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


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


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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Masha Tupitsyn

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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Daniel Bosch

Three of America's most famous poets announced today the immediate availability of new, moderately priced "diffusion lines" based on their celebrated high-end works to...

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When Johannes Climacus defines Christianity in the Postscript, he writes:

Christianity is spirit; spirit is inwardness; inwardness is subjectivity; subjectivity is essentially passion, and at...

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On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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A while back I found an online edition of Anouck Durant and Gilles De Rapper's monograph Ylli: Les couleurs de la dictature.

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OK, I've been outed as a noise nut and it's true. I am crazed by noise. I have to put my fingers in my...

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I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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When Yaweh advanced into Ezekiel in the form of penetration, the four wings of the chariot became instantly erect and bloodshot and then fell...

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