A blog should be a small part of that project.
About 15 years ago, I started the web site EarlyRepublic.org, or JMISC.NET (one is a synonym for the other) to explore and try to understand and share understanding of the period around the 1830s, with frequent excursions a couple of decades in either direction. The title page said "Tales of the Early Republic", and I spent a lot of time looking at "miscellaneous" period documents, and, on an email list called "Jacksonian Miscellanies", publishing excerpts from these documents, with some commentary. There were newspaper stories on spontaneous combustion, some very odd poetry, which was welcomed as filler material for newspapers in those days, a dueling manual (A high percentage of "Southern Gentlemen", including many congressmen had fought at least one duel -- in the majority of cases nobody died though injuries were common). I got to have a mailing list of several hundred people, including many of the best historians of the era. After a year or so I began going to conferences of the leading historians of the era, and in time it seemed to me that around half the people I met there were aware of my work, and very encouraging.
I started out not knowing anything about this period. What it took was a lot of patience, reading historians past and present, but always going back to the original sources when I wanted to make a contribution, finding something that cast a surprising light on things, and putting it into one of my "Jacksonian Miscellanies" posts. And meanwhile, gradually building a encyclopedic framework for jotting down detailed information as I learned of it. What was New York like in 1830? Well for one thing, New York much less than half of Manhattan Island -- not the other way around. What sort of roads existed between Boston and Portsmouth, Maine. When were they first connected by railroad? What were the issues of religious controversy? I built up a file of particular schools and colleges, small town, even particular churches and who had served as minister there and what their politics were. I never knew enough to write a work giving important insights into some particular issue, but could hold my own in conversations with historians.
Ultimately, I need to build up TRTP (The Real Truth Project) to be something like that. And it is mostly too abstract for me to try to deal with the issue of truth in general. If I spent too much time on that plane, I would probably end up building all encompassing ideologies, like those of Karl Marx and Ayn Rand, that in my opinion cause people to lose sight of the real world, with disastrous consequences.
So there will have to be more specific sub-projects, one of which, is to try to map the landscape of America's (especially, and sometimes the world's) wars of ideas.
The resources will be extremely incomplete for some time to come, but I hope there will some useful things from the beginning.
Where to begin? I am going to take a look at "Watcher" organizations that try to map out the vast landscape of organizations characterized as "Right" and "Left". Those who lean more or less "left" have organizations that try to compile a picture of funding sources in the network of organizations on the "right". And vice versa.
E.g., the "Media Matters Action Network" has a section called "Conservative Transparency" (http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency)which collects information on "conservative" or "right" leaning organizations of all sorts.
I am developing my own understanding of it at this link.
Other groups that watch and analyze other groups include:
- Source Watch at http://www.sourcewatch.org ("left").
- Capital Research Center at http://www.capitalresearch.org/ ("right").