A scene from “Afghanistan ‘11”, in which a US Army company travels to the village of Awi to gather intelligence and win “hearts and minds”.

It’s been a while since I last wrote on Medium, as I’ve since started a full-time summer job in order to save up for my master’s program in London this fall. It’s rather easy for life’s everyday labors to get in the way of one’s desire to be creative, but hearing the news of the fall of Kandahar to the Taliban on 9 July 2021 dragged me back to the greater world as a student of international relations and history, and as a man whose earliest years were spent growing up amid the War on Terror. …


The Shootings

A screenshot of my character (John Marston) coming across the Mexican Rurales officer shortly after the killings

It was high noon in the humid Mexican town of Chuparosa, a bastion of the limited human civilization of the Chihuahua desert. The year was 1911, the first full year of the Mexican Revolution, during which the 35-year-long dictatorial rule of the military strongman Porfirio Díaz was challenged by the urban intellectual and the rural peasant alike. Chuparosa was a town whose adobe walls kept out the banditos who — motivated by their extreme poverty — took to the campos of rural Mexico to prey on lone travellers and defenseless villages. Whom Chuparosa’s walls could not keep out…


A promotional screenshot of the open world in Red Dead Redemption 2

Rockstar Games’ Red Dead video game series has captivated Western-genre fans like myself ever since Red Dead Redemption hit the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in 2010; for some, perhaps since the lesser-known Red Dead Revolver’s 2004 release on PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The series’ setting — the twilight years of the famous and near-mythological “Wild West” period (c. 1865–1912) of American history — is unique among open world games, as surprisingly few video game companies have dared to explore and recrate one of the most popular and riveting periods of American history and folklore, let alone the moment…


A painted Civil War scene at the National Parks Service in Richmond. Depicted is a Confederate commander rallying his high-spirited soldiers, who wave the Army of Northern Virginia’s battle flag in what some might perceive to be “Lost Cause” propaganda. Photo taken by myself in 2019.

Until just last summer, when America’s racial justice movement demanded historical accountability on a national scale, it seemed that a resident or visitor of Richmond, Virginia could find reminders of the city’s Confederate past everywhere they looked. From the White House of the Confederacy museum in the city’s downtown area to the prominent statues of Confederate leaders on Monument Avenue, the myriad Civil War battle sites within an hour’s drive from the city, or even the surviving edifice of the Tredegar Iron Works (the largest iron works of the former Confederacy) along the James River waterfront, one cannot help but…


History is more than just a world of books and tales of old; it is how our understanding of the past manifests itself in our values and our actions.

My first memorable experience with history came when I was around six years old, when I was first introduced to the musical Les Miserables. Like any young kid, I subconsciously patterned my behavior after my childhood heroes; my heroes were the convict-turned-hero Jean Valjean, the idealistic revolutionary Enjolras, and the generous priest Father Myriel, who gave away his church’s silver to the former thief Jean Valjean with the condition that Valjean use the silver “to become an honest man.” …

Jacob Adelhoch

A history lover and prolific writer whose greatest passion is to spread appreciation for, and awareness of, history and diverse cultures.

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