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Big lessons from history.

Good morning, my friends, and welcome to Friday. I’ve gathered some interesting longer stories for you to enjoy today — and over the weekend.

My secret life as a mysterious millionaire’s personal assistant. [Narratively] — “It started with a simple Craigslist ad. Before long I was being sent on sketchy tasks, pocketing wads of cash, and trying not to think about where his money came from.”

A brief history of Dover books. [Contingent Magazine] — “Many of the titles Dover published — both new and old — were risky for the same reason they were potentially-profitable: they were often on niche topics, but that meant they were highly-desirable to people interested in those niche topics.” [I loved Dover books. I still have a few of their clip-art books next to my on my bookshelf, although I couldn’t tell you why.]

Big lessons from history. [Collaborative Fund] — “There are two kinds of history to learn from. One is the specific events. What did this person do right? What did that country do wrong? What ideas worked? What strategies failed?…The second kind of history to learn from are the broad behaviors that show up again and again, in multiple fields and different eras.” This is a great article.

To take us into the weekend, here’s something fun. I was eight years old when Star Wars came out in theaters. That movie changed my life in ways that are hard to imagine today. I was obsessed with it and its universe. I remain obsessed with it. (But only that original film and the supporting material released through, say, 1985. Everything after is pretty lame.)

Anyhow, here’s an eighteen minute video that explains how instead of changing the film industry, Star Wars was almost a colossal failure. Star Wars was only saved in the edit. (In particular, by George Lucas’ then-wife, Marcia.)

If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll probably enjoy this.

And that’s all we have for this week. Jim will be back on Monday with more of the best from the world of personal finance. Take care, everyone!