According to our next guest, men and women 150 years ago grappled with information overload by making scrapbooks - the ancestors of Google and blogging. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony, African American janitors to farm-women, abolitionists to Confederates, people cut out and pasted down their reading.
Ken Burns' latest PBS series is The Dust Bowl, it chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the "Great Plow-Up," followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation.
While President James Madison was a brilliant scholar, author of much of the country’s early documents, organizer of the executive branch of government, and astute politician, he was no commander-in-chief.
He relied totally upon appointed commodores and generals to conduct a war for the conquest of Canada on one hand and survival on the other. Often confused by advisors of little military talent, in the end he put his trust and that of the people in the grasp of hacks, sycophants, adventurers, and a few good men.