Meme Of The Week (century, really) – Republicans / Conservatives Are Racist.

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I found this opinion piece published by the New York Times quite amusing. It concerns the move by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to declare April Confederate History Month.

Before I write anything else, let me tell you my thoughts when I first heard about this…

OK, sorry, that wasn’t my first thoughts, here they are.

Meh, I don’t have a problem with it. As a history geek, here’s how I look at it. If you’re going to have a “_________ History Month” for everything else, then I suppose they are entitled to one for that too. On the other hand, the Libertarian in me says do away with all the “_________ H.M.’s”, it’s overdone, useless, and obnoxious, and just let a month be a month. That is just me retreating into my fantasy world. Let’s deal with what we have.

I posted that on a friends Facebook page when he lamented the action of the Virginia Governor.

With history, I’m a firm believer in studying and getting to know the past from as many angles as possible. It’s the only way to truly understand, as much as we can from the distance of place and time, all of the different things that contributed to the events we call history. Read more »

A New History Lesson – Post Madison / Pre Civil War

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Since reading the wonderful Ron Chernow’s wonderful book, “Hamilton” (a must read), and a history of the panic of 1907 that makes some of the ideas of returning to the gold standard look stunningly foolish, I’ve taken a bit of a sabbatical from history.

Well, I’ve returned to the fold.

After seeing the mediocre rehash of Clash of the Titans, Greg and I went to the local Borders to browse and maybe find a new read. There are not a lot of interesting books out that I’m aware of, but I happened upon a book that peaked my interest immediately. It’s called “What Hath God Wrought“. It examines the period between 1815 and 1848. You might be thinking “Besides Andrew Jackson, what is there of any great interest in this period”? Well, for me, that is the point. You see, as much as I love reading about the popular figures in American history – Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Hamilton etc., I do find an appeal for the forgotten figures and pieces of our history. I’ve not read any of the book yet, but just from the reviews it seems that one of the figures that may be getting his due in the book is John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams. I’ve read in several books that,under the tutelage of his famous father, and as a long serving diplomat, he was perhaps the best prepared of Presidents up to that time, maybe of any President.

As I’ve said, I’ve not read any of the book, but I will no doubt enjoy this thing, and savor the impending analysis of the new things I’m going to learn, and reflect on any lessons it might contain that is pertinent to the world we live in today.