Monday, September 24, 2007

Currently reading

Wherein also reading Chris Rose's 1 Dead in Attic; also highly recommended

Caught the rebroadcast of author Nancy Isenberg on C-SPAN's Book TV last weekend and it was lively. Paraphrasing her presentation: "No one has done the work I've done. All other historians are lazy bastards lapping up the work of other lazy bastards. I actually went out and read stuff. Old stuff. I still have this nasty cough from being around all that old stuff."

Anyway, she was enjoyable, it's a period of history I wished I knew more about, and she sold me. Still early in the book -- just out of the Revolutionary War -- and I'd recommend it. What I've learned so far: Washington was a hesitant general prone to massive mistakes. Need to find a good book on the war because I'm thinking the only reason we won was France entering the war and the British then moving large numbers of their troops to the Caribbean. Also Hamilton is a venal little prick while Burr is virtuous and even tempered. I see a bit of foreshawdowing here and I'm guessing I'm still a few hundred pages away from where he starts screwing everything that isn't screwed down. Eighteenth century works mentioned that sound interesting: Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman (project Gutenberg) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile.

  • NY Times review
  • NY Sun review
  • Nancy Isenberg's course listings sound entertaining.
  • Aaron Burr Association. Their objectives: "To keep alive the memory of Colonel Aaron Burr as a student, a soldier, a lawyer, a politician, a patron of the arts, an educator, a banker, and as a husband and father" and "to secure for him the honor and respect which are due him as one of the leading figures of his age."


Blogger reader_iam said...

I still have the copy of Vindiction of the Rights of Women that my mother gave me, among a collection of other books, for Valentine's Day circa 1973 or 1974, give or take.

Definitely, read it--whatever conclusions you may reach, it's worth reading for her mind, the history, and a slew of other reasons, well before one needs to get issues of agreeing or not.

And also because of her relation to other significant people in history, and also because of her influence, and, well, you know, all that stuff.

9/27/2007 01:46:00 AM  
Blogger reader_iam said...

Washington's a mixed bag, of course. But it turned out that we were very lucky to have him. Charmed, even. Even blessed.

So it goes.

9/27/2007 01:48:00 AM  

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