Be a part of TJOH Book Club community:

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Capture and preserve your special stories and memories through oral history.

Take your genealogy to the next level — beyond dates and documents.

Learn through exclusive, empowering individual courses and small group workshops.

Contact me. Let’s talk about what you have in mind.

photo of Barbara Sokolov seated with her adorable cat

Barbara Berglund Sokolov, PhD

Let me be your intellectual guide to all things historical. I'm a personable, down-to-earth professional historian with over 25 years of experience. I've been a tenured history professor and a public-facing historian who welcomed visitors to an urban national park.

History is a powerful tool, and we are living in fast-moving, historical times. Come learn with me to use that tool for how you show up for — and think and feel about — the world around you.

Build a better brain

Discipline your mind by exploring the discipline of history. Evaluate what you read: you get to decide is this good history? How have historical approaches and interpretations changed over time?

Go back to school (minus the grades)

Learning styles for studying the past have changed. The Joy of History is not your high school history class (unless you were really lucky to have amazing teachers!)

Be a better citizen becoming informed about the historical roots of contemporary issues that our country is struggling with today.

Fuel your hope for the future

We'll explore how our world has been put together by fellow humans. We'll uncover the choices we have for navigating the present. We'll imagine the world we build for generations to come!

“Hope is a belief that what we do might matter, an understanding

...that the future is not yet written. It’s informed, astute open-mindedness about what can happen and what role we may play in it. Hope looks forward, but it draws its energies from the past, from knowing histories, including our victories, and their complexities and imperfections.” —Rebecca Solnit

Read her full essay, a powerful explanation of why history is so important.

The Joy of History Book Club

2022 Series!

4 months/4 books

The traditional book club, reimagined — part graduate seminar, part Parisian salon, inclusive, low stakes, and high reward. Everyone is welcome, whether or not you’ve read the book!

Limited to 20 seats! I’ll provide a quick summary and some contextualizing remarks and then you’ll have the opportunity to participate in, or just listen to, the discussion of the book and the historical topic that follows.

How it works:

The Joy of History Book Club convenes once a month via Zoom. Click here for the current running series!

The 2022 Series is a carefully curated selection of wonderfully written histories that combine terrific storytelling with masterful approaches to understanding the past! Whether you attend a single meeting or sign up for the series you’ll receive digital supplements (e.g., links to films, articles, reviews) for each book to enhance your reading experience. You’ll need a public library card that will provide you with free access to Kanopy (for films) and JSTOR (for journal articles).
  • (A) Attend individual monthly meetings in a series ($29.99). This is a great way to try out The Joy of History Book Club.
  • (B) Attend a full 4-month series ($89.99) to explore how historians tell stories and get at the motivations of people in the past.

Subscribe for updates!

Sign up to stay informed of new TJOH Book Club series and other events as they are announced. You’ll hear before anyone else!

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Using the Past to Empower Your Present
Barbara Berglund Sokolov, PhD started The Joy of History in 2020 to foster a community of learning in these historic times we find ourselves living in. She is a native San Franciscan and a scholar of California and the American West. Read more about her here.