Alright Amateur Historians...Whatcha Reading in March
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Ledyard in his time was as well known as Columbus is now. He traveled with Cook on his third voyage, and throughout Europe, Russia, Asia, and the untrampled American Northwest. Rather an amazing figure. He left very little in the way of records but the author is doing a fair job of working around that.
Andele was a boy captured in 1866 by the Apache, who traded him to a Kiowa family who adopted and raised him.
Alas, I don't know what's going on with the touchstones.
In my search for all things Sinclair Lewis I learned of a pamphlet titled "Learn History from Sinclair Lewis" by a historian who's name escapes me at the moment. Over spring break I am going to get from the school library a book by him on the same topic.
I'd be interested in your opinion of the "Great Arizona Orphan Adbduction". Reading some Amazon reviews it seems like she didn't have a great deal of material to draw upon and I'm curious as to how she dealt with this problem and how much of an 'axe' she might have been grinding.
It's a short tract written in 1894.
After I'm done these next two weeks, I think I'll start on Keegan's The First World War, which I picked up half a year ago without having the luxury of time to read it.
I just ordered "Mission to Asia" by Christopher Dawson from ILL. It's a collection of primary sources beginning with John of Plano Carpini's 'History of the Mongols'.
(We'll have to see if the touchstones work later on. Not working now)
When I started reading The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction I thought that the author was trying to gain sainthood for the Nuns of the New York Foundling Home and the Mexican families that offered to adopt children. Then I got the same feeling about the Angelo women that lead to mob that stole the children from the adoptive families. When I got half way through it was obvious that she was looking for the best motives for every groups actions. She also looked at their worse motives. Overall I think the book was very even handed and that every party involved was treated fairly.
There was very little primary documentation about the actual events that the book is titled for and Gordon points that out several times. She had the court transcripts and newspaper accounts and very few other documents to work with. She mentioned that most newspapers were very partisan in their coverage and the headlines sh sites were very inflammatory on both sides. There was a document from the WPA oral history project that was more local legend than fact that she included to demonstrate how in just one generation details can get badly distorted. Because of the lack of documentation this was not a history like Cornelius Ryan used to write, no minute by minute details of who said and did what. Instead most of the book dealt with the events that got society to where it was during these events in 1904 and, to some extent, what changed because of them. Personally I was most interested in the strikes against the copper companies and the labor history she discussed.
Now I am starting The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap for the same history class and I have two books set aside to read over Spring Break.
I love your intelligent commentary. Particularly as you obviously understand the issues of sources. And given your description I think I'm going to have to heft this title up on top of my teetering TBR.
btw-are you getting a history degree now that you're back in college?
That's right, I am majoring in history. My wife is pushing me to go straight through to get a Masters. It is not a bad idea since I am not getting any younger and I don't have anything in particular planed to do with the degree. That's not entirely true. There are things I would like to do with a degree but I am not going to tempt fate by talking about it.
If I can be so bold... skip the MS and go straight for the PhD! You can do it!!!
**dons cheerleader outfit**
**cheers for TL**
"Before Lewis and Clark: The Story of the Chouteaus, the French Dynasty That Ruled America's Frontier" by Shirley Christian
That looks like an interesting read. I heard an interview of the author and he seems to have gotten the facts straight and not from a 2000 AD era fundamentalist play book. I wonder how the rank and file of the religious right would react to finding out that Jefferson edited out the parts of the Bible that he did not think Jesus really said? That's what I call a good Unitarian.
Class was canceled yesterday and I wasted a little time at the Half-Price Books near work. I picked up Every Man a King and A Question of Loyalty: Gen. Billy Mitchell. I am not sure how soon I will get to read them though.
Thanks for cheering me on earlier. My wife works at Miami University and she agreed with you. As she pointed out if I can get the BA and get into the Masters program I should be able to work for the University and take classes and get a stipend that will just about be as much as I make now. Plus I won't be spending 40 dollars a week commuting.
Yes I heard that interview on NPR too while I was waiting on the kids to get out of school. Went right from the drive-thru line to the library. It's a good read, and I love Jefferson's ballsy approach.
I am also reading The Landmark Herodotus to give me a change of pace. It is a very good edition of the first real history and has a map every three pages. About 75% of my reading is history. All of the stories of everything that has happened. I cannot imagine a more interesting subject. The postings here show the variety that is available.