Yet to those involved, the fighting was serious business. Reputations for courage and honor had to be acquired and defended; in the infancy of American democracy, voters rewarded men who stood up for themselves — and, by extension, for their constituents. This was especially true in sections of the country where violence or its threat was part of daily life. As Ms. Freeman points out, white rule in the South continually depended on violence, actual or potential, against slaves. In the West, violence drove Indian tribes off their land and made it available to settlers. Andrew Jackson, an offstage figure in Ms. Freeman’s tale, was a hard-scrabble Carolina kid who first made his reputation in Tennessee as an Indian fighter. He became a national hero by defeating the British at New Orleans in 1815. When he ran for president in the 1820s, many Easterners were appalled to learn he had killed a man in a duel. Westerners and Southerners took the opposite view, praising Jackson for avenging an insult to his wife.
The author is a serious writer. Joanne Freeman.
From Wiki: Joanne B. Freeman is an American historian and tenured Professor of History and American Studies at Yale University. Having researched Alexander Hamilton both independently and collaboratively with mentors and peers for more than forty years, she is regarded as "a leading expert" on his life and legacy. In 2005 she was rated one of the nation's "Top Young Historians."
*** South Dakota writer Joseph Bottum emailed that: The second installment of my twice-a-month column in the London Spectator, noodling about life and politics on the prairie, is now available online. And I thought I would send it along for your amusement, if only because it opens with a scene in the Sundog coffee shop here in the town of Madison.
*** My 7th grade niece was at my house this summer before going on a trip through Yellowstone and back to the east side of the state. She's a big reader, so I picked out a handful of books she might be interested in and borrowed them to her. She also had the privilege of sleeping in my office/library/greenhouse/conservatory. So all that knowledge could seep into her brain by osmosis.
One of the books was Huckleberry Finn. We had a little talk about the language in the book. I told her that's how they talked back in that day and that's why those words are used but that they are hurtful words and she should never use them. (On a related note, if you get the chance watch the PBS documentary on Mark Twain, where several African-American historians make similar arguments).
Anyway, she texted me the other day that she'd finished it and loved it. Take that you foolish censoring librarians and schools.
*** Was talking to a friend about The Handmaid's Tale the other day. She's a history and political science major, very well read. We were laughing about these goobers who dress up like red penguins to protest at events and I told her I got the gist of what they are trying to say but never read the book nor saw the television show.
She said she read the book and it was the absolute worst book she's read in her life. She said she seldom, if ever, throws a book away; is kind of a hoarder of them, like me. But she threw it in the garbage.
So I'll probably pass on it, even though Barnes and Shnable keeps pimping it to me in their emails.
*** Realclearbooks.com has chosen this as its book of the week: “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life” organizes a cluster of men’s problems — unemployment and underemployment, divorce, social isolation, addictions to porn, drugs, and video games, criminality, misogyny, and general irresponsibility — under the rubric of alienation. Men increasingly feel as if the job market, politics, and culture have no place for them. Their response has been, in various ways, to effectively drop out of society.
*** Seems Lee Enterprises is really good at
*** And finally, the author of 'How to Murder Your Husband' is arrested for allegedly killing her husband.
She should have written: 'How to Murder Your Husband and Get Away With It'