By Howard Zinn.
Boy! How the history we learned in school differs from the actual history of our country.
A ruling elite in this country took over from a ruling elite in England. Those pictures of Andrew Jackson and Alexander Hamilton and Abraham Lincoln and US Grant on our money should be considered mug shots, not pictures of honor.
When I think of the whitewash of Lincoln in the latest movie it makes me wonder about how much else we have been misled by. It is estimated that there were 30,000 political prisoners in this country during the administration of Lincoln. Yes, many of them were those who opposed his freeing of the slaves but many of them were also opposed to fighting in the civil war for the North and were taken in during the draft riots of that era. If you were rich enough you could buy your way out of military service for $300.
Previous to the civil war the incessant assault on the native Americans is just heartbreaking. Time after time treaties were broken and Indians were driven ever further West, always being promised that they would have their land that no white man would be able to take from them. Time after time this proved to be just one pack of lies after another. The Trail Of Tears trod from Tennessee to Oaklahoma with many Cherokees dying along the way is described with the vultures circling and the wolf packs prowling to pick off the weak and the dead. It is a horribly grizzly description.
The insatiable appetite of the Anglos (White people)to connect this country from East to West was just one atrocity followed by another. The war against Mexico for Texas and New Mexico was just one horrific description of modernized conflict after another. Though many of the soldiers in that war were induced to fight with offers of money and land many of it was taken from them upon their return to their homes by profiteers offering pennies on the dollar.
I'm only up to Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish-American War at the turn of that century and finishing up the labor unrest that ran through the 1800s at the dawn of the industrial revolution. Time after time labor unrest ran amok and was not able to be brought under control by the local militias who often sided with their own people. Time after time Federal troops were brought in to crush local labor unrest. Countless times.
How is it we were never told that the sweat of the worker's brow in this country was often enough not a brute strength, but one that time and again wanted and agitated for decent wages and working conditions while the owners of the mills remained carelessly insulated in their rich splendor, comfortably separated from the suffering they had their management and foremen inflict mercilessly, even upon children?
As Zinn says in his foreword: (paraphrased) Those who won the battles wrote the history that you and I have come to accept as the truth.
I FINALLY finished reading "The Complete Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Vol. 1" to my daughter at bedtime, so we've moved on to another book that I started but have yet to complete: "The Amazing Adventure of Kavalier and Clay." If you're not familiar with the novel, it's the fictionalized biography of Josef Kavalier and Sam Clayman, the creators of the '40s-era comic book superhero, The Escapist. It's actually a really good read, in spite of Chabon's tendency to use unnecessarily big words (this coming from someone with a pretty extensive vocabulary). And I really like how Chabon uses that olde-tyme superhero lingo in his writing; it gives the story an added air of danger and excitement, blending the reality of the story with the fantasy of the comic books.
marye, think X-Men meets the Chronicles of Narnia. You'll understand what I mean once you start reading the series.
I'll check it out!
It's interesting you mention the abundant use of Fairyland in young adult fiction, because I'd outlined an idea for a YA novel set in the exact same "location." Life has, of course, not provided ample time to flesh out such an idea, but I know I have those notes lying around somewhere. And speaking of magical creatures getting thrown at you left and right, have you read any of Piers Anthony's Xanth series? If you haven't, I certainly do recommend you give it a try. It was a minor obsession of mine in my teen years, but it became increasingly difficult to find book stores that carried the books.
This was all pre-internet, of course, and I fully intend to re-obsess over these books at some point in the near-ish future.
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But I cannot find words strong enough to recommend The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making and its first (of a planned four) sequels, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, both by Catherynne M. Valente.
In one of my occupational threads (reviewing books for Common Sense Media, a media-review-for-parents site), I have had occasion to discover that the theme of kids spirited off to Fairyland is quite common in youth-targeted literature, with variations from the intriguing to the pretty dreadful. So I was not so enthused at the prospect of reading yet another.
Well, this pretty much blows the rest of the genre out of the water. The language is unabashedly lush and the story just grabs you and takes off before you know what hit you.
The story has to do with a 12-year-old girl in WWII Omaha whose father has gone to war, while her mother's working in an aircraft factory. One day a Green Wind riding on a leopard whisks her off to Fairyland, the first of many things you're well advised to just let unfold without trying to figure it out. Adventures ensue.
This is sort of like saying Terrapin Station is about a romantic rivalry. It is, But.
Like I say, YA fantasy isn't everyone's dish, let alone YA fantasy that throws unexplained strange beings at you like so many dodgeballs till your brain explodes and you just go with it. I mean, a herd of wild velocipedes?
But I've gotta say it's the best thing I've read in recent memory. Cannot wait for the next volume, due in October.
Less than 100 pages to go! I'm already several chapters into "The Hound of the Baskervilles" but have no idea what to start reading once I'm finished. My first inclination is to finish Michael Chabon's 'The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay', which I put down several years ago, 'The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian', or George R. R. Martin's 'Storm of Swords'.
1902 EDITION OF
THE SEARS, ROEBUCK AND CO.
CATALOGUE NO. 111
Fulton, Desplaines, Jefferson & Wayman Sts
CHICAGO, ILL., U.S.A.
Bounty Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc., New York
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 75-99921
Sears, Roebuck and Company
One of the Largest Commercial Buildings in the World
Covering an entire block in 1902.
Over 700 pages of quality items in epic proportions
for most every need.
Book cover states:
We have No Agents or Solicitors---Persons Claiming
to be Our Representatives are Swindlers
I am basked in a country of yester-year. I can
journey through ~history~ and see me there, dressed
to the nines with my hat a bounty of flowers for all
to see and then I look around and a poem comes to
me...ah yes the men dapper and traveled with a
sword at there side....hmmmmm long ago, yesterday,
some seek a time, a time, a time, a time...ago.
Yeah, this book is indescribable to me but every page
give you a little paragraph about each item and every
item well-made and sure to over perform the investment
in the item. Clothes tailored too. Impossible for me
to tell it. It is the size of a full size big city
phonebook and it cost $0.50 cents! Makes a disgrace of
the Sunday Newspaper Ads, for sure.
If I could only order from it, ahhh quality surely meant
something and pride had not purchased yet, oh the sales,
gambles and deals since then many to never be returned
as there isn't a customer service desk for such things.
Only 111 years ago.
By renowned historian Howard Zinn. Zinn taught at Spelman College during the tumultuous 60s and was fired for advising activist students. Later, in 2005, he was invited to give the commencement address.
He is widely reviled by the Ayn Rand conservative types but does not shy away from his sentiment that he speaks for those whom history, written by the conquerors, rulers and leading elite, have chosen to ignore or gloss over very briefly.
I know this book will give me a lot of "energy" (make me mad as hell) but the alternative of ignoring these little known incidents of actual history would be worse.
Columbus slaughtered the Arawak Indians of the Bahama Islands starting in 1492, but is presented as a wonderful ground-breaking explorer to children in school innocently memorizing nursery rhymes; Cortes' slaughter of the Aztecs who saw him as the returning God Quetzalcoatl; Pisarro's pitiless annihilation of the ancestors of the Inca -- all of these European white men in the pursuit of gold, the acquisition of which would rarely preserve their representative country for more than a generation.
Warning, be prepared for the education you probably never got but are now glad you are finally learning. Unless, of course, you are part of the ruling class who need excuses for the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of millions for your own inherited wealth.
Eminently worth reading in either case.