Saturday, October 17, 2009

meandering

21 comments:

  1. While in Spokane, stopped at the local mall to see Capitalism, a Love Story. What a movie! I love Michael Moore, even at his most excessive, but other than wrapping Wall Street in "Do Not Cross Crime Scene" yellow tape, and trying to recapture some of our (taxpayers') money, this one is more like a t.v. documentary on the economy. The picture he paints is not a very pretty one. I wish I were seeing more news about this movie. It's really good.

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  2. Nice meander, av. I haven't gotten around to seeing "Capitalism." I can't say I am as enamored by Moore as you are, but he is excellent at agitprop, and it is good that the Left has someone like this to do battle with the conservatives.

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  3. He plays this one a lot less for laughs or at least I didn't feel like laughing. It's pretty hard seeing the sheriff banging down the door to evict a family. Or another family having to burn all their possessions to leave the house ready for the next owner so they can get a check for $1000 after being evicted. The great irony is the eviction notice came from Flint, Michigan.

    Interesting to see it now after all the profits on Wall Street are being announced. We're a college town so haven't been as hard hit, but it's still really tough out there.

    I'd like to see those profits go back to Americans to get the economy going -- not just the financial institutions -- but that's like a voice in the wilderness I'm afraid.

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  4. Plus, I have to say it was good to see the Catholic Church speak up for social justice. He got some great interviews with his family's priests and their bishop.

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  5. One of the great scenes in the movie was when FDR orders the national guard to Detroit to quell a strike. You see photos of troops and what appear to be gatling guns. Only the punchline is that the troops are there to defend the strikers.

    Anyone want to read one of these books? I think these would be very relevant given what's going on right now:

    http://www.amazon.com/FDR-Jean-Edward-Smith/dp/0812970497

    or

    http://www.amazon.com/Traitor-His-Class-Privileged-Presidency/dp/0307277941/

    or

    http://www.amazon.com/Defining-Moment-FDRs-Hundred-Triumph/dp/0743246012/

    (I have this one even though Alter appears to be out of his depth like Brinkley was)

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  6. I have a few FDR books sitting on my shelf, including Schlesinger's 3-vol set. I have one expressly on The New Deal, but can't remember of the top of my head if it is a reprint of Leuchtenburg's book or not. Anyway, I would be up for FDR.

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  7. Cool! Anyone else interested?

    Want to try Schlesinger? We've always had good luck with Brand, but I'm assuming Schlesinger is the good political bio.

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  8. This is volume one. Sounds good (and relevant) to me:

    The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933, volume one of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr."s Age of Roosevelt series, is the first of three books that interpret the political, economic, social, and intellectual history of the early twentieth century in terms of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the spokesman and symbol of the period. Portraying the United States from the Great War to the Great Depression, The Crisis of the Old Order covers the Jazz Age and the rise and fall of the cult of business. For a season, prosperity seemed permanent, but the illusion came to an end when Wall Street crashed in October 1929. Public trust in the wisdom of business leadership crashed too. With a dramatist"s eye for vivid detail and a scholar"s respect for accuracy, Schlesinger brings to life the era that gave rise to FDR and his New Deal and changed the public face of the United States forever.

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  9. I'm kind of pooped on Brand. I read his books on TR and Franklin, and quite frankly I didn't get much from them.

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  10. Brand writes too much -- they profiled him on CSpan. He's sort of a manic personality, and I think he wants to be the expert on everyone and make lots of money.

    The Schlesinger is still in print and sounds good to me if it appeals to you. And you never know -- if it's good I'd be willing to make my way through all of them.

    Marti might also be interested. John is back east for the month. Not sure where NY is these days?

    Wish Robert were here. I'm sure he's read all three of them already.

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  11. I was cleaning up a stack of books the other day and came across this one (I'm losing track of those stacks):

    http://www.amazon.com/Banquet-Delmonicos-Triumph-Evolution-America/dp/1400067782/

    Maybe for a later date?

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  12. I put up a page for Schlesinger's The Crisis of the Old Order. In many ways we are reliving that crisis and such a book seems very apropos. I liked his "Age of Jackson" very much, more for the era he represented than for Jackson himself.

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  13. Excellent! Thanks for linking the Commager review. Apropos indeed.

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  14. It seems it is just the two of us, av. I wonder where everyone else has run off to?

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  15. Hopefully, FDR might pique some interest. I think Marti read one of those big bios recently.

    In the meantime, this has some relevance:

    http://morris.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/the-case-of-the-inappropriate-alarm-clock-part-1/

    http://morris.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/19/the-case-of-the-inappropriate-alarm-clock-part-2/

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  16. Where NYTemps is now is still looking in here but deep into Coll's "Ghost Wars"--was happy to hear him on NPR recently as what he knew & knows (and is able to make clear as many cannot) about US in Afghanistan is very much to the the point these days. That book could well be seen as an American Historical Perspective, but most likely all here have already read and perhaps discussed it.

    Anna Eshoo, (D) US Rep. from this area, also talked about visiting Afghanistan, starting with: "First, it's completely medieval."

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  17. Glad to see you are still around, NYT. You should make a post on "Ghost Wars."

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  18. Yes, NY, I wish you would post something. It seems absolutely current given what's going on. I have not read Coll's book, although did read an excerpt or something at the time. I'd be interested in what he thinks -- and what you think about him.

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  19. Interestingly, in his response to the question I posed to David Rohde about the Taliban, he also recommends Coll's book, amongst others. Looks like I should put it on the list and maybe at some point, NY, we can discuss it on the side here.

    I was most interested in the Taliban as being a front for radical Islamists in Pakistan and that appears to be the case (although he really doesn't answer my next question -- if so, does that/should that affect our policy?).

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  20. Thanks for the invitations to post. I've read Coll out of order--read "The Bin Ladens" last year, not too long after the fascinating bio of Gertrude Bell that sparked interest. With that I came flat up against my ignorance of so very much; among other things, how huge wealth and clan connections operate in a top-down kind of world where power flows from above, from royalty (incl. clans/tribes) and/or religious leaders. In societies where there is no separation between the religious and the political, the word "secular" has little or no meaning, though there may be gradations of religiosity and there are certainly political ramifications of religious beliefs and organizations. Though the wealthy may send their young ones abroad for education and some become enamored of life in and attractions of the west (nightlife and personal transport esp. airplanes a big hit), they don't take it back home with them.

    Ahhh, I shouldn't get started posting on that book when it's "Ghost Wars" that's being asked about, which is more about the CIA & State Dept. policies & acts in Afghanistan, with much about the Soviets there until and somewhat beyond their withdrawal, LOTS about Pakistan vis-a-vis Afghanistan, and more players (e.g., Saudi Arabia) yet to come.

    It's taking so long because I'm making a concerted effort to keep the players and actions sorted out -- not easy, but rewarding, and sort of fun when info from it sheds light on the news and public interest shows.


    I will keep the kind post requests in mind and try to construct some useful things to say.

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  21. Thanks, New York.

    Last night Chris Matthews said something (over all the shouting of his guests -- some days he really loses control) that I've always found to be true: that the Taliban et al are very much like the religious right in this country. And these are the people the republicans call their "base." Amazing when you think about it.

    Look forward to your continuing comments.

    My local used bookstore has a copy of Coll, so will try to pick up a copy in the next day or two.

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