Who is Dr. Dann?

As someone with two first names, I have often been called by my last name, and not enjoyed it one bit. . . Until my students began calling me "Doctor Dann." "Professor Dann" sounds stuffy; but the bouncy, alliterative, anapestic rhythm of "Doctor Dann" sounds familiar and friendly. "Dan(n)" softens the authority implied by "Doctor."

All my life I have simultaneously shied away from, and sought out, authority – eschewing the arbitrary, often lifeless authority of outworn institutions and ideas, gravitating toward the moral authority that can result from faithful study and reflection. Pursuing a variety of arcane topics and questions, I have been rewarded time and again with serendipitous, magical discoveries. This website is my attempt to share some of these with you. Thank you for the gift of your interest and attention.

Captain of a Huckleberry Party: A Thoreau Pilgrimage

In honor of Henry Thoreau’s 200th birthday, I’m making a walking pilgrimage from
New York City to Concord, Massachusetts – 235 miles in 13 days, starting on the Spring Equinox, March 20th.

Come, join me! [Read more]

The Astrological Revolution

In May of 2000, in a personal turn of destiny that took considerable craft, cunning, and whimsy from my angel,...

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A Book of Wonders

After three years of striving to teach Global History from a “metahistorical” perspective, I decided that it was time to...

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A Short Story of American Destiny, 1909 – 2009

In 2009, Vermont and New York celebrated two anniversaries of historical discovery and exploration – Samuel de Champlain’s and Henry Hudson’s 1609...

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Across the Great Border Fault

As an adoptive Vermonter, I embraced the popular myth of the state’s egalitarian, frontier democratic heritage, and even helped promote...

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Bright Colors Falsely Seen

In 1989, I entered the Ph. D. program in history at Rutgers University, working with Calvin Martin, a rogue ethnohistorian...

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Lewis Creek Lost & Found

Wherever I have lived or travelled during my life, I always turn to earlier writers to tell me about the...

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Traces on the Appalachians

Studying natural history in California under the direction of Ken Norris and Ray Collett, at the University of California, Santa...

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25 Walks in New Jersey

“What exit?!” When I was in college in the late 70s, that was the most common refrain heard when you...

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Expect Great Things

  I met Henry Thoreau the way we all do – through reading Walden – and I still find it as...

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