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Managed to drag myself into a proper book instead of a reference. Started up Eric Foner's The Story of American Freedom.
Of course I started it in bed and promptly woke up enough to be marking passages. Not the fifth on page fifty-five, but here's one of the first I noted:
"The prevalence of so many less than free workers underpinned the widespread reality of economic independence, and therefore freedom, for propertied male heads of households. This was most obvious in the case of slaveholding planers, who already equated freedom with mastership, but also true of the countless artisans in northern cities who owned a slave or two and employed indentured servants and apprentices."
Masters (that was the term used) did pretty much own their apprentices for their term. Like indentured servants, you could beat them and everything. There's something horrifyingly perverse about making one's concept of freedom contingent on rendering others unfree, but I can't deny it's ridiculously familiar.
So, I found The Ginger Star to be pleasant, though rather pedestrian and predictable. It's kind of funny how a "sci-fi"/swords and sorcery book written in 1974 feels so much like the original John Carter novels.
Other authors that I was reminded of: Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, Jack Vance, Dash Hammett (in the beginning). Although her prose isn't really as good as any of those, excepting ERB.
Anyway, I liked it enough to move on to the next book.
In the meanwhile, I read The Cuban Five: Who They Are, Why They Were Framed, Why They Should Be Free.
Vive le Galt!!
Patricia McKillip: Plain of Bones
Elizabeth Moon: raced through Oath of Fealty, now reading Kings of the North
The Demon-haunted World by Carl Sagan
I read that long, long ago, and the only thing I can remember is Sagan's parents giving up smoking during the Depression.
So, I was going to the Nashua Public Library for a socialist meeting a while back and I stumbled upon their free give-away bin which was full of "College Courses on Tape" or something. Anyway, I scored something like a 20-tape collection on "Classics of American Literature" and decided that I would listen to that when driving around (except for when commuting to work, I don't think my carpool buddies could take it).
Which is a long way of stating that I started The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin even though I mocked Kirth Gersen for reading it not that long ago.
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I've thought about reading Grant's memoirs. None of the Founders, though. I tried to read a book on Paine years ago and got so fed up with the hagiography that I wanted to throttle the author. And Paine's a relatively minor figure in the red, white, and blue pantheon. The show didn't get really good until that tall dude became a regular at the start of the third season.
Might I recommend Tom Paine and Revolutionary America by Eric Foner? It's a hell of a read. It, unfortunately, deals with his exploits in Britain and France in only one chapter. :(
As for Grant: Dude, his Personal Memoirs has been sitting on my shelf staring at me for the past year+. I make a resolution to read it...and then push it back yet again.
It's supposed to be one of the greatest books ever written in the English language, though, and, IIRC, John Keegan called it the best books on war since Julius Caesar.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
The book I tried was Thomas Paine and the Promise of America. (I don't know how I missed the Joseph Ellis quote on the back either. Had I seen that I should have known to ignore the thing entirely.) The title should probably have been a warning sign but it's hard to find any American historian this side of Howard Zinn who doesn't start by inserting skull into founder pelvis and go downhill from there.
Then again Foner's pretty accomplished at hating on everyone so he might avoid the typical issues. Paine's appeared a few times in The Story of American Freedom so far. He gets credit for transforming the popular concept of liberty: "No longer a set of specific rights, no longer a privilege to be enjoyed by a corporate body or people in specific social circumstances, liberty had become a universal, open-ended entitlement."
Knowing Foner's a lefty, I bet he got a kick out of that use of entitlement. And here's some of Paine's s&&~ stinking, since I was in the index anyway:
"Even Paine, who considered the right to political participation "to be inseparable from the man as man," believed it could be forfeited for a time by those who chose to work as servants in homes and therefore voluntarily surrendered their autonomy. Paine still assumed that "freedom is destroyed by dependence."
That comes from a discussion of the move from restricting the vote to propertied men to giving it to all who paid a certain amount of tax.
Hm, may be worth a look.
Finished Reading "Karga Kull" a few weeks ago(cant remember the author) but a great book.
Just finished rereading "Winter Witch", by Elaine Cunningham for the Third time, and still love it.
1/2 way through Breaking Dawn now. Still a great series!
"The Annotated Peter Pan", by J.M. Barrie and Maria Tatar
Six years later, and I'm currently re-reading* 'Dead Beat'. I'm going back through the whole Dresden Files series in preparation for the new one coming out next month.
I'm also reading* 'Good without God', by Greg Epstein, a book about humanism.
*Technically I'm 'reading' them via audiobook, since my vision is messed up by nerve damage, but I don't know what to call that.
Marx's Grundrisse, by David McClelland. Slightly more digestible than the real thing, at least for thickies like myself.
Also, Tales of the Dying Earth and something very good that I finished last week that I've completely forgotten the title and author of (so maybe it wasn't that good..) - it was rather Thieves' World-y and about a sort of uber - thieves' guild called The Kin...
@ Abyssian - now I want to go and find out if someone's statted up Elric (in PF), and if so, how...
David McClelland's a four year old boy from Glasgow. The book consists of a drawing of a man with a beard in crayon and four pages of scribbles and the words "CAPPITLISM IS FAE NUMPTIES UP THE CELTIC" written over and over again. It's almost as good as my He-Man pop-up book.
Show off. Feh.
And by that you mean, "intelligible", right?
Just finished re-reading the Mistborn books.
Re-reading my favorite Terry Pratchett, Night Watch, in preparation for the soul crushing darkness that is Dan Simmons' writing. Getting ready to read Endymion. Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion are so...good. I just can't read them very often, or even close together in time. I might lose all faith in humanity and live the rest of my days locked in a 10x10 bunker with no lights, crying to myself every 15 seconds.
This is really a subject for another thread, but...:
You could possibly approximate things by first of all, creating stat blocks for Stormbringer/his other magic items, then creating a Melnibonean noble race (using the ARG?) with a few powerful spell-like abilities/supernatural powers, then maybe giving him fighter levels, or maybe just Aristocrat... I dunno. Crunchy stuff isn't really my forte.
In addition to Malcolm X, I started The Reavers of Skaith by Ms. Brackett which starts out with everything about the happy ending of The Hounds of Skaith being overturned off-camera, as it were, and Washington Irving's The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.
The latter is surprisingly good and it turns out that Irving wrote quite a few books with awesome titles like Diedrich Knickerbocker's A History of New York from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty, but like when I read Louisa May Alcott, I doubt I'm going to read anything else by him. Maybe if I achieve immortality...
Reality is Broken - by Jane McGonigal
What, with constant politrolling and Frankenstorm-induced overtime, I haven't had much time to read, alas, but I did finish By Any Means Necessary which is a collection of speeches and interviews and transcriptions of radio appearances from the last year of his life, mostly after his trip to Mecca.
Actually, it's a collection of errata, a second volume to a collection entitled Malcolm X Speaks which I had bought for $2 at a socialist meeting in Boston last month but lost before I even got home.
[bubble bubble bubble]
Oh yeah, it's awesome. (The book, not the bubble.)
Celestial Healer wrote:
I am rereading The Hobbit. It has been so long since I last read it, and I want to remember what it is all about before the movie comes out.
I think it would take massive head trauma or Alzheimer's before I could ever forget what that book was about. I think I read it at least once a year between second and sixth grades and have read it probably three or four times since then.
I'm still inching through Foner. It's really good but some of it's hard to read. Passages about how slavery gets ended and racial equality advances are a lot easier to take than long sections about the evisceration of unions. Almost up to the Sixties now, but then after that it's the backlash to finish out the book.
After I'm going to be reading a lot of Civil War stuff because [shameless]I started a blog.[/shameless]