I've been reading Bruce Catton's history of the Army of the Potomac, which is excellent. It occurs to me I've only ever read Civil War history from the Union side. So, it's all about those terrible Union generals and all the mistakes they made, and Lincoln's frustration, and how eventually superior manpower and manufacturing, and the Emancipation Proclamation, crushed the feisty Rebs. Now I'd like to read about what the Rebs were thinking during the Late, Great Unpleasantness. Who's the Bruce Catton of the South?
Is there a statistical measure that I can rely on in evaluating papers or articles in a historical subject? If you teach history, what measure would you rely on in evaluating student papers and take-home exam essays for plagiarism? [more inside]
Does anyone know the history behind this poem? I know that he wrote it for a fiance that died in a plane crash and that it was written on Christmas Eve 1943, but wondering about its involvement during WWII? I have heard it was used for codes but am looking for a little more depth of information. I am planning to read it at my grandmother's memorial service and she was a history buff so I would love to talk briefly about it's background and story. Thanks so much! [more inside]
It's an especially slow time at work for me right now, and will be for a few more weeks at least. Please recommend some online time-killers. Specs within. [more inside]
My girlfriend recently found out that one of the branches of her family owned slaves pre-Civil War era in North Carolina. This has really devastated her at some level, especially because she was previously so proud of her near generation family (1 or 2 back). Even worse, it's her last name so she feels that she's been tainted by this revelation. While I was trying to make her feel better, it occurred to me that I didn't quite know how one deals with the fact that your family history is entwined with an evil like slavery, and the fact that it was legal at the time doesn't really assuage her guilt from her ancestors' actions. [more inside]
... or are they? My question initially stemmed from watching Spielberg's Lincoln and thinking about the fact that of the 4 assassinated U.S. Presidents, there is a lot of interest in Lincoln and Kennedy, whereas despite their being killed in office, I'm betting few high school students can even name Garfield and McKinley. I asked my fairly bright junior high son (and my wife) and neither could name "the other two" assassinated presidents at all. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend some decent general histories of the Congo War (1996-2003) and its related conflicts? [more inside]
Anyone know of any contemporary accounts (in memoir or fiction) of Tehran in the thirties and forties available in English? I'm hoping for things by Persians of the time, but accounts by foreigners (especially British) would be welcome, too. Or (a boy can dream) any sort of daily life history of the time and place? [more inside]
How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
Can you find me resources for learning about the grand forces that affect history? [more inside]
A hundred years ago, if you had an infection that we would today treat with antibiotics, what was the typical prognosis ? Death ? [more inside]
I have heard rumor that the early Christian gnostics may have tolerated or even celebrated homosexuality. Does that seem probably to you? Is there any evidence for this in ancient sources? Does gay sex seem compatible with their thinking generally? Are there any books or articles on this topic?
I am looking for quirky, engaging or art & music related US & world history media. [more inside]
I'm working on a story and was looking for some historical information on the Empire Hotel in Manhattan, one of the oldest hotels in the city. I'm not experienced in research, and my google searching did not produce much. Can you all steer me in the direction of how to research the history of this hotel? [more inside]
What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
I'm pretty sure I spent two days confusing two different people named William F. Kruse. There's the William F. Kruse listed here in Wikipedia that belonged to the Communist Party and then joined Bell and Howell. He died in 1952 and has an archive in the Chronicling Illinois Collection. I thought THAT Kruse might also be the William F. Kruse who was writing for Educational Screen in the 1950s, because of the Bell and Howell connection. But now I don't think so because that Kruse was also writing educational technology histories into the late 1960s. But there his trail ends. Is there a best approach to finding out when someone died?
Hi Metafilter. Recommendations, please? Recently I had ended a cycle of medication that was likely to affect my memory. It has. I feel as though I've gone from a quick, engaged conversationalist, to a bit of an observant, less inclined platform of speaking. Mostly, it's because I can't seem to recall things as quickly as before. It's so, so uncomfortable. I've been told my memory will return over time, but in the meantime, I can read and participate in exercises in an attempt to jar it. Can anyone offer some comprehensive overviews of religion, history, philosophy, or politics? Really basic stuff would be just find - Any texts going over the religions of the world, introductions to politic, lists of notable philosophers or historic figures.. Thank you!
I'm looking for specific examples of, for example, two world leaders sitting down for dinner and standing up with a peace treaty. To phrase the question differently, what is the most important thing that has ever happened at a dining table?
Where can I find ALL of the writings of Ho Chi Minh intended for an American audience? For example, messages to the American people as well as letters and telegrams to elected officials.
I was at lunch today and asked my friends "Why don't American's have British accents in their speach?" They were dumbfounded and began to wonder themselves so I turn to Ask MetaFilter to find the answer.
My current poetry project is poems that deal with subjects fitting into the above categories. Mata Hari's body never being collected and donated to medical school? Check. Evita's body being hidding away in a casket named Maria Maggi in Italy for years? Check. Poem about the relics of St. Therese going into space? Check. Female sideshow freaks? Check. Elvira as death incarnate? Check. You (kinda) get the idea now of what I'm trying to write about--weird stuff that's happened to women's bodies, especially when that brushes up against pop culture. I can try to explain more if this admittedly vague criteria is still unclear. Anyway, I'm looking for more topics to write about. Please throw out anything that might fit. Thank you!
Why do black-and-white shows from the 1960s, especially live ones, have what looks to be a burn (dark shadows) around bright objects (around Walt's signature and around people's heads) and dodging effects (white glowing) around dark objects (around the jet-black suit jackets of the announcer and dancers)? I originally thought it was some beleagured production assistant manually burning the What's My Line signatures so that they'd be more high-contrast and thus more readable, but now I'm seeing it everywhere!
A friend of mine is about to move to Vietnam. I'd like to get him a book as a farewell gift. Please give me your recommendations for books about Vietnam the country - that is, books that cover something of the country's history, society and politics other than the American war.
Any Adams family experts in the house? Did Charles Adams (son of John Adams) die of alcohol poisoning, delirium tremens, liver disease, pancreatitis, or other illness merely attributed to his drinking? Basic googling did not pull up any details on his death. My understanding is that in 1800 DTs was not a well described syndrome (in the US or possibly anywhere), but there was some familiarity with other alcohol-related illness.
This quote has been going around various friend's facebook pages, supposedly from a NYT editorial opposing the 16th Amendment. I can't find the rest of the article, and would like to see the context for the quote. Any leads online or offline where I could check it out? [more inside]
I just graduated with a MA in history. Yay! But what do I now? I'm desperate to find a new job, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Details within. [more inside]
I live in a central Pennsylvania village that's almost 200 years old called Linden Hall. It was in the cellar of a home in our village that one of my neighbors found a bunch of old feed bags from the mill that used to be powered by the creek that runs through here. One of those feed bags looked like this. It uses this term "Chop." So we began to wonder why, if Chop was a type of feed, why did it had a protein and fat content label? And why are there horses on the bag? Was this actually livestock feed, or something else? [more inside]
I've been working on putting together an annotated bibliography for my adviser over the past few days. I'm struck by how much work it is in terms of finding all of the articles, saving them, and then tracking backwards and forwards through citations to find related material. However as I've been doing this (and, in fact, each time I do any sort of review of the literature) I wonder what life was like before you had giant relational databases of material, not even counting things like writing up the report on a type writer. So, my question: if you've been in academia for a while, then what was life like before word processors / large relational databases of literature / instant collaboration and communication through email? And what sort of changes have you seen with the job as technology has advanced?
I've lived all my life in the shadow of the Appalachians. Now, I'm moving to Arizona. What are some books that I should read, or music that I should hear, to help me get the feel of the Southwest? [more inside]
Historically, in tropical areas, did cyclones/hurricanes wipe villages/huts/people off the face of the earth ? [more inside]
I've always wanted to learn about my family's history. I have an aunt who is nearing 75 and according to my father, she knows the most about my family. I was thinking of interviewing her this summer. [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good book on the history of Laos? I've tried searching on Amazon but most of the titles I see there seem to focus on America's unfortunate colonial misadventure in Southeast Asia and the CIA's secret war in Laos. While I understand the market imperatives that might lead to such a focus, I'd like to get a broader history than that. The book I am looking will : [more inside]
I remember reading something, somewhere from one of the founding fathers about the original intent of legislators to NOT be a political class. To serve a term or two and go home so that people from outside could contribute and people inside didn't get too jaded. Though maybe I'm adding a lot of subtext. Is there anything from any of the FF's on this that rings a bell? Do you have a quote or two?
Four and eight years ago, I asked where I could obtain a copy of Eduardo Paolizzi's remarkable short film The History of Nothing on DVD. Added difficulty: I'm in America. Twist: I would gladly consider purchasing a 16mm print. Any leads?
Looking for statistical information on how many students study history at the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. level in various non-US countries. [more inside]
Steering wheels are an odd invention: a round object that you rotate clockwise or anti-clockwise based on whether you want to move a car left or right. The rotating of a wheel doesn't really match up with what you are trying to accomplish (unless you're used to it). [more inside]
I'm looking for solid histories of Alexandria (Egypt, not Virginia). Overviews are good, as are works more specifically social, intellectual, military, or economic. I'm particularly interested in ancient and Napoleonic information, but all suggestions are welcome! Web resources are welcome as well as print works; I have access to ILL and an academic library.
In the late 1990's on the Oprah Winfrey show, there was a brief piece on a song that reached the low end of the R&B charts. Sonically it was pretty traditional soul music, but the twist was that it was a cheating song, but the female singer catches her man cheating with another man, named "Bill," which was the title of the song, IIRC. If anyone can provide me with the singers name that'd be great. Bonus points for an mp3 or youtube link.
In the next day or two, I'll be getting some microfiche via ILL for an academic project. Ideally, I'd be able to digitize portions (50-100pp, probably) of them for future use in a way more efficient (and cheaper...) than printing out paper copies and scanning them. I have a Nikon D80 with a 50mm f/1.8 and a 105mm f/2.8 (I think) and a tripod, an iPad 3, a MacBook Pro, and a grad student budget. My campus has photocopiers that are also flatbed scanners; I'd be able to use one for an extended period of time if necessary. Any suggestions about the best ways to do this?
Why/how did this idea actually start? [more inside]
Recommend novels to help me learn more about the world! [more inside]
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
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 is the publication history of Philip Agee's Inside the Company: CIA Diary? Are European editions vastly different? Or, more to the point, are American versions censored? [more inside]
I'm looking for the US equivalent of Dominic Sandbrook's State of Emergency: Britain 1970–1974—books that explore not just the politics, movements and 'big events' of the decade, but aspects such as pop culture and the changes in daily life and habits. [more inside]
Please recommend some books about the history of Southern California. I'm specifically interested in the evolution of car culture and the L.A. area as a cultural incubator. [more inside]
This is a followup to this question from almost five years ago. I am about to graduate from a not-very-well-known State University in the southwest with a BA in History. My problem is that I am now rudderless, with a great deal of debt and virtually no real job prospects. I am staring down the barrel of paycheck-to-paycheck poverty, forever. Please help. [more inside]
I am looking for books investigating the occult as a phenomenon, its history, and its possibilities. Maybe that sounds simple, but I'm also picky. [more inside]
So my wife is pregnant. Hooray! (Still early enough that we don't know the gender). We're starting to think about names. It seems to me that the world's great hope and story of progress is the expansion of rights and consideration of the views & interests of an ever-widening swath of humanity. Which historical figures stand for pluralism, for rejecting provincialism, in word or deed? I've picked up, but haven't yet read Kwame Anthony Appiah's Cosmopolitanism; I'd be grateful for suggestions of books or other resources that might be useful. [more inside]
Has there been a definitive account of the Iran-Contra Scandal written from the vantage point of either Iran or Nicaragua? [more inside]