January 2, 2012

History Bits

Marc Comtois

Here are a few historical items I've come across that piqued my interest (but not enough to devote a whole post).

In the wake of "tree gate" and all the Roger Williams talk, wouldn't you know a new book is out about him? Read an excerpt, an interview with the author and a review.

This piece from 2010 by Scott McKay on "Fighting" Bob Quinn is worth reading for those who'd like more insight into Rhode Island political history and (the legacy we still live with!).

On a lighter note: If, like me, a lot of your early reading was done via the pages of comic books, you may recall Classics Illustrated. Now they're online. If you like Fighting Bob Quinn, you'll love Fightin' Abe Lincoln!

More seriously, "Why Irish soldiers who fought Hitler hide their medals" was one of those items that had me shaking my head. In the wake of gaining their independence, I understood how the Irish continued to loathe Great Britain and that this led to Ireland being neutral during WWII. I didn't know they treated the returning war veterans (albeit technically they were "deserters") like pariahs.

Finally, I recently re-read Bernard Bailyn's To Begin the World Anew, a book of essays (it's short) concerning the American founding. I highly recommend--a good library pick. Here's the introductory essay (in a slightly different form than that found in the book).

In the most general sense, what stimulated the Founders' imagination and hence their capacity to begin the world anew was the fact that they came from outside the metropolitan establishment, with all its age-old, deeply buried, arcane entanglements and commitments. From their distant vantage point they viewed what they could see of the dominant order with a cool, critical, challenging eye, and what they saw was something atrophied, weighted down by its own complacent, self-indulgent elaboration, and vulnerable to the force of fresh energies and imaginative designs. Refusing to be intimidated by the received traditions and confident of their own integrity and creative capacities, they demanded to know why things must be the way they are; and they had the imagination, energy, and moral stature to conceive of something closer to the grain of everyday reality, and more likely to lead to human happiness.

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I would highly recommend the crazy Michelle Malkin's "In Defense of Internment"
Twenty five cents at Salvation Army...

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at January 2, 2012 11:42 AM

1. Single out a single individual from the Republican Party, which comprises over 55 million registered voters.
2. Lampoon a bad act committed by the individual.
3. Accuse the entire Party of hypocrisy based on the individual.
4. Rinse.
5. Repeat.

Crib sheet for Sammy the Democratic Troll.

Posted by: Dan at January 2, 2012 11:54 AM

Sammy always "one ups" me. At my Salvation Army, books are 20% of the cover price.

While we cannot be proud of internment, it has to be considered in terms of the times. Relatives of mine from Duplin County, NC attempted to join the Army during WWII. Our name is German and they could not produce birth certificates because the courthouse had burned. They were finally accepted on the strength of High School records. They were all sent to the South Pacific. Coincidence?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 2, 2012 11:59 AM

"I didn't know they treated the returning war veterans (albeit technically they were "deserters") like pariahs."

It has been a while since I read a lot about WWII, but it seems to me that many Irish could be found guilty of collaborating with the Nazis. Some such stories fade, while others such as "French Resistance" and the "Cross of Lorraine" are elevated to the point that they have no relation to reality. Some relatives who participated in the "Invasion of North Africa" to "free the French" reported being fired on by the French until it was determined that the Americans would succeed.

Try "Trading with the Enemy", American corporations (GM, Ford)operating in Nazi Germany. It is, of course, a "point of view" tome, I assume certain facts are avoided. But it does give one pause to wonder.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 2, 2012 12:13 PM

Posted by Lilu_sank

A tempting offer, but I suspect it is really Sammy attempting to divert the course of conversation.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 3, 2012 9:24 AM
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