History

Tales of Three Cities, Urban Architecture in New York, London and Paris

Tales of Three Cities, Urban Architecture in New York, London and ParisA new paperback edition of Christopher Rauschenberg’s Paris Changing: Revisiting Eugène Atget’s Paris shows how many of the sites Atget captured looked nearly a century later, most virtually untouched by major change. A larger question raised by images of city architecture across long periods of time is how the occupants of urban centers themselves have changed, as demonstrated by “Unseen London, Paris, New York, 1930s-60s: Photographs by Wolfgang Suschitzky, Dorothy Bohm and Neil Libbert,” at London’s Ben Uri Gallery.

Read more about Urban Architecture in New York, London and Paris

Bernie Sanders’s Political Ancestor, Wayne Lyman Morse

Bernie Sanders’s Political Ancestor, Wayne Lyman Morse

Maybe in a decade or so, we’ll be able to look into history’s rearview mirror and better understand the Republican political traffic—how the contenders started out, changed lanes, passed one another, and fell back, sometimes experiencing serious, or seriocomic, collisions. The off-road campaign of the reality-show star and businessman Donald J. Trump, now the presumptive nominee, may let us see how risky it was to bet the Party’s future on the outcome of a free-for-all that included a provincial Wisconsin governor, a pediatric neurosurgeon, and two unready men from Florida—a Bush and his protégé. In baseball parlance, that was no murderers’ row.

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
The Dangerous Acceptance of Donald Trump
The Year of the Political Troll
Clinton vs. Sanders: Peace Is Still Possible

What Have Vice Presidents after Truman Learned?

What Have Vice Presidents after Truman Learned?

This article recounts how increasingly important it has become for a vice president to learn the trade of potentially becoming president.  This has been especially true after F.D.R.’s demise. It’s a challenging exercise because there is no formal training for the job of president. History has proven that such a lack of experience and leadership can be catastrophic. 

Seventy years ago this week, on April 12, 1945, while he was sitting for a portrait in Warm Springs, Georgia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke what were probably his last words—“I have a terrific headache”—and fainted. He died two hours later, of a cerebral hemorrhage. After F.D.R.’s Vice-President, Harry S. Truman, a former senator from Missouri, got the news at the Capitol, the Secret Service rushed him to the White House, where he was sworn in by Chief Justice Harlan Stone. “I felt as though the moon and the stars and all the planets fell on me last night when I got the news,” Truman told reporters the next day. “I have the most terribly responsible job any man ever had.”

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

 

Pope Francis Is Still a Christian, if not a Catholic for some!

Pope Francis Is Still a Christian, if not a Catholic for Some!

This article examines how right wing Christians, particularly extremist catholics distort the very essence of Christianity. 

Garry Wills

At a recent I talk I gave about Pope Francis, a man asked me, “Why do more non-Catholics like the pope than Catholics do?” He was wrong, of course. A Pew poll two months ago found that 90 percent of Catholics like what the pope is doing—and the number is even higher (95 percent) among the most observant, Mass attending Catholics. The percentage of non-Catholics who view the pope favorably does not get above the 70s.

Yet the question was understandable. There is a perception of great resistance to the pope in his own church.

Read more about Pope Francis here 

 

The Emails Snowden Wrote Introducing His Epic NSA Leaks

The Emails Snowden Wrote Introducing His Epic NSA Leaks

Edward Snowden’s first emails as Citzenfour to Laura Poitras are a piece of history in themselves. With Poitras’ permission, WIRED reveals excerpts.

The post These Are the Emails Snowden Sent to First Introduce His Epic NSA Leaks appeared first on WIRED.

Readers who are interested in the behind the scenes story of the Edward Snowden NSA  leaks should watch Citizen Four, directed by Laura Poitras. She has been nominated for an Academy Award and here is the trailer of the movie:

The Brilliant Paintings of Ajanta Caves

The Brilliant Paintings of Ajanta Caves

 

William Dalrymple chronicles the history and the theological significance of the paintings from Ajanta Caves in this article for The New York Review of Books. 

 

In 1819, a British hunting party in the jungles of the Western Ghats had followed a tiger into a remote river valley and stumbled onto what was soon recognized as one of the great wonders of India: the painted caves of Ajanta. In time it became clear that Ajanta contained probably the greatest picture gallery to survive from the ancient world.

Read more about the Ajanta Caves here

Scientists Reveal the Hidden City of Angkor Wat

Scientists Reveal the Hidden City of Angkor Wat

 

In the year 802 C.E., the founder of the medieval Khmer empire, Jayavarman II, anointed himself “king of the world.” In laying claim to such a grandiose title, he was a little ahead of his time: It would be another few centuries before the Khmers built Earth’s largest religious monument, Angkor Wat, the crowning glory of a kingdom that stood in what is today northwestern Cambodia. But Jayavarman II had good reason to believe that his nascent kingdom, in the sacred Kulen hills northeast of Angkor, was a record-holder. Airborne laser scanning technology, or LiDAR, has revealed the imprint of a vast urban landscape hidden in the Kulen’s jungle and in the lowlands surrounding Angkor Wat; by the 13th century, the low-density cityscape covered an area of about 1,000 square kilometers.

Read more about this amazing discovery

Louis C.K. Reads the Gettysburg Address with Jerry Seinfeld

Louis C.K. Reads the Gettysburg Address with Jerry Seinfeld

Louis C.K. tries hard to keep the chuckles under control as reads the Gettysburg Address in this video. To help him, by his side is Jerry Seinfeld. Jokes aside, they both succeed to read seriously. Most of the credit goes to Louis C.K. as he his supported in earnest by Mr. Seinfeld. When the faces of these comedians  first flash on the screen, we wonder if this piece is going to be a parody or a satire of the Gettysburg Address.  Readers should decide what they think……

 

The Perilous History of The Great Barrier Reef

Tim Flannery reviews ‘The Reef: A Passionate History: The Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change’ by Iain McCalman for the New York Review of Books. The European seamen and explorers who had first chronicled the presence of this wonder of nature, established a negative stereotype of the indigenous people who lived along this coast of  Australia. They were portrayed as murderous marauding savages who were cannibals and sexual deviants. Numerous tales of survival after shipwreck along this coast were published to much fan fare and this would captivate the public’s imagination to the extent of justifying the brutal massacre and barbaric subjugation of Australia’s indigenous population.  Following this was the systematic exploitation of one of nature’s biggest and most diverse ecosystems to establish pearl and sea snail fishing industries.  Today the biggest threat to The Great Barrier Reef comes in the form of climate change. 

 

The Perilous History of The Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef stretches for around 1,430 miles along the continent’s northeast coast, encompassing an area roughly half the size of Texas. Those who have dived into its pristine reaches know firsthand that it is one of Earth’s natural wonders—a coral world of exceptional beauty and diversity. Yet as Iain McCalman’s “passionate history” of the reef makes clear, it is also a stage on which dreams, ambitions, and great human tragedies have been played out. He tells his story by chronicling lives that, either inadvertently or intentionally, have shaped our perception of the coralline labyrinth.

To read more about the history of The Great Barrier Reef , click here

The Forty Year Legacy of a Nixon Nightmare

The Forty Year Legacy of a Nixon Nightmare

About a dozen years after Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency, on August 9, 1974, C. L. Sulzberger, a former Times correspondent who made his home in Paris, returned for a visit Stateside and discovered that passions still ran deep—that, “to my surprise, despite the passage of time since the Watergate scandal, the fevered detestation seemed to continue unabated. . . . This anger was, I found, astonishingly personal. . . . It was the same kind of personal hatred that survivors of Hitler and Stalin in Germany and Russia felt toward their persecutors,” he wrote, adding, “I cannot explain this extraordinarily venomous sentiment, this blind rage that focused its attention entirely on one man and displayed not the faintest sign of forgiveness.”

As we approach the fortieth anniversary of the resignation, next week, that “fevered detestation” has abated—in part, no doubt, because the generation that watched Nixon’s rise and fall is disappearing, or has been tempered by age, and in part because other Presidents have since become objects of hatred. As for forgiveness, President Bill Clinton said it well at Nixon’s funeral, in April, 1994: “May the day of judging President Nixon on anything less than his entire life and career come to a close.”

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
The Watergate Scandal
Bob Woodward Throws an Interception
China’s Watergate

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