So two books I really love are Heaven to Betsy and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love how they go into the details of the period they take place, particularly the fashion and food. It was also only recently I realised that they take place roughly around the same era. It really surprised me because they are so completely different to one another. Francie has an alcoholic father and the family can barely get food on the table; Betsy's biggest ordeal is falling in love with a boy that doesn't like her back and not studying for an essay contest. So my question is two-fold and is aimed at requesting book suggestions. [more inside]
What are some subtle or lesser-known examples of current-day real-world USA being a dystopia? [more inside]
I recently came upon the work of Noam Chomsky and it opened up a whole new world of information and ways of seeing the world. How can I become more informed about our world's recent history and be accurate about it? [more inside]
I know Walter Benjamin treasured a drawing by Paul Klee, Angelus Novus (angel of history).
. So much so that he wrote about it in his essay "Theses on the Philosophy of History". [more inside]
I am looking for fiction or non-fiction books (or movies - documentaries or fiction) about societies that are collapsing or falling apart -- anything from the late Roman Empire to 1990s Yugoslavia. I'm especially interested in books or movies that focus on the lives of regular people while the collapse is happening.
I am specifically NOT looking for sci-fi dystopias or fantasy novels, so please don't recommend any.
I am looking for examinations of the Internet and World Wide Web that use the structure and/or history of the city as a metaphor. [more inside]
What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
What are some good examples of failing to learn from history? [more inside]
How exactly did Christianity come to dominate the Western world to such an extent? [more inside]
Can you please recommend some books on daily life, home life, and general society in the UK and the US in the 1840s - 1880s for me?
I already have What Jane Austen Ate, and What Charles Dickens Knew and An Elegant Madness. It doesn't have to be specifically on daily life- creative nonfiction like Larson's The Devil in the White City or Johnson's The Ghost Map are awesome, too.
A history of the camera and its' effects on modern society in five paragraphs. [more inside]
I am looking for good pairs of quotes/articles/other from different points in history, which make the same observation but both think they're identifying a recent or "modern" social change. [more inside]
Where can I find a downloadable version of Michael Murphey's classic, "Temple of the Sun" to download? Of course I am willing to pay for the copyrighted, legal, etc. version. But I would rather not have to buy the entire Swans Against the Sun CD to get this one song.
Also, HUGE Bonus Points if you can lead me to similar(?) songs which might interest my sons (see inside for more on this challenge). [more inside]
Books about Burma? [more inside]
What were some of the most idyllic communities to have ever existed? I’m not looking for opinions, I’m looking for hard anthropological examples or studies that have been carried out on such cultures. [more inside]
I'm having trouble tracking down information about a movement in Dada-ist Art
I heard about a few years ago. From what I remember Dadaist idealism inspired a group of artists to contemplate the organic development of urban environments. Art, using the defined structure of the city, to reflect the chaotic order which arises from nature.
Did this century old
movement exist or has my brain made it up?
Where can I find an extensive list of 'labeled generations'? (i.e. 'X', 'Y', 'The Greatest', 'Baby Boomers', etc.) [more inside]
I'm over 30 and probably know as much or less about history, politics/ gov, and current events as my 7 year old niece. Now, I want to be aware and don't know where to begin. I've tried just "merging in" but the references, terms, and names are lost on me. I need a starting point that will give me a framework or bird's eye view to start from and build on. [more inside]
In your opinion, what is the most awe-inspiring, amazing invention created in human history? And why?
Can a free people in a democratic country that has grown to such an enormous power remain to its historically told ideals of basic human rights, government from and for the people? Could the desire for control of that power be great enough to collapse a free society? Is humankind enslaved to war?