history

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begin a series of discussions about Igor Stravinsky.

  This Saturday, the Washington County Historical Society will present the program: “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again: 150 Years since the End of the Civil War and the Return of Our Own 123rd Regiment” in Salem, NY.

Joining us: Pat Niles, retired high school history teacher from Salem who is a Washington Co. Historical Society board member and is scheduled to be the next WCHS president. Also joining us is Mike Russert who is a retired teacher from Hoosick Falls Central. He is an expert on local history with a particular interest in the 123rd Regiment from Washington Co. He will be a speaker at the 9/26 event.

Debi Craig is a board member and former president of the WCHS, she is the Event Coordinator for “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” and chairperson of the Programming Committee.

  William F. Buckley, Jr., and Norman Mailer were the two towering intellectual figures of the 1960s, and they lived remarkably parallel lives. Both became best-selling authors in their twenties; both started hugely influential papers (National Review and the Village Voice); both ran for mayor of New York City; both were noted for their exceptional wit and venom; and both became the figurehead of their respective social movements (Buckley on the right, Mailer on the left). Indeed, Buckley and Mailer argued vociferously and publicly about every major issue of their time: civil rights, feminism, the counterculture, Vietnam, the Cold War.

But behind the scenes, the two were close friends and trusted confidantes. In Buckley and Mailer: The Difficult Friendship That Shaped the Sixties, historian Kevin M. Schultz delves into their personal archives to tell the rich story of their friendship, their arguments, and the tumultuous decade they did so much to shape.

  Confucius is perhaps the most important philosopher in history. Today, his teachings shape the daily lives of more than 1.6 billion people.

Throughout East Asia, Confucius’s influence can be seen in everything from business practices and family relationships to educational standards and government policies. Even as western ideas from Christianity to Communism have bombarded the region, Confucius’s doctrine has endured as the foundation of East Asian culture.

Michael Schuman's new book is Confucius: And the World He Created.

  Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania Law Professor and Theodore Roosevelt’s Great Great Grandson, combines the momentum of a top-notch legal thriller with a thoughtful examination of one of the worst civil rights violations in US history in Allegiance: A Novel.

The Roosevelt Library and Museum will present an author talk and book signing with Kermit Roosevelt at 7 o'clock tonight in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home.

  Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s Festival of Books, the annual extravaganza of all things literary, takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 4 through 7, 2015. The Festival features a giant used book sale, two days of readings and book signings by nationally known and local authors, and a children’s program.

One of this year's participating authors is Alex Kershaw. His new book (also featured on WAMC's The Book Show this week) Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris - recounts the story of one family’s heroic efforts to defeat the evil in their midst.

He will participate in the discussion "Heroes and Spies, Real and Imagined" at the Festival of Books on Saturday afternoon at 1:30.

  In his book, Men of War: The American Soldier in Combat at Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, Alexander Rose draws on an immense range of firsthand sources from the battlefield. He begins by re-creating the lost and alien world of eighteenth-century warfare at Bunker Hill, the bloodiest clash of the War of Independence, and reveals why the American militiamen were so lethally effective against the oncoming waves of British troops.

Then, focusing on Gettysburg, Rose describes a typical Civil War infantry action, vividly explaining what Union and Confederate soldiers experienced before, during, and after combat. Finally, he shows how in 1945 the Marine Corps hurled itself with the greatest possible violence at the island of Iwo Jima, where nearly a third of all Marines killed in World War II would die. As Rose demonstrates, the most important factor in any battle is the human one: At Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, and Iwo Jima, the American soldier, as much as any general, proved decisive.

  Once Upon a Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich is the untold true story of the larger-than-life billionaire oligarchs who surfed the waves of privatization to reap riches after the fall of the Soviet regime: “Godfather of the Kremlin” Boris Berezovsky, a former mathematician whose first entrepreneurial venture was running an automobile reselling business, and Roman Abramovich, his dashing young protégé who built a multi-billion-dollar empire of oil and aluminum.

Locked in a complex, uniquely Russian partnership, Berezovsky and Abramovich battled their way through the “Wild East” of Russia with Berezovsky acting as the younger man’s krysha—literally, his roof, his protector. 

  In her new story collection, Almost Famous Women, writer Megan Mayhew Bergman takes us into the lives of independent, inventive women at the margins of history.

Bergman has written fictionalized accounts of real-life, risk-taking women who have largely been forgotten.

  From the curator of Letters of Note comes Lists of Note - a new book which contains 125 unputdownable entries from a list of names that are as eclectic and intriguing as its contents, which include myriad reasons given by ancient Egyptians for missing work, Albert Einstein's demands of his estranged wife, F. Scott Fitzgerald's extensive conjugation of "to cocktail," and many more.

Rarely intended for the public eye, these lists reveal hopes, priorities, and musings in a most engaging and entertaining way.

  In 1944, hundreds of Allied soldiers were trapped in prisoner-of-war camps in occupied France, fighting brutal conditions and unsympathetic captors. The odds of their survival were long. The odds of escaping, even longer.

But one man had the courage to fight the odds. In Behind Nazi Lines: My Father’s Heroic Quest To Save 149 World War II Pow’s, Andrew Hodges tells the true story of his father’s brave mission behind enemy lines to negotiate the safety of prisoners.

Dr. Andrew Hodges Jr. is the firstborn son of World War II hero Andrew Gerow Hodges. He is a psychiatrist in private practice and has served as assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Dr. Hodges has helped pioneer a breakthrough to the brilliant unconscious mind, which he explained in his groundbreaking book, The Deeper Intelligence.

  In his new book, Infamy: The Shocking Story of the Japanese-American Internment in World War II, bestselling author Richard Reeves provides an authoritative account of the internment of more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese aliens during World War II.

  Erik Larson has made a career of bringing half-remembered history to vivid, vibrant life. He has done so in his best-sellers: The Devil in the White City, Thunderstruck, In the Garden of Beasts, and Isaac’s Storm.

Widely acclaimed as the master of page-turning non-fiction sagas, he now brings another past event alive – this time, the last crossing of the Lusitania.

Marisa Scheinfeld

  Photographer Marisa Scheinfeld grew up in New York’s Catskills region, not far from its legendary resorts of the Borscht Belt, a name derived from the area’s popularity with Jews from the New York region who for years were not welcome at many other vacation spots.

For much of the 20th century the Borscht Belt was a thriving vacation destination, home to hundreds of hotels and motels, from famed high-end resorts such as Grossinger’s and the Concord to modest bungalow colonies. In its heyday, the area was known especially for its nightlife, with top comedians and other performers appearing regularly there.

By the time Scheinfeld was growing up there in the 1980s and ‘90s, however, economic and other factors had sent the region into rapid decline, leading many of the hotels and clubs to close. For the past five years, Scheinfeld has documented that decline through a series of evocative, sometimes ghostly large-scale images of dozens of empty hotels.

An exhibit of that work, Echoes from the Borscht Belt: Contemporary Photographs by Marisa Scheinfeld, is at the Yiddish Book Center’s Brechner Gallery.

  Two-time Pulitzer winner, New York Times-bestselling author, and master historian David McCullough brings to life two of the most iconic figures in American history in his new book, The Wright Brothers.

Regarded by many in their times as mere “bicycle mechanics,” Wilbur and Orville Wright were in reality self-taught geniuses of truly exceptional capacity of mind, pioneering scientific explorers, and the men who taught the world how to fly.

  Two-time Pulitzer winner, New York Times-bestselling author, and master historian David McCullough brings to life two of the most iconic figures in American history in his new book, The Wright Brothers.

Regarded by many in their times as mere “bicycle mechanics,” Wilbur and Orville Wright were in reality self-taught geniuses of truly exceptional capacity of mind, pioneering scientific explorers, and the men who taught the world how to fly.

David McCullough won Pulitzers for his biographies, Truman and John Adams. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.

This is an “Off the Shelf” edition of the Book Show in partnership with Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY and recorded before a live audience.

    In six weeks during April and May 1915, as World War I escalated, Germany forever altered the way war would be fought. On April 22, at Ypres, German canisters spewed poison gas at French and Canadian soldiers in their trenches; on May 7, the German submarine U-20, without warning, torpedoed the passenger liner Lusitania, killing 1,198 civilians; and on May 31, a German Zeppelin began the first aerial bombardment of London and its inhabitants. Each of these actions violated rules of war carefully agreed at the Hague Conventions of 1898 and 1907. Though Germany's attempts to quickly win the war failed, the psychological damage caused by these attacks far outweighed the casualties. The era of weapons of mass destruction had dawned.

  In his new book, The Wright Brothers, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize David McCullough tells the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly: Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two unknown brothers from Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe what had happened: the age of flight had begun, with the first heavier-than-air, powered machine carrying a pilot.

Who were these men and how was it that they achieved what they did?

  Historian Jonathan Schneer joins us to talk about his new book on Winston Churchill and the politics of the Second World War, Ministers at War.

Schneer says while Churchill’s most notable contribution was to rally his embattled country behind the war effort, he highlights yet another major achievement: the putting together and managing of the domestic coalition that allowed Britain to mobilize all of its resources for war.

The team he put together was extremely talented, but they were also ambitious, self-confident, and opinionated.

State lawmakers are expecting passage of a bill that would help establish a regional visitor center for the upper Hudson and Hoosic river valleys.

  We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.

Bad Days In History

Apr 21, 2015

  In their new Bad Days in History project, National Geographic and author Michael Farquhar uncover an instance of bad luck, epic misfortune, and unadulterated mayhem tied to every day of the year.

From Caligula's blood-soaked end to hotelier Steve Wynn's unfortunate run-in with a priceless Picasso, they have collected 365 tales of misery include lost fortunes (like the would-be Apple investor who pulled out in 1977 and missed out on a $30 billion-dollar windfall) and truly bizarre moments (like the Great Molasses Flood of 1919).

Michael Farquhar joins us this morning to discuss his new book: Bad Days in History.

    

  Today in our Ideas Matter segment, we are talking with filmmaker Ian Cheney and Pleun Bouricius, Director of Grants and Programs for Mass Humanities, about this year's Massachusetts History Conference, which is called, “Chew on This: Presenting Food in Massachusetts Public History” and will take place on June 1 in Worcester, where Cheney s giving the keynote address.

With them, we will discuss Cheney's new documentary, The Search for General Tso, which was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The film is about the importance and excitement of learning to understand where our food comes from and how it got to the shelf.

  The Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region's 14th Annual Public History Conference is taking place this weekend - April 17-19.

This year's conference is entitled "Breaking Free: Civil War, Emancipation, and Beyond" and will feature among its events, a Saturday Morning Keynote - "Underground Railroad to the Fight Against Neoliberal Racism: The Long Struggle for Black Liberation" presented by Henry Louis Taylor, PhD, a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at University at Buffalo and the Founding Director of the Center for Urban Studies.

Dr. Henry Louis Taylor, Jr.'s research focuses on a historical and contemporary analysis of distressed urban neighborhoods, social isolation and race and class issues among people of color, especially African Americans and Latinos.

While Eleanor revolutionized the role of First Lady with her outspoken passion for human rights, Alice made the most of her insider connections to influence politics—including doing as much to defeat the League of Nations as anyone in elective office. Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth is a double biography of the first cousins whose political perspectives could not be more dissimilar.

Authors Mike Peyser and Timothy Dwyer will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck, April 11th at 7:00 PM for a presentation, Q&A and book signing.

  It’s time now for our weekly feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

Today we’ll discuss active use and re-use of historical sites – specifically Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondack Mountains. Joining us is Garet Livermore, executive director of Great Camp Sagamore, which simultaneously celebrates its historical heritage while remaining in active use. Balancing these two presents a unique challenge in the maintenance and conceptualizing of a historical site.

    

  Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte was renowned as the most beautiful woman of nineteenth-century Baltimore. Her marriage in 1803 to Jérôme Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, became inextricably bound to the diplomatic and political histories of the United States, France, and England.

In Wondrous Beauty, Carol Berkin tells the story of this audacious, outsized life.

    On June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and nearly deserted Paris. Eight days later, France accepted a humiliating defeat and foreign occupation. Subsequently, an eerie sense of normalcy settled over the City of Light. Many Parisians keenly adapted themselves to the situation-even allied themselves with their Nazi overlords. At the same time, amidst this darkening gloom of German ruthlessness, shortages, and curfews, a resistance arose. Parisians of all stripes-Jews, immigrants, adolescents, communists, rightists, cultural icons such as Colette, de Beauvoir, Camus and Sartre, as well as police officers, teachers, students, and store owners-rallied around a little known French military officer, Charles de Gaulle.

Ronald C. Rosbottom writes about this time in his new book, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944.

  Cesar Chavez founded a labor union, launched a movement, and inspired a generation. He rose from migrant worker to national icon, becoming one of the great charismatic leaders of the 20th century. Two decades after his death, Chavez remains the most significant Latino leader in US history. Yet his life story has been told only in hagiography--until now.

In the first comprehensive biography of Chavez, Miriam Pawel offers a searching yet empathetic portrayal.

  There is a major new exhibit - Alcohol in Vermont: Creation to Consumption, Tolerance to Temperance – which is on view at the Bennington Museum, in Bennington, VT from now through June 21st. The exhibition and related events examine the significant role of alcohol in Vermont’s history.

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