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September 23, 2016



I read Historian Eric Foner's 'Gateway to Freedom' this past summer and he writes a pretty good book Also, his book on 'Reconstruction' is quite good. What comes after the civil war is pretty awful for Blacks. Twelve years a Slave is also a good book.


Diane: I'll take a look at Gateway to Freedom. Right now I am reading Astoria by Washington Irving.


I just logged on and saw a headline about a shooting in Burlington. Is it in the area?


North of Seattle near Bellingham.


A place that we have been by many times.


I think most everybody likes a happy ending or a good story. Look at Japan sanitizing their history of WWII. I am sure the Russians don't dwell on the Stallinist purges. Even Alex Haley embellished history to achieve his goals of story telling. Hope you are all safe after the mall shooting in that neck of the woods.


I'm quite interested in this topic in a kind of "meta" way. More on this later. I don't think "everyone does it" is a sufficient explanation.This shooting took place miles away but in area we know well and have visited often.


Destroying the past is very much the British government's objective as well. They want to bury the idea of a generous welfare state, worthwhile jobs and adequate incomes and get us used to the idea of scraping along on next to nothing in the name of "austerity".


Nick: Bow down to the City and curtsy to the Queen. If you get too cold this winter, you can put on another sweater . Living the simple life if you are a peasant and honoring one's betters are so British! According to the stereotype . Look at Downtown Abbey. I don't but other Americans love it.
I'd be angry and bitter all the time if I lived in England.


"One thing I am picking up is the idea of accepting a broken and discontinuous history as the real past of this country. I am reminded of Walter Benjamin's vision of the European past as a rubble field behind and people being pushed into a terrifying future."

Most astute. Also about the museumizing & of course the narrative of triumph.

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