Looking at the cross currents of historical and contemporary events
I updated the post page. Has a slightly different format but doesn't take long to figure out. Seems to help in terms of keeping these posts in order.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, too! I'm thankful that in spite of killing it at the NY Times, I still know people smarter than I am with whom I can read and discuss books.
I'm putting my 15 lb. bird in the oven around noon. We usually sit down for our meal at about 6:00 p.m. My son's Vietnamese girlfriend is joining us this year. Her first Thanksgiving Day meal ever.
Thanks to all of you for making this forum possible.Happy Thanksgiving!
A wonderful Thanksgiving to all.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving! I went to Ocean Grove, NJ to visit my mother for the day. My brother Paul was there too. I have a cold and hope that I didn't make any of the old people in assisted living sick. Now I'm back in isolation in my NYC apartment.
I've been reading a fictitious Mary Lincoln novel by Janis Cooke Newman titled "Mary". Its written in first person (Mary). Very long for a novel (636 pp. in paperback -- I have kindle edition). I think it's very well written. I have also bought Jean Baker's bio of Mary Lincoln. I saw Jean Baker on BookTV months. That is what led me to be interested in reading about Mary Lincoln.The book starts with Mary being in the asylum that her son Robert got her into some years after the assassination, and she flashes back on her life. It's also about her fight for freedom. I think she moves to her sister Elizabeth's home in Springfield. I'm about 90% through the book. There's a lot of dark humor in the writing. Mary always refers to one room in the facility as the "lunatics' parlor." Robert Lincoln comes through as a cold fish.
Mary Lincoln fascinates me, too. I thought Goodwin handled her with much more sympathy and understanding than I had read in the past.
I see at the end of the book I just finished that the author recommends Jean Baker's bio for the factual account.
A belated Thanksgiving to all.I made stock with my bird today thinking I may make Turkey/Sausage and Shrimp gumbo this week.I rejoined Quality Paperback Book Club online Wed night and two of the 5 books I picked were History.Traitor to his Class and a new Illustrated edition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.Two of the others one by Rory Nugent on New Bedford and the fishing industry and one by Kurlansky on the Gloucester MA fishing industry which are both part history.Nugent wrote an offbeat travel/adventure book some years ago I loved called"The search for the Pink Headed Duck" which took place mostly in India.
Traitor to his Class is another one of those in my FDR stack. Right now I'm cramming on taxidermy to flesh out the opening of my dissertation. Just like a student -- leaving it until the last minute.Turned on the radio while I was reading and what should be playing? The song that will be our national anthem for Afghanistan -- Waist Deep in the Big Muddy (and the big fool says to push on). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXnJVkEX8O4
In this case the Big Sandy, but Obama finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place in regard to the international committment to Afghanistan. He can't simply pull out, given that this is something the UN and NATO committed to, and have been pressing the US for years to beef up operations. The Bush admin shrugged them off and committed itself to Iraq. If more had been done over the last 7 years in Afghanistan maybe we would have seen some results by now, but for the Obama admin it is basically like starting over.
Big Sandy. Exactly. And that's where Jon Tester is from -- and he plans to vote to support the war.Obama's definitely in a difficult situation but if I had been advising him -- in my wildest dreams! -- I would have "framed" this differently. I would have talked about a planned withdrawal in the summer of 2011 from the start -- which seems to be where he's coming from and why he wasn't satisfied with all the reports he was getting. Biden, too, as far as I can tell. It's the generals and his secretary of state who are the big militarists in this from the leaks I've read about. Then I would talk about how to get there from here. And some of that may have involved more troops in more places to secure areas for the US safe withdrawal. But if the UN and NATO want a commitment, they would have to get into the game now knowing that the US is committed to cleaning up and going home. I think he could have brought the country around to the same results, but the focus would have been entirely different and he would have everyone in a position to put their money where their mouths are. Including the !@#$%$# republicans who can spend 1 million per soldier but a dime for real national defense (education, health care, etc.). Right now it's like the UN asking Puerto Rico to sustain an occupation of the Middle East. I can't see the US or even the military being able to handle it.Anyway, it's done. My guess is this is the end of his presidency, which is a terrible shame. It's like watching Clinton self-destruct, only in this case there is much more at stake than a man's reputation.
It's way too early to pronounce this the end of Obama's presidency. Take a deep breath. Then buy yourself a good bottle of wine, invite a friend in to drink it with you, and talk about all the great books you've read or plan to read.
Yes, books (and wine!) do have a way of distracting....!In the meantime, I'll be in DC next week and instead of protesting will go to see a little Shakespeare. Any port in a storm.
I agree it's way too early! During the speech, I couldn't help thinking of the quote "the triumph of hope over experience" (originally about a second marriage but adapted by Henry Kissinger to a renewal of policies not successful in the past. (There was a time when if anyone had told me I'd be quoting Henry the K, even at second hand, I'd have said they were certifiable.)I'd suggest, avrds, when your other regimens have done their healing work, completing "Ghost Wars" might be very good for perspective. In the meantime, regards to DC & remember, it can't be all bad, the Folger Library is there!