Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Semi-Open Donald Trump Hangover Sharing Books and Interesting Finds Online and Elsewhere Thread

Donald Trump is a giant human vacuum. He sucks up entirely too much energy and attention. For my own sanity, I need a break from writing and thinking about him.

We have not done this in a few weeks, I am curious, what stories or bits of other information are you reading or following?

I found this essay about the history of railway surgeons very fascinating. It was another era. Truly. But these railway surgeons were doing amazing things that still inform medicine today. I now must add some books on the social history of railroads to my reading list. Any suggestions?

There are two pieces posted today that are also of note. Vanity Fair has a sharp piece on the various "literary battles" and "controversies" about black American freedom fighter and hero Nat Turner. And apparently the much vaunted NSA was getting outmaneuvered by insurgents in Iraq and elsewhere who were using "low tech" cordless phones. The poor man's solution to a problem often stymies and beats the rich man's almost every time.

Do historians need an "imagination?" And how does storytelling influence our approach to the study of history--and how we explain it to students and others? This piece at the History News Network does a great job of teasing out the tensions between "fantasy" and "reality" based approaches to history and historiography.

Any interesting finds to share?

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