Hello. Thanks for stopping by. My name is Derek Davison and I’m a writer and analyst who deals primarily in US foreign policy and the Middle East. I’ve spent several years studying those subjects, and it’s been my privilege to share what I know and my perspectives on world events for the past several years at outlets including, LobeLog, Jacobin, Alhurra TV, Newsy, and on a variety of podcasts.

For many years one of the main outlets for my writing was here at WordPress, on a blog called “and that’s the way it was.” Nowadays I’m producing a newsletter covering international affairs and US foreign policy at Substack, called Foreign Exchanges. There you’ll find all of the content I used to produce here: world news updates, stories from Islamic history, guest pieces, podcasts, and exclusive content for subscribers including essays and weekly “ask me anything” discussions.

I’m a fan of the newsletter model, which seems to be taking the online world by storm these days, but there are limitations to it as there are with any other model. To help alleviate those limitations I’ve turned “and that’s the way it was” into the Foreign Exchanges Companion. What does that mean? Well, basically this site is becoming a home for reference materials related to the newsletter. This is a work in progress, but the menu above will give you some idea of what you can find (or expect to find) here at the FX Companion–reading lists, a “this day in history” guide, transcripts of FX podcasts (I’m working on this), and a “blog” section that’s mostly salvaged posts from The Old Days but where I may occasionally offer some random thoughts that don’t really fit in the newsletter. There may be more to come. I hope you’ll find these resources useful.