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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: American History  (Read 29474 times)
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nytempsperdu
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« Reply #2400 on: May 30, 2008, 11:16:16 PM »

Awww, thanks for noting that, than...other recent passings-away took attention from same, more's the pity.
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madupont
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« Reply #2401 on: June 01, 2008, 01:53:41 PM »

In the old days  (NY Times days) we read  a couple or more of good historical fiction and the discussions went very well. I remember one involved John Brown and the other was Robert Penn Warren's ALL THE KING'S MEN. I don't see why we couldn't entertain reading RAGTIME.


"A book begins as a private excitement of the mind..."         
- E.L. Doctorow




At the moment, I'm over at NYU (on-line) as there is some kind of a writers' summer program.
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Lhoffman
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« Reply #2402 on: June 01, 2008, 02:03:24 PM »

In the old days  (NY Times days) we read  a couple or more of good historical fiction and the discussions went very well. I remember one involved John Brown and the other was Robert Penn Warren's ALL THE KING'S MEN. I don't see why we couldn't entertain reading RAGTIME.


"A book begins as a private excitement of the mind..."         
- E.L. Doctorow




At the moment, I'm over at NYU (on-line) as there is some kind of a writers' summer program.

Yes, the New York writers program.  The writers live and work in the neighborhood where famous authors lived.  There is another on the NYU curriculum where writers live and study in Paris.  Yale and UM offer similar programs.  My son once studied music theory while living in Schoenberg's house in Vienna.  Quite inspirational, and in many cases a jump start for the day the well of dissertation ideas has run dry.
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MrUtley3
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« Reply #2403 on: June 07, 2008, 02:43:47 PM »

The First Obama:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/06/AR2008060604509.html?nav=hcmoduletmv
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thanatopsy
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« Reply #2404 on: June 07, 2008, 05:23:47 PM »

Stephen Kinzer:

http://www.amazon.com/Overthrow-Americas-Century-Regime-Change/dp/0805078614/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212873674&sr=8-1


Kinzer gave a great speech before the libertarian FFF which was presented on C-Span. This covers a period of 100 years and appears to make for a good discussion on this forum.
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madupont
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« Reply #2405 on: June 08, 2008, 08:41:19 PM »

MrUtley,


Did you ever have a chance to read,The Known World, by Edward P. Jones?
Your link to the Washington Post article or rather the article reminds me of Jones' novel.  He was a Richmond reporter until he had garnered enough material by daily exposure to begin his novel about that area of Virginia. He took his time about it for a number of years and it shows because this is what you would call a "well-integrated" novel; everything in it is well pulled together and relates accumulatively.  Nothing is dropped just carelessly without significance, everything relates to everything else.

It is however very difficult to read, emotionally, slow-going, you promise yourself to get through his small measured-out helpings of emotional pain and find yourself closing the book because you can take no more until you let the day go by and take it up again for another onslaught tomorrow. I don't recall finding anyone to talk with about it, although it was a voted for book reading discussion group (with the exception of Red, when I discussed the significance of the Hampton school).  I expect that's because I knew his fields of expertise quite well by then, African-American literature, a world of  refined and accrued complexity in Jazz,things we shared; he'd often tried to catch me out with a renowned author but he had a particular love for Walter Mosley. So when he declined to say very much chapter by chapter, as others posted, I respected his disinclination.

I think, I know why now, both why I did that and why he was not inclined to say as much as he could.  I don't have a lot of patience discussing the nuances when among white people who don't spend very much time among Black Americans or Africans. Their lack of awareness about the meaning of a thing is but an insensitivity to human experience; and I am quick to anger.

Possibly the most revealing and subtle revelation was a sentence or two that contained the fact that there was a little spoken about part of American History when the descendents of slaves, who were Freedmen and of African-American descent also owned slaves.  Even Red was not amused, when I referred back to the Archives in those buildings that flank St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo on the Place d'Armes in New Orleans (as to where records are kept of slave auctions  which account what was sold and bought but likewise who is the buyer. It may be an unfamiliarity with  French names that accounts for disbelief.  Of course, Jones' novel speaks in plain English of characters who have generally English names.

The writer of the article in the Washington Post is trying to attain that same smoothness of the tradition of story telling in Virginia, in a professional manner but is not quite there yet.  It does read differently than how history is told in other states.  But I will have to take that up sometime with an acquaintance of mine from Virginia, whom for now, I'll just say is Ms.Pettigrew, keeper of order in women's dormitories at a small college, whose Army background suited her for this responsibility, and who plans on going back to the family land in Virginia.  It's bad enough that I confronted her with the first occasion I sensed the problem of discussing African-American writers or even Jewish writers of African-American perplexity and complexity or, whether she thought it was all right  for a man born in New Orleans to the traditional life, Creole that he was, to be white if he wanted to be and write literary criticism for The New York Times instead of being consigned to something else.   

That was of course considered one of the minor novels of Philip Roth. I now understand why the movie failed to interest the public. I gather he hasn't written a major one since, after writing a major obituary  for a friend whose death passed by mostly unremarked.

One other thing....  Did you notice in the photograph that the man leaning on the truck, Mr. James Graves, at first glance bears a remarkable resemblence to James Earl Jones?
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2406 on: June 09, 2008, 04:12:18 AM »

If fin-de-siecle New York isn't to everyone's taste, then maybe,

A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/01/a_magnificent_catastrophe_the.html
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weezo
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« Reply #2407 on: June 09, 2008, 06:29:50 AM »

Now that looks like a book I would enjoy reading!
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Bob
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« Reply #2408 on: June 10, 2008, 01:18:43 PM »

It's really a well written and informative book. I'd go for it if we get enough people to bite. It might be out in paperback....I'll check.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #2409 on: June 11, 2008, 12:14:30 AM »

It is,

http://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Catastrophe-Tumultuous-Election-Presidential/dp/0743293177/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1213157763&sr=1-1
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weezo
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« Reply #2410 on: June 11, 2008, 12:47:10 AM »

Hope this is the chose book since I just ordered it. But it looks like a good read whether it is discussed or not. Noticed that Mark Kurlansky has another book out on the Caribbean and tried to order it but something didn't work right.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #2411 on: June 11, 2008, 03:29:58 AM »

Weezo ,Since you like Kurlanksy on books like Cod and Salt there is one I read after those a few years back "Nathaniel's Nutmeg" by Giles Milton which I think you'd like.I can't seem to find my copy just now looking about my three rooms of scattered bookshelves but I did enjoy it.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #2412 on: June 11, 2008, 03:36:08 AM »

P.S., By the way on Kurlansky do you mean"A Continent of Islands"?.If so it's one of his early books if not his first from the early 90's so maybe it's back in print or a new edition.I never read it but have read about it.
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bosox18d
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« Reply #2413 on: June 11, 2008, 03:43:15 AM »

Just looking at Amazon and he has a new book out but it's on fishing and Gloucester,MA.
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weezo
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« Reply #2414 on: June 11, 2008, 05:05:01 AM »

Bosox,

I will look into Nathanial's Nutmeg, and yes, the Kurlansky book is A Continent of Islands. I thought it was new since it recently popped up in my recommendations on Amazon and I don't remember seeing it when I bought a number of his books some months back. I enjoyed his short stories "The White Man in the Tree", which is a fun read. I enjoyed fishing in the Chesapeake Bay (when I could stand the sun), so I will probably enjoy his book on fishing out of Gloucester, Maine. His "The Big Oyster- History on the Half-shell" was also an interesting book to read. When I'm reading something heavy, as I am now with the Holocaust books, it is nice to have a Kurlansky to pick up in between when I'm just not up to the heavy stuff.

Thanks for the recommendations.
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