History Buzz: June 2009

History Buzz

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor/Features Editor at HNN. She has a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

June 29, 2009: Historian’s Remember Michael Jackson’s Historical Impact

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Rock, Pop Historian John Covach Assesses Michael Jackson’s Impact: “Michael Jackson is arguably the most important figure in 1980s popular music…. Younger fans of pop music may have to be reminded how incredibly powerful Michael Jackson’s music was in the 1980s. More than that, Jackson defined “cool” during those years. The single glove, his patented moonwalk step, that slightly rebellious yet gentle demeanor—all this youthful charm slipped away over time, as it does for all of us. But at the height of his powers, Michael Jackson was one of the world’s great entertainers and a pivotal figure in the history of American music. That’s how he should be remembered.” – Rochester University, 6-25-09
  • John Covach “Outpouring over Michael Jackson unlike anything since Princess Di”: “One reason Michael Jackson’s death is having such a wide impact is because his music had such a wide, and even sustained impact,” says John Covach, a music historian at the University of Rochester. “Few artists have so completely saturated the market as Jackson did during the 1980s. It’s comparable to the Beatles in the 60s or Elvis in the 50s. When an artist or performer is so well known and loved, the reaction to his or her passing is bound to be strong and widespread.” “One important difference between Jackson’s career and those of many others is that he was a child star who became an adult star – a very difficult transition to pull off,” says Professor Covach. “Even those who were too young to be fans of Jackson when he was a child have seen the clips of him performing with a mastery far beyond his years. The adult Michael Jackson that fans loved in the 1980s thus already had a bit of history – people felt like they knew him already.” – CS Monitor, 6-29-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

  • Niall Ferguson: Economic historian partnering on sequel to best selling strategy game ‘Making History’ – Gamezone.com (6-25-09)
  • Ed Ayers teaching high school teachers about the South: While summer is often believed to be a time of rest and relaxation for K-12 teachers, more than two dozen high school teachers from 20 states will spend next week as students of “The South in American History,” a course taught by University of Richmond president Edward L. Ayers. The course is part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History…. – Press Release–University of Richmond (6-26-09)
  • American Historical Association: AHA protests Russian attempt to suppress history – AHA website, (6-17-09)
  • National Coalition for History: “Ask Congress to Increase Funding for the Office of Museum Services” Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (6-24-09)

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

  • Sean Wilentz takes on the new Lincoln establishment: Sean Wilentz in a long article reviewing books about Lincoln – The New Republic, 7-15-09

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Gavin Weightman: The Modernizers THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONARIES The Making of the Modern World 1776-1914NYT, 6-28-09
  • Gavin Weightman: THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONARIES The Making of the Modern World 1776-1914, Ecerpt- NYT, 6-28-09
  • Christopher Bigsby: Liked but Not Well Liked ARTHUR MILLER 1915-1962NYT, 6-28-09
  • Christopher Bigsby: ARTHUR MILLER 1915-1962, First Chapter – NYT, 6-28-09
  • Stephan Talty: HISTORY A Silent Killer THE ILLUSTRIOUS DEAD The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon’s Greatest ArmyWaPo, 6-28-09
  • Jackson Lears: Bursting into the Modern Age REBIRTH OF A NATION The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920 WaPo, 6-28-09
  • Nelson Lichtenstein: New Book by UCSB History Scholar Examines Wal-Mart as a Business Model The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business (Metropolitan Books) – News announcement at the website of USC (6-24-09)

QUOTES:

  • Jeremi Suri “UW-Madison Makes An Unlikely Ally: The Military”: “It really is a group effort to reach out to the military in a way we never have before, at least not in the last 20 to 30 years,” UW-Madison history professor Jeremi Suri said. “We’ve actually in the last few months, out of circumstance, made enormous headway. … We’re getting beyond this really silly notion people have that we’re antimilitary.” – AP, 6-28-09
  • David Eisenbach and David J. Garrow “Why the Gay Rights Movement Has No National Leader”: “The issues of gay rights are mainly state issues, so the focus for activism is going to be on the local level,” said David Eisenbach, a lecturer in history at Columbia University and the author of “Gay Power: An American Revolution.”
    “They see dispersal as a great thing, that it’s better not to have a concentration or too much attention overinvested in one individual,” said David J. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who has written about the civil rights and women’s rights movements. “The speed and breadth of change has been just breathtaking,” he added. “But it’s happened without a Martin Luther King.” – NYT, 6-21-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • Kira Gale: Lewis and Clark in murder mystery 200 years after their final expedition: Meriwether Lewis, one half of the Lewis and Clark explorer duo who first reached the Pacific by land, may have been murdered, say descendants who want his body exhumed.
    Historian Kira Gale, co-author of a new book The Death of Meriwether Lewis, with Professor James Starrs, a forensic pathologist at George Washington University, said: “It’s a tangled web of politics, conspiracies and expansionism.” – Telegraph, UK, 6-29-09
  • Historians’ Advice for Dick Cheney on Writing His Memoirs: Former Vice President Dick Cheney has just signed a deal for his memoirs, reportedly worth around $2 million. President Bush, Laura Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice and Henry Paulson are also busy writing their takes on their roles in history. The political memoir, either as a summation of the author’s importance or payback to antagonists, has long been seen as a transition back to private life. – NYT (6-27-09)
  • Meet Britain’s young new historians: …They have been an actor, an artist and a TV presenter, are aged between 25 and 35 and they all have book contracts. One wrote his account of the year 1381 in a corner of the trendy London members’ club, Soho House, during leave from his day job at a men’s magazine. And rather than being looked down upon by the old guard, they are highly regarded by the academic establishment: David Starkey is considered a mentor by two of them; Simon Sebag Montefiore by others…. – Oliver Marre in the Guardian (6-28-09)

INTERVIEWS:

  • Wright’s Legacy at Dartmouth College: “No one in my family had gone to college,” Wright said. “And I had never taken it seriously… going into the Marines after high school was one way of delaying going into the mines or working for John Deere or the Kraft cheese plant.”… “I’m a student of history… American history,” Wright said. “I think I’ve had a fascination with history even when I was in elementary school. I recall loving history and reading history texts and there was a story which I found fascinating and enjoyable and I just liked to read history.”… – WCAX, 6-29-09
  • Simon Schama: My Secret Life: Simon Schama, historian, 64 Interview in the Independent (UK) (6-27-09)

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Mark Weiner: Legal Historian Is Named 2009-2010 Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Scholar: Will be honored in February 2010 at Rutgers University in Newark – Rutgers, 6-23-09
  • Historian Gerhard Weinberg: To Receive 2009 Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement – PRnewswire (6-22-09)
  • Felix V. Matos Rodriguez: Historian Will Lead a Community College in the Bronx Chronicle of Higher Ed (6-26-09)
  • Kemal Karpat: Turkish Parliament bestows historian with award – http://www.hurriyet.com.tr (6-27-09)

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • W.Va. Civil War group debuts at Harpers Ferry Sesquicentennial of John Brown’s Raid kicks off – Journal News, 6-26-09
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • Niall Ferguson: The Ascent of Money Brings The Economic Crisis Down to Earth on PBS each Wednesday in July – About.com, 6-29-09
  • ‘History Detectives’ focus on Oak Ridge: Oak Ridge and Knoxville will be in the television spotlight over the next two weeks as PBS’ “History Detectives” investigate the historical significance of two mysterious letters contributed by area residents. Cast members of the television show, “History Detectives,” delve into the “Manhattan Project Patent.” – Oak Ridger, 6-29-09
  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS History Detectives: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Secrets of the Founding Fathers” – Monday, June 29, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How Bruce Lee Changed the World” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked ” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon – Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 8-10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Band Of Brothers” Marathon – Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 3-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ben Franklin” – Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Stealing Lincoln’s Body” – Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Kennedy Assassination: Beyond Conspiracy” – Friday, July 3, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Lincoln Assassination” – Friday, July 3, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Secrets of the Founding Fathers” – Friday, July 3, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Secret Societies” – Friday, July 3, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” – Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Presidents” Marathon – Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 8-12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Revolution” Marathon – Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 8am-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Mysteries of the Freemasons” – Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Presidents” Marathon – Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 8-12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Crime Wave: 18 Months of Mayhem” – Monday, July 6, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • Michael McMenamin: Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, July 1, 2009
  • Elinor Burkett: Golda (Reprint), July 1, 2009
  • Mike Evans (Editor): Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, July 7, 2009
  • Roger S. Bagnall: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, July 14, 2009
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World (Reprint), July 14, 2009
  • Buzz Aldrin: Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, July 23, 2009
  • Alice Morse Earle: Child Life in Colonial Times (Paperback), July 23, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Paperback), September 8, 2009
  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009

DEPARTED:

Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:29 AM

June 22, 2009: The State Department Improves the Office of the Historian

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

  • Thomas Sugrue: Responds to criticism of his book, citing the myth of the white backlash Sweet Land of LibertyDemocracy (6-15-09)
  • John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr respond to their critics: While we were writing Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America, based on Alexander Vassiliev’s notebooks, we anticipated a hostile reaction from battered but still rancorous remnants of the pro-Communist left in the academic world and partisan pundits. Together they have denied for more than fifty years that Soviet espionage in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s had much significance, denounced claims linking the Communist Party of the USA (CPUSA) with Soviet espionage, and proclaimed the innocence of many of those identified as Soviet agents…. – Washington Decoded (6-10-09)
  • Martin Kramer: Khalidi’s impact on Obama – Sandbox (6-13-09)
  • Deborah Lipstadt was at Holocaust Museum when shooting took place: I write this from my office in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum where I have been privileged to have had a fellowship for the past semester. Up until Wednesday at 12:50 p.m., it had been a perfect visit. Everything a scholar could hope for: exceptional scholarly resources and a magnificent museum staff…. – Deborah Lipstadt in a commentary at CNN.com (6-12-09)
  • Garry Wills has nice things to say about Bill Buckley – Atlantic (7-1-09)

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Gillian Gill: Married With Children WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, RivalsNYT, 6-21-09
  • Gillian Gill: WE TWO Victoria and Albert: Rulers, Partners, Rivals, Excerpt – NYT, 6-21-09
  • Donald McRae: Darrow for the Defense THE LAST TRIALS OF CLARENCE DARROWWaPo, 6-21-09
  • Clay Risen: HISTORY A Country Shaken A NATION ON FIRE America in the Wake of the King Assassination WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Karen Greenberg: Before Guantanamo Was Above the Law THE LEAST WORST PLACE Guantanamo’s First 100 Days WaPo, 6-21-09
  • Frank Gannon on Kevin Mattson: Days of ‘Malaise’ Ah, the Jimmy Carter era: presidential scolding, gas lines, Studio 54 and the ‘killer rabbit’ WSJ, 6-20-09
  • David Beito, Linda Royster Beito: Say bias has excluded civil rights leader T.R.M. Howard from pantheon Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard’s Fight for Civil Rights and Economic PowerHarper’s (6-11-09)

QUOTES:

  • Allan Brandt talks about the decline of big tobacco: “My own view is that in many ways, the tobacco industry invented the kind of special-interest lobbying that has become so characteristic of the late 20th- and earlier 21st-century American politics,” said Allan Brandt, dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. “Today obviously, that lobby is much less powerful and successful than it was a generation ago,” said Brandt, author of “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America.”… – CNN (6-19-09)
  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom “Debunking the Shanghai myth”: Thus says noted historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom, who debunks the “East meets West” image of Shanghai. This label fails to capture the multitude of Western voices and Chinese viewpoints facing off and converging there, argues the author of Global Shanghai 1850-2010: A History In Fragments, published this year. “Global” Shanghai today is as much a hotpot for East-meets-East as West-meets-West. Yet, Professor Wasserstrom, who teaches history at the University of California, Irvine, himself was once victim to what he calls the “fairy tale versions of Shanghai”. He confesses to having felt “let down” during his first two visits to Shanghai in the 1980s, when he was confronted with “the contrast between the drab city I found…and the exciting one I had conjured up in my imagination”. Malaysian Insider, 6-21-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • Bradley R. Simpson “Historian Claims West Backed Post-Coup Mass Killings in ’65″: Speaking on the opening day of an international conference in Singapore to discuss arguably the darkest chapter in Indonesia’s history, Bradley R. Simpson, an assistant professor at Princeton University and an expert on Indonesia, said that the US and British governments did everything in their power to ensure that the Indonesian army would carry out the mass killings…. – http://thejakartaglobe.com (6-17-09)
  • Kathryn Olmsted: UC Davis historian catalogs US secrets, lies and conspiracies Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11Press Release (6-17-09)

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. “Historian says Golden Horseshoe started path to success”: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., began his ascent as a renowned historian by winning what he would later call the “the Nobel Prize of eighth graders in West Virginia,” the Golden Horseshoe…. – Charleston Daily Mail, 6-19-09
  • Patricia McMahon Houser: An assistant professor of geography at Central Connecticut State University, is Putnam’s new county historian…. – The Journal News, 6-4-09

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • BBC to launch new series on history of Christianity – Religious Intelligence, 6-19-09
  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Violent Earth: Nature’s Fury: New England’s Killer Hurricane” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Heavy Metal” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Crumbling of America” – Monday, June 22, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How Bruce Lee Changed the World” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked ” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Next Nostradamus” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Waters of Death” – Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Decoding The Past: Mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle” – Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rome: Engineering an Empire” – Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hippies ” – Friday, June 19, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s Tech” Marathon- Friday, June 19, 2009 at 4-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Battle 360″ Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 3-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon – Friday, June 26, 2009 at 8-11pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” – Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 12pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” Marathon- Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 2-7pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • Michael McMenamin: Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, July 1, 2009
  • Elinor Burkett: Golda (Reprint), July 1, 2009
  • Mike Evans (Editor): Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, July 7, 2009
  • Roger S. Bagnall: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, July 14, 2009
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World (Reprint), July 14, 2009
  • Buzz Aldrin: Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, July 23, 2009
  • Alice Morse Earle: Child Life in Colonial Times (Paperback), July 23, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Paperback), September 8, 2009
  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009

DEPARTED:

Posted on Monday, June 22, 2009 at 12:38 AM

June 15, 2009: The Future of Diplomatic History & The Holocaust Museum Shooting

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Avinoam Patt: University Of Hartford Professor Says Holocaust Museum Shooting Is Evidence Anti-Semitism Still Exists: “The museum is very threatening to deniers. It is not just a memorial but a museum that makes a statement to nearly 2 million visitors a year, educating people about the cancer of genocide,” said Avinoam Patt, who teaches American and European Jewish history…. – Hartford Courant, 6-11-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

    On This Day in History….

    This Week in History…. June , 2009

  • John Lewis Gaddis “June 1979, the Nine Days of John Paul II”: Thirty years ago, the Bishop of Rome returned to Poland for the first time since his recent election to the papacy. America’s premier Cold War historian, John Lewis Gaddis of Yale, is not ambiguous in his judgment of what happened next: “When John Paul II kissed the ground at the Warsaw airport on June 2, 1979, he began the process by which communism in Poland—and ultimately everywhere—would come to an end.” Professor Gaddis is right: the Nine Days of John Paul II, June 2-10, 1979, were an epic moment on which the history of the 20th century pivoted, and in a more humane direction…. – Catholic Star Herald, 6-11-09

IN THE NEWS:

  • Great Caesar’s Ghost! Are Traditional History Courses Vanishing?: To the pessimists evidence that the field of diplomatic history is on the decline is everywhere. Job openings on the nation’s college campuses are scarce, while bread-and-butter courses like the Origins of War and American Foreign Policy are dropping from history department postings. And now, in what seems an almost gratuitous insult, Diplomatic History, the sole journal devoted to the subject, has proposed changing its title…. – NYT, 6-10-09
  • Australian National University professor David Horner: Professor to write ASIO history: ASIO has commissioned an historian to write an unclassified history of the spy agency as its new headquarters take shape…. – The Age, Australia, 6-12-09
  • John Hope Franklin: Brooklyn College Celebrates Historian and Announces Award and Conference in His Name – Brooklyn College, 6-8-09
  • Randolph-Macon Woman’s College Professor and Historian Margaret Pertzoff: Wintergreen Farm owner leaves $1.4M bequest to Randolph College – Nelson County Times, 6-

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

  • Paul Krugman vs. Neill Ferguson: Letting the Data Speak – NYT, 6-16-09
  • Derek J. Penslar: Contested Space Maps in Teaching About Israel – Shma, 6-12-09

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Michael Kazin on Simon Schama: What So Proudly He Hails THE AMERICAN FUTURE A HistoryWaPo, 6-14-09
  • Simon Schama: THE AMERICAN FUTURE A History, Chapter One – WaPo, 6-14-09
  • Simon Schama: Despite the Crises, Seeing a Star-Spangled Destiny in the Mirror of Time THE AMERICAN FUTURE A HistoryNYT, 6-9-09
  • Simon Schama: The American Future: A History Historian Simon Schama offers a portrait of America with its complexities and contradictions. – CS Monitor, 6-15-09
  • Vincent J. Cannato: American Passage: The History of Ellis Island ‘American Passage': It’s Ellis Island’s history, and ours, too – USA Today, 6-15-09
  • BEVERLY GAGE on Jackson Lears: American Macho REBIRTH OF A NATION The Making of Modern America, 1877-1920NYT, 6-14-09
  • Gillian Tett: Rewriting the Rules FOOL’S GOLD How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J. P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a CatastropheNYT, 6-14-09
  • Gillian Tett: FOOL’S GOLD How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J. P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street Greed and Unleashed a Catastrophe, First Chapter – NYT, 6-14-09
  • Chris Bray on Doug Stanton: The Stuff of Which Movies Are Made HORSE SOLDIERS The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in AfghanistanWaPo, 6-14-09
  • Robert Fulford on D.D. Guttenplan, John Earl Haynes: Two views on I.F. Stone American Radical: The Life and Times of I.F. Stone, Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in AmericaNational Post, 6-14-09

QUOTES:

  • Bill Clinton: Historian John Hope Franklin was ‘angry, happy man': The late historian John Hope Franklin was “an angry, happy man” whose work as the head of a commission on race helped pull the country together, former President Bill Clinton said Thursday. Clinton was one of a dozen speakers at a service at Duke Chapel to honor Franklin and his wife, Aurelia, who would have celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary Thursday….
    “Now, we’re laughing,” Clinton said. “But the man was 80 years old. He was perhaps the most distinguished living American historian. He did write this in a funny way. And he wrote it in a way that you knew he didn’t think it was funny. He was a genius at being a passionate rationalist. An angry, happy man. A happy, angry man.”…
    In 1997, Clinton appointed Franklin to lead his Initiative on Race. Because of that report and Franklin’s work on it, “we are a different country,” Clinton said. “For 10 years, we’ve been working to become a communitarian country. After being known as a country know by our divisions from 1968 to 2008, people know us as a country known by our unity. His life and work in no small measure helped to produce that.” – AP
  • Michal Belknap “Get a Life? Not If You Want to Be One of the Nine The debate building up to the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings suggests that real-world experiences are of suspect value in administering the law. Really?”: Michal Belknap, a historian and law professor at California Western School of Law, is writing a biography of Justice Tom Clark, who was appointed to the court in 1949 after practicing oil and gas law. “As far as I’m aware,” Belknap said, “nobody ever asked him whether his background as an oil and gas lawyer would influence his thinking in oil and gas cases. The reason they gave them to him was that he was the only person who could understand those cases.”… – MillerMcCune.com

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • Alex Roland: After four decades, is America over the moon?: Four decades after the first lunar landing, a series of new missions revives debate over their value – The Arizona Republic, 6-14-09
  • Christopher Howse “Why Queen Mary wanted to burn: Queen Mary’s abbreviated reign can now be, if not forgiven, at least understood, says Howse…. – Telegraph, UK, 6-12-09
  • Divided We Stand: What would California look like broken in three? Or a Republic of New England? With the federal government reaching for ever more power, redrawing the map is enticing, says Paul Starobin… – WSJ, 6-13-09
  • Jean Libby: John Brown’s legacy hasn’t changed; America has – AP, 6-13-09

INTERVIEWS:

  • For Timothy Garton Ash, Europe Means Shared History: What does it mean to be European, and what is Europe’s future? For answers, RFE/RL correspondent Ahto Lobjakas spoke to the British historian and essayist Timothy Garton Ash in the Estonian capital Tallinn after attending “Rethinking Enemies of Open Society,” a forum organized by the Open Estonia Foundation…. – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 6-7-09

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Dr. William Anthony Hay: Elected as a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Historical Society after writing about a historical period that had yet to receive much scholarly attention, “The Whig Revival: 1808 – 1830″…. – Starkville Daily News, 6-15-09
  • Historian Stephen B. Oates was honored recently with a lifetime achievement award from the Abraham Lincoln Group of New York: “I was ecstatic,” Oates said. “It wasn’t anything I expected.” Oates who has received numerous awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award said, “This probably tops them all.” – MassLive.com, 6-14-09
  • Peter Bol, Vincent Brown, Ann Harrington: Six faculty named Walter Channing Cabot Fellows Chosen for accomplishments in literature, history, or art – Harvard University Gazette, 6-11-09
  • Susan Cahan: Art historian selected for newly created deanship: Yale College Dean Mary Miller announced Thursday the appointment of Susan Cahan, the associate dean for academic affairs of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the newly created position of associate dean for the arts in Yale College…. – Yale Daily News, 6-11-09
  • The historian and scholar and principal of Aberdeen University, Professor C Duncan Rice, receives a knighthood: Three university vice-chancellors and a head teacher have received knighthoods in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list…. – BBC, 6-12-09

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

  • Harvey Kaye: UW-Green Bay professor discussed Thomas Paine on PBS program “Bill Moyers’ Journal” – UW-Green Bay, 6-9-09

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Clash of the Cavemen” – Monday, June 15, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang” – Monday, June 15, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People” – Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: The Road to Nowhere” – Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Real Tomb Hunters: Snakes, Curses, and Booby Traps” – Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ancient Discoveries: Ancient New York” – Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Rome: Engineering an Empire” – Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hippies ” – Friday, June 19, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s Tech” Marathon- Friday, June 19, 2009 at 4-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 03 – Hunters Become The Hunted” – Friday, June 19, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “UFO Hunters” Marathon – Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Band of Brothers” Marathon – Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 1:30-8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Secret Access: Air Force One ” – Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Presidents: 1885-1913″ – Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Andrew Jackson” – Saturday, June 20, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 04 – African Monsoon” – Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • Michael McMenamin: Becoming Winston Churchill: The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor, July 1, 2009
  • Elinor Burkett: Golda (Reprint), July 1, 2009
  • Mike Evans (Editor): Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World, July 7, 2009
  • Roger S. Bagnall: Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, July 14, 2009
  • David Maraniss: Rome 1960: The Summer Olympics That Stirred the World (Reprint), July 14, 2009
  • Buzz Aldrin: Magnificent Desolation: The Long Journey Home from the Moon, July 23, 2009
  • Alice Morse Earle: Child Life in Colonial Times (Paperback), July 23, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (Paperback), September 8, 2009
  • Jon Krakauer: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman, September 15, 2009

DEPARTED:

  • Philip D. Curtin: Longtime Johns Hopkins University professor reshaped the history of the African slave trade – WaPk, 6-14-09
  • Him Mark Lai: Dies at 83; scholar was called dean of Chinese American studies – LAT, 6-14-09
  • PATRICIA MARCIA CRAWFORD, HISTORIAN: Inquisitive woman for the ages – The Age, Australia, 6-12-09
  • Professor Perez Zagorin: Who has died on April 26 aged 88, was an American historian who specialised in the English Civil War but was shunned by the academic establishment in his own country during the McCarthy era… – Telegraph, UK, 6-9-09

Posted on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 12:57 AM

June 8, 2009: Remembering D-Day’s 65th Anniversary

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Emmanuel Thiebot “D-Day+ 65 years: Obama set to make Normandy landing”: Emmanuel Thiebot, historian at Memorial Center for History museum near Caen, says Allies did not expect the kind of resistance offered by the Germans. “The Allies weren’t expecting such resistance. There was a large difference between the Allied plans and what happened,” Mr. Thiebot says. “War crimes would mean a targeting of the city or civilians,” says Thiebot. “The bombing was a side-effect of the war strategy, not a targeting.” Nonetheless, he adds, “Asking new questions is always a good thing in history … for many years these were taboo subjects.”… – CS Monitor, 6-6-09
  • Antony Beevor: ‘History has not emphasised enough the suffering of French civilians during the War’ – Independent UK, 6-6-09
  • Terry Copp “D-Day’s bloody toll unclear 65 years later 5,000 Canadians died as Normandy campaign continued until August”: “No one could possibly have kept track of who was killed or missing that day,” says Wilfrid Laurier University historian Terry Copp. “Landing craft were emerging from the mist, these kids were scrambling across the beach under fire. All they could do was run, dodge bullets, pray and get to the beach wall.” But with scholarly “world-class research,” Canadians have tried to get the numbers right, says Copp, author of the 2003 book Fields of Fire: The Canadians in Normandy. “There’s been no similar effort by the British or Americans. Various estimates have been put forward, but I’ve never seen a breakdown as thorough as that provided by Stacey.”… – Toronto Star, 6-6-09

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

  • Col. Sergei Kovalyov “Russian military historian blames Poland for WWII”: “Everyone who has studied the history of World War II without bias knows that the war began because of Poland’s refusal to satisfy Germany’s claims,” he writes. Kovalyov called the demands “quite reasonable.” He observed: “The overwhelming majority of residents of Danzig, cut off from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, were Germans who sincerely wished for reunification with their historical homeland.”… – AP, 6-5-09

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • MAX BOOT on Andrew Roberts: Gang of Four MASTERS AND COMMANDERS How Four Titans Won the War in the West, 1941-1945: A joint biography of Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and their senior military advisers Alan Brooke and George C. Marshall…. – NYT, 6-7-09
  • Vincent J. Cannato: Weeding Out the Weak AMERICAN PASSAGE The History of Ellis IslandWaPo, 6-7-09

QUOTES:

  • Andrew Roberts “‘World war three? That’s already happened’ Why don’t our children know our history?”: “It just takes your breath away,” said acclaimed historian Andrew Roberts, author of The Storm Of War, a new history of the second world war, which is published in August. “How can people not be interested in what their family did in the war? It seems to fly against human nature to not show at least some curiosity about something like that. “Families sharing stories is vital. It is not always objective when it comes to history, you’ll find a lot of grandfathers saying they won the second world war single-handedly, but what it does is spark a general interest. A healthy interest in the greatest events of our times is an absolute prerequisite to make informed decisions today.”… – Sunday Herald, 6-7-09
  • Judy Yung “Budget cuts threaten ‘Ellis Island of the West'”: “Can you imagine recommending Ellis Island be closed? That was our Plymouth rock, for our history as an ethnic American group,” said historian Judy Yung. “It would mean a part of our past is being closed to us.” Yung picnicked on Angel Island as a high school student, unaware her father had been detained there for a month in 1921. Like many others, after his release he never discussed Angel Island, said Yung…. – AP, 6-7-09

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • Andrew S. Dolkart “A Starter Sanctuary”: CHAPTER 1 Robert Henderson Robertson designed what is today St. John the Martyr Church, built in 1887. It was the first phase of a larger church never completed… – NYT, 6-7-09
  • Margaret A. Weitekamp: A Star Is Reborn: Smithsonian Gets Piece of Astroland History – WaPo, 6-5-09
  • Simon Rawidowicz: Historian is the subject of a book about Israel – Jerry Haber at The Magnes Zionist (blog) (6-2-09)

INTERVIEWS:

  • For Timothy Garton Ash, Europe Means Shared History: What does it mean to be European, and what is Europe’s future? For answers, RFE/RL correspondent Ahto Lobjakas spoke to the British historian and essayist Timothy Garton Ash in the Estonian capital Tallinn after attending “Rethinking Enemies of Open Society,” a forum organized by the Open Estonia Foundation…. – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty, 6-7-09
  • Father Marvin O’Connell Looking to the past: Father Marvin O’Connell, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame and a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, recently sat down with a Catholic Spirit reporter to discuss his new book, “Pilgrims to the Northland: The Archdiocese of St. Paul, 1840-1962.” – Catholic Spirit, 6-4-09
  • Olivia Remie Constable: Interview with the Director of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute – http://medievalnews.blogspot.com (6-1-09)
  • Anthony Grafton: Deception as a Way of Knowing: A Conversation with Anthony Grafton – Cabinet (Spring) (5-1-09)

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Light T. Cummins: Austin College Professor Named Texas State Historian – KTEN News, 6-6-09
  • Jonathan Reed Winkler “Author to receive Roosevelt Naval History prize”: The 2009 Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize will be awarded to Jonathan Reed Winkler for his book “Nexus: Strategic Communications and American Security in World War I” (Harvard University Press, 2008). – Poughkeepsie Journal, 6-5-09
  • Daniel W. Barefoot: Heritage Award Ceremony: On Sunday, June 14, 2009, at 3:00 pm in the Lincoln Cultural Center Timken Performance Hall, the Lincoln County Historical Association and Lincoln County Historic Properties Commission will honor Dan Barefoot with the 2009 Heritage Award. – Lincoln Tribune, 6-7-09

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • June 11-14, 2009: The ninth annual “Reacting to the Past” Institute at Barnard College (New York), Annual summer history institute at Barnard College – Source: Press Release (4-21-09)
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “Egypt: Engineering an Empire” – Monday, June 8, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: Underground Apocalypse” – Monday, June 8, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: 10 – Beneath Vesuvius”, “Cities Of The Underworld: Maya Underground” – Monday, June 8, 2009 at 5-7pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Hillbilly: The Real Story” – Monday, June 8, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 02 – First Victim” – Monday, June 8, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The Dark Ages” – Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Barbarians II: Saxons” – Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: Viking Underground” – Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Seven Signs of the Apocalypse” – Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Armed & Defenseless” – Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Beltway Unbuckled” – Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “The White House: Behind Closed Doors ” – Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Making a Buck” – Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Titanic’s Final Moments: Missing Pieces” – Friday, June 12, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Cities Of The Underworld: Alcatraz Down Under” – Friday, June 12, 2009 at 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Patton 360: Siege Warfare” – Friday, June 12, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 02 – First Victim” – Friday, June 12, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “UFO Hunters” Marathon – Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Modern Marvels: Walt Disney World.” – Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 03 – Hunters Become The Hunted” – Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Vincent J. Cannato: American Passage: The History of Ellis Island, June 9, 2009
  • Larry Tye: Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, June 9, 2009
  • Matthew Aid: The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency, June 9, 2009
  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009

DEPARTED:

Posted on Monday, June 8, 2009 at 2:46 AM

June 1, 2009: Annette Gordon-Reed wins the George Washington Book Prize

HISTORY BUZZ:

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS:

BIGGEST NEWS STORIES:

  • Annette Gordon-Reed: $50,000 George Washington Book Prize Awarded to Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello – Press Release–Washington College (5-29-09)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: Add Washington Book Prize to the ‘Hemingses’ Haul The Hemingses of Monticello: An American FamilyWaPo (5-29-09)

THIS WEEK IN HISTORY:

IN THE NEWS:

OP-EDs & BLOGS:

REVIEWS & FIRST CHAPTERS:

  • Edmund S. Morgan: Celebrating Quiet Heroism AMERICAN HEROES Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America Herein a collection of 17 essays written over a span of some 70 years, three previously unpublished and 14 previously uncollected in book form, by one of the most distinguished and influential historians of Colonial America. It is the 18th book Edmund S. Morgan has published in his 93 years (he also has edited five others) and further evidence of the depth and breadth of his research, the nimbleness of his mind and his willingness to dissent from received wisdom…. – WaPo, 5-31-09
  • Jill Jonnes: Lightning Rods and Sideshows EIFFEL’S TOWER And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a CountNYT, 5-31-09
  • Michael Shapiro: Squeeze Play BOTTOM OF THE NINTH Branch Rickey, Casey Stengel, and the Daring Scheme to Save Baseball From ItselfNYT, 5-31-09
  • Simon Schama: Writer Simon Schama envisions The American Future’ by studying the past THE AMERICAN FUTURE A HistoryCleveland Plain-Dealer, 5-31-09
  • Iain Fenlon: History and function of Venice’s great piazza excavated: be there or be square Piazza San MarcoIrish Times, 6-1-09
  • Michael Novak: George Washington Urged American Governors to Imitate Christ Washington’s God: Religion, Liberty, and the Father of Our CountryCNSnews.com (5-31-09)
  • Steven Hahn: A new book by historian takes up the hidden history of African American politics and the politics of writing history The Political Worlds of Slavery and FreedomU. of Penn. website (Click here to watch video.), (5-1-09)

QUOTES:

  • Nelson Lichtenstein “GM boom years full of big-time success”: Nelson Lichtenstein — a labor history professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of “The Most Dangerous Man in Detroit,” a 1995 biography of Reuther — noted constant change is characteristic of the economy that produced GM. “Capitalism is an unstable system,” he said. “Just ask the ox cart builders of England or the radio assemblers of Camden.” But Lichtenstein added: “As one who has studied how the UAW battled GM for decades and decades, I never emotionally thought it would go into bankruptcy.” – Detroit Free Press, 5-31-09
  • Robert E. Wright “Real Money Men”: Prof. Robert E. Wright, a financial historian at New York University, suggested changing the definition to real, or inflation-adjusted, dollars. In that case, one can make an argument for John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), the fur trader and Manhattan real estate magnate. “Undoubtedly a New Yorker, Astor was worth about $20 million nominal upon his death,” Professor Wright said in an e-mail message. Depending on the method of calculation used, that was the equivalent of $421 million to $119 billion today. The results vary widely depending on the goods and services one compares from different eras, but if one chooses the method that produces the highest figure, some 18th-century New Yorker might have hit one billion even earlier, Professor Wright said. – NYT, 5-29-09
  • Tom Segev “Israeli historian praises German democracy”: “The most important reason for the success of democracy is that the majority of Germans – though not always voluntarily – took responsibility for the crimes of the Nazi regime, the war and in particular the Holocaust,” Segev wrote in the left-leaning liberal newspaper Haaretz. “Most Germans have drawn the right lessons from their past, among them the defence of civil rights and the limits on the army.” – www.thelocal.de, (5-24-09)

PROFILES & FEATURES:

  • >Andrew Roberts, Richard Overy: How will history judge this decade? While journalists write about ‘the moment,’ historians,who write about longer trends, say it is too early to tellhow far-reaching the effects of the noughties may be… – Guardian UK, 5-29-09
  • LSU’s T. Harry Williams Oral History Center: Center goes to the source to collect area histories – The Advocate, 5-31-09
  • Stan Sandler: “Stan the History Man” – Fay Observer, 5-30-09
  • Alan Houston: UCSD professor finds a collection of Franklin letters in the British Library – Del Mar Times, 5-29-09
  • Zachary Martin: Passsion for history and Kennedy intrigue leads to new book for Fairhaven native The Mindless Menace of Violence: Robert F. Kennedy’s Vision and the Fierce Urgency of NowSouth Coast Today, 5-28-09
  • New York State’s hidden treasure- town historians – www.examiner.com, (5-24-09)

INTERVIEWS:

  • Annette Gordon-Reed: Add Washington Book Prize to the ‘Hemingses’ Haul Interview The Hemingses of Monticello: An American FamilyWaPo (5-29-09)
  • Niall Ferguson “Ireland set to go bust”: “The idea that countries don’t go bust is a joke,” said Niall Ferguson, Harvard professor and author of The Ascent of Money. “The debt trap may be about to spring” he said, “for countries that have created large stimulus packages in order to stimulate their economies.” His chosen prime candidate to go bust is “Ireland, followed by Italy and Belgium, and UK is not too far behind”…. – Belfast Telegraph, 5-29-09
  • Ric Burns: Interviewed about new PBS Indian history documentary – Mother Jones (5-29-09)

HONORS, AWARDED &APPOINTED:

  • Annette Gordon-Reed: $50,000 George Washington Book Prize Awarded to Reed for The Hemingses of Monticello – Press Release–Washington College (5-29-09)
  • Annette Gordon-Reed: Add Washington Book Prize to the ‘Hemingses’ Haul The Hemingses of Monticello: An American FamilyWaPo (5-29-09)
  • Ann Blair, Henry Charles Lea Professor of History: One of four faculty to join FAS’s teaching elite – Named Harvard College Professors in five-year appointment – Harvard University, 5-28-09
  • Ronald W. Walker, Richard E. Turley and Glen M. Leonard: A long-awaited book on the infamous Mountain Meadows Massacre has received the Best Book Award from the Mormon History Association Massacre at Mountain MeadowsMormon Times, (5-23-09)

ANNOUNCEMENTS & SPOTTED:

  • Steven T. Usdin: The Rosenberg Archive, fascinating electronic archive of primary source documents about the Rosenberg case now online – Rosenberg Archive (Wilson Center) (5-28-09)
  • Mary Rubin “Historian says Virgin Mary made into ‘normal mum’ to widen Christianity’s appeal”: Speaking at the Hay Festival in Wales, Mary Rubin, the author of Mother of God – A History of the Virgin Mary, said the transformation took place in the 11th and 12th century, with images of her knitting and cooking…. – Source: Telegraph (UK) (5-27-09)

EVENTS CALENDAR:

  • June 2009: National Archives Continues Year-Long 75th Anniversary Celebration in June with H.W. Brands, Donald Ritchie, Robert Remini – Press Newswire, 5-28-09
  • June 11-14, 2009: The ninth annual “Reacting to the Past” Institute at Barnard College (New York), Annual summer history institute at Barnard College – Source: Press Release (4-21-09)
  • August 1, 2009: An Evening with Ken Burns: Kens Burns has been making documentary films for more than 30 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, he has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of Burns’ films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.” This evening will afford Chautauqua an opportunity to hear one of the most influential documentary makers of all time. Chautauqua Institutition. For more info 716-357-6200. – Jamestown Post-Journal, 5-21-09

ON TV:

  • C-SPAN2: BOOK TV Weekend Schedule
  • PBS American Experience: Mondays at 9pm
  • History Channel: Weekly Schedule
  • History Channel: “The Universe: Beyond the Big Bang” – Monday, June 1, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Underwater Universe” – Monday, June 1, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 01 – Lost in Africa” – Monday, June 1, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Alaska: Dangerous Territory” – Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “How the Earth Was Made” – Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Life After People: Sin City Meltdown” – Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Ancient Aliens” – Wednesday, June 3, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “A Global Warning?” – Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “American Eats: History on a Bun” – Friday, June 5, 2009 at 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Patton 360: On Hitler’s Doorstep” – Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 01 – Lost in Africa” – Friday, June 5, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “10 Days to D-Day ” – Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 1pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Einstein” – Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “D-Day: The Lost Evidence” – Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel: “Expedition Africa: 02 – First Victim ” – Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 10pm ET/PT

BEST SELLERS (NYT):

COMING SOON BOOKS:

  • Robert Jacobs: Apollo: Through the Eyes of the Astronauts, June 1, 2009
  • Vincent J. Cannato: American Passage: The History of Ellis Island, June 9, 2009
  • Larry Tye: Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend, June 9, 2009
  • Matthew Aid: The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency, June 9, 2009
  • Douglas Brinkley, Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 1858-1919, June 30, 2009
  • Caroline Moorehead: Dancing to the Precipice: The Life of Lucie de la Tour du Pin, Eyewitness to an Era, June 30, 2009
  • William A. DeGregorio: The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, Seventh Edition, August 15, 2009
  • Douglas Hunter: Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the Voyage That Redrew the Map of the New World, September 1, 2009

DEPARTED:

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2009 at 3:52 AM

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