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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29517 times)
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #510 on: July 12, 2007, 05:24:23 PM »



Sounds like a good read.  But at 500+ pages I wonder if it will hold our group's interest for too long.  Is there an alternate book at,  say, 200-250 pages?
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« Reply #511 on: July 12, 2007, 06:38:23 PM »

Geez,

I thought the next book was going to be Alan Taylor's American Colonies. I got the book a bit back, and have waited to read it until the Shakespeare Riots winds down.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #512 on: July 12, 2007, 09:23:19 PM »

There was a brief discussion on the Google site about Taylor but the talk was stopped for lack of interest.  While I enjoyed his book on Cooper, I did not like the book on the colonial period at all. But I'll leave it up to the rest of the folks here to determine which book is next.

As always, I prefer a book on sports and its cultural impact in the USA but no one has come up with a suitable book for such a discussion.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #513 on: July 13, 2007, 01:18:46 AM »

I enjoyed American Colonies, even if it read like a primer at times.  But, we needn't revisit the colonies after the Jamestown discussion.  The Farfarers might be an interesting alternative.  Interesting to see that some persons are making the case for trans-Atlantic travel in the stone age,

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wn_report/2007/07/11/2007-07-11_modern_stoneage_raft_to_cross_atlantic.html?ref=rss

Brings to mind Hyerdahl's Ra expeditions.  I think one could make a better case for early Japanese cultures crossing the upper regions of the Pacific.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #514 on: July 13, 2007, 08:28:00 AM »

Thanatopsy, searching inside A Cross of Iron I see that it is 480 pages, not including bibliography and index.  I don't think that is too much of a stretch for this reading group, and the subject is an important one given this administration appears to be reprising the Cold War.  I've often felt that Acheson is the ideological godfather to these neocons, at least when it comes to the way they view the world.  The Truman Doctrine seems to be the defining document in this regard. 
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Dzimas
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« Reply #515 on: July 13, 2007, 08:36:34 AM »

That said, it is the subject matter more than the book that I am interested in.  I would be open to alternatives like this diplomatic history of Dean Acheson,

http://www.amazon.com/Dean-Acheson-Life-Cold-War/dp/0195045785/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/105-5791205-4542015?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184330057&sr=1-1

but it stretched out to over 700 pages.
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« Reply #516 on: July 13, 2007, 09:45:29 AM »

I would like to see a discusson on 1421 since I have read the book and can easily revisit it. I taped the PBS special on 1421, but the emphasis in the program was on the parts of the expedition that explored the Indian Ocean and reached the East Coast of Africa. It did not include any speculation on rounding the Cape of Good Hope and exploring the western coast of Africa, and made only cursory mention of the possibility Gheng He went to the East Coast of South America. It also does not follow the possibility that his expedition cross the Pacific and explore the west coast of the Americas. It does mention that these places were noted on ancient maps, but it does not follow Gavin Menzies contention that an Italian man was part of the expedition to bring those man to Europe. It merely questions how or if the maps came to be known in the west.

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thanatopsy
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« Reply #517 on: July 13, 2007, 04:50:28 PM »

Thanatopsy, searching inside A Cross of Iron I see that it is 480 pages, not including bibliography and index.  I don't think that is too much of a stretch for this reading group, and the subject is an important one given this administration appears to be reprising the Cold War.  I've often felt that Acheson is the ideological godfather to these neocons, at least when it comes to the way they view the world.  The Truman Doctrine seems to be the defining document in this regard. 


I have no objection - but experience has often shown that people in the group lose interest in large books after a handful of discussions on a given topic.  But if that book is the majority's choice, then I'm all for it.
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« Reply #518 on: July 14, 2007, 01:36:08 PM »

America Rules England Tonight

... or so thought the b'hoys and their ringleader Ned Buntline.  Too bad they hadn't counted on NYC having a Tory as mayor at that juncture!

With Mayor Woodhull clearly on the side of the British and the elites who controlled the City, all forces would be combined to thwart the actions of the anti-Macready agitators. These included police, militia, and paid heavies.

Many handbills were distributed to spread agitating propaganda and it was clear that much of the public was highly polarized. Both sides in the dispute bought up large amounts of tickets in order to stack the audiences of the theaters with their allies. Pro-Nativist ward heelers mobilized their forces.  Trouble was a-brewing and it was not going to be pretty!

So the question becomes, why allow the actors to appear on stage on that fateful day?  Common sense would have dictated that all presentations should have been postponed until everybody cooled off.  This is an issue that Cliff did not address adequately.  He should have given newspaper or other contemporary accounts which explained why in the face of all this brewing trouble nobody stood up to put a stop to the trouble.

The b'hoys threw rocks while the cops fired rifles. Several innocent bystanders were killed or seriously injured. At trial, Buntline was convicted for stirring up the trouble.   Macready escaped despite numerous threats but he and Forrest were never the same after this unhappy incident.


pp 209-231

...


Not stated in the narrative was the role this trouble had in the emergence of controversial Fernando Wood in NYC politics.  He would become mayor just a few years later partly because of his Nativist leanings and because of the anger New Yorkers had at the Whigs for their elitist leanings.
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Bob
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« Reply #519 on: July 14, 2007, 09:23:16 PM »

Quote
why allow the actors to appear on stage on that fateful day

Because Tammany was in power (though the Mayor was Whig) and Tammany was Irish and Macready was English. Fernando Wood (a luminary of lunar magnitude, I read somewhere) would have it no other way, nor would Macready, for not to go on would  be cowardly. Keep in mind there was no real police force as we know it. That would come later, ironically under Wood as Mayor. Wood by the way would end up being arrested as Mayor as a part of the dispute between two rival "police forces,"  one organized by him and the other the older traditional force. Wood is one of the most fascinating men ever to emerge from his era. Wood would yield in 1865 or so to Boss Tweed. He spent a few terms in Congress and was censured one year for using language unbecoming a Congressman on the floor. He's buried up in Trinity Cemetery up around 150th street in one of New York's more historic burial grounds. Trinity is also the site of John J Audubon, Clement Moore, John Jacob Astor  and Madame Jumel--those of you who know the swtory of Aaron Burr remember her.

The other reason it wasn't shut down was that the Whig power structure supported Macreasdy and was prepared to defend his right to act. Besides, if the play wasshut down it would have probably caused a riot in and of itself....instigated by the Irish gangs  and supported by Tammany. There was to be trouble no matter what....
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #520 on: July 15, 2007, 07:23:45 PM »

Your note reminds me of the old expression, pride cometh before a fall

I can see your point.  While hindsight s always 20/20, somehow, somebody should have had enough sense to say (quoting coach John Madden) hey, wait a minute! and put at least some form of temporary halt to the proceedings.

Wasn't aware that Fernando Wood was buried at Trinity Churchyard.  I passed by that site many times and most likely forgot that I saw his burial place there.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #521 on: July 15, 2007, 07:47:51 PM »

Exit ...

Parts of Manhattan remained an armed camp for several days after the disastrous riots. The pro elitist press gloated that the 'unwashed' had been vanquished while the b'hoys vowed revenge. They met by the thousands at City Hall Park and accused the authorities of murder and usurpation. The crowd marched off to the Opera House but it was closed by the deputized police while military forces stopped any further threat of violence. Ned Buntline was convicted for his role in inflaming the crowds and causing the violence. Isaiah Rynders who likely had a greater role in inciting troubles got off free. The chapter concludes with details about Forrest's and Macready's final years.

There were socio-political repercussions from these proceedings: the thought of citizen soldiers shooting at fellow citizens was viewed as government tyranny and loss of civil liberties.  Ultimately this led to the creation of NYC's police forces but that led to further political corruption.  On top of all that, the riots led to a greater awareness of the gulf between the elites and the common folks. Moreover, it proved that government was out to protect vested interests rather than those of commoners.  Our previous readings about Boss Tweed and the Haymarket riots dealt with the inevitable consequences of these repercussions.

As our Founding Fathers taught many years before that, in any given society, justice must first exist so that order can prevail - that a society filled with crime, anarchy, and disorder, is one in which there is no justice. Our readings in this group have proven that to be incontrovertible.



pp 232-257
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #522 on: July 15, 2007, 11:53:51 PM »

A few words about Evert Duyckinck {pp 171, 210}:

I believe that Duyckinck (pronounced DYE-keenk) was a very significant figure in American history as he was instrumental in promoting the idea of the American aesthetic. While many literary and artistic types were obsessed with European aesthetics, Duykinck affirmed that American literature and art had great merit and was worthy of much international and national estimation. Evidently, he felt that Forrest's misbehavior reflected badly upon the American theater (and presumably, upon the USA and its aesthetic institutions). Cliff, however,  gives only scant attention to this matter. This is an issue that should have been given considerably more development in the book.

http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/duyckinck/duycktp.jpg

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Bob
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« Reply #523 on: July 16, 2007, 12:35:43 AM »

I just read the latest posts, but its too late to really comment on them, so I'll wait until this afternoon...in the meanwhile I was thinking that it might be wise to point out that there are two Trinity Cemeteries in NY City. The one I cited is up near 150th street, but the one more familiar to Manhattanites is found in the Wall Street Area...and is filled with even more luminaries.
Here's a link showing who is buried where, including St Pauls Chapel:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Church_Cemetery
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madupont
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« Reply #524 on: July 16, 2007, 01:52:47 AM »

Bob,

Thanks for posting Trinity. I used to find the Wall Street area  a nice walk on Sundays from 8th.St.west of 5th.Ave, and discovered the churchyard in that way but, then all of Wall Street and Broadway was Quiet on a Sunday.
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