October 16, 2008
The ups and downs of the current economy are all over the news these days, so we start off this What We’re Reading by looking back at financial times of yesteryear. Then, check out an impressive personal library, learn what the Britannica blog says Americans look for in a president, and find out where historians fit in the climate crisis. Finally, we point to a recently discovered “Stonewall” Jackson memoir, a project on the future of scholarly journals, a debate on British history, and an article on the cheapest eats possible in New York City.
The Great Depression
With the financial news changing on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis, these articles may be less timely than they were last week. However, we think they’re still worth a look.
- The Real Great Depression
Scott Reynolds Nelson, at the Chronicle Review, recounts the Panic of 1873, which he considers a better parallel to the current economic crisis than the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Many Europeans called it the American Commercial Invasion when the U.S. had become a production machine, maintaining high productivity with low costs. Consequently, the economic success in the U.S. stunted economic growth in Europe. It was only a matter of time before this economic halt reached the United States, which it did in 1873, with the railroads being the first to fall.
- Their Great Depression and Ours: Part I
There are many competing theories on what caused the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which ultimately catapulted the U.S. into the Great Depression. In his article, James Livingston explains the various economic theories on how and why the crash occurred and looks for parallels between the economic state then and the economic state now.
What Else We’re Reading
- Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker’s Library
Check out Internet mogul Jay Walker’s (priceline.com) personal library in this article from Wired. The 3,600-square-foot structure has three levels and contains items from both history and pop culture. Memorable items include original works of Chaucer and Dickens, a napkin written on by FDR, an Enigma coding device from WWII, an original Sputnik 1, and a chandelier seen in a recent James Bond movie.
- What Americans Look for in a President: A Few Lessons from History
The Britannica blog examines what Americans really want in a president by looking at what are historically considered good presidents.
- Can historians be helpful in addressing the climate crisis?
Historian Steve Leibo explores how he has integrated historical environmental data with Al Gore’s Climate Project, supplying history to complement the present. He believes today’s climate crisis stems directly from society’s past reliance on fossil fuels—that’s history.
- Recently Discovered Memoir about General T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Mary Roy Dawson Edwards melds excerpts from a short memoir written by Clement Daniels Fishurne, a close friend of Jackson’s, and from Life and Letters of General Thomas J. Jackson by Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, the general’s second wife. This melding of works gives a deeper, more personal look into this legendary Virginian’s life.
- AAA Awarded Planning Grant to Examine Future of Scholarly Journals
The AHA will be joining the American Anthropological Association and seven other scholarly societies in a project to assess the future of scholarly journals in the social sciences and humanities.
- DEBATE: Is British History European?
The History Compass Theory & Methods Blog is hosting its first debate, and encourages readers to comment.
- In Search of the Elusive $1 Menu Item
In honor of the upcoming 123rd Annual Meeting in New York, and budget-conscious graduate students attendees, we link to this article from the New York Times on $1 menu items in New York.