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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29365 times)
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Bob
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« Reply #2145 on: March 17, 2008, 04:54:00 PM »

DRAT, doncha just know it?Huh Finish a good discussion and out pops a very relevant book RETRIBUTION, by Max Hastings--covers the last year of the Pacific War. Here's an excerpt from one of the reviews:

   
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Hastings takes an unusually robust position regarding Japan’s war. Only Hitler’s SS, he declares, has in modern times matched militarist Japan in “rationalizing and institutionalizing atrocity.” Against Europeans and Asians alike, Hastings painstakingly debunks the “myth” that Japan was ready to give up in 1945. This continuing intransigence, he argues, should influence more than it does the still-vital debate over using atomic weapons. Japan retained large, capable armies to defend its home islands. Lack of fuel and industrial collapse caused by naval blockade and aerial bombardment, the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and the use atomic bombs all contributed to the final outcome of surrender without invasion.

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MrUtley3
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« Reply #2146 on: March 17, 2008, 07:22:22 PM »

How has the series been?

Years ago, I watched the Adams Chronicles on PBS and that was a splendid series.

Last night was interesting but a little cartoonish at times.
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #2147 on: March 18, 2008, 12:02:41 AM »

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a little cartoonish at times
Yes, complete with speeches delivered in such a declamatory style (there couldn't have been as much shouting and stomping, sez I, but hubs sez check out Brit. Parliament, so mebbe) one thought of historic tableaux son et lumiere-style.  Also cartoonish were some of Giamatti's expressions and the nudge-wink treatment of Franklin.  And was TJ really such a stone-faced cipher or the SC guy such a...well, "diva" comes to mind? 

But I adore Laura Linney (whose Mrs. Kinsey was so wonderful) and will probably watch it for her Abigail, of which there should be more IMHO.  Wait til you see in ep. 2 where she volunteers herself and her children to be inoculated (scene is most cringe-worthy), now that's a kind of courage I can barely fathom.
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weezo
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« Reply #2148 on: March 18, 2008, 07:46:24 AM »

Ah yes, the innoculations - against small pox, if I remember correctly. There was a lot of controversy over the innoculations. Was man taking power that rightly belonged to God, in preventing deaths? And, sometimes folks died of the innoculations. But mostly, more people lived. But it was a great moral issue whether to trust the shots or take one's chances during the raging epidemics.
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MrUtley3
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« Reply #2149 on: March 18, 2008, 11:19:08 AM »

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a little cartoonish at times
Yes, complete with speeches delivered in such a declamatory style (there couldn't have been as much shouting and stomping, sez I, but hubs sez check out Brit. Parliament, so mebbe) one thought of historic tableaux son et lumiere-style.  Also cartoonish were some of Giamatti's expressions and the nudge-wink treatment of Franklin.  And was TJ really such a stone-faced cipher or the SC guy such a...well, "diva" comes to mind? 

But I adore Laura Linney (whose Mrs. Kinsey was so wonderful) and will probably watch it for her Abigail, of which there should be more IMHO.  Wait til you see in ep. 2 where she volunteers herself and her children to be inoculated (scene is most cringe-worthy), now that's a kind of courage I can barely fathom.

I actually did see both episodes Sunday night. I felt the cartoonishness was with the treatment of Franklin---and some of the histrionic ramblings of Adams belied the intellect with which he seems so gifted, but then again, it's just an actor's interpretation.

Linney is a great actress, and one of the most underrated, IMO. Her performance in "The Squid and the Whale" was what carried that movie.
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #2150 on: March 18, 2008, 09:35:32 PM »

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whether to trust the shots

They didn't do it with/by shots but by...well, I said it was cringe-worthy so will forbear to describe.

The Squid and the Whale!  I knew there was a movie my older daughter told me I would like but I forgot it and thank you so much for the reminder.  Linney can convey the impression that she could deal with just about anything intelligently and with great strength, yet she is not at all humorless. Vanessa Redgrave is another whose integrity, intelligence and wit just shine right out of her eyes.

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Furphy
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« Reply #2151 on: March 20, 2008, 06:59:56 PM »

Speaking of Adams...and you were...I just started Henry Adams' history of the Jefferson administrations. The writing is superb and I expect to take much interest in this book even if I do dislike Jefferson.
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weezo
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« Reply #2152 on: March 20, 2008, 07:04:41 PM »

Furphy,

I am curious. There are many reasons to like and to dislike Jefferson, but what is your reason for disliking him?
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Bob
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« Reply #2153 on: March 20, 2008, 07:47:06 PM »

Well, Furphy, Henry Adams had no use for him either...

Why do do you dislike Jefferson?


Weezo, when I was a kid and got my smallpox innoculation they still didn't use injections. They broke a piece of infected glass and scraped it along your upper arm, near the shoulder and it would then form this ugly black hard blister like formation which would eventually fall off. In Adams's day it was a dangerous thing to do, there were deaths involved (not many, but enough to to make people think twice before getting the innoculations).

Women beware: Monday (Easter Monday) is also Dyngus Day, which by Polish Tradition allows men to wake the opposite sex by throwing a pail of water over them....and the fun of throwing water contnues throughout the day....WATCH OUT Grin
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madupont
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« Reply #2154 on: March 20, 2008, 08:00:01 PM »

Bob,

I was reminded today, since this is the beginning of Spring,as the moon becomes full, India will celebrate Holi, by throwing colored  water at each other until the streets are drenched with color.
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weezo
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« Reply #2155 on: March 20, 2008, 08:06:35 PM »

Bob,

I don't remeber a broken piece of glass. I think I had a shot. But I do remember the big black spot that could not be removed until it fell off on it's own.

Yes, in the beginning of the innoculations, there were a number of cases where the innoculated person got the disease and died anyway. There was also some concern that by taking the shots, one was stepping into God's domain and thwarting his will, and that the deaths from the innoculations were payback from God for interfering with his right to take life. I'm not sure which book I read that in, but could look it up if anyone is truly interested.



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Furphy
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« Reply #2156 on: March 20, 2008, 09:20:38 PM »

I dislike Jefferson because he was a sneaky backstabber when he was John Adams' vice-president.


I'll answer this later. My darling friends, the Immigrants, have a boom-box concert going next door. I'll have to vacate my premises.
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Furphy
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« Reply #2157 on: March 20, 2008, 10:46:07 PM »

By the bye, Bobert, Adams certainly has glowing things to say about Pennsylvania.

Now back to Jefferson. My reading in American history is not what it was in the days of the NYTimes Am History forum but I do remember that I had grounds for my dislike of Jefferson's silly theoretic ideas about the American Constitution.

And then there was this from a letter written in 1793 anent the French Revolution:

" The liberty of the whole earth was depending on the issue of the contest, and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood? My own affections have been deeply wounded by some of the martyrs to this cause, but rather than it should have failed, I would have seen half the earth desolated. Were there but an Adam and an Eve left in every country, and left free, it would be better than as it now is."

Hyperbole at best, nonsense at the worst.
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Furphy
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« Reply #2158 on: March 20, 2008, 10:50:41 PM »

I'm going to Washington DC the weekend of the 29th to stand where Lincoln stood and see where Henry Adams lived.

I had tried to e-mail you, Bob, but your e-mail bin is full. You might try e-mailing me instead.
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weezo
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« Reply #2159 on: March 20, 2008, 10:57:47 PM »

Furphy,

I know there was no love lost between Adams and Jefferson, one a Federalist who seriously considered the "necessity" of setting up a monarchy here, and Jefferson who insisted that the government should be by the people. Since the two were not of the same party or the same opinion, it is not surprising that there would have been problems. Backstabbing? I'd have to read more about it.

Jeffferson was very supportive of the French Revolution as he was an enthusiastic buyer of French fineries (to the detriment of his family and slaves who were left on his death with nothing but debts). But, when he went to France as the Ambassador and took some slaves with him to insure his comfy life, he ws informed that their slavery no longer existed and they were free to remain in Franch as free citizens if they so chose. There has been much written about the decision made by Sally Hemmings to return to Virginia and slavery, and whether her decision was indication of "love" for this man who denied his relationship to her.

What is most disturbing about Jefferson was his inability to carry out the intent of the Declaration of Independence to give freedom to ALL Americans. Supposedly, he argued against the continuation of slavery unsuccessfully. Yet, he did not, as Robert Carter III did at the same time, train and then free all of his slaves. Instead he promised them freedom upon his death than ran up huge debts that made it a hollow promise.

If you can add anything to my stack of objections to Jefferson, please do so. I enjoy learning more about this enigma of a man!
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