John Beckman: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Americans!

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Blackbeard in Smoke and Flames, Frank E. Schoonover, 1922 by John Beckman While writing an early draft of my recent book, American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt, I became impatient with the Northeastern cultural glacier that stretched between the wild party that was 1620s Merry Mount and obstreperous 1760s Boston. 140 years of mirthless…

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‘An examination of cannibalism is bound to induce a species of metaphysical unease’

Illustration by Theodor de Bry from Americae Tertia Pars, 1592 From Cabinet Magazine: Have you sensed that readers have had trouble coming to terms with how there could be an intellectual history of cannibalism at all? I think cannibalism is challenging not just on an epistemological level. The cannibal provokes...

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Subhas Chandra Bose is dead (a safe bet as now he would be 113)

From History Today: On September 16th, 1985, in a dilapidated house in Faizabad, formerly the capital of Oudh province in India, a reclusive holy man known as Bhagwanji or Gumnami Baba (‘the saint with no name’) breathed his last. Locals had long suspected that he was none other than...

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Southern Whirl

Living Outside History | by Noel Poke

American Scholar

 History never seemed of much interest to Picayune, Mississippi, just north of New Orleans. Here, published history is only what people claimed to remember about the past.

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Self-becoming under Stalin

Everyday ideology: Life during Stalinism | by Jochen Hellbeck

Eurozine

Why have postmodernist historians of life in totalitarian societies failed to explain how the Soviet and Nazi regimes generated absolute commitment? 

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Inscrutable George

His Highness | by Jill Lepore

New Yorker

"Every biographer of George Washington has remarked on his inscrutability; every generation has tried to figure him out..."

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Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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It all started with cellphones, a long time ago. No student, and few teachers, would make voice calls from class, but in the early...

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