• Midweek Notes

    by Cliopatria

    Richard Beck interviews Robert Darnton in "A bookshelf the size of the world," Boston Globe, 24 July.

    Patricia Cohen, "Digital Maps Are Giving Scholars the Historical Lay of the Land," NYT, 26 July, looks at scholars' use of "Geographic Information Systems — software that displays and analyzes information related to a physical location — to re-examine real and fictional places like the villages around Salem, Mass., at the time of the witch trials; the Dust Bowl region devastated during the Great Depression; and the Eastcheap taverns where Shakespeare's Falstaff and Prince Hal caroused."

    Miri Rubin reviews Nigel Saul's For Honour and Fame: Chivalry in England 1066-1500 for the Guardian, 22 July.

  • Military History Digest #161

    by Cliopatria


    The Military History Digest is an idiosyncratic selection of military history from a variety of weblogs. Nominations for blogs to follow are always welcome at hwar@silbey.net

    19th Century

    1. The Pecking Order in the Old Army | to the Sound of the Guns by n/a

    "While bouncing around Fort Monroe on Saturday, I paid a bit more attention to the fort’s architecture than normal."

    2. Research Exercise: Did Grant Say This? (Part One) by Brooks D. Simpson

    "Over the last week or so a quote often attributed to Ulysses S. Grant has made the rounds again, from the comment space at Civil War Memory to Bob Pollack’s Yesterday … and Today blog. Here’s the quote: “Sir,” said Grant, “I have no doubt in the world that the sole object is the restoration [...]..."

    3. Research Exercise: Did Grant Say This? (Part Two) by Brooks D. Simpson

    "(link to part one) Let’s look at the quote itself first. “Sir,” said Grant, “I have no doubt in the world that the sole object is the restoration of the Union. I will say further, though, that I am a Democrat—every man in my regiment is a Democrat—and whenever I shall be convinced that this [...]..."

  • Notes on Modern History

    by Cliopatria

    Steve Donoghue reviews Robert Harvey's Romantic Revolutionary: Simon Bolivar and the Struggle for Independence in Latin America for The National, 22 July.

  • The correct target for the humanities survivalist

    by Cliopatria

    Recent events in the UK academic sphere, which I wrote about here, have had me wondering once again how we go about mounting any kind of counter-attack to the erosion of the humanities' importance in public policy. Pressure groups exist, opposition is voiced by many (though not, as said, by some of the bodies that ought to represent us) but we lack a concerted voice with which to speak back. This post muses a bit (and the ideas here are still forming and I'd welcome critique) on how far we really need to have a strategy and a fully-formed ideology in order to start the fight back.

    Louis Armstrong NYWTS2

  • War and peace, barbarism and civilisation in Perth

    by Cliopatria

    [Cross-posted at Airminded.]

    So the XXII Biennial Australasian Association for European History Conference is over, and I must say it's the best conference I've been to, for a number of reasons. It was well-organised, despite some added difficulties such as being jointly hosted by and held at two universities, the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University. That's easy to gloss over but some conferences don't manage to rise to the occasion. The locations were pretty, both the campuses and the city (though it was rainy on the first day, it would probably be unfair to blame the organisers for that). And the food provided at the session breaks was scrumptious.

    Oh yes, the history! Two parallel sessions running over four days, so there was a lot of history to be had. The talks were excellent, and the conference theme -- 'War and Peace, Barbarism and Civilisation in Modern Europe and its Empires' -- came through strongly. Because I rather shamefully didn't livetweet the conference, I'll note here some of the papers which interested me for one reason or another. (Any errors are my own.)

  • Boston College (Cont.): When the Radical Becomes Routine

    by Cliopatria

    In a previous post, I wrote that the brief filed by the Department of Justice in response to Boston College's motion to quash a subpoena for confidential oral history materials was "unmistakably aggressive in tone and in scope." Most remarkable was the DOJ's claim that treaty obligations to the British government, the source of the request for the subpoena, obligated the court to defer to the determinations of the executive branch: "Notably, the US-UK MLAT reserves the authority [to] decline a MLAT request, or to limit its scope, to the Attorney General, not the courts."

  • Boston College (Cont.): BC Lawyer Responds to DOJ

    by Cliopatria

    Below, the response Boston College filed in federal court today to the DOJ's argument against its motion to quash. More later.

    Swope Reply

  • Thursday's Notes

    by Cliopatria

    Adam Kirsch, "The Dawn of Politics," City Journal, Spring, reviews Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution.

    Alan Wolfe, "The Power Lover," The Book, 13 July, reviews Miles J. Unger's Machiavelli: A Biography.

    Mark Adams, "Questioning the Inca Paradox," Slate, 12 July, looks at whether the Inca were the only major Bronze Age civilization that did not develop a written language.

    peacay, "Native Americans," BibliOdyssey, 5 July, is a selection of depictions of native Americans by European and Euro-American artists. You can browse a larger selection of similar illustrations at Yale's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.