Two interesting facts from Ken Burns’s The Civil War

  • At one point, 1 in 7 Americans (14%) was a slave.
  • 4 slaves out of 100 survived until age 60.
Advertisements
Two interesting facts from Ken Burns’s The Civil War

Read a little about Uncle Tom’s Cabin

With the world in general and the US in particular going somewhat crazy (something that started gradually decades ago and is accelerating now), I was curious about Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was written during troubled and racist times like these…

The seeds for the novel were planted during the 1830s and 1840s when she heard tales about slavery, then blossomed after the fugitive slave acts were passed in 1850.  She based the novel on tales and a few writings by runaway slaves, and sold it as a serialized novel for $600 (not a tiny sum in 1850).  It was a success, and published as a novel that was also a phenomenal and immediate success – in the North, the average person could picture slavery beyond the speeches, and in the South Stowe was called slanderous and a liar, but both northerners and southerners read her book, and it was published in virtually every language across the world.  Like Common Sense in 1776, Uncle Tom’s Cabin’s influence in the right time and right place is hard to overstate.  Stowe became a celebrity, and moved after The Civil War to Florida, where in her old age she likely suffered from Alzheimer’s before dying in 1895(?).

I’m very interested in reading this book!  I’ve reserved the audiobook from the library.  There are several people who’ve reserved the book before me (i.e. there is a wait list), which is wonderful!

Read a little about Uncle Tom’s Cabin

For the record, Rome did not “survive” Caligula

I’ve seen references lately that Rome suffered through a leader like Trump (Caligula), survived him and had several more centuries of power.  Some thoughts about that:

  • The world moved slower then.  Empires lasted longer because the world moved at a slower pace before powered engines, flight and instant communication.  So a few centuries then is a much shorter time frame than now.
  • Rome did not “survive” Caligula — they assassinated him.  Not saying we should assassinate anyone, but the Romans took matters into their own hands (i.e. Acted rather than waited).
  • Rome was facing challenges, but not the same as today I dont’ think.  They did not have a powerful China, an antagonist in Russia and small states with nuclear missiles to contend with.   I feel like these are much more dangerous/lethal times for the US, than Rome was facing with Caligula.  Stakes are higher — and more instantaneous — for us at this moment than Rome faced in 1st Century AD/CE.

It’s scary to think where the world might be today with Trump in office at the times that Abe Lincoln, FDR, Ike and JFK had to navigate scary times.

Anyway, my two cents.

For the record, Rome did not “survive” Caligula

Thoughts from Today: Handmaiden’s Tale, Tired, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, The Thirty Years War and Better Things.

 Finished Handmaid’s Tale season 1. Elizabeth Moss is a great actress – it didn’t dawn on me how much different June is than her Mad Men character until this morning, she did it so effortlessly. It is amazing how religious zealots doing “right by God” can oppress, rape and kill people so willingly. Can’t wait for season 2

 Very tired this week. Think from all the travel.

 Wife M and Daughter L made banana chocolate chip bread yesterday – I’ve had like 10 slices.

Studied The Thirty Year War: In 1618, The Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II began imposing Catholicism in Central Europe, resulting in uprising and igniting a major religious war that would last until 1648. The uprisings were crushed, but ignited a greater series of conflicts that eventually involved most of the major European powers over a 30 year period. The people of Germany – where the war primarily took place — were especially devastated through looting and civilian casualties, and by the war’s end there were more than 8 million casualties, there were major shifts of power, France emerged as the new world power and the Netherlands emerged as a new world power during what would be called The Dutch Golden Age.  
Wife M and I started watching Better Things, about an actress and single mother juggling her career and 3 teen-age daughters. It is endearing and hilarious.

Daughter L’s friend is struggling at her house again.  She will likely be living with us again soon.  I love that she has a safe house to come to, and that Daughter L and Wife M welcome her.  

Thoughts from Today: Handmaiden’s Tale, Tired, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, The Thirty Years War and Better Things.

Never had heard of Marcus Garvey before today’s NYT

The NYT had a blurb about Marcus Garvey today.  I’d never heard of him before so wanted to make a note of it here…  He was born in Jamaica in 1887, and famously urged blacks to return to Africa and claim it as their own.  When a black man ascended to the throne in Ethopia, Garvey was hailed as a prophet and was revered by Rastafarians as a Black Prophet and Messiah.  None other than Martin Luther King said he was the first man to give blacks a sense of identity and destiny…  Wow.  How is it that I’d never heard of him?

Never had heard of Marcus Garvey before today’s NYT

Learned that the Moors swept out of modern Saudi Arabia in 711 and conquered modern day Spain

Al-Walid I sent an army of his men (varied reports but approximately 10K) out of modern central Saudi Arabia and conquered the Iberian Peninsula in 711 (not much is known about the Iberian Peninsula before the 8th Century).  The Moors would rule this area for the next 7 centuries and their presence had a lasting impact on Spanish culture.

Learned that the Moors swept out of modern Saudi Arabia in 711 and conquered modern day Spain