WE TRUST: An Unexpected History of Carnivore America.
4. Yes, it takes me a long time to write a book. I’m a one-woman operation: I do my own research and writing, both of which are labor- and time-intensive. Plus, I’m a stickler for accuracy. I don’t make up the facts in my books.
5. If you buy one of my books, great! Borrow it from a library? Great! Please do. Makes no difference how/where you lay hands on a book; what matters is that you care enough to read.
(Note: My history of Key West is the only book on which I earn money, assuming you buy a new copy of it. Otherwise, I earn no money from my books, so, truly, it makes no difference where/how you get them.)
6. Yes, this site is minimalist, intentionally so. I know the current fashion is for lots of images and gee-gaws, and that’s great for those who want them. BUT: This is a work space; an extension of my home office. As such, I want an uncluttered “desk.” So: lots of white space, few images. User friendly, as we said back in the day. You should be able to find whatever you're looking for. And lots that you didn’t know you wanted. Because you DO want to read my 13-part blog series, right?
7. Yes, I’d be glad to rant about the topic of your choice on my blog. You know where to find me
Thanks for stopping by — and for making books and reading part of your life.