… [A] great American experiment got underway in a place promising “the luxury of the modern South” with none of the death.
Via JSTOR Daily, which describes an 1840 pamphlet “[advocating] a four-pronged approach to public healthcare that sounds remarkably like our own.”
To stand in Mann’s study today, with editions of Goethe and Schiller on the shelves, is to feel pride in the country that took him in and shame for the country that drove him out—not two Americas but one. In this room, the erstwhile “Greatest Living Man of Letters” fell prey to the clammy fear of the hunted. Was the year 1933 about to repeat itself? Would he be detained, interrogated, even imprisoned? In 1952, Mann took a final walk through his house and made his exit. He died in Zurich, in 1955—no longer an émigré German but an American in exile.
— Alex Ross, “The Haunted California Idyll of German Writers in Exile,” The New Yorker, March 9, 2020 issue.
Leveling hummocks in dust bowl, thirty miles north of Dalhart, Texas. Farmer: “Every dime I got is tied up right here. If I don’t get it out, I’ve got to drive off and leave it. Where would I go and what would I do? I know what the land did once for me, maybe it will do it again.” Son: “It would be better if the sod had never been broke. My father’s broke plenty of it. Could I get a job in California?”
—Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration, June 1938. New York Public Library.
“Naomi [who denounces ‘climate alarmism’] said her political activism was sparked a few years ago when she began asking questions in school about Germany’s liberal immigration policies. She said the backlash from teachers and other students hardened her skepticism about mainstream German thinking.”
— Desmond Butler and Juliet Eilperin, “The Anti-Greta: A Conservative Think Tank Takes on the Global Phenomenon.”
Yes, our cognition is bound up in our social existence, as Ludwik Fleck noted in 1935.
“Migrant worker looking through back window of automobile near Prague, Oklahoma. Lincoln County, Oklahoma,” The New York Public Library.
Poster from 1936/37: “WPA Federal Theatre Presents ‘It Can’t Happen Here’…”
“Trump’s authoritarian style is remaking America” by Ishaan Tharoor at the Washington Post
Here is a 15-panel satire by C.J. Grant, perhaps meant for working-class Britons. In it, British emigrants could get away from taxes, but expect frightning exotic animals, cannibals, isolation, poverty, and homesickness. Read the panels in high definition at the Library of Congress, and check out Matthew Crowther’s blog post about the artist at Yesterday’s Papers for some publishing context.
Saco River in Conway, NH, just upstream from the covered bridges on afternoon of December 25, 2019.
Mt. Washington from Intervale, NH, on January 31, 2020.
Another editorial project is nearing completion. Waiting for the page proofs now for Consumer Engineering, 1920s–1970s: Marketing between Expert Planning and Consumer Responsiveness, ed. Jan Logemann, Gary Cross, and Ingo Köhler (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).
My latest editorial project: Migrant Knowledge, a blog with Andrea Westermann and Swen Steinberg for the German Historical Institute Washington.
Speaking of imagined walls, here’s one from 1916, courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Female employees of the German munitions factory WASAG in their work clothes, 1916. The one on the right seems to have been “conscripted” (zwangsverpflichtet), though it is unclear on what basis. She was also apparently highly skilled insofar as she was a production manager (Produktionsleiterin) of some kind. Source: Haus der Geschichte Wittenberg, “Arbeiterinnen der WASAG Reinsdorf.”.
Five images from Astoria, Oregon.
Is insidious destruction of our democracy by a bureaucratic samurai with the soothing voice of a boys’ school headmaster even more dangerous than a self-destructive buffoon ripping up our values in plain sight?
As a historian who sometimes teaches about Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, I have to give Trump credit for one thing: His constant upending of the broad political consensus that emerged after World War II and the Cold War means that basic historical terms are constantly making it into the news and national discourse as quasi new problems, new questions. As upsetting as these times are, as abhorrent as Trump is, it is hard to deny the value of Ron Elving’s reaction to the president’s recent statement about… Read more The Changing Faces of Nationalism →
Cross-post from History of Knowledge In my initial academic encounters with Germany in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the things that impressed me was the availability of… Read more Organizing and Communicating Historical Knowledge: Some Personal Observations →
Sometimes disseminating the results of experiments, demonstrations, or other research can yield widely accepted knowledge built on questionable foundations through a kind of distorted translation. This seems to have happened… Read more Lost in Translation: The Stanford Prison Experiment →