Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time to get out of Gitmo

Here we are well into the second month of February and Gitmo remains an albatross around the American neck.  I can well imagine it is no easy matter closing down this infamous detention facility, but more than that I think the US needs to end its lease on this territory and hand it back over to Cuba.  As this day in history notes, the lease dates back to the Spanish-American War, which in many ways was as bogus a war as have been these last two wars we still find ourselves enmeshed in the name of "national security."

Maybe a reading of the Spanish-American War, in particular the battles waged in Cuba, would be interesting.  Any good books?


  1. This book looks interesting,

    A Working-Class History between Empire and Revolution

  2. I'm reading Louis Menand's "The Metaphysical Club," which came out in 2001. I'm about 100 pages in and finding it somewhat interesting. I believe it won a Pulitzer. Has anyone else read this? Does it improve after the Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. section?

  3. I thought the Metaphysical Club was brilliant, in both form and substance. In fact, it's one that I've been meaning to reread.

    Gintaras, your Guantanamo labor history looks fascinating.

    Here are a couple other ideas. This one may spark some real controversy (where's Robert when we need him?):


    And here's one of the first books I read when starting the doctoral program in kind of a similar vein:


    I'll try to work on some comments re Madison, too, but would really like to read a little beyond Wills to do that. (Took Brideshead Revisited with me to San Diego instead -- what an amazing novel!)

    I'm closing in on my deadline. Back soon.

  4. Diane -- "The Metaphysical Club" has really picked up now that I'm reading about Agassiz. Fascinating stuff. Menand is very good at discussing natural selection and the ways Darwin's theory was rejected in pseudo-scientific discussions of race. It is also fascinating to consider how persistent pseudo-science is whenever a cherished ideal or Biblical narrative is called into question.

  5. Dominican Republic declaring its independence from Haiti had to be one of the smartest moves in the Caribbean. Really is a tale of an island of two halves. While DR has prospered over the years, even with corrupt leadership, Haiti has lived up to its name, a dark troubled place that seems hopelessly beyond itself to better its situation. Of course, having a "big brother" like the US hasn't helped one bit.

    Fascinating to read some of the stories coming out of Haiti, such as Cuban and American doctors working together to help alleviate the crisis.

  6. I think it was Collapsed that talked about the forestry policies in the two countries. Here's a photo showing the border:


    Same sort of penny wise and pound foolish decisions that we seem to make in this country too often.

  7. Rick, thought Menand would be your kind of writer. I am definitely going to reread it at some point to refresh my memory. In the meantime hope you'll keep posting comments. Fascinating book.