The Stakes of History: On the Use and Abuse of Jewish History for Life [EPUB]
13 April 2018, 22:51
2018 | EPUB | 2.3MB
A leading scholar of Jewish history’s bracing and challenging case for the role of the historian today
Why do we study history? What is the role of the historian in the contemporary world? These questions prompted David N. Myers’s illuminating and poignant call for the relevance of historical research and writing. His inquiry identifies a number of key themes around which modern Jewish historians have wrapped their labors: liberation, consolation, and witnessing. Through these portraits, Myers revisits the chasm between history and memory, revealing the middle space occupied by modern Jewish historians as they work between the poles of empathic storytelling and the critical sifting of sources.
History, properly applied, can both destroy ideologically rooted myths that breed group hatred and create new memories that are sustaining of life. Alive in these investigations is Myers’s belief that the historian today can and should attend to questions of political and moral urgency. Historical knowledge is not a luxury to society but an essential requirement for informed civic engagement, as well as a vital tool in policy making, conflict resolution, and restorative justice.
History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times [EPUB]
13 April 2018, 22:47
2018 | EPUB | 0.53MB
Historian and civil rights activist proves how progressive movements can flourish even in conservative times.
Despair and mourning after the election of an antagonistic or polarizing president, such as Donald Trump, is part of the push-pull of American politics. But in this incisive book, historian Mary Frances Berry shows that resistance to presidential administrations has led to positive change and the defeat of outrageous proposals, even in challenging times. Noting that all presidents, including ones considered progressive, sometimes require massive organization to affect policy decisions, Berry cites Indigenous peoples' protests against the Dakota pipeline during Barack Obama's administration as a modern example of successful resistance built on earlier actions.
Beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, Berry discusses that president's refusal to prevent race discrimination in the defense industry during World War II and the subsequent March on Washington movement. She analyzes Lyndon Johnson, the war in Vietnam, and the antiwar movement and then examines Ronald Reagan's two terms, which offer stories of opposition to reactionary policies, such as ignoring the AIDS crisis and retreating on racial progress, to show how resistance can succeed.
The prochoice protests during the George H. W. Bush administration and the opposition to Bill Clinton's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, as well as his budget cuts and welfare reform, are also discussed, as are protests against the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act during George W. Bush's presidency. Throughout these varied examples, Berry underscores that even when resistance doesn't achieve all the goals of a particular movement, it often plants a seed that comes to fruition later.
Berry also shares experiences from her six decades as an activist in various movements, including protesting the Vietnam War and advocating for the Free South Africa and civil rights movements, which provides an additional layer of insight from someone who was there. And as a result of having served in five presidential administrations, Berry brings an insider's knowledge of government.
History Teaches Us to Resist is an essential book for our times which attests to the power of resistance. It proves to us through myriad historical examples that protest is an essential ingredient of politics, and that progressive movements can and will flourish, even in perilous times.
Great Convict Stories: Dramatic and Moving Tales From Australia's Brutal Early Years [EPUB]
13 April 2018, 22:45
2017 | EPUB | 3.35MB
Graham Seal takes us back to Australia's ignominious beginnings, when a hungry child could be transported to the other side of the globe for the theft of a handkerchief.
It was a time when men were flogged till they bled for a minor misdemeanour, or forced to walk the treadmill for hours. Teams in iron chains carved roads through sandstone cliffs with hand picks, and men could select wives from a line up at the Female Factory. From the notorious prison regimes at Norfolk Island, Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour came chilling accounts of cruelty, murder and even cannibalism.
Despite the often harsh conditions, many convicts served their prison terms and built successful lives for themselves and their families. With a cast of colourful characters from around the country--the real Artful Dodger, intrepid bushrangers like Martin Cash and Moondyne Joe, and the legendary nurse Margaret Catchpole--Great Convict Stories offers a fascinating insight into life in Australia's first decades.