WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL YOU is a weekly blog of vignettes dealing with history, economics, religion, and culture. The common thread in each blog is the knocking down of sacred cows, dispelling misconceptions, or bringing to your attention little known facts or ideas.Vignette is used as defined at vocabulary.com: A vignette is a brief but powerful scene. A good vignette leaves you wanting more (http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/vignette). The scene is created by words, not a painting or drawing. These vignettes will not touch on secret or unknown knowledge; some of them will be known to some audiences but not to others. They may provoke you to view things in a different way or they may anger you and send you on a search to confirm or disprove what I have said.
Though I am a trained economist, my vignettes will often have an historical bent since I am also a lover of history. My world view is Christian. Everyone has a world view (stated or unstated), a way of ordering things and making sense, for them, out of all the information with which we are bombarded on a daily basis. I am trying to be upfront about my mine.
Dr. Frank Martin is a retired professor of economics and entrepreneurship. He has a PhD in economics from Tulane University, an MA in economics from the University of Chicago, and a BA in economics from Michigan State University. He finished his dissertation while a Dissertation Fellow at the Brookings Institution. There he received valuable advice and help from the renowned Economic Growth economist, the late Dr. Edward Denison. Dr. Martin is the author of several publications in professional journals in business and economics. One of his recent publications (with co-author Dr. Majorie Fox) deals with the business cycle and the definition of a recession.
History has been a lifelong interest of Dr. Martin, having taken numerous history courses while an undergraduate at Michigan State and while a graduate student at University of Chicago and Tulane University. His study of economic history brought together both history and economics.
In the area of ancient history, Dr. Martin published an article in the Journal of Black Studies entitled “The Egyptian Ethnicity Controversy and the Sociology of Knowledge”.
Though retired, one of Dr. Martin’s continuing areas of interest is the economies of ancient and medieval Africa (including Egypt and Cush), especially West Africa. Over and over again, one reads reports of dense populations in medieval West Africa. Additionally it appears that these societies enjoyed fairly high standards of living. How were they able to do it?