Saturday, October 27, 2012

Reading Group Suggestions



We've had a few suggestions for our next reading group.  The first was Henry Wiencek's Master of the Mountain, a new book on Jefferson.  Mr. Wiencek dropped a comment in the linked post himself.

Another is Chrystia Freeland's book on Plutocrats, which will be the first book in Bill Moyers' new reading group.  She was on a recent segment of his show, along with Matt Taibbi, entitled Plutocracy Rising.  For an historical perspective,

The Founders and Finance looks very interesting.  Thomas McCraw is a Pulitzer-prize winning author.  Here's a nice page on the Museum of American Financial History at 48 Wall Street.

The picture above is from the Tenement Museum blog, which I've added to the list of Other Sites in the sidebar.

Of course, we are open to other suggestions.  We would like to expand our reading group to more readers.  Please feel free to comment.

27 comments:

  1. If only American finance could have this levity,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGaTfGHELV4

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  2. Thanks for getting some book nominations up.

    I'm interested in all of these.

    I'd also be willing to read the Brigham Young bio, esp. if one of the new "anons" wants to join in. I had forgotten how fascinating I find that early Mormon history. So American.





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  3. Oh, yeah, and thanks for George, too.

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  4. I just watched your "go fly a kite" and found this. I didn't think we would ever get to see this. Appears to be the entire movie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BtjW7PW2z0&feature=related

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    1. Wow! That is quite the film. What a shame it is not widely available unlike the Birth of a Nation. It says at the end this version is from a UK broadcast version, and is not available for sale (and there are stamps to that effect in a couple places in the video).

      I understand the dangerous trope of the singing, happy slaves on the plantation, but Uncle Remus is clearly the hero of the film. Only a couple of the white characters come off positively.

      Plus, that was an amazing technological accomplishment at the time with live actors interacting with animation. The dog even appears to interact with a frog at the end. And then they all (black and white) walk into the sunset holding hands. Maybe that's what the real issue is.

      I like this comment from youtube:

      "Yes, it takes place on a plantation in the old South, but it shows strong interracial friendships, positive male role models, tolerance, acceptance, using your mind to solve problems instead of your fists, and the risk of uninformed assumptions. In short it uses the one location where racism was the worst, to show ways that it can be overcome."

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    2. I never could understand the Disney decision either, as this was without doubt the best musical they ever did. The songs are fantastic and the story very positive.

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    3. I talked about this with my daughter and her boyfriend today at lunch and he made an interesting point -- a lot of early Disney is very racist. The interracial friendships may indeed be the real reason they didn't want to rerelease it.

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  5. Fantastic! Amazing to me that Disney won't release a restored copy of this film out of racial fears. I don't imagine this copy will stay up long.

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    1. Isn't that still under copyright? Just attended a conference at which we were reminded that the use of images, etc. can get you in a lot of trouble. if not properly sourced.

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  6. This is definitely beyond the fair use doctrine, but it may be outside copyright now. I just looked and for corporate copyright, it's 75 years since there's no "life of the author." Interestingly, it's also called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.

    I haven't watched it yet, but look forward to it. In my childhood memory, I loved the movie and the older character (Remus?). It's going to be fun to watch.

    As an aside, I did a lot of work with fair use in one of my many careers, and it can be tricky. I actually contacted a university librarian for assurance before using even a (c) photo in my unpublished dissertation. I wanted to know if I should use the term "fair use" when citing it (he said no).

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    1. Tricky, it is. Librarians can be a big help.

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    2. As a copyright holder myself, I'm very sensitive to that. The librarian and I talked at length about the law and how to apply it -- and this was just a photo taken off the internet.

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    3. I, too, am a published author and share your concerns about copy right law.

      The key to "fair use" permissibility is whether you, as opposed to the public, stands to profit from the use of that photo. You indicated it was an unpublished dissertation. Do you intend to publish this writing for personal financial profit? Will the copyright holder stand to suffer a "substantial" loss of revenue from your use of the photo? Or is your use of the photo intended to enrich the public by providing information that enlightens or entertains them?

      If your answer is NO to the first & second questions and YES to the third then you have met the general tests for application of "fair use". I would then include the photo in your dissertation and post a disclaimer. It should indicate copyright belongs to the holder and that the photo was included under "fair use" doctrine. You may generally use small "boiler plate" printing at the bottom of your page to make this indication.

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    4. Thanks, Trippler. Since you are a lawyer, I take that as good advice. But dissertations are educational/not for profit, so that part isn't an issue.

      I used a historical photograph -- at least 100 years old -- that is marked (c) because it is part of a private collection. I noted the online source, which the reference librarian assured me was appropriate.

      Obviously if I ever get around to publishing the thing then I'll need to get permission to use it -- even though it is possible that a photograph of that age couldn't be copyrighted in the first place.

      In any event, as Macbeth would say, I have done the deed. It cannot be undone.

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    5. As an architect, I've seen my ideas pilfered time and again, not much I can do about it, but then I've also borrowed a few along the way. It is hard to hold onto intellectual or creative property, and becoming exceedingly harder with Internet.

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    6. It's called a knock-off in the fashion industry. It's how a lot of creative industries work.

      In my case, if you put a historical photo on the internet and allow it to be copied (I think there are ways you can block that), then you can't be surprised when someone copies it. Interestingly, the photo in question was also misidentified. I tried contacting the owner of the collection (a bizarre group of photos if ever there were one) but he never replied so I probably won't be able to ever use it in publication.

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  7. I don't think you get into trouble posting links. What usually happens in these cases is that Disney (or whatever movie company) demands that Youtube take it down, which it does to avoid litigation.

    There was one incident where I posted an image, and the site I took it from protested to google and the image was removed.

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  8. Here's another interesting-looking book coming up. As I recall Gintaras you are also a Kevin Phillips fan:

    http://www.amazon.com/1775-A-Good-Year-Revolution/dp/0670025127

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  9. I no longer take anything that appears to be a personal photo, only what appears to be a stock image. Pretty hard to copyright a stock image. But, links are links, you are sourcing the information.

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  10. I can take or leave Kevin Phillips. I would rather read the Jefferson book.

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  11. I have it ordered. Anyone else?

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  12. As for what should be the next selection, I'm open to just about anything. My hope, however, is that more folks join in the discussion. While I enjoyed reading the book on Williams I was disappointed to see so few contributions to the discussion by others. It genuinely was a good book which discussed a significant part of American heritage and thought it would generate much more interest. Perhaps folks here were overburdened with other priorities. But let's hope these matters have now been settled and that they now have more time for themselves.

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  13. We can let the decision float for a week and see if there are any other takers. I'm leaning toward Plutocracy or Founders and Finance, but am open to Jefferson or Brigham Young.

    Wiencek's Jefferson reminds me a lot of McLaughlin's book on Jefferson and Monticello which I read a few years back,

    http://books.google.lt/books/about/Jefferson_and_Monticello.html?id=e0JjHLPNkHQC&redir_esc=y

    very good book by the way.

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  14. We have another election uppermost on our minds at the moment in any event.

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  15. Another option is the Seward book,

    http://am-perspectives.blogspot.com/2012/10/lincolns-indispensable-man.html

    It has gotten very positive reviews.

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