Category Archives: History

PALAU—A NATION GOVERNED BY BASEBALL PLAYERS.

PALAU—A NATION GOVERNED BY BASEBALL PLAYERS. Palau is an archipelago in the Western Pacific with about 20,000 inhabitants. David Walter at the Deadspin website tells how baseball has dominated the cultural and sporting life of Palau since the 1920’s. (link … Continue reading

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A CHILD’S OBSESSION WITH BRAID.

A CHILD’S OBSESSION WITH BRAID. Michelle Woo reports that children who have specialized obsessions (think of dinosaurs) are thought to benefit intellectually from the obsession in many ways. I showed Mary Jane Michelle Woo’s article about childhood obsessions, and Mary … Continue reading

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PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS—A REMINISCENCE.

PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS—A REMINISCENCE. I asked Mary Jane to write up her memories of corsets and holy cards, and here is what she sent me: “I have a childhood memory of the lady who used to go from client … Continue reading

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PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS.

PEDLARS AND HOLY CARDS. One passage from CELESTINE which Mary Jane read aloud to me involved holy cards. Mary Jane has always characterized the small area of Syracuse where she grew up as like a village in Italy which had … Continue reading

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THE HISTORY OF PEDLARS—CELESTINE.

THE HISTORY OF PEDLARS—CELESTINE. Mary Jane is reading CELESTINE, a favorite book of mine, which I posted about here. CELESTINE is a reconstruction by Gillian Tindall of French rural life in the 19th century. Tindall came into possession of letters … Continue reading

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SOME OF THE RANKINGS BY WINS ABOVE REPLACEMENT FOR GENERALS.

SOME OF THE RANKINGS FOR WINS ABOVE REPLACEMENT FOR GENERALS. First place in the WAR rankings for generals goes to Napoleon with a WAR of 16.679. Julius Caesar comes in second with a WAR of 7.445. Arsht points out that … Continue reading

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MONEYBALL COMES TO RANKING GENERALS.

MONEYBALL COMES TO RANKING GENERALS. Ethan Arsht has used sabermetric methods from baseball to rank almost every general in history. His article is here on the Towards Data Science site (link via Tyler Cowen at the Marginal Revolution site). Specifically … Continue reading

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CHURCHILL’S UNUSUAL ARGUMENT.

CHURCHILL’S UNUSUAL ARGUMENT. Speeches by war leaders (and football coaches) are optimistic. They rally the troops. Think of Henry V at Agincourt. Churchill presented to the 25 member Outer Cabinet the harshest possible description of continuing to fight and losing: … Continue reading

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HISTORY WITH THE HERO AND VILLAIN OFFSTAGE.

HISTORY WITH THE HERO AND VILLAIN OFFSTAGE. We went to the IMAX theater last summer to watch “Dunkirk”, a major summer movie about the rescue of the thousands of soldiers pinned down and vulnerable to German soldiers. It was a … Continue reading

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WHAT WAS AT STAKE AT DUNKIRK.

WHAT WAS AT STAKE AT DUNKIRK. On one of the road trips I took with Nick to look at colleges, we listened to FIVE DAYS IN LONDON by John Lukacs (summary of the book on the Yale University Press site … Continue reading

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