Of all coined currencies in histories, which in their day, or today (kinda two part question) were the most plentiful? Not used in transactions but just physically existed, minted minus lost.
Who is in this painting?
Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
You're teaching a massive survey course on the history of the 20th Century. What books are on the syllabus, in what order? [more inside]
I went to an exhibit of historic swords today and read the following inscription: . . . the blade also carries the name of the craftsman . . . a magic square for protection, and blah blah. The sword in question is from the Talpur rulers of Sind[h], in what is now known as Pakistan, and is from the 19th century. I'm just really curious about these protective magic squares, and am hoping there is someone out there who can tell me something about them and/or show some examples.>> [more inside]
How far does genealogy go back in different countries/cultures? [more inside]
Help! I need to know what high society Cairo looks like in the 1920s - the sophisticated, opulent, and fashionable - people and settings. More parties and interiors than architecture. It's really important that the references be of Egyptian people, not travelers visiting from abroad bringing their own style with them. But, if it was fashionable for the well-heeled to import furniture and clothing styles from Europe, that's important too. What does a party look like, and how would it differ from a party set in Paris or London? The things that are different are the things that are important. My best resource so far is the Egyptian Royalty pool on Flickr. That and Indiana Jones is all I've got. It's for a painting. Thanks!
What comes next after popular medical non-fiction? [more inside]
What are the 13 aerospace vehicles in storage at "the boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base? [more inside]
I was watching the excellent Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War last night, and found myself wondering how this particular conflict is taught in schools outside the US. If you were raised outside the United States and remember learning about the US Civil War in school, what do you remember? I would love to hear about your experience.
I want to get a firmer grasp of the English-speaking countries history. [more inside]
My house was built in 1890. When I had foundation work done several years ago, the workers dug out a lot of dirt from under my house, and in that dirt they found a bunch of cut and carved stones - pure white marble, limestone, and granite. [more inside]
I'm looking for a resource that lists Los Angeles city street names and their origin/namesake. There's an old Angelfire site that does exactly what I'm looking for, but only for a few major streets. Where can I find information similar to what that site offers, but for lesser-known streets?
Over the last decade, I've heard many rumours of informative guided tours, of groups and individuals, BY groups and individuals, of the area destroyed during the 1967 riots in Detroit. I have always wanted to go, and am now trying to plan something with a friend the weekend of October 12th. The only solid lead I had, an elderly history buff and longtime Detroit resident who had given tours to family friends in the past, is no longer giving tours, and google doesn't list any tours with this particular theme. I am very much hoping someone here can help!
I love nature documentaries (good ones), but I'm all out and need some recommendations. More inside for what I like, and what I've seen. [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]
What was it like to live on campus at a residential U.S. college on Sept. 11, 2001? How and when did news spread about the attacks? How did students around you respond? Did people flood outside, gather in small groups indoors, congregate at television sets? Did professors cancel class, or set rigid attendance requirements? I'm interested in generalities as well specifics. What was the mood like on that day and immediately afterward? How did the pulse and the life of the campus alter that day? Especially interested in colleges and universities NOT in communities that were directly attacked.
My wife & I share an interest in history, but where I had a succession of quite good history teachers, she did not. We're many years out of college now, but she wants to broaden her knowledge through (relatively) easy reads. [more inside]
I recently moved to the Boston area, and realized that I don't know anything about it, or the main period that it's famous for. Please recommend me some non-fiction page-turners. [more inside]
Please help me think of historical LGBT locations in the United States. [more inside]
Can you recommend an intelligent, entertaining book about the Hanseatic League? [more inside]
auto-mats, greyhound buses, Pan-Am, radio, TV etc. Pop culture and day-to-day life. A book with lots of pictures would be ideal.
I'm brainstorming a volunteer presentation to give in schools on "The History of Recorded Audio". Probably 2 or 3 45-minute sessions. Has anyone written or presented something similar? [more inside]
I'm looking for book recommendations for thorough, engaging, and rigorous histories of Savile Row tailoring and/or books that talk about the history and philosophy of fine men's tailoring and dress. I'm not averse to books with technical information, as well as historical and cultural information. Thank you!
A friend of mine found this picture of his grandmother working at Westinghouse Air Brake (or possibly Union Switch and Signal?) in the early 1940s and is trying to identify what she is working on. [more inside]
I have a very old photo of a family member, Edward Mackintosh, who died during the First World War in the Quintinshill Rail Disaster. As far as I know it is the one remaining photo of him. Sadly it is in very poor condition. It is in a locket (photo) and has adhered to the glass. We're fairly certain that it isn't glued, but it has been worn my my Mum for many years and has suffered dampness and perfume etc, which has caused it to stick. I'd really like to take a good quality (or best possible) scan of the photo to give to my Grandfather. Is there any way to achieve this? Ideally I'd remove the photo from the glass so I could take it to a local photo shop for scanning. But if that's the wrong approach I'm happy to take advice!
No, not the hair that grows on your face. I want more information on the phenomenon the “fake wife” or “fake girlfriend” who accompanies gay men to Hollywood premieres. [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'm looking for recommendations for unusual guidebooks to Seattle and the surrounding area, with a particular emphasis on ghost stories, the supernatural, the strange in general and the just plain odd. Being well tied in to historical context would be an advantage, as would be meatier text rather than just bullet points and captioned photos.
Pretend I came from another planet yesterday. Pretend that today I listened to everything by The Rolling Stones. Pretend that tomorrow I want to read a book about the band/their history/their music. What would that book be? [more inside]
Literature, philosophy, art all obviously have histories that are an important part of their discipline's identities. Even my field, educational technology, has a few histories (Paul Saettle for example). I'm interested in the histories of other "lesser known" disciplines or maybe obscure disciplines. Specifically, why would the "lesser known" disciplines need histories? And do all academic disciplines have histories?
I'm looking for int'l relations and/or history books about the Cold War which don't depict the Communist world as a highly organised, monolithic organisation intentionally seeking world domination and which discuss the failures of American intervention/rollback/containment/etc. (I am not looking for propaganda from the other side; scholarly works would be best.) Thanks in advance ^_^
What are some good historical sources on the Reformation? [more inside]
So my mom (from Ireland) will be spending September with me in California, she's been here many times and we've covered most of the West Coast on numerous road-trips. We will almost certainly do another this time, probably about 10 days travelling down the coast from San Jose to San Diego, then we'll most likely swing east through the deserts and work our way back along the Owens Valley towards Lake Mono before crossing the Sierra back to the Bay Area. Apart from finally stopping at Hearst Castle and visiting The Getty in LA (which has been closed every other time we've been in the area). We're looking for sites of archaeological, historical or geological interest. When my mom asks about archaeological sites she's thinking things like Chaco Canyon in NM. The Google has mostly failed me, so here's hoping Mefi can do better. So I'm looking for places to visit with interesting history that are reasonably accessible, (4WD and dirt roads to get there is OK), she can walk but not hike up a hill. As a bonus question, I'm pretty interested in geology and so I'm going to go find some really old rocks (they're kinda scarce in Nor Cal) and maybe some trilobite fossils. But I'd love to hear other ideas.
I'm about to finish The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. Before that, I read Nancy Scheper-Hughes' Death Without Weeping. What's next? [more inside]
Blogs devoted to objects, fascinating and everyday? [more inside]
My husband and I want to carefully plan a series of American History field trips for our family, to take place over the next 3-6 years. We live in Northern New England and are, ourselves, pretty conversant in US History. Can you help us plan what we should see and -- most importantly -- what order we should see it in? [more inside]
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]