Thursday, March 24, 2011

Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire


Mark Levin, who produced Triangle: Remembering The Fire, a documentary about the deadly blaze, says the lessons from the fire resonate to this day.

"What’s amazing is that 100 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire we are witnessing a debate about where there’s even a need for labor anymore,” Levin said. “We need to be reminded how we got here. It didn’t come easy. Lives were lost in the struggle."

Here is a review of TRIANGLE -- The Fire That Changed America, written by David Von Drehle, and published in 2003.

111 comments:

  1. Still another interesting book. Most of us know the story very well and probably won't select it for that reason. But it would still likely make for an interesting discussion.

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  2. I know the story, but not in any depth. It seems that Drehle pursues the story from the Labor point of view, which is always interesting.

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  3. Kool! OK, I give this book my vote ~ assuming the print isn't too small.

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  4. I just watched some youtube videos about this and about a similar fire in Bangladesh last year.

    Two good sources of information:

    http://rememberthetrianglefire.org/

    NY Times series of blogs:

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/triangle-shirtwaist-factory-fire/

    NY1 - result of site search "triangle shirtwaist":

    http://www.ny1.com/content/pages/search/?currentUri=http://www.ny1.com/default.aspx&searchtarget=ny1&searchterm=triangle%20shirtwaist&SecID=243

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  5. I read the book when it came out and found it very comprehensive. The building still stands as NYU's Liberal Arts building at Washington Square. The area where the fire started is now marked in memory of the tragedy (I was a student at NYU's School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1960--their building is next one down from where the fireoccured and their name is different, but I went to a class on the same floor as the fire--a course in Western Civilation.
    The fire started the career of Al Smith, who at the behest of his secretarry, Belle Moscowitz, had passed remedial legislation as he represented the district in the State Assembly--though he was originally from Brooklyn. Belle was a friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, knew FrNKLINand, she heself, is an interesting study, as she also was a friend of Francis Perkins, a protogee of Smith, who drafted the original Social Security Act as Secretary of Labor under FDR---the Triangle Fire left threads in history which persisted through the depression in the form of womens rights and labor legislation...

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  6. The HBO documentary aired on CNN last night. I caught it almost by accident 15 minutes into the hour-long program (with commercials). A man (don't know his name) on it said that if you want to see what deregulation looks like, look at the pictures of the bodies on the sidewalk.

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  7. The photos I've seen online are horrendous.

    I have the von Drehle book somewhere -- I think I bought it per Robert's recommendation -- but can't put my hands on it, alas. So I read the opening few pages online at google books.

    The opening is powerful as people waited in line to identify remains, many of whom were unrecognizable after the fire, and others just waited in line to get a better look until they were run off by the police. Very disturbing.

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  8. Listened to this podcast today about the anniversary (aired on Friday). Brian Lehrer show on WNYC radio:

    http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/2011/mar/25/remembering-triangle-factory-fire/

    Also available on itunes.

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  9. The Jewish Daily Forward has a webpage with articles about the fire, including a set of original articles from 1911 translated from Yiddish to English.

    I found the link in the WNYC/Brian Lehrer website:

    http://www.forward.com/channels/triangle-shirtwaist-Factory-Fire-A-Century-Later/

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  10. Do we have a book? A lot of material here to cover, and I think this will make for a great discussion as it gets to the roots of the labor movement and its push for stronger fire and safety standards which now take completely for granted. Can treat it as a subject rather than a specific book to expand its range.

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  11. I would enjoy a discussion on this -- particularly if I can find my book!

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  12. I'd be interested. I can buy this for my kindle.

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  13. I made a reservation for the book at my local library which has a small waiting line for it. There is an even bigger wait time at the county library. Evidently, this is a subject that in on the minds of many people today especially in view of the anti-union efforts of the Republicans in Wisconsin.

    Just think ~ when Reagan started union busting, it meant the loss of jobs as they were now being exported. The standard of living has declined ever since as has work safety. Well, it's time to re-start the union movement to save jobs and to promote work safety!

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  14. Marti and Trippler, that's great!

    Alas, they don't have it at the university library here so hopefully I'll find my copy by the time you and Gintaras get your books. I'd hate to have to buy it again (although it wouldn't be the first time I've ended up with two copies of a book).

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  15. Speaking of Reagan union busting, I always like to give a plug for "American Dream" about the Austin Minnesota meat packers strike. Amazing film. (My family was one of those on both sides of the strike.) It's like déjà vu all over again:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream_%28film%29

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  16. I'd like to hear from George Parsons about his views on this subject. Unions are far stronger overseas and they still have the same respect they got decades ago. It would great to have that same respect and prominence here again.

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  17. I'll put my order in to day. Abebooks has inexpensive hardbacks. Of course, it is usually negated with shipping.

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  18. Several online articles reveal that free shipping is the latest trend in marketing. In fact, this 'trend' has been in operation for the past 2 years. Unfortunately, this has not been tested in book sales. Let's hope some book store will start it soon as this will greatly increase book sales.

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  19. Actually, quite a few bookstores do provide free shipping, including amazon, but I don't think this extends to used books. There are booksellers at abebooks that provide free shipping on used books. But this is all domestic. No advantage for me : (

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  20. thanx ~ I will look into that

    :)

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  21. Abe:

    http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?an=David+Von+Drehle&sts=t&tn=TRIANGLE+--+The+Fire+That+Changed+America&x=72&y=10


    Amazon allows free shipping if your order is over $25.

    Looks like no actual free lunch!

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  22. I would be very happy if we chose TRIANGLE as the next book to read. Does Misey Lane still exist ? I'd like to go to NY and see if I remember it or if I was ever tere befor...

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  23. He did, but somehow---never mind---what I wanted to say was that Misery LANE WAS ANOTHER NAME FOR THE 26TH STREET PIER--ON EAST 26TH STREET---LOOKING OUT AT BLACKWELL'S ISLAND...

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  24. We'll do Triangle then. Best to set the start date for three weeks from now. Let's say April 20.

    Misery Lane sounds like the street the Addams Family would live.

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  25. He did? I was going to say no, he didn't, but you can never tell with Cantor.

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  26. Cool. I'll start digging through books.

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  27. Thanks for the links, marti. There is an attempt to revive Yiddish in Vilnius. Dovid Katz, a Brooklynite, heads up the program at the University of Vilnius.

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  28. April 20th it is--good...it'll give me time to find my copy or to order a used one.I used to know some "choice" Yiddish words, but most of them were not very acceptable. As I was the resident, token "Goy" at NYU, the guys taught me to curse first, then they taught the rich traditions of the Shetl's their families came from and the difference between the uptown Jew and the downtown Jew and how they despised each other...I forgot a lot over the years, but I still remember their rich heritage and their struggles in Europe and then in America as immigrants in era we are about to discuss---these were the downton Jews-the Ashkenazi's--the fighters in the Unions, the Socialists, the fighters for women's rights..Emma Goldman was their heroine.
    It should be a fine discussion.

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  29. Eric Kantor said that if the Senate did not pass H.R. I by mid April, then H.R. I would automatically become law---This guy is a national leader--he doesn't seem to know how a bill becomes a law--God Help us.

    FUTURAMA is on--i'll be back tomorrow

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  30. It should be a fine discussion....

    I'm really looking forward to it. (Am also looking for the book.) I'll email Parsons to see if he wants to join us.

    In the meantime, don't forget the AFL-CIO weekend of activities -- an injury to one is an injury to all:

    http://www.we-r-1.org/

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  31. Interesting discussion about reviving Yiddish. This especially since this is the anniversary of the Alhambra Decree ~ a date that will live in infamy:

    The Alhambra Decree Is Issued (1492)
    Fourteen years after Ferdinand II and Isabella I, the "Catholic Monarchs" of Spain, established the Spanish Inquisition to discover and punish converted Jews—and later Muslims—who were insincere, they issued the Alhambra Decree, an edict ordering the expulsion of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. Any Jew who did not convert or leave by the deadline faced execution. Non-Jews found sheltering or hiding Jews had all of their belongings seized.

    I learned a couple of years back that one of Israel's top Ladino teachers was a classmate of mine at City College of New York. He invited to study this language at his school for a year but I had to respectfully decline. But maybe some day ...

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  32. Many of those Judios were exiled to the Islas Canarias (Canary Islands):

    http://tinyurl.com/3uj8m37

    This is especially interesting to people like me since I am among a number of Puerto Rican scholars who have attempted to spread the news that we are largely descended of the Jews exiled because of the Spanish Inquisition. For example, this video (in Spanish) has testimony from a scholar who says 90% of PR's population is descended of Isleños:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmRIxmMxY6c&feature=relmfu

    The following video features Louisiana Isleños whose Spanish bears a remarkable resemblance to the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMD4KbDQyG4&feature=relmfu

    The Bible indicates that Jews would be exiled to Sefarad (Hebrew word for Spain). Therefore, Ladino (which is comprised of several of Spain's languages) should be the actual language used by Jews. It would be nice (I think) if this language was taught more frequently. By the way, it is a very beautiful language, especially for singing!

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  33. Maybe Cantor meant it as an April Fool's joke. It is 1994 all over again. Same bluster, same blunders, and ultimately the same failed results.

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  34. One of my research projects is on a person who grew up on the Texas/Mexico border, but whose family originally came from Spain, where they had been Muslims until forced to convert to Catholicism. He maintained that they were still secret "mohammedists" into the late 19th century in Texas.

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  35. Look up CONVERSOS---an integral problem for the Jews before their expulsion and leading to the Inquisition. Before the expulsion there was a decree requiring conversion or expulsion in 1492

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  36. I'll have to refresh my memory on the sequence of evente in Spain leading to the expulsion of the Moslems and the Jewish people--then I'll post again...

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  37. Most of these expelled Jews came to Eastern Europe, and in many ways enriching the culture over here. Of course, you would never know it to hear some persons talk, even today.

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  38. Actually, the majority of Judios condenados were exiled to present day Latin America but you wouldn't know it from today's history books. BobW and I have have discussed this in part in the past as we both take a deep interest in Spain's history. I recommend Cecil Roth's ''Marranos'' in which he lists a number of Jewish families that were victimized by the Inquisition. In fact, my own family is mentioned in the book. As Roth and other historians show, the names correspond with names that are more common in Latin America, not Eastern Europe. Also consider the fact that as many as 500,000 people were exiled. As European populations go, the population would have multiplied geometrically rather than arithmetically. Thus, the 500K exiled in those years would be millions today. Not the 1.5 million Sephardics who live in East Europe and now in Israel. Latin America has multiples of millions and the names of many of those people correspond with the names shown in the Inquisition's records:

    http://www.sephardim.com/namelist.shtml?mode=form&from=A&to=Z&Search=Search

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  39. "mohammedists"

    Names like Garcia and Medina are Arabic in origin. They, too, were exiled so it does not surprise me that some continued to practice their original religion when the Inquisition wasn't looking.

    A thought occurred to me ~ you may recall our discussion on Emerson when I mentioned how the Puerto Rican culture has many expressions for ''John Q Public'' or ''Joe Blow''. That among these names is ''Fulano''. This name is of Sefardic origin and still exists in PR but is virtually unknown elsewhere.

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  40. "Thus, the 500K exiled in those years would be millions today."

    I think the Holocaust had some impact on those figures.

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  41. "Latin America has multiples of millions..."

    I have no idea what you base this on trippler, as listing show Sephardi Jews in the low thousands in Latin American countries, not that much of a count is available.

    Names mean little, as they were pretty much appropriated, just as those names Jews took in Eastern Europe.

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  42. The person I've been writing about is named Garcia. He claims to also be related to Fray Garcia, considered the founder of El Paso. I always thought it interesting that Father Garcia might be one of the Muslims practicing in secret on the borderlands of Texas. Some great (even humorous) ideas in that.

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  43. The Muslim influence is rather pervasive in Spanish cultures, not surprising to see such adapted names, but I imagine whatever trace of Moorish roots has long been buried. The Muslim and Jewish influence on Europe is pretty strong as well, although most Europeans would prefer not to admit it.

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  44. I find all of that very interesting and so unexpected when you are reading about the "western frontier." I think it was his grandfather who was the last practicing (albeit secret) Muslim in the family -- he was killed by Indians. There was some mention of the secretos, but can't remember without digging what that referred to.

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  45. Garcia began as the Spanish-Arabic name ''Garsiyya'':

    http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/andalusia/

    History shows that my family cooperated with the Inquisitors by snitching on other Judios. Eventually, the authorities got wise to their schemes and exiled them as well. Therefore, it is no surprise to me that Garcia cooperated and snitched in order to save their hides. Much to their chagrin, the truth came out about many of them as well and they became condenado.

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  46. ~ Holocaust ~

    Was largely (though not exclusively) restricted to Ashkenazim Jews of Eastern Europe. History shows that these became converted to Judaism in the 8th century and were not the prophesied exiles of Sefarad as shown in the Book of Obadiah. See,

    ''The Thirteenth Tribe'' by Arthur Koestler.


    ~ Sephardi Jews in the low thousands in Latin American countries ~

    Only because they are 'conversos' as BobW wrote. You need to read a few books on the subject (Cecil Roth is highly recommended) and you will see what I mean. The numbers are low but only because they converted to Christianity.

    ~names mean little ~

    Not if your ancestors can be traced directly to the victims of the Inquisition. Both of my parents families are conversos. That is why the subject means so much to me.

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  47. Bought my copy of Triangle... for my kindle today.

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  48. I'm just curious how they all got to Latin America in the late 15th century, trippler. There weren't that many ships going over there at the time, and most of the Jews had been expelled from Spain. Was there some kind of secret "middle passage?"

    It is fascinating to read of this interpretation. I think there is some speculation that Columbus had Jewish roots. But, this doesn't translate into the millions of persons with Sephardic Jewish roots you imagine living in Latin America.

    Anyway, it would make a very interesting topic. Maybe we should consider Cecil Roth for our next reading group?

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  49. For further knowledge of the topic you can look into the youtube links I listed above. Evidently, there are quite a few people whose imaginations strangely parallel mine.

    ;)

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  50. I guess I haven't been paying close enough attention to this thread -- is this some sort of anti-Jewish South American conspiracy theory?

    In the case of Garcia, his family (he says) came to Mexico much later, having survived in Spain and held onto their property by pretending to have converted to Catholicism. Forcing people to convert is a pretty odd idea when you think about it, so that rings true to me. Not so sure I can see thousands of families getting on boats headed for South America in, say, 1493, if that's the argument.

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  51. Marti, glad you have the book! I need to find mine, or maybe I'll try an electronic copy. It would be a first for me....

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  52. ''is this some sort of anti-Jewish South American conspiracy theory? ''

    Hahaha!!! Heck no! On the contrary it is an acknowledgment that our ancestry is Jewish. The link I provided above (and others in that series) openly say so. Furthermore, they challenge other Latinos to consider this at further length. Unfortunately, most of the studies in this area are written or discussed in Spanish. This is why we cannot discuss or read this in much depth on this forum.

    ''Forcing people to convert is a pretty odd idea when you think about it''

    And this is why the word ''converso'' appears so often in this studies. Convert or die was the rule of the day. And if you could not prove your ancestry had been purged of Judaic blood in the past 500 years, you are guilty as charged. Off you go to the Islas Canarias. Thereafter to ...

    ... and that's where the mystery begins.

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  53. I don't know Trippler -- I always enjoy alternative interpretations of history, but am very wary of these big racial theories since I work in the 19th century when racial purity and distinctions (and uncovering European origins) were all the rage. This overview of Koestler's book (albeit from wikipedia) sounds a little fishy to me:

    In The Thirteenth Tribe (1976), [Koestler] advanced the controversial thesis that Ashkenazi Jews are not descended from the Israelites of antiquity, but from the Khazars, a Turkic people in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism in the 8th century and were later forced westward into present-day Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Koestler argued that by proving Ashkenazi Jews to have no connection with the biblical Jews, European anti-Semitism would lose all basis.

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  54. Very interesting topic, and one that would have to be approached from a variety of sources, not one. I have a very hard time seeing the numbers adding up into the millions, based on what I have read on the subject.

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  55. It is fascinating -- this discussion led me to look at reviews of Koestler's book and a recent bio of him. He's a fascinating character in his own right. I read his Darkness at Noon for a class on politics and literature back in the early 70s. But as one reviewer noted, he was an active communist before he was an active anti-communist.

    It appears that the people who like his theory about Turkish/Jewish origins most are the Arabs, since it would mean there is no historical connection between European Jews and Israel, but not sure how that plays out politically in South America. Think I'm more interested in the secret Spanish Muslim angle.

    Still, it led to an interesting romp around the internet....

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  56. Koestler was Ashkenazi - therefore he could not be mistaken for a Jew hater. Moreover, the Isleño believers are not seeking to practice exclusionism. Rather, they are seeking to foster inclusionism by extending the definition of Judaism to include people descended of those who were forced to renounce their ancestry at the point of a sword. The records of the Inquisition which exist to this day in Sevilla, and the records presented by Isleños go a long way towards promoting that type of inclusionism. However, again, it must be noted that most of these records are in Spanish ~ much of it in an old form of Castellano that is not taught in schools today. This makes it very difficult for people who only speak/read textbook Spanish (the type you learned in high school) to study this today. On that basis, it would be virtually impossible to discuss this at much length in a forum such as this one.

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  57. Koestler was Ashkenazi - therefore he could not be mistaken for a Jew hater...

    Or if you think about it, you could say just the opposite given what he is arguing.

    But regardless, I applaud your persistence and assume that since you are bi-lingual you have the ability to pursue this in more depth. As for me, no habla espanol, alas, so I'm going to stick with my secret muslim possibly head of the Catholic church in Texas, which I find endlessly fascinating!

    This entire discussion has me excited to get back to that work -- dissertation first, though.

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  58. All this brings to mind a very interesting book, The Jewish Century by Yuri Slezkine, which came out a few years ago. Slezkine posits that in this Modern Age, we have all become Jewish, to one degree or another. He is looking at it metaphorically of course, but there is a ring of truth to his thesis,

    http://press.princeton.edu/titles/7819.html

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  59. Slezkine's book reminds me of a few readings I did in the past regarding the role played by Iberian Jews in the founding of NYC as a commercial and maritime hub. I believe they had a similar role in other northeastern cities. Additionally, they had a major role in establishing schools, hospitals, and benevolent societies. Therefore, the idea that we are all Jews (in this case, Sephardim), or are indebted to them to a considerable extent is an idea that we as Americans can relate to.

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  60. To my knowledge, according to standard figures, there are 50,000 Jewish in all of Meico---40,000 of which are in Mexico City.

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  61. In NY City there are 1.9 million
    In the USA 65 million.

    Other figures, for whatever reason, even from Jewish experts of otherwise reputible stature seem to be overinflated.

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  62. I think you meant 6.5 million. This does not include descendants of conversos. Nor does it include Black Israelites, Messianic Jews, or others who call themselves Jews but are not recognized as such.

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  63. Thaks for the correction. The total Jewish population in South America is no more the a half a million and cannot possibly include descendants of the conversos, sine there is no base figure to start with and any figure would be stastically fallacious.

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  64. Jewish identity is matriarchial. To be a Jew presupposes yor mother was Jewish.To think you can possibly calculate the maternal heritage of the deswcendants of the conversos is to border on the insane. All sons and daughters woild have to come through a full blooded jewish woman. tHERE ARE NOT MILLIONS OF ANY SUCH PEOPLE WHO CAN BE CALCULATED BY ANY RATIONAL PERSON.

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  65. These immigrant have long since been totally assimilated and very very few can trace their matrlineal heritage back to 1492 and emerge as a 21st century Jew.

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  66. Conversos headed across to North Africa and East to France, Germany,and Eastern Europe and Palestine--not West to America....they were unwelcome to board Catholic Ships headed West. If they came West, they were damned few in number and couldn't practice Judaism over here.

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  67. You forgot that we Latinos use both the patronymic and matronymic when identifying ourselves. It is a custom that began with our Sephardic ancestors. My parents did so as well and both sets of parents they had also did so. This is how the Inquisitors traced everybody's ancestry. Remember that Judaism is an ethnic identity, not a religion. As St Paul said in the New Testament, he was a Judean by blood, but professed Christianity. Unfortunately, this did not matter to the Inquisición.

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  68. ''Conversos headed across to North Africa and East to France, Germany,and Eastern Europe and Palestine--not West to America...''

    If that was true, then where are all the Castros, Riveras, Perez's, Gomez's, etc in those countries? In my study of Sefardics in North Africa and Turkey I did not trace any to those places. Look at any source in Latin America and that is where you will find them. Logically it follows that if the majority of Sephardic names (as determined by the Inquisition) are found in Latin America it would take the utmost irrationality to say the majority can be found elsewhere.

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  69. I'm lost...I stand by the figures presented . You may contend as you wish, but there is no way it can be said there are millions of cnverso descendants anywhere in this world...not in Latin America or elsewhere. Statistically, a figure cannot be arrived at. There are only a half a million of Jews in all of South America and 50,000 in Mexico.

    Ethically, Judaism, in Latin America or elsewhere is determined matriligually. It is a religion as well as an ethnicity. Anyone can convert to the Jewish religion, but that does not make them a Jew unless their mother is etnically a Jew---in Latin America or anywhere.

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  70. The lines of emigration are as I outlined. Very few Conversos came West and most went to Brazil and the West Indies, where they were subsequently excluded and expelled and returned to Europe. I have no figures. My library is too limited. The line of emigration was to the East, not the West.

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  71. We will have to disagree on the suject. Its been an interestind give and take. I respect your view--maybe someday I'll think differently.

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  72. Well, trip, it is all something to think about, but just because a name ends in ez or es doesn't make it Sephardic, or because the name has Arabic roots like those you mention. Like the Ashkenazis, Iberian Jews took names from the region in which they lived. The names in and of themselves don't mean much. Stein is a perfect example of this.

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  73. 'agree to disagree'

    No problem. Note however, that those who emigrated to North Africa and Eastern Europe were not 'conversos' as you wrote. They were 'Judios Sefardis' who had not been 'reconciliado' with the Church. By contrast, those who were 'exiliado' (exiled) to Latin America were the 'conversos' because they converted to Catholicism.

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  74. As for names, Perez is the perfect example of the precise opposite of what Gintaras wrote. It comes directly from the Bible and is one of the most common names among those descended of conversos.

    Oh well, it shall have to be left for another discussion. But as I wrote above, you may check with those youtube links as they include discussions from several academicians far more knowledgeable than I.

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  75. So, in your mind, every Perez is of Jewish descent because the name happens to come from the Bible.

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  76. It is indeed a fascinating topic and one open to endless debate. I'll set up another forum topic on the subject.

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  77. ~ Perez ~

    Reminder - the Bible indicates that Jews would be exiled to Sepharad (Hebrew for España). It stands to reason that the names would be exported there as well.

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  78. In advance? You mean like a biblical prophesy? That's the basis of this discussion?

    I'm totally confused. See you all when you get to NYC.

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  79. I've read in the past where the Gospels were actually written in the 3d or 4th century. It could well be that the diaspora had started, that people were already exiled, and that someone's 'prophesy'' is merely a re-cap of what already went on. But that's the beauty of reading & discussions - I'm learning something new every day.

    :)

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  80. I don't believe in Biblical Prophecies for many reasons. However, I appreciate corrections when I make mistakes. Thanks. I will now seee if I can read the two books presented by Gintaras. For now, thoigh, I need to read TRIANGLE and get ready for the discussion. The I'll get back to The Expulsion and to The Conversos and where the migrations went.

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  81. See you all when you get to NYC---who is going to NY City?

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  82. ''don't believe in Biblical Prophecies for many reasons''

    Which makes me wonder ~ why didn't we read ''Age of Reason'' ?

    Yes, we read Tho Paine's bio but that book would have made for a good discussion as well.

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  83. When are some of you coming to NYC?

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  84. I think maybe Arvds was referring to the upcoming book and not folks going to NYC.

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  85. Sorry, my mind is composed of reinforced concrete.

    By the way, my disbelief in Biblical prophecy has nothing to do with anything having to do with THE AGE OF REASON and would not change by any discussion of the book, which I read decades ago. I have a minor in Theology. That reminds me Bart Ehrman has a new book on the BIBLE. He's an interesting writer..

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  86. Paine's book has a lot to do with why many do not believe in prophecy or the Bible. Very enlightening when you think about it.

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  87. Speaking of THE AGE OF REASON, there is a GOD..After losing a million viewers and 300 advertizers, FOX FIRED Glen Beck and will let him phase out his program and one wonders what conspiracy theory he will leave us with...BY BY Glen!!!!
    Now that that will soon end, it is my firm professional opinion that he is a Paranoid Personality in need of inpatient hospitalization, in an effort to help him think in a more rational manner.
    He will still be on radio and have a of of power, but hopefully have less influence

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  88. Beck = absolutely pathetic. His successful ratings, however, tell us a great deal more about the pathetic nature of his audience than it does about him and his lunacy. So glad he will soon be gone.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As for von Drehle - it arrived today and the first thing I will say about it is, THANK YOU Gintaras! The print size is just perfect for my weakening eyes and I will have no trouble finishing it.

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  89. Glad to hear you book is in and you can read it.As one who also has poor vision, I'm read it from my Kindle. In the meanwhile, I'm trying to read my first "hard copy--harback--to see if I can see myself through a real book after 20 months of recovery. So far its a little difficult, but not impossible. I've chosen THE ABACUS AND THE CROSS about the end of the DARK AGES----my caretaker sees this as a sick irony coming from a person (me) who is just emerging from his own "dark" age...there is a certain amount of black humor connected with the choice of a book on the DARK AGES.
    Anyway, good luck in your reading---TRIANGLE is very well written----ABACUS is a bit stilted, but a good challenge. I'm at page 75 0f 250 and am well into TRIANGLE also.

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  90. I've been watching Democracy Now program from March 25th. They play a recording of Frances Perkins talking about the fire years later, in 1964.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/3/25/labor_rights_legacy_of_the_triangle

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  91. I think Beck will stay on the air until end of the year, unfortunately.

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  92. Frances Perkins was a friend of Belle Moskowitz, who was the aide to Al Smith, and who convinced Smith, then an Assemblman to introduce remedial legislation to improve conditions after the fire. She introduced Perkins to Eleanor Roosevelt, who convinced Franklin to support improved conditions. Perkins was the first woman cabinet member (Secretary of Labor) under FDR--who wrote the Social Security Act in 1935.

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  93. Aiver butelt − ( my Yiddish is coming back)

    translates roughly into mixed up, as in forgetful. absent minded

    I have no idea where that came from, except somebody asked me why I couldn't remember their name and thats what popped into my head...Strange how we remember how to express why we can't remember.. I've always thought there are a series of rooms in our memory. Since my stroke, some of them are still vacant--this one just opened its door--to a little used language---strange indeed. Reading TRIANGLE must have turned the knob and then my friend gently pushed it open

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  94. I'm going to look into some allied books on the fire--there's a biography of Frances Perkins and I have Blanche weizen Cook's volume on ER which might be helpful. I have a short biography of Al Smith. I'll look up the Newark fire of December, 1910.

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  95. Good news; RIGHT EYE 20/20 LEFT EYE ; 20/40

    I'm back to normal eye vision. Stroke related damage is stillreceding. The Doctor thinks the blurriness and lack of sharpness or clarity is coming from the slow emergence of a cataract. Nothing to worry about now. It just means continued intereference until it forms sufficietly to be removed. I've gone through enough so this is very tolerable for me. I'm very happy I have no residual damage to speak of from the stroke...it's over--and now to see how to live with the forming ccataract.

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  96. Super news robert. Must be a great feeling.

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  97. I'll start a new post on April 20 for the reading group.

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  98. Congratulations, Robert! That's an amazing recovery.

    I'm currently reading a biography of Earl Warren, so may be lagging behind you all as usual. And I have a couple trips this month as well.

    Plus I still haven't found my book, but it appears enough of it is online that I'll be able to sort of keep up until I can find it. I'm beginning to think it has fallen behind the bed or something -- I'm pretty sure I've had it out since moving to my new house. I'll keep looking.

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  99. Congratulations, Robert.

    I've finished reading Triangle. I put in for a hold of Leon Stein's book on the subject at the NY Public Library. Not sure if I will read all of it but I'm interested in seeing it and jumping around in it.

    I'm also interested in the Frances Perkins bio.

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  100. Powerful story on the Triangle Fire, warning against seeing it as a turning point (as I have done in the past):

    But presenting the Triangle fire as a narrative of redemptive reform succumbs to the telescopic distortion of time that can occur in historical accounts. The fire happened in 1911. Perkins wasn’t appointed as secretary of labor until 1933. Although Perkins lobbied successfully for reform at the state level, locked fire exits had already been illegal. For twenty-two years after the fire, no real national action was taken.

    http://dissentmagazine.org/online.php?id=463

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  101. Not surprising given the administrations between 1911 and 1933.

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  102. Thaks everyone---It makes me feel very happy to have everything over.

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  103. AVRDS: which biography are you reading. I have three, but haven't read any of them yet.

    I was thinking of reading THEODORE ROOSEVELT IN THE BADLAND as my first hardcover book, But Earl Warren sounds inviting: the book I choose will be an experiment just to see ifI can do it. If I can't, I'll wait until July and try again. Let me know the title on Warren you are reading.
    There's a new one volume Civil War, said to be as good as McPherson's:AMERICA AFLAME

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  104. Justice for All by Jim Newton. So far it's really good.

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  105. I'llsee if I can read it later tonight. I bought but never read it.

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  106. Book arrived yesterday and started it last night.

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  107. BOOK ALERT:

    I noticed some really good books were recently released:
    Francis Fukuyama's ORIGINS OF T POLITICAL ORDER

    AMERICA AFLAME--a very interesting view of the Civil War

    Henry Kissinger's CHINA (release date May 17)

    Gordon Wood has another book coming out on May 12

    These may not allbe on American history, but they're sure shot very good Summer reading

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