There are a number of books that I dearly love and have found indispensable that are not on this list. I mean no slight to any of those volumes. But this is about being less stupid. Brisk in pace. A big-ass book that reads like a much slimmer one. The first few hundred pages offer a catalogue of evidence, making it clear not just that the white South went to war for the right to own people, but that it warred for the right to expand the right to own people.
Read this book. You will immediately be less stupid than some of the most powerful people in the West Wing. Again, eminently readable but thick with import. It corrects nearly a half-century of stupidity inflicted upon America by the Dunning school of historians, which preferred a portrait of Grant as a bumbling, corrupt butcher of men. Finally, it reframes the Civil War away from the overrated Virginia campaigns and shows us that when the West was won, so was the war.
Grant hits like a Mack truck of knowledge. The historian Thavolia Glymph focuses on the relationships between black enslaved women and the white women who took them as property. She picks apart the stupid idea that white mistresses were somehow less violent and less exploitative than their male peers. An important point here—stupid ideas about ladyhood and the soft feminine hand meant nothing when measured against the fact of a slave society. Slavery was the monster that made monsters of its masters.
Compromising with it was morally bankrupt—and stupid. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass: The final of three autobiographies written by the famed abolitionist, and my personal favorite.
Epic and sweeping in scope. The chapter depicting the bounty of food on which the enslavers feasted while the enslaved nearly starved is just devastating. Read Du Bois. Read Harriet Jacobs.
Read Eric Foner. Read Bruce Levine. The speech above was delivered the day after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.
But is there anything happening in America now that makes you feel optimistic about our future as a society? I think human societies tend to be problematic. And we are just conforming to the rule.
Trump is very aggressively attacking the credibility of the media. How can the media and journalists best respond to his tactics? Not sure they can. Dunno if this is really up to them. Feels like something larger happening. Obviously you can do your job well. Do you believe in the meme that it was liberal intolerance for conservative views that generated the backlash personified by Trump?
Or the related meme that liberals have ignored white heartland people? How do you think protest movements are gonna evolve in the next few years to counter the alt-right direction that national politics have taken? No idea. But they need to take appropriate measures against the very real possibility of government surveillance and harassment. Like, in the life-times of many Americans. No real reason to think it could not happen again. That it is highly likely they will be viewed as a threat.
That it is likely that they will be set against each other. That they will be bugged. What do you think of the recent schism on the left or maybe just the far left? But there is really nothing in the world-view of, say, Bernie Sanders I actually disagree with. The problem is the temptation to paper over historically fraught issues to achieve that is tempting. And you always see that on the left. Is a real peace—with something approaching fairness and justice—ever going to be on offer in America in your view?
The world is imperfect.
As a black mother and an advocate for racial equality, I am concerned about your totality of belief that black people will never gain true equality in America. My job is to speak what that which I think is true. The only time I felt distance was during the campus protests. I think the kids are all right. I thought it was a great experience, but there was definitely a mixed response to my presence on some days. Do you think this is good, bad, or no big deal?
I always thought of Howard being defined by its mission, not by racist exclusion. There is historical precedent for this. The result was that, for a time, Howard was actually the largest producers of white women doctors in the region. In fact, HBCUs have never been segregated. Howard, specifically, was created to educate and create a class of people invested in the ideals of justice and equality. We need more. And then we need other non-black institutions— not just higher ed—to follow that same example with black and brown folks.
America is on permanent raised-eyebrow status toward those of us who are black. I know the vocabulary here is popular. For me, that meant reading a lot and reporting. What sort of history books, if any, are you reading these days?
I loved your discussion of Bloodlands. Will we see an end to these sorts of deals anytime soon? Should we? I actually am back watching. Got pulled back in. Was looking for some part of me that was lost.
An adventurer must steal the Declaration of Independence and use its hidden map to find a legendary fortune. Seasonal breaks There are so many ways to enjoy England come rain or shine, from romantic boat trips along scenic rivers in spring; summer holidays soaking up the sun by the coast, sampling delicious autumnal delights at a food festival or enjoying cosy winter breaks. The seeing eye of Beatrix Potter. In Tokyo to shoot a commercial, a middle-aged actor becomes attracted to a young woman whose husband is a celebrity photographer. Also several museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York exhibited these manuscripts and original Beatrix Potter tales in a special exhibition with also some little conventional personal objects of her. Snuck in an Audre Lorde citation in the last issue. Book 4 Pocket Guide.