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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29461 times)
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1095 on: September 08, 2007, 01:50:35 AM »

Yea, bosox, that was Catherine.  We had a great time together in the Cook Book debate, but she didn't stay around much longer after that.  The whole Bush thing made her very edgy as I remember (all of us for that matter), as the NYTimes forums became too politically charged.

I think Conquering Gotham will be an interesting an enjoyable read.  I hope others will take an interest in it as well.
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Bob
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« Reply #1096 on: September 08, 2007, 09:47:59 PM »

I'm reading CONQUERING GOTHAM now and its well written and covers a myriad of side issues. I notice its title is A GILDED AGE EPIC: THE CONSRUCTION OF PENN STATION AND ITS TUNNELS. GILDED AGE?Huh It was built between 1901 and 1910--hardly the GIlded Age in my world--to me the Gilded Age extended from shortly after the Civil War--say about 1870 to about 1896--dates vary with historians--but I've never seen it extended as far as  TR's second term.

By the way this author also wrote EMPIRES OF LIGHT: EDISON, TESLA, AND WESTINGHOUSE AND THE RACE TO ELECTRIFY THE WORLD. I once stayed in the room where Tesla died--in the Hotel New Yorker.
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Bob
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« Reply #1097 on: September 08, 2007, 09:52:31 PM »

The Administrator was good enough enough to reply to my request and set up a separate forum on WORLD HISTORY --let's see how it works out
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1098 on: September 08, 2007, 10:13:25 PM »

Evidently, the reviews for Conquering Gotham were very favorable.  I will order it and hope that this will be our next reading as it should make for another very informed discussion.


BTW, where there any final comments on 1421?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1099 on: September 09, 2007, 03:16:26 AM »

Bob, I've seen the Gilded Age extended into the 20th century before, although as you say it generally refers to the post-Civil War era.  When I was reading the story about the death of Stanford White, the author also referred to the era as the Gilded Age,

http://www.amazon.com/Evelyn-Nesbit-Stanford-White-Gilded/dp/0688030793/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/002-4086232-9828850?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189321931&sr=1-3

Very good book by the way, and fits in nicely, given that the firm of McKim, Mead and White designed Pennsylvania Station, which was completed after White's untimely death at the pinnacle of his career.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1100 on: September 09, 2007, 03:19:29 AM »

There is a really nice plate book of Pennsylvania Station put out by Dover press, but I don't see it listed in amazon.  It was one of the saddest days in New York when this grand railroad station was demolished for no reason at all.

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bosox18d
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« Reply #1101 on: September 09, 2007, 03:22:21 AM »

Thanks for emailing our host Robert.I think History is big enough for two forums here.I hope old posters like NYTemps who expressed adesire for such show up.I'm sure she will.A sort of History with your nearby turf I just finished was John McPhee's"The Founding Fish" all about the American Shad.Part History ,part nature and part fishing with some tasty recipes at the end.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1102 on: September 09, 2007, 03:25:24 AM »

BTW, where there any final comments on 1421?

Seems we pretty much covered it.  There didn't seem to be a very ardent defense for Menzies' theories in this forum. I see there are other books along these same lines,

http://www.amazon.com/1421-Heresy-Investigation-Chinese-Maritime/dp/1420873490/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3/002-4086232-9828850?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1189322565&sr=1-3

for those who want to follow up on Menzies.  I have a feeling that these stories will burn out in about 3-5 years time, hopefully sooner, but there will be those who keep the embers glowing for some time to come.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #1103 on: September 09, 2007, 03:28:05 AM »

P.S. And thanks Weezo also for asking for the new forum.
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weezo
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« Reply #1104 on: September 09, 2007, 07:52:42 AM »

Dzimas,

I disagree. I think the theories proposed by Menzies will be explored more fully in the years ahead. It would not be surprising if the man would go to his grave unvindicated, only to be granted an honest hearing after his obituary has been sounded. Much of the "proof" of his theories lies buried beneath sand and sea, or yet to be confirmed in increasingly helpful DNA studies. While his critics seem to quibble most on an old-fashioned definition of "discovery", those with more open minds will continue to explore the facts. I think a major impetus will be the fact that the Chinese, wherever they traveled to, came there in peace and to trade rather than to conquer and subjugate the inhabitants and rightful owners of the "new" lands. I sincerely hope that posterity will take a dimmer view of the glories of "conquest" and elevate those who traveled with peace in mind.

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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1105 on: September 09, 2007, 08:46:12 AM »

``It was one of the saddest days in New York when this grand railroad station was demolished for no reason at all.
``


Fortunately for me, I was there just days before it was closed down.  It's destruction was a sad moment for New Yorkers and for those who appreciate architecture and culture.  But if I may inject a past is prologue comment, the loss was what stimulated so many New Yorkers [myself included, BTW] to fight against the destruction of the Grand Central in 1970.  Thus, a lesson was learned in that society errs by submitting to the oligarchs and plutocrats. Society thrives and is elevated when we preserve our cultural achievements thereby justifying the term power to the people!.


As for 1421, let's hope some good can result from the book.
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Bob
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« Reply #1106 on: September 09, 2007, 08:55:14 AM »

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I sincerely hope that posterity will take a dimmer view of the glories of "conquest" and elevate those who traveled with peace in mind

If twern't for those conquering bands you wouldn't be here to condemn them. Think about it. Were the discoverers to turn their ships around and tell their financial backers that we weren'tto enter the  newly found lands lest we upset the ecology and disturb the native inhabitants? Had the  discoverers let the native inhabitants rule or govern, we'd all be living in Patterson New Jersey. Given the prediliction of the American Indian not to change  (Toynbee called them an Arrested Civilization--a Civilization which had seen its best day and was stagnant and divided) I have no doubt the United States would never have come into existence. Assuming there were millions of Indians in America in 1492, they'd probably still have the same numbers (I'm assuming minimal contact after finding out we were spreading contageous diseases). Take us out of  the picture and what view do you get? Certainly not of a thriving Indian civiization--when in fact they were as warlike as we are and in a very primitive state and not progressing at all, but in stalled cultural status.

I acknowedge the white man did a lot things which are not only regrettable  but reprehensible. Progress is often made on the dead bodies of others--that's a part of World History---and its time we stopped bemoaning the behaviors of the first settlers  and at least acknowledge that the long term outcome of the discovery is the world's richest, most advanced and most powerful nation in the entire history of the world.

The Chinese didn't start that process. If they came here at all, they came to trade and then left. Columbus started the process. No credit need be given the Chinese for anything in Pre-Columbian America because, IF they came at all, they did nothing to change things or to make things better or to take advantage of a newly found land. They were visitors in the night and sought not to shed light on things, but just to move on and return to China.
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Bob
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« Reply #1107 on: September 09, 2007, 09:03:40 AM »

I used Penn Station frequently until it was closed down. I thought it was a horrible example of "progress" to do so--after all, that was what they told us--"it's progress."  In reality it was all about money. But you are right, at least its destruction in the end helped preserve Grand Central Station--which, in spite of all the predictions to the contrary is still very thriving almost 40 years later.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1108 on: September 09, 2007, 10:52:33 AM »

Much of the "proof" of his theories lies buried beneath sand and sea, or yet to be confirmed in increasingly helpful DNA studies. - weezo

I would say much of that proof doesn't exist at all, but rather Menzies built his case largely on speculation.  But, I think you are right in that a more serious investigation will take place as to possible Chinese and Japanese voyages to America.  I think you can go back much earlier than the 15th century in this regard, as the distance would not have been so great from the northern reaches of Asia, and early sea voyages could have reached the islands of Alaska without much problem and made their way down the Northwest coastline of Canada.  But, of course, such explorations would be hard to prove as well.  My advice to researchers like Menzies is to think small, not large, as Mowat did.
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weezo
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« Reply #1109 on: September 09, 2007, 01:57:36 PM »

Bob,

Actually, a part of me would be here regardless, and I really do not think the Indians were as stifled and stagnant as they are portrayed by those who want to justify how they were treated.

The Europeans did not have to turn back. They could have come and traded, or married into the existing population and the outcome would have been favorable to the advancement of the resultant race, rather than the dispossession that occurred. The Chinese, if they came, did not make a big splash. They traded, perhaps married and begat children, and went on home. They did not destroy the forests that sustained the Indians, and they did not rob the Indians of their food and fields.

It is highly speculative to assume that the world is better off with the Indians dispossessed and the white man in charge of the country. If the Europeans hadn't come to conquer, and had come to live here with the Indians, the world and the country would probably be better off.
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