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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29367 times)
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Bob
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« Reply #1725 on: December 24, 2007, 02:18:27 AM »

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American Promethius sounds boring.

Trust me, there's nothing boring about J Robert Oppenheimer, the Communist Party, the Atomic Bomb, and the Second Red Scare all wrapped  up into one.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1726 on: December 24, 2007, 02:25:31 AM »

American Promethius sounds interesting to me.  Do we have a quorum?
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #1727 on: December 24, 2007, 02:35:41 AM »

I would love to see a discussion of American Prometheus....excellent book.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1728 on: December 24, 2007, 08:41:01 AM »

Had I known that we had this consensus, I would have picked up Prometheus when I was at the library on Saturday.

Well, I just put thru my online order for it and should have it in a couple of days. It should be a good read.

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Shirley Marcus1
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« Reply #1729 on: December 24, 2007, 01:23:07 PM »

I am still reading Henry slowly.

     I am so excited about American Prometheus.  I am going to the book store to buy it now.  I was able to read a little of the book on Barnes and Noble online where they have four chapters.  The review talked about his having a trauma at 14 in summer camp.  They credit his later stoic responses in court to his experiences.  His university days in Germany studying physics where they had to kiss a golden statue in a fountain and his 1947 through 1966 teaching Physics at Princeton.  I saw Fat Man and Little Boy with Paul Newman and the written language is the same as the spoken words of Paul Newman in the movie script.
     Excellent choice of books to read.  I hope you can tell I am enthusiastic about this book.  I am glad I was able to find it in the book store.  I am going to start reading today.

       Merry Christmas.  Have a healthy New Year.  Enjoy your Christmas Eve.
Shirley
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1730 on: December 24, 2007, 03:46:53 PM »

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
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Shirley Marcus1
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« Reply #1731 on: December 24, 2007, 04:18:26 PM »

Well I have my Robert

I correct my statue quote she is not gold

page
56
           "I Find the Work Hard,
       Thank God, & Almost Pleasant"


You would like Gottingen, I think....The science is much better than at Cambridge, & on the whole, probably the best to be found....I find the work hard, thank God, & almost pleasant.


         "By tradition, graduates of the university were expected to wade into a fountain that stood before the ancient city hall and kiss the Goose Girl, a bronze maiden that served as the fountain's centerpiece."


And so Kai Bird starts off his fourth chapter on Robert.  Opje his Dutch nickname page 84  He goes on to describe Opje teaching difficult concepts through conversation and allowing students to get credit for their work and coauthoring important papers.
     As you can tell I am enjoying American Prometheus.
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weezo
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« Reply #1732 on: December 24, 2007, 10:47:55 PM »

Just got a newsletter from the 1421 "team" site. Seems the NY Times included a favorable mention in an article on the raising of a 100 ft Chinese Junk that dates to the time of Zheng He. See: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article3087296.ece  ... the "team" notes that the map that spoke so vividly to Menzies is going on permanant display in Washington, DC. see: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071203/ts_nm/usa_map_dc ... the newletter announces: so are here glad to mention Ann Martin Bowler and her new book - Adventures of the Treasure Fleet - China Discovers the World.

Merry Christmas one and all!!!
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1733 on: December 25, 2007, 09:23:47 AM »

 Smiley  To everyone here at Escape, I wish each of you a resounding,

  MERRY CHRISTMAS!!                             
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madupont
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« Reply #1734 on: December 25, 2007, 11:24:40 AM »

Bob, Re: American History
« Reply #1775 on: December 23, 2007, 06:42:11 AM

Bob, I had to think about it but I realize that I just could not let this pass by. I had a similar experience in the school library but not in history class which I adored, the teacher was excellent, he allowed us our outside reading, and he straightened me out if I was too imaginative; but, I think that actually I began reading history at home because it was my father's interest and I had a lot of those books available to work on before I got to the appropriate grade level at school.

There was one problem that somehow the school had overlooked. They had assigned no other girls to my history class with one of those teachers such as we recently discussed re: Adams, so upset by the Prussian system.  In fact the teacher's first name was Adelbert, just to indicate with example, and I shall otherwise refrain from identifying him. So there I was in a class entirely of boys, not very odd for me, as I had several brothers in a row to keep things busy at home. Even at that young age,  considering the era as well, I felt terribly demoted at being reassigned Out of that history class and having my entire schedule rearranged.

This is where Lytton Strachey comes into the  picture.  Of his four Eminent Victorians, the only one of real interest to me was Gordon.

It is probably not at all odd for Strachey to have written about Gordon, since Lytton's father  "served", although I am not sure precisely where, as an officer in the colonial British armed forces. Then when Lytton met Leonard Woolf, who would later serve in a lesser capacity as a policeman in Burma and India, the picture becomes clearer for me. (But Lytton's father had been a personal friend of the Viceroy, so I presume that this was in India.)

I'll admit that I several times did visit Bordentown,N.J., from which Florence Nightengale went forth but, other than what I heard of her profession when I was a child, it is hard to pay entire attention to her in those circumstances once you realize that Joseph Bonapart moved into the neighborhood and you go take a look at his place.

I didn't really become better acquainted with Lytton Strachey until the Bloomsberries. He was introduced via the people with whom D.H. Lawrence began to frequent and make fun of such as Lady Ottoline Morrell and Bertrand Russell and the Eliot's(and, as someone else has mentioned rather a lot, Robert Graves comes along toward the end of that influence. "Goodbye to All That", covering the war to end all wars. I was shocked to discover so late in the game that he resided in New Hope, Pennsylvania for the duration of the Spanish Civil War).

I began to read of these internecine relationships sometime in the late 1960s when I took a British History course to accompany one in British literature.  Lytton Strachey's mother was of one of the British suffragette movement supporters of that period.

As I told Desdemona, it wasn't until quite by accident that I ducked into the library on Witherspoon place one summer's day between 1987 and possibly the summer of 1988 that I was confronted with all of the Bloomsbury literature and cast of characters in their very real lives and complicated cross-relationships with political history. And there was Lytton following after John Maynard Keynes; if John Lennon had remained alive in this world, someone would surely have asked him if he would not play Lytton Strachey in a film that was to be made.

You go on to understand Strachey's relationship to Charleston, home of Virginia Woolf's sister, Vanessa Bell, Clyde Bell, Duncan Grant as an artistic menage a trois with many visitors who conscientiously objected to the War. Then there is Vanessa and Clyde Bell's daughter, Angelica who married into the renowned Garnett family and later wrote about being sorry she did. I find it odd that currently commentators try to tactfully distort her reasons as really objection to the menage because then you see a comment can be included to disparage conscientious objection.

It is like my own amazement of a nonacceptance, or non-realization, or maybe just a lack of knowledge scattered willfully throughout the fora, rather than existant among the participants, that if you know this literature and its history, or the history of this period and its literature, one would gainsay what sexual discrimination is supposed to exist here or ever existed then?

By the way, before I forget, I discovered that some of the so-called missing writings of Lytton Strachey are at Project Gutenberg on-line.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1735 on: December 25, 2007, 12:23:48 PM »

Was reading back over the chapters on the Civil War and one of the things that stuck out was what seemed to be Adams' view that political leaders at the time were too idealistic, and that the fragile union was held up more by these ideals than by pragmatic concerns, at least through the eyes of a 20-year-old.  This came out in his trip to England, where like his father, he was shocked to find out that the British supported the Confederacy, having thought that the issue of slavery would have put Britain firmly behind Washington.  While his father just treated the British as a belligerent  nation, apparently young Adams had a harder time dealing with this duplicity.
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« Reply #1736 on: December 25, 2007, 05:47:39 PM »

Dzimas,

The south was much more of an aristocracy than the northern states. Britain could perhaps see the day when the confederacy would bond under the monarchy. Self interest persists.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #1737 on: December 26, 2007, 04:54:39 AM »

Dzimas,

The south was much more of an aristocracy than the northern states. Britain could perhaps see the day when the confederacy would bond under the monarchy. Self interest persists.

I think it was in Britain's best interest to recognize a divided union, not to mention it was dependent on Southern cotton at the time.  In fact, Europe in general seemed to favor a split union.  Only Russia, having recently freed serfs, stood behind Washington in the beginning.  I think they also didn't view the US as a threat, united or divided.  It was only when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation did the US get the European countries to stand behind it in the war.
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #1738 on: December 26, 2007, 04:53:23 PM »

One final observation about Education is the fact that HBA has a high opinion of women which is a bold idea in view of the agitation that existed at that time about the so called ''woman question''  ---


''Adams owed more to the American woman than to all the American men he heard of ... the woman was the superior ...''

ch 30

It is clear that he foresees a greater role for women in politics and in other phases of life.



^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^



PAST IS PROLOGUE


Education reads like one gigantic riddle. It is ever so seemingly negative and one is compelled to wonder why exactly has this book been given so much praise in the past?  If it had not been for those final notes which illustrated how HBA was an optimist, not a pessimist as he appears to be, I would have said this was not a good book. Now that his points have been clarified, I am inclined to agree that the book is worthy of great merit.

But, I am still not entirely convinced that it deserves its designation as the USA's greatest history book of all time.  True, there is much a reader can derive from it, esp CFA's successes in England during the Civil War.  Moreover, it is very illuminating as to behind-closed-doors politics that occurred domestically and overseas. Still, in all honesty I am inclined to think that the book needs to be re-evaluated as to its merits and its place as the most meritorious book in USA history.  While I am certainly very glad to have read it, it is not my choice as the # 1 book in its genre.
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Bob
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« Reply #1739 on: December 27, 2007, 07:49:36 PM »

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I am still not entirely convinced that it deserves its designation as the USA's greatest history book of all time.

I agree, but I think the designation of it being the best non-fiction of the twentieth century derives more from it's literary style than from its historical content. That is, having been co-opted by English Departments, its looked on as literature rather than history.
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