What We’re Reading: July 30, 2009 Edition

Manzanar National Historic SiteThis week we point to an article from the BBC on Russia and its “commission to counter the falsification of history.” The AHA wrote to President Dmitrii Medvedev recently to express concern about this development. Other articles we link to this week include:  a look at some lesser known National Parks, biking the Iron Curtain Trail, and restoring historic murals. Then, just for fun, we take a musical jaunt into some “Horrible [British] Histories.”

  • Russia acts against ‘false’ history
    A few weeks ago the AHA spoke out about the proposed criminalization of some historical topics in Russia. The BBC offers a little more background in “Russia Acts Against ‘False’ History.”
  • National Parks Full of History, if Not Visitors
    With an eye on Ken Burns’s upcoming documentary “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” Nick Kaye at the New York Times takes a look at lesser known parks in the system that are “well worth a visit this summer.”
  • Biking the Iron Curtain Trail
    Also from the New York Times, writer Joshua Hammer and photographer Mark Simon recently biked a 100-mile section of the Iron Curtain Trail through the German states of Hesse and Thuringia, recounting notable landmarks and the subsequent historical tales accompanying them. “[T]he Iron Curtain Trail [is] a 4,225-mile network of bicycle paths that extends along the former Warsaw Pact-NATO border, from northern Finland to the Black Sea.” Make sure to check out the slideshow of photographs from their travels.
  • Grunley Construction Company: Shaping History
    Washington, D.C. has some of the country’s most impressive architecture; however, during the 1950s, the craze of newer is better led to white washing the walls of famous historic buildings in the capital, covering impressive, detailed murals in the process. Read about how by using Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, Grunley Construction Company continues to restore these historic murals back to their original condition. They’ve restored murals in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and Building One of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to name a few.
  • Horrible Histories
    Ralph Luker at HNN’s Cliopatria blog and Harry Brighouse at Crooked Timber are enjoying BBC’s “Horrible Histories” on YouTube. Refresh your knowledge of British history in a musical form (like “The Wives of Henry VIII (Terrible Tudors)”)

Contributors: Miriam Hauss Cunningham, Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

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