Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29335 times)
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1200 on: October 02, 2007, 10:08:05 PM »

Hi nyt!


Both books will be on my future reading list, for sure! In fact, didn't RW recommend one of Aron's books for a reading a while ago?

For some reason, we have avoided American philosophical history books in our discussion and I'm wondering if we could discuss John Dewey or Robert Green Ingersoll. These studies undoubtedly have significant modern day relevance and should make for very interesting and profound discourse.

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Dzimas
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« Reply #1201 on: October 03, 2007, 03:33:09 AM »

I would be up for William James,

http://www.amazon.com/William-James-Maelstrom-American-Modernism/dp/0618433252/ref=ed_oe_h/105-5791205-4542015
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1202 on: October 03, 2007, 03:40:56 AM »

Jonnes describes the industrialists of the era as modern-day emperors, controlling the shots at the municipal, state and federal level with their generous campaign contributions.  Funny comment by Frick in regard to backing the wrong guy in Roosevelt.  But, Cassat seemed to feel the right man was in the White House.  I guess Cassat felt pretty good about himself in wanting to run the company above board, figuring he came out on top either way.  According to Jonnes, he was one of the few industrialists who felt federal regulation was a good thing.
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madupont
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« Reply #1203 on: October 03, 2007, 10:18:30 AM »

thantopsy,re:#1257

http://www.voltairenet.org/article136478.html

Although Aron joined De Gaulle's Free French forces in Britain, upon his return to France after the war when he taught in Paris, he maintained that the government of Vichy France and Marshal Pétain had chosen the lesser of two evils in collaborating with the Nazis during World War II.

I would never be able to agree with that. Considering Klaus Barbie the Butcher of Lyon and what took place generally in the South of France.  You might have to compare this for instance with the good reputation of the Swiss whom, when push came to shove,were not overly welcoming to refugees from the Third Reich;likewise social attitudes in Vichy, in Provence, the Cote d'Azur  --were business as usual, quite barbaric which is the sell out for business as usual,how citizens respond to the newly accepted norm has everything to do with the moral quality of life. If things had been so "agreeable"/agreable, I'm sure that my friend's father would not have conducted his family onward from Nice to Algiers.

Excerpt from wikipedia:
"He personally tortured prisoners and is blamed for the deaths of 4,000 people.[1] He is best known primarily for one of his "cases", the arrest and torture of Jean Moulin, one of the highest-ranking members of the French Resistance. In April 1944, Barbie ordered the deportation to Auschwitz of a group of 44 Jewish children from an orphanage at Izieu.
In 1947, Barbie became an agent for the 66th Detachment of the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC).[2] In 1951, he fled to Juan Peron's Argentina with the help of a ratline organized by the Ustashi Roman Catholic priest Krunoslav Draganovi?. Asked by Barbie why he was going out of his way to help him escape, Draganovic responded, "We have to maintain a sort of moral reserve on which we can draw in the future."[3] He then emigrated to Bolivia, where he lived under the alias Klaus Altmann. Testimony of Italian insurgent Stefano Delle Chiaie before the Italian Parliamentary Commission on Terrorism, suggests that Barbie took part in the "Cocaine Coup" of Luis García Meza Tejada, when the regime forced its way to power in Bolivia in 1980.[4]



 Trial

Barbie was identified in Bolivia as early as 1971 by the Klarsfelds (Nazi hunters), but it was only on January 19, 1983, that the newly-elected government of Hernán Siles Zuazo arrested and extradited him to France.

In 1984, Barbie was put on trial for crimes committed while he was in charge of the Gestapo in Lyon between 1942 and 1944. At the trial Barbie received support not only from Nazi apologists like François Genoud, but also from leftist lawyer Jacques Vergès. He had a reputation for attacking the French political system, particularly in French colonial territories. Vergès' strategy at the trial was to use the trial to expose war crimes committed by France since 1945.

While in Bolivia, Barbie managed a company that diverted Belgian and Swiss arms to Israel while Israel was still under a post-1967 war international arms embargo. "A report in the Israeli press alleges that Barbie also had frequent dealings with Israel concerning supplies of Israeli arms to Latin American countries and 'various underground organizations'".



Indeed, many of the charges against Barbie were dropped, thanks to legislation that had protected people accused of crimes under the Vichy regime and in French Algeria.


His trial started on May 11, 1987, in Lyon — a jury trial before the Rhône Cour d'assises. In a rare move, the court allowed the trial to be filmed because of its historical value. The lead defense attorney was Jacques Vergès, who argued that Barbie's actions were no worse than the ordinary actions of  colonialists     worldwide, and that his trial was selective prosecution. The head prosecutor was Pierre Truche.


Indeed, many of the charges against Barbie were dropped, thanks to legislation that had protected people accused of crimes under the Vichy regime and in French Algeria.



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madupont
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« Reply #1204 on: October 03, 2007, 10:24:26 AM »

Ps. I seem to be having a problem getting the bold-print to work, or I would have been able to emphasize "colonialists" in the second to last paragraph.

Also, ps: in your post #1255, Gotham growing up like Topsy, where you mention sprawl, I suppose that could be equated with what I remember most about Topsy as having grown up pretty much on her own, or raising herself, because adult (or parental) slaves were all out in "the field". So Gotham grew up every which way he would.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1205 on: October 03, 2007, 10:32:11 AM »

Grow like Topsy

to grow very fast, as in
The government must decide how to allocate health-care resources in the face of demand that is growing like Topsy.
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/grow+like+Topsy

Seems like a British expression more than anything else.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2007, 10:42:45 AM by Dzimas » Logged
madupont
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« Reply #1206 on: October 03, 2007, 11:12:10 AM »

thantopsy,re:#1250

"And yet, it appears as if these views were in error as the cities were overrun with population density as cities were drawing people from the farms, and with increased immigration, those populations were ever increasing. In fact, as I recall from our discussion of Haymarket, cities, indeed, did attract rural folks with Chicago being one of the best examples of that truth."

That is because, like my great-aunt as a child,accompanying her father(my great-grandfather),they drove their livestock in to the Chicago Stock Yards. They did this in nice weather, driving on an open buckboard. By the time that my great-aunt Hazel was in her teens, there were railways.

The city of Chicago was over-run with trolley rail cars running every which way so that the accident rate was very high for pedestrians not used to the new "improvements".  Many of these people weren't too sure of their footing, as I've discovered for myself at time when returning to a city after a long span of time in the country where you do not walk on the same kind of surfaces but on uneven ground.

Rural arrivals to Chicago came because of the agricultural depression that occurred in the late 1880s. Hoping for work, they are the lyric of the Carl Sandburg poem but far too many of them for all the 'hog butcher of the world' or the other attending to the slaughter-houses and the concomitant stock yards, as in:The Jungle, Upton Sinclair(1905)

Theodore Dreiser's, Sister Carrie,(1901), a so-called "Progressive Novel", the new writing style, ostensibly set in New York, according to some people,who read it literally, is actually Chicago which opens with very good descriptions of the unemployed and crowded tenements where Carrie finds her sister who is married. Carrie does not marry; at least at this time. I base that on the fact that Dreiser was in Chicago, reading at The Little Theatre,where he met up with his friend on tour from Britain,John Cowper Powys,who also read at The Little Theatre.

Dreiser was himself from Indiana, his mother was a Mennonite.

Politically, Dreiser was involved in several campaigns against social injustice. This included the lynching of Frank Little, one of the leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World, the Sacco and Vanzetti case, the deportation of Emma Goldman, and the conviction of the trade union leader Tom Mooney.

I learned at least her opinions on several of these cases, for instance the Goldman lecture tours, and the Sacco-Vanzetti execution from my great aunt but not until the end of the Nixon Administration. The above matters of Dreiser and Cowper-Powys were mentioned to me as she told me quite a bit about John Cowper-Powys ideas and content of his novel, and that she had regularly attended The Little Theater in the company of the brother of Albert Loeb who ran Sears and Roebuck in Chicago.


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madupont
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« Reply #1207 on: October 03, 2007, 11:18:33 AM »

Grow like Topsy



to grow very fast, as in
The government must decide how to allocate health-care resources in the face of demand that is growing like Topsy.
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/grow+like+Topsy

Seems like a British expression more than anything else.


Harriet Beecher Stowe?
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Bob
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« Reply #1208 on: October 03, 2007, 07:30:20 PM »

In Chapter one we are introduced to Alexander Cassatt, president of the Pennsylvania Railroad and are given a description of the New York of 1901. Jonnes is a good writer as she engages the reader with vivid pictures of the port and of the ferries (I used them now and again as late as the mid sixties) and of life in New York in General. His problem was that his rival, Cornelious Vanderbilt was delivering his passengers directly into the heart of the city via Grand Central Station, while the PRR and nine other railroads had to be content with disembarking their customers in Hoboken or Jersey City. Ferries then transported them over to New York.

I had a chuickle at the NY Times  declaration of Grand Central as "one of the modst inconvenient and unpleassant railroad stations in the whole country...the ugly structure  has long been a disgrace to the metropolis." (Jonnes, p 11)

Jonnes mentions the sheer difficulty of getting in and out of new York as it grew. The problem persists. She  mentions that eighty million passengers  a year  came across the Hudson via Ferries operated by six railroads

Cassatt vowed to find a way across the river for his railroad.

Did anybody notice the mention of William G. MacAdoo?  He's more familiar to me as  an associate of Woodrow Wilson than anything else. He will figure prominently in the story to follow.
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Bob
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« Reply #1209 on: October 03, 2007, 07:44:42 PM »

On the days I worked I travelled the Hudson Tubes to Hoboken and then over to Christopher Street in New York if I was going to NYU. I could get from Newark to New York (Worth Street)for Law School in one hour flat via bus, Tubes, and Subway.  When I wasn't working, I travelled via the the DL&W from East Orange  to Hoboken and then took the Tubes to NY, but would sometimes take the Ferrieacross as I had time to spare. Occassionally I'd travel on trains still pulled by locomotives, especially if I were travelling out of the Pennsylvania line out of Newark--say to go to Washington D.C. or a short hop to Philly.

Those were the days, I sometimes miss them.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1210 on: October 04, 2007, 03:11:29 AM »

It must have been something seeing all those ferries crossing the rivers everyday.  Seems like PRR had the lion's share of this shipping business.  But, Cassat was a modernist and felt there was a better way to get into New York, bypassing Vanderbilt's connection.  At first, the PRR actively considered Lindenthal's bridge, but because of its public nature, PRR wasn't about to foot the bill while all other rail lines got a free ride.  So, Cassat opted for tunnels despite what seemed to be a very precarious undertaking.  Jonnes opened her narrative with the first effort to tunnel under the river, which met with repeated disasters and was ultimately abandoned for lack of money.  Of course, to achieve this goal, locomotives had to be electric, otherwise passengers would have been asphixiated on their cavernous journey.  Even still there had to be some kind of ventilation system, which Jonnes failed to note. 

It must have been hell for those workers to go down there every day, working in a highly pressurized environment that resulted in numerous casualties when returning to the surface, not to mention the various breaks that occurred down below.  Even though the PRR seemed to have workmen's compensation, I imagine it was rather minimal.  Jonnes doesn't talk about what happened to those who suffered permanent damage.  But, I imagine Cassat had a steady flow of new recruits with all the immigrant labor available to him at the time.

One has to admire Cassat's vision, but then why was Gotham so important?  Why not develop another city on the New Jersey shores to rival Gotham.  Certainly, these industrialists had the money.  They wouldn't have had to deal with Tammany Hall and all the crooked politicians of New York, and I'm sure New Jersey would have been all too happy to give these industrialists pretty much what they wanted.  It is amazing that Manhattan survived the industrial age at all, given how isolated it apparently was.
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madupont
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« Reply #1211 on: October 04, 2007, 10:46:43 AM »

Dzimas,re:#1267

"Why not develop another city on the New Jersey shores to rival Gotham.  Certainly, these industrialists had the money."  and  "It is amazing that Manhattan survived the industrial age at all, given how isolated it apparently was."

These industrialists also had a developed sense of how and where they wanted to live in a more ex-urban life-style (I swear that last word "life-style" was invented in New Jersey). Desdemona mentioned something on this to me one day as she was reading and had come across the term "magnets", as in "industrial magnets" in Britain in this case; and, I attempted to explain that often they were landed gentry, where she had previously used an example of Lord Darlington, who owns the fairly huge estate taken up in Kazuo Ishiguro's novel,The Remains of the Day,  They sold off part of an estate to take a flyer in the Industrial Revolution, quite well described by both Thomas Hardy and D.H.Lawrence both of whom write novelistic "histories",generation by generation per volume, of England and the British Empire. In turning peasants off the worked-land, they had an inbuilt work-force, with the end of an agricultural lifestyle, to employ for developing industry.

Americans strongly coveted the advantages of becoming a higher economic class, and what they wanted was the class to go with their money from their industry. They had already been traveling Europe for quite a long while to see, if not recall, how it was and is done. Edith Wharton sometimes writes about this phase (having caught Henry James out at it) in the same way she wrote about the earlier residents of Manhattan who of course still kept their country houses further upstate New York.

As to your second statement, Manhattan was essential to the industrialist as a mercantile establishment,for transactions and banking, other than the company-towns they gradually developed along the Eastern seaboard and at least as far west as Pittsburgh and Chicago which would became a mercantile second city.
Even Philadelphia rides the waves in ways I had not understood at first, but the day that I discovered the industrialist Homes tucked away in Fairmount Park(which is why it was a park) which can be toured,about a year ago, my eyes were opened that there was more than Chestnut Hill.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1212 on: October 04, 2007, 11:03:10 AM »

The US was a major exporter in the early 20th century, so I don't think it made much difference where the items were shipped from.  I can understand Manhattan's allure, but if Cassat wanted to get back at Vanderbilt, what better way than to bypass Gotham all together.  I don't think it mattered to immigrants where they ended up as long as there was work so that they could put bread on the table.  But, I have a feeling that J.P. Morgan was the biggest draw in New York.  I think Jonnes noted that at one point he had a share in one-quarter of the world's industry.  Staggering!
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madupont
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« Reply #1213 on: October 04, 2007, 11:31:31 AM »

Dzimas,

" I don't think it mattered to immigrants where they ended up as long as there was work so that they could put bread on the table."   Yes, in fact, that is why items were shipped from New Jersey (you had said,"Why not develop another city on the New Jersey shores to rival Gotham."), and many imports are handled through New Jersey, since the cities that developed are the homes and places of employment for many immigrants who went through New York to New Jersey.

Some of the nicest people, I have known,lived in Little Italy in Lower Manhattan, were born there, but gravitated across the river married perhaps in the Hoboken area and then raised a family at the Jersey Shore. A woman who truly understood these things but passed away nearly seven or eight years ago, also had a sister (whom I met at the family's gathering post-funeral home)who was part of the labor movement leaving behind the sewing done in Lower Manhattan to organize beyond the shirtwaist factories and went out to Paterson,New Jersey and the textile mills.

"The district originally included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures associated with the textile industry and later, the firearms, silk, and railroad locomotive manufacturing industries. In the latter half of the 1800s, silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City." In 1835, Samuel Colt began producing firearms in Paterson, although within a few years he moved his business to Hartford, Connecticut. Later in the 19th century, Paterson was the site of early experiments with submarines by inventor John Holland. Two of Holland's early models — one found at the bottom of the Passaic River — are on display in the Paterson Museum, housed in a former mill near the Passaic Falls.

The city was a mecca for immigrant laborers who worked in its factories as well. Paterson was also the site of historic labor unrest that focused on anti-child labor legislation, and the six-month long Paterson silk strike of 1913 that demanded the eight-hour day and better working conditions, but was defeated by the employers with workers forced to return under pre-strike conditions. Factory workers labored long hours for low wages under dangerous conditions and lived in crowded tenement buildings around the mills. The factories then moved south where there were no labor unions and later overseas." [wikipedia]

When they mention silk production, they had to hire Italian workers(regional) who were used to handling the silk worms native to mulberry trees back in Italy. I guess it is that old Marco Polo thing again although they apparently had the mulberry trees ever since Roman times(unless that is purely mythical).
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madupont
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« Reply #1214 on: October 04, 2007, 11:45:50 AM »

It wasn't purely mythical. The Roman use of silk.
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