Saturday, April 26, 2008

(Chain)Bridging Budapest

Throughout the l9th century, there was a growing sense that Hungarians are powerful, Hungarians have a great language, Hungarians can and should live independently and free—free of Mongols, free of Turks, free even of Austrians, free of all non-Hungarian invaders, occupiers, rulers. Of course, Buda and Pest will be a big part of this movement because they are the heart of Hungary, and a lot of the events associated with the drive for Hungarian freedom happen in Budapest

There are several people whose names you need to know in connection with Budapest and the Hungarian independence: Lajos Kossuth, Sandor Petofi, Gyula Andrassy, the man for whom the main street of Pest is named. But there is no one more important than Istvan Szechenyi, the man who built a bridge, united Buda and Pest into one capital, and united the Hungarian nation.

Since Roman days, it had always been a problem getting across the Danube.

The Romans used pontoon, difficult because of flooding, instability; the Mongols had to wait until it froze so they could gallop their horses over into Pest. The Turks constructed a bridge mounted on oil drum-type structures. But none of these solutions was very satisfactory. After the l800, when the Hungarian national movement was underway, people began thinking seriously about the necessity of building a modern bridge, so that links between Buda and Pest could be improved, so that the Hungarian capital cities could be modernized and improved with an eye towards the future.

Count Szechenyi would be the man to realize this objective. He had motivation after trying to cross from Pest to Buda in January of l820 in a wild winter storm. After this ordeal, he declared, “I will give a year’s income if a permanent bridge is built between Buda and Pest.”

And he put his money and effort where his mouth was. In l832, Szchenyi formed a sort of lobbying association on behalf of a good bridge on the Danube, the Bridge Association of Budapest. This was interesting, because to my knowledge no one had ever united the words “Buda and Pest” into Budapest. Already there was thought that this bridge would make for one united capital city.
This is kind of a DeWitt Clinton story…the chain bridge is the product of a man with a vision, an ability to see into the future and determine what was necessary to make the most of that future. In the l820s, Szechenyi, like a lot of young Hungarians, was thinking about three things: first, what had happened to Hungarians and Budapest since the reign of King St. Stephen: invasion by the Mongols, invasion by the Turks, takeover by the Habsburgs.
Secondly, they were thinking about what the French had done in their revolution: thrown off their King, established a democratic government and then nearly conquered the world. Perhaps Hungarians could follow their example
Third, they were thinking about Buda and Pest and realizing that it could be a major city, a capital for the eastern part of central Europe. They were even thinking that it could be a capital of an autonomous, even independent Hungary.
That was Szechenyi’s world view at that time…how to provide for a different and successful future for Hungary?

But even if it was an accidental inspiration, the bridge really seized Szechenyi’s imagination, and he gave over all his efforts and energy to making it a reality. This was a bigger deal than people in this country probably realized, because in Hungary of that day, and in the empire of which it was a part, there really was no such thing as citizen action. If projects were to be undertaken, the ideas came from on high, from the court or court circles, and imposed on the citizenry.
Szechenyi decided that this model wasn’t correct for a society that wanted to join the modern world. The modern world was built on the ideas and inspiration of ordinary people—the Frenchmen who had made the French revoloution, the Americans who had made the American revolution, the Britishers who had made the city of London the most important city in all the world. In Szechenyi’s opinion, everything depended on the actions of the individual.

“We cannot overcome time, and must be patient to see what it may bring. But it IS in our power to stand in the right place. And for Hungarians, the right place cannot be but Buda and Pest, which nature has so designated, because this is the heart of the nation—it must be in order and beat with all its vigor, and gush the lifeblood into the nation’s arteries.”

In l832, he founded a sort of lobbying assocation for the bridge, called the Buda Pest bridge organization—the VERY FIRST time anyone had ever used the term Buda-pest publicly.

This group of citizens began by arranging for a scientific analysis of the features of the Danube bank where the bridge would be built. Then they began to solici the opinions of engineers and architects about what kind of bridge would be best.

Once they had those details, in other words once they had a real start, they approached the Pest county diet, or legislature, with their plan. “The signatories claim with the utmost sincerity that creating a bridge between Pest and Buda is no longer physically impossible.”

The diet gave its preliminary approval, and so Szechenyi and his lobbying committee set out for London, where the acknowledged masters of bridge-building lived and worked.

There they met a man named Tierney Clark, who had built a bridge near Hammersmith in suburban London that was the most modern and attractive bridge built to date. Clark agreed to draw up the plans, to do the engineering tasks associated with the bridge-building.

Another Englishman, whose name was ADAM CLARK, no relation to Tierney, would direct the actual construction of the bridge. In l834, the two men collaborated on the dredging of the Danube at the place where the bridge would be built

The main issues were, first—who would own the bridge and have primary responsibility—Buda or Pest? How would the bridge be financed? That one was easy—you charge a toll—except that noblemen were exempt by long tradition from paying tolls or fees.

It took more than a year of arm-twisting, persuading, threatening and speechmaking—much of it done by Szechenyi himself—to get the legislators to agree that Buda and Pest city governments would jointly administer the bridge, and that noblemen as well as ordinary citizens would be required to pay the toll. If everyone in Buda and Pest would benefit from the bridge, everyone should be happy to pay his or her fair share of its costs—a very radical notion for that day.

In March l836, approval was finally given, and the proposal passed on to the Emperor of Austria, who had the last word.
In March of l838, a little sign from on high that this was an excellent idea: Buda and Pest were hit with the worst flood in history. A terrible winter with lots of ice gave way to a sudden thaw, which burst the Danube dams and inundated Buda and Pest. 3/4 of the buildings in pest were damaged or demolished in the flood; Buda escaped mostly because its buildings were higher up the bank
At any rate, the only bridge then existing across the Danube was obliterated in the first hours.

Meanwhile, the planning for the bridge was only slightly interrupted; in l839, Emperor Leopold approved the plan for the bridge; in l842, the city saw the triumphal laying of the cornerstone.

This bridge is a huge, defining event and symbol in Budapest history for several reasons:
tt was the first permanent bridge over the Danube in Hungary, and it confirmed the positive and negative aspects of geography in Budapest’s history: it was located along one of the great rivers of Europe, a river town, but rivers divide people unless they are bridged. So the appearance of the bridge was a kind of triumph over geography, much as the Erie Canal was in New York.

It unified the two biggest cities in Hungary physically, made them physically one town; it was only a matter of time before they united administratively. By the same token, as you will see, the Brooklyn bridge made inevitable the union of Brooklyn with New York, followed by the rest of the five boroughs in l898. First the physical union, then the political.

The building of this bridge is also cited as the dawn of a new Hungary, the first step towards its becoming a modern entity, the first step on its road to self-determination and independence, to controlling its own destiny. As we just said, this bridge marked the first time in which one individual took it upon himself to launch a project for the betterment of society. Individual inititiative is key to a society’s development, as we’ve seen in New York and other places, and that hadn’t been seen in Hungary prior to this time. Secondly, the bridge was the first instance in which EVERYONE contributed to something that had made life better. Previous to that, noblemen never paid taxes, never contributed anything unless they felt like it. The toll on this bridge that applied to everyone was the first step on the road to all citizens being equal under the law, another indispensable quality of a modern state.

The writer Gyula Krudy:

“Beneath the lofty arches of the Chain Bridge old Hungary passed over into New Hungary. The bridge had a hole, and thorugh it our grandfathers cast outmoded catchwords and ideals from their memories into the Danube. On the bridge the wind was strongest, disseminating the seeds of liberty and renewal along the shores, in the hearts and minds of people.”

The Chain Bridge is a survivor. Even before it was finished, it managed to avoid being blown up in the Hungarian war for independence in l849. It survived the hospitalization of its inspiration, count Szechenyi, in l849. It survived the terrible times Budapest and Hungary went through between World war I and II, and even though Budapest was eventually invaded by the Germans in World War II, it managed to survive until the Russians arrived from the east to chase the Germans from the city; at that time, the Germans detonated not just the Chain Bridge, but all the other bridges across the Danube: the Margit bridge, the Elizabeth bridge, the Franz Joseph Bridge, the Arpad bridge. All of them had to be rebuilt.

All were rebuilt, however, and the Chain Bridge stands again today, as one of the two most important symbols of Budapest and Hungary and the most beloved place in the city.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Budapest basics, part II

Compared with New York, which had its first major settlements in the l700s, Budapest is as old as the sea.
Its recorded history begins about the time of Christ’s death, 32. Today’s Budapest, just as its predecessor settlements, is very valuable for its proximity to the Danube, and its central location on the European continent. That led the greatest empire of its time, the Romans, to take control of the area and make the part of Budapest known as Obuda an important regional outpost. We know a fair amount about the Roman settlement now, because of archeological digs going on there for most of the past 50 years.

--it was conquered by Emperor Caesar Augustus, a name everyone knows, in around l00 AD
--several of its governors, including the famous Hadrian, went on to become Roman emperors.

In Roman times, neither the officials nor the townspeople called the settlement Obuda; they called it Aquincum for the endless flow of mineral waters that flow from the hills in the area. To this day, Budapest and Hungary generally are fantastic and well-visited spa areas. In Budapest, you can go to a spa hotel and take the waters one, two, three times a day; outside,you can go to a spa resort complex and take the waters AND learn Hungarian horsemanship, or shepherding, or just relax. MINERAL WATERS are one of the best things about Hungary. The Romans were the first to discover this.

Aquincum, as the archeologists have told us, was a typical regional town for the Roman legions. “the function of the Roman army was not only to conquer, but to spread culture and bring civilization to the peoples it came into contact with. Wherever it went, and set to building, which it did in times of peace, it had a common plan for its cities and facilities in which people could live and feel at home in, whether they lived in Asia minor, southern Europe or northern Europe.

It was an enclosed place, separated from the river by high walls and a moat. Inside were barracks for soldiers, assembly halls, stores, an arsenal, baths, gymnasium and infirmary, plus an aqueduct and network of streets, stores, and a library. Of course,a Roman town wouldn’t be complete without an amphitheater, and Aquincum had TWO, each of which seated ten thousand. Today, the Hungarian passion is soccer; back then it was bloody animal and human fights. I guess that means we’ve evolved.

The Roman empire eventually fell, of course; in the 5th century, contemporary Budapest was overrun by Atilla and the Huns, who are popularly supposed to be the fathers of Hungarians, but who actually don’t have any relation to them ethnically. They laid waste to aquincum and generally turned the Budapest area into a staging ground for combat with rival tribes.

At the end of the 8th century, the Magyar, or Hungarian, tribes arrived in what was to become their homeland. Five of seven Hungarian tribes settled here; their leader was a warrior named Arpad. Arpad himself made his headquarters in Obuda, where Aquincum had been, but substantial numbers of people lived south in Buda, and also Pest, where Islamic merchants had settled.

His successor, Stephen, the man known to history as King St. Stephen, honored every year on the country’s biggest holiday, August 20, also preferred to keep his headquarters away from the heart of modern Budapest; he actually established his reign in a city called Estergom, which is quite a bit farther north of Budapest. King St. Stephen is the man who accepted Christianity on behalf of the Hungarians from Pope Sylveszter II in the year l000, and he apparently felt that modern Budapest had too much the look and feel of an army camp to be a capital city.
For all that he believed the Budapest area unsuitable for his purposes, King St. Stephen is a HUGE presence in Budapest today. The main church in the city is St. Stephen’s Bacillica, a monstrous cathedral nearly the size of St. Peter’s in Rome; inside, you can go and inspect the Szent Jobb, the mummified Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen. The crown St. Stephen received from the Pope is in the Parliament; it dates to the year 1000, and it is very well-traveled. It has been hidden under hay carts in the countryside, it went to Vienna when the Hungarians lived under Austrian rule, came back to Budapest in l867, then resided there until it disappeared during World War II and then resurfaced in the US, where it remained in Fort Knox untill979.
In any case although it was not the capital in St. Stephen’s day, Budapest remembers its King Saint in many places. King St. Stephen is a major symbol of a free Hungary.

The next two hundred years of Budapest’s history pass without a lot of notice in the history books—St. Stephen’s son, Imre, died young, there was a struggle to succeed him, and a series of internal upheavals and invasions. The next of Hungary’s notable Kings, King Bela IV, founded a convent on what we now know is Margit island, the island in the middle of the Danube, and his daughter Margit died there, and left her name on the island.

Bela IV is generally considered to be a good king, progressive and enlightened, but he is notable for the terrible tragedy that befell Hungary and Buda in l241—in that year, like so many lands and cities before them, they were invaded by Genghis Khan and his Mongol warriors, who came on horseback and sent showers of arrows flying into the air before they attacked. The Danube kept them on the Pest side for a time, but only until it froze in the winter. They sacked all the buildings in Pest and Buda, killed a lot of people, then burned everything they could manage There was a Dalmatian priest who witnessed the attack and described it as follows:

Fortunately, the Mongols didn’t linger; they had other conquests to complete. King Bela more or less counted his blessings and took several lessons away from the experience. First, this settlement along the Danube has strategic weaknesses; second, the only things that were not razed by the Mongols were made of stone; third, there was a nice, level space at the top of one of the lower hills, south of Obuda. This all translated into a decision to build a castle on this hill, which then came to be known as Castle Hill, or in Hungarian, Varhegy.
This castle has been destroyed and rebuilt many times times; it was destroyed in the Turkish invasion after l526, then rebuilt; destroyed when the Austrians helped the Hungarians expel the Turks in l783, then rebuilt; damaged in l848, bombarded and destroyed in l945, shelled in l956—it isn’t the same building at all as the one King Bela built at all. It now houses the National Art Gallery and the Hungarian National Library—there aren’t even any administrative offices left there. But it is one of the most important symbols that you will see in Budapest. This thing was built long before Budapest became the capital of Hungary, when there was barely a Buda or Pest. Nonetheless.

It says that Budapest is a city that has known foreign invaders, that it is a city that wishes to keep its freedom and independence, and therefore it built its most important structure for many years ON A HILL, where it can see and assess any threats to its independence and freedom.

Buda castle links the two key themes in Budapest’s development, the influence of geography(this time, the disadvantages), its legacy of foreign invasion and its preoccupation with preventing it. The Buda castle is probably the most important symbol in all the city for that reason—that and the parliament building, across the river.

Perhaps the second-greatest Hungarian King was Matyas, the author of the Hungarian renaissance.

He was determined that Budapest should have high culture, that it should be mentioned in the same breath as the great Italian cities, and so he was a very busy man during his 50-year reign

He rebuilt the Buda castle in a Florentine, Renaissance style. He retained the services of architects from Florence for this rebuilding, in which 20 Italian craftsmen worked more or less constantly. The reconstruction had everything that a renaissance structure of its day should have: three magnificent stories, an elaborate chapel, hanging gardens, tall columns, sculpture of classical figures, such as Athena, goddess of wisdom and knowledge—it was a state of the art building.
Inside, King Matyas had the best artwork money could buy—paintings, frescoes, even a sculpture of the Madonna by Leonardo da Vinci.
He also assembled the best library money could buy—the Corvina library, which ended up being second only in volume and import to the Vatican—Greek and Latin manuscripts, a wide variety of subject matter, philosophy, history, poetry, geography, mathematics.
He arranged to have a printing press, a rarity at that time. Matyas believed that Budapest would be a celebrated capital and thus it should be a center of book publishing.

Matyas is credited with establishing Buda as the center of action in Hungary, and with making the Castle the focal point of the city. He believed that a free city is also a cultured city, and so his legacy is not only the rebuilt castle, but also its place as a historical/cultural center. To this day, the Buda castle houses the National Art Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the Hungarian national archives.

But there were two problems with Matyas’s reign in Hungary:: one, he eventually died without an heir, which guaranteed an internal fight for the throne, and Hungary was about to be invaded by the fiercest fighting force ever to hit Europe—the Ottoman Turks.

The Turks had already conquered all of southeastern Europe before l500—Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, part of Croatia, Romania. They were moving steadily towards Hungary with overwhelming force. In August of l526, in southern Hungary, the Hungarian King Lajos met 80,000 Ottoman crack infantrymen with an army of l0,000 in light armor. It was brutal and quick. At the end of l526, Budapest was yet again occupied by a foreign invader. This time, it was the Ottoman Turks who would came to rule Budapest and the Hungarians—they moved into the Buda castle as conquerors(illustration). Their tenure lasted a couple of hundred years, l526-1783.

You can see the Ottoman influence in many places in Budapest. First, you can see it in the huge number of coffeehouses there, now mostly on the Pest side. The Ottomans were the ones who brought coffee, strong coffee, to Budapest—concentrated essence of coffee that is served in a small cup. It packs a punch.
You can see it in the huge number of bathhouses, too, mostly on the Buda side—Islam prescribed the taking of medicinal baths, so there were very many on the Buda side because there were so many mineral springs there. There are at least three that I know of dating to this period on the Buda side, down from the castle near the river.
The other major evidence of Ottoman rule in Budapest is now a world heritage site. It’s located in the Buda Hills, a little bit north of the Castle area and across the Margit bridge.
It’s a tomb—the tomb of Gul Baba(visible on this post), one of the Turks who took Budapest in l527. He was a cleric, close to the Pasha, who took part in the week-long celebrations after the Turks took Budapest. In that time, the Turks took control of the castle, turned the Matyas church, the signature church from Matyas’s time, into a mosque. Unfortunately, Gul died suddenly during the celebrations, but he was given a splendid funeral and a burial in the Buda Hills. His name in Turkish means “father of roses,” and according to local legend, he introduced the rose to Budapest. So the area around the tomb is called Roszadomb, or Rose Hill, and it has been maintained carefully in good times and bad, with recent help from the Turkish government.

It is an ongoing reminder of a two-hundred year period in which Budapest and Hungary endured foreign rule—more evidence of Budapest’s obsession with independence and freedom.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Some Budapest basics, part I

By popular demand, some Budapest fundamentals:

What are the foundations of Budapest? We know that New York is New York because of geography, the desire to make lots and lots of money, the appearance of visionaries at every key moment, and the acceptance of newcomers. Belfast and Londonderry became the cities they are today largely because of the Protestant-Catholic conflict.

What about Budapest?

Budapest’s foundations are in some respects similar to, and in some respects pretty drastically different from, New York:

1) It shares favorable geography with New York: it is located along a major riverway on the European continent—the Danube--which make it easy to get goods back and forth to major markets—and it’s close enough to the black sea that you see possibilities far beyond Europe.

But, there’s more to it than that. One of the reasons that Buda was founded is that it is high on a hill, affording a commanding view of the east if not the west. That hints that this is a dangerous neighborhood, and it IS. Budapest is both blessed and cursed by its geography—there are NO natural frontiers, no high mountains, no huge rivers that would slow down opposing armies, just some foothills and lots and lots of plains, flat, flat, flat. That wouldn’t be good in any case, but it’s really going to be murder when the Russians get going, then the Germans. It is NOT GOOD to be a small nation and people with no natural frontiers in a hostile neighborhood sandwiched between historically aggressive powers.
Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic were some of the first to ask to get into NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty of Alliance, because of their history at the hands of the Germans and Russians. The Germans are no longer a threat; Russia may or may not become a good neighbor.

2) It is fiercely committed to the idea of freedom, of being able to determine its own destiny. It has the most elaborate parliament building in the world—it looks like a combination of the Vatican and the US Congress. Inside that parliament, they have the relics of their most famous warrior king, King Saint Steven, who first fought for their freedom and aligned them with the “civilized” nations of Europe, huge, imposing statues of the great men of Hungarian history and there is an honored quote by one of Hungary’s great men: I don’t like to say “Hungary was.” I prefer to say Hungary WILL BE!
Both the concept of freedom and the people who fought to make Hungary free of foreign rulers, foreign invaders, foreign influence are everywhere commemorated in Budapest.
One of the major bridges in Budapest is the Freedom Bridge. If you drive over it from Buda into Pest, you will arrive at the American Embassy, which is located on Freedom Square.
The square that the Parliament is located on is Kossuth ter, named for Lajos Kossuth, the man considered the father of Hungarian freedom. The metro station is Kossuth Ter. There is a Kossuth street. There is a Kossuth high school in the town. And that is just for starters.

There is even a GEO WASHINGTON statue in Budapest City Park, a tribute to the US founding father whose country gave so many Hungarians over the years the chance to live in freedom.

The major statues and monuments are all devoted to Hungarian fighters for freedom

Kossuth. Sandor Petofi. Imre Nagy. General Bem, whose image you see above. And the lady atop Gellert Hill, once a Soviet monument, but rechristened in the spirit of a free and independent Hungary

And if you look at Hungarian state holidays, a great many of them have to do with freedom, days on which independence was proclaimed, or reproclaimed:

March l5—the day independence from Austria was proclaimed

June l6—the day Hungary celebrates the winning of its freedom from Russia in l989

August 20-- St. Stephen day, celebrates King St. Stephen, who oversaw the Christianization of Hungary and ruled a free, golden-age state in the l0th century

October 23—beginning of the Hungarian rebellion of l956 against the Soviet Union..

Thus the factors that made Budapest a city, shaped its destiny, are: geography, and then the all-consuming desire for freedom, from invaders, from foreigners ruling them, from

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

450 final

And now, what we've all(!?) been waiting for...the ModEur final...

History 450
Europe since 1945
Final exam spring 2008

Directions Part I(60%): Prepare the following question, drawing upon lectures, readings, videos, travel and personal reflection. Be sure to make clear at the outset what points you will address in the essay and back each point up with specific names, dates, etc. EVERYBODY will do this one.

One fact that characterized Europe between l945 and l989 was division. Write an essay in which you explain for someone unfamiliar with Europe how it became divided. Then identify briefly two or three manifestations of this division. Conclude by discussing briefly why the dividing lines dissolved in the late l980s. Use specific examples in specific places to support your discussion.

Part II(40%) Prepare answers to these questions, using the same methods as described above. You should prepare ALL of them, unless you are a betting man(or woman!)…

“Blessed are those who hunger for justice,” reads a mural in a Catholic neighborhood in northern Ireland. Select one of the H-Block martyrs(not Bobby Sands, because he’s too well known) and discuss the reasoning behind his decision to take his own life on behalf of Irish Catholics. Then evaluate the success of the hunger strike in improving the lot of Catholic citizens over the long term.

The fight for civil rights was waged in both the United States and northern Ireland in the l960s, the Irish taking a page from the notebook of Martin King and other American civil rights leaders. Discuss the conditions the northern Irish Civil Rights Association sought to change in their country, then trace the evolution of their movement. What role did they ultimately play in the resolution of the Troubles?

Like all the small nations in the Soviet orbit, Czechoslovakia had a tragic history after l945. Discuss briefly how it fell under Soviet control, then describe the yearlong attempt by some Czechoslovak authorities to achieve a more humane “socialism” in the Prague Spring l967-68. Conclude your essay by outlining some of the assets and liabilities life there now, nearly 20 years after the state’s breakaway from the Soviet Union.

Titanic Anniversary

Today is the 96th anniversary of the loss of the Titanic. has a phenominal history website and of course there is one on the Titanic. Check it out here.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Essential website

As I was saying the other day, a group of dedicated observers and researchers at Queen's University, Belfast, has put together and digitized a remarkable collection of memorabilia documenting the northern Irish conflict. It will help a lot with preparation for the 425 final, so by all means visit here.

425 final

I've been in the salt mine for awhile, so this blog has been less than active, but I've come back up for air, just in time for finals 2008, of which this is the first to be posted:

History 425
Final exam—April 30, 2008

Directions Part I: Prepare the following four questions, taking care to bring in materials from reading, lectures, video, and whatever outside reading you have done. You will do ONE question in section I, and then ONE question in section TWO, but you don’t know WHICH questions will be selected, so you are advised to prepare ALL of them.

1) The Chain Bridge(lanchid in Hungarian) is indisputably the most beloved bridge in Budapest, a city of bridges. What is its significance for the evolution of the city, and more broadly, the Hungarian nation?

2) As in Ireland, the history of Budapest and Hungary is the story of a constant fight for freedom. First, outline for someone you know will be visiting where he/she can see evidence of this fight on the landscape of the Hungarian capital city. Then explain briefly the circumstances of the l956 Hungarian revolution and describe how Budapesters have chosen to commemorate that shattering event.

Directions Part II: See directions for Part I

3) In his book, Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life, John Conroy despairs of how the “core issues that have driven of this conflict can ever be solved through peace talks.” What are(were, now, thankfully) these “core issues,” and how did they affect residents on the Falls Road, the Catholic neighborhood where Conroy lived during his time in northern Ireland?

4) Clues to the northern Irish conflict—its past as well as its future—abound, particularly in the two largest cities, Londonderry and Belfast. What are some of the clues visitors can see, and what can they reveal about the way Catholics and Protestants view the “Troubles?”

Onward and upward...past this exam to summer break.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A new Rite of Spring?!

It must be spring, since we're beginning to see those quasi-pagan rituals emerge here and there. Here is a great one, by way of Flanders in for some goldfish with your beverage?

A Really "Bad" Girl...

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for pranksters, practical jokers and professional outrages, people who would upset the apple cart, drop a f-bomb on an unsuspecting dinner party, trip a little light fantastic maybe. Thus I was sorry to hear of the passing of Dorothy Podber this week at the age of a town full of eccentrics, she certainly upheld the reputation of " wild children" everywhere:

NEW YORK - Dorothy Podber, a wild child of the New York art scene in the 1950s and '60s who is probably best known for brandishing a pistol and putting a bullet through the forehead of Marilyn Monroe's likenesses on a stack of Andy Warhol's paintings, died at her apartment in Manhattan on Feb. 9. She was 75.

The artist Herndon Ely, her friend and caretaker, said she died of natural causes.

Ms. Podber was an artist and helped run the Nonagon Gallery in Manhattan in the late '50s and early '60s, which showed the work of a young Yoko Ono and was known for jazz concerts by performers such as Charles Mingus. But she became famous, and infamous, in the art world mostly as a muse and a coconspirator of more prominent artists such as Ray Johnson, with whom she staged impromptu happenings on Manhattan streets.

In one, she and Johnson persuaded people they had just met to allow them into their apartments, where they would play records used by speech therapists that contained samples of stuttering.

"She said people were pretty nonplussed, as you'd expect," Ely said. "She and Ray would also do another bit where they'd reenact the shower scene from 'Psycho.' "

In a 2006 interview with the writer Joy Bergmann, Ms. Podber said: "I've been bad all my life. Playing dirty tricks on people is my specialty."

Certainly the most outrageous was her unsolicited contribution to a few of Warhol's "Marilyn" silk-screen paintings. In fall 1964 Ms. Podber, a friend of the photographer and significant Warhol collaborator Billy Name, visited Warhol's Factory in midtown Manhattan with her Great Dane (named Carmen Miranda or Yvonne De Carlo, depending on the account). Ms. Podber asked Warhol whether she could shoot a stack of the "Marilyn" paintings; he apparently thought that she wanted to take pictures of them and consented.

But she produced a pistol and fired at them, penetrating three or four. One of them, "Shot Red Marilyn," with a repaired bullet hole over the left eyebrow, sold for $4 million in 1989, at the time setting a record at auction for a Warhol work.

"After she left," Name told Bergmann, "Andy came over to me and said: 'Please make sure Dorothy doesn't come over here anymore. She's too scary.' "

Ms. Podber told Bergmann that when money was low, as it often was, she generally found unorthodox ways to make it. She once ran a service that dispatched maids to doctors' offices, primarily as a way to get the keys to the doctors' drug cabinets. "I never worked much," she said.

No doubt New York will be the poorer without Podber and her prankstering...

Startling news!

I don't want to alarm anyone, but it is a FACT, History 425 and 450 will be meeting at their regularly scheduled times ALL THIS WEEK(!!!). 469ers will be in the salt mine, working diligently on their chefs d'oeuvres, and I will be hanging in the office, as usual, during NORMALLY SCHEDULED office hours.

That is all. Over and Out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

425 reminder

Don't forget, I will not make City in History class tomorrow(Wednesday), because i am the featured program at the Rotarians' meeting in Kennewick at noon. We WILL meet on Friday, no question, as usual. I am sure that this news will devastate everyone, but please try to recover in time for Friday...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Required reading on Russia

This morning, I referenced the article by Clifford Levy in Sunday's New York Times about the Putin election "campaign" as played out in a regional Russian city, Nizhnii Novgorod. Click here to access it from the International Herald Tribune, which you can read without registration. It is definitely required reading for understanding this incarnation of Russia.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More exam resources...

I mentioned the other day that the last in the New York: A Documentary Film series, "New York: The Center of the World," has a website on which you can find the transcript of the broadcast, as well as other helpful features. You can also access descriptions of the other episodes, but there are no transcripts. Nonetheless, it might be worth your time to look at the Big Apple history certainly won't hurt. Click here to go there(if that makes any sense).

If you scroll down this page, you will find a great site for the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, which is the subject of one of the two questions in part II.

Onward and upward, as my grad advisers used to say!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The 425 exam cometh...

...and just in time, some thoughts on those pesky questions on part II of the test...

Here’s a few things to think about…

On geography…remember that New York has probably the best, or at least one of the best, natural harbors in the world. That was very attractive at the time New Amsterdam was founded, and even well before, since we know a number of explorers landed there to look around. If ships can come and go easily, and find the kind of natural shelter from the ocean tempests that New Amsterdam offered, then it’s very likely that the mainland will become a commercial center.

Because it was so ideally positioned and equipped to become a commercial center, the city was a magnet for immigrants seeking work. And because there always was work for newcomers, those newcomers tended not to venture farther, which helped make New York the most dynamic city in the country. And of course, those immigrants all arrived by ship, until well into the 20th century…

Related to that is the Hudson river, which flows into the Atlantic at Manhattan and allows access to the north American inland. It allowed far more when DeWitt Clinton’s enterprise and brain power was applied to cutting a waterway that linked the Great Lakes and the Hudson. There’s natural geography and man-made geography, or rather man helping natural geography along…both were key to New York’s becoming the commercial HQ of the north American continent.

In the revolutionary war, New York just happened to be located right in the center of the American colonies…it was about equidistant from Virginia and Boston. This meant that if the British took and held New York in the war, they could probably hold most of the rest of north America. But they failed to hold New York, which goes a long way towards explaining their ultimate failure to hold onto the American colonies. So goes New York, so goes the rest of the nation.

And then there is the island factor…because Manhattan is a slender piece of land with finite space, the buying and selling of real estate has always been an obsession there, from the time that the Dutch bought “Manahatta” from the Lenape in 1624…remember, the city’s first millionaire, Mr. John Jacob Astor, made most of his millions by buying up as much of the island as he could and reselling--after he quit the fur trading biz. The finite space factor also determined what the city would look like…if you are on an island and you want to make $$$, you pretty much have to build up. Remember all the skyscrapers, e.g the Flatiron building, Woolworth’s, Empire State and Chrysler before the WTC…they didn’t just go up because people wanted tall buildings. The higher they go, the more office space and/or apartments you can build and the more rent you can charge…that was the imperative behind the WTC’s being 110 floors/tower.

Does this help? What you really need to do, granted probably not before the exam, is make a pilgrimage to Gotham and look for evidence yourself. In any case, you'll be an informed visitor when you do get there.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dumb and dumber?

There's a new book out by Susan Jacoby probing the depths of, and the reasons for, American anti-intellectualism. There's always been a strong undercurrent of disregard and even scorn for the life of the mind in this country, beginning with life on the frontier. Who were the teachers there? The ones who couldn't DO anything, like clear away trees or build houses.

The New York Times report on Jacoby's book offers some contemporary evidence of American ignorance, including the following:

The American idol stalwart, Kelli Pickler, on a recent episode of "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?

"Ms. Pickler threw up both hands and looked at the large blackboard perplexed. “I thought Europe was a country,” she said. Playing it safe, she chose to copy the answer offered by one of the genuine fifth graders: Hungary. “Hungry?” she said, eyes widening in disbelief. “That’s a country? I’ve heard of Turkey. But Hungry? I’ve never heard of it.”

A recent National Geographic poll that discovered

that "early half of 18- to 24-year-olds don’t think it is necessary or important to know where countries in the news are located. So more than three years into the Iraq war, only 23 percent of those with some college could locate Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Israel on a map."

But what exactly was it that moved her to plumb the depths of her countrymen's ignorance? It happened on New York's darkest day, 9/11/2001.

"Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day’s horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:

'This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said.

The other asked, 'What is Pearl Harbor?'

'That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,' the first man replied."

At that point, Jacoby said, she decided that she needed to write the book. I had a student once who, under severe stress, wrote on an exam that Lyndon Johnson dropped the atom bomb on north Vietnam, but that's not quite in the same category.

Sheesh...we've got some DUMB people in this culture, dumb and dumber.

Nightmare time again

It's happened again...this time at Northern Illinois University in De Kalb, Illinois, about sixty miles from Chicago. A gunman described as a "skinny white guy with a stocking cap on," dressed all in black, opened fire on a geology lecture this afternoon on campus. The latest reports indicate five are dead and several others in extremely critical condition. Read the latest here.

Every time this happens, I am first outraged--people have no right to bring their private grudges and weaponry into a place of peace and exploration and reflection. That is a severe trespass on all that I treasure. Then I wonder how long it will be before administrators will be putting up metal detectors and checkpoints at key entrances to the classrooms and offices. That is the way I've always known universities to be overseas. You can't get in any campus buildings there, generally speaking, without proper documentation and/or someone coming to confirm that you are expected.

Finally, of course, I wonder how and when it became acceptable to exorcise your demons on innocent people in a place where people come to learn and improve themselves. What's happening to this culture? Can someone explain this to me?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Congressman Tom Lantos and The City in History Class

How are Califorinia Congressman Tom Lantos and your City in History class possibly connected? Congressman Lantos is a Hungarian Jew and the only Holocaust survivor elected to the U.S. Congress. He grew up in a small town just outside of Budapest and he was saved by one Raoul Wallenberg, who you will learn more about when you study Budapest.

Congressman Lantos passed away yesterday. He was 80-years-old. Here is the Washington Post article where you can read a little more about his remarkable life.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

A thought for the upcoming holiday...

Valentine's Day is nearly upon us, and so is Champagne, a great gift for just about anyone, or at least anyone who enjoys a little drink or two. In that spirit, I remind you of Mme. Bollinger, the sometime grande dame of the Bollinger Champagne houses, who spoke of her devotion to the bubbly stuff in a l961 interview:

"I drink it when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it, unless I'm thirsty."

That pretty much sums up my attitude towards of the great thrills of my life was visiting some of the great Champagne houses in the eponymous region of France and taking a tour of Pommery, which you see above. It would be a sin to visit Lafayetteland and fail to pay a visit to Champagne...I heartily recommend it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Triangle narrative site

There is a terrific site sponsored by Cornell University that is dedicated to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire of March 25, l911 in New York City. You can find a summary of events, chronology, photos/illustrations, original newspaper articles from the following days, and closeup shots of turn-of-the-century sweatshops(which actually are indistinguishable from 21st century sweatshops). Worth your time and attention...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Four excellent questions

This is the time of year when people are contemplating life changes and/or changes in direction--grad school or no grad school, taking a year off, quitting the job in favor of going back to school, things like that. I was just reading a riff on risk from a prominent surgeon who is called upon to make life-or-death decisions virtually every day in his work. This individual always asks himself these four questions before proceeding:

What is the best thing that can happen if I do this?

What is the worst thing that can happen if I do this?

What is the best thing that can happen if I don't do this?

What is the worst thing that can happen if I don't do it?

You will notice that most of these questions lead to doing whatever it is you are reluctant, or afraid, to do, so if you are looking for courage or support in taking a risk, or going out on a limb, take a copy of these questions and block out some answers...

p.s. one of my graduate advisers, the late, great Robert Francis Byrnes, always told people to "do what you are afraid to do." That's pretty good advice, too, and good practice.

Today's 425

By popular demand, a summary of today's City in History: we talked briefly again about the "second wave" of immigration, which brought millions of east/east central europeans and southeast Europeans to the lower east side of New York. There were some questions about assimilation, i.e. whether today's New York City immigrants have the same burning desire to become Americanized, learn English, etc., as their predecessors. The answer to that is yes, and no...there is a six-year waiting list for free English classes, so the desire to learn is there, even if the money and resources are not. On the other hand, people are more able to keep up with things in the old country via the Internet, and often can work in their ethnic enclave rather than get out, e.g. Russians who work in Russian establishments in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. All the local institutions and businesses speak Russian there, and there is Russian-language media there, thus not so much need to leave there and socialize with non-Russians. So, yes, there is a desire to assimilate, yet also circumstances that permit people to remain in their own world within greater New York.

One of the consequences of the crowding of all these people into lower Manhattan was the (further)congestion of streets--then, as now, it's very hard to make your way above ground there. Thus was born the necessity of the underground, or subway. The city fathers decided that New York would have a subway in the early l890s, and employed mostly Italian unskilled labor to dig the tunnels. In October l904, what is now known as the Lexington Avenue Line debuted to great fanfare, and the subway was launched. Unlike most subways in Europe, you pay the same amount wherever you are going in the five boroughs, so there was now incentive to move out of crowded Manhattan into Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx. You would not be financially penalized on your commute to work from that is a great example of necessity--an immigrant influx--being the engine of invention(the subway).

We also looked at the three major New York newspapers, the New York Times, and then the two tabloid rags, the Daily News and the Rupert Murdoch vehicle, the Fox News of print, the New York Post. These are reliable guides to what is going on in the city today; which you prefer is a function of your tastes in media. If you'd rather see the New York Mayor referred to as "Mr. Bloomberg," you'll probably like the Times. If you like him as "Bloomie," the tabloids are your cup of tea.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Grand Central on PBS

Make sure you watch, or tape, tomorrow night's American Experience on your local PBS station(out here, AE usually airs at 9 pm). It's all about the most splendid public building in the world, Grand Central Station in New York City. Built at the turn of the last century, it is going strong a century later, as a subway and train station, mini-shopping mall, luscious food hall host, restaurant venue and peoplewatching mecca. If you park yourself for awhile in the Oyster Bar downstairs from the main terminal, and order a martini at the bar, you can find yourself transported back to prewar New York, when People in the Know drank nothing BUT martinis. I dislike them intensely, in fact they trip my gag reflex every time, but I've choked a couple down in my time, in order to drink in something of retro New York.

On a related note: New. York. Won. The. Superbowl.

425 midterm

As promised, the midterm for City in History, the "New York" exam...

History 425—Spring ’08, the New York exam
Midterm exam –for Friday, February 22, 2008

This might seem to be an ambitious set of questions—you’re not wrong—and that is why I scheduled the exam for a Friday. I will be in the room before l2 for all those who would like to get an early start and will plan to stay until l:15 for anyone who wants some extra time.

Directions Part I(50%): Answer the question, taking care to use specific details from the readings, lectures, videos and any independent readings or investigations you have done:

This question will be based on the text City in the Sky. It will be general, not excessively concerned with details, but will test your understanding of the fundamental facts behind the campaign for and construction of the World Trade Center.

Directions Part II(30%). Answer the agreed-upon question—you won’t know which one until test day—again, using some or all of the materials to which you have had access:

1. It is often said that geography is destiny. Write an essay in which you explain(at least in part)how geography helped shape New York’s destiny from its origins to the present. Be sure to back up the points you made with specific names, dates, facts, etc.

2. The Triangle shirtwaist factory disaster was a dark chapter in New York history, the
darkest in New York history prior to the attacks of September ll, 2001. Outline the
circumstances in which the employees worked, explain how and why they died and conclude by indicating what changes it brought to the life of the city.

Directions part III(20%): Identify, describe and GIVE THE SIGNIFICANCE of the following. You will be asked to do TWO among these on test day(which two, you don't know): “Clinton’s Big Ditch,” Shearith Israel, St. Patrick’s cathedrals(old and new), 1624, John Jacob Astor, Peter Stuyvesant, Emma Lazarus/The New Colossus, Alexander Hamilton, Grand Central Station.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Best of New York, part deux

Germann has pointed out that I have shamefully neglected to include within the best of New York the immortal NEW YORK YANKEE baseball team. I humbly offer my mea culpa and wish to send you now to the official website of the BRONX BOMBERS, where you can check to see how many hours, minutes and seconds remain until pitchers and catchers report, get news on the new additions to the roster and progress on the new-and-improved Yankee stadium, plus buy official Yankee gear, of which I must have an entire roomful by now. I realize we are operating in a Seattle Mariners environment, but their fans should look at this historically...there is not a more storied American sports team, with the possible exception of the Boston Red Sox, than the Yankees. You need to know about the Yankees if you are interested in New York, because a passion for the Yankees might be the only unifying factor in the city besides the mania to make money...every immigrant group has its own TV station and its own Yankees beat reporter. It was quite a shock in December to see even Russian-speaking public access TV speculating on the team's chances in 2008. And Yankee baseball caps are a cultural statement, both here and abroad...the coolest people worldwide are in NYY headgear.

And then there's the civic chauvinist factor: New York is great, New York should always win, GO YANKS!

I wish to point out that the METS don't figure into this calculus, because they are not Manhattan, they are the SUBURBS. Plus, they are parvenus, only on the scene since the l960s. It would be unthinkable to root for them.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The best of New York

We've talked a lot about the virtues of New York City this past week, but there is one institution that stands out in terms of its accessibility, its value and...PRICE. It's the Astor family's greatest gift to their city and the world, the New York Public Library. You can read a rundown of what's up this month here, after which you can pay a personal virtual visit and get CATNYP(!) here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, l972-2008

Today is the 36th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Londonderry, northern Ireland. On that day, a mass march for civil rights in the Bogside, or Catholic section of the city, turned into blood-soaked mayhem as British army paras, or special forces opened fire on the march, killing l4 people. There are varying explanations of what happened that day, including allegations that IRA members were present and fired on the soldiers, but it seems clear that the soldiers were pumped up and determined to "teach those Fenians a lesson," in the words of one commander. Several of those murdered were l8 or under, including Jack Duddy, a promising boxer who hoped for a spot on the Irish Olympic team. He became the symbol of the horror of that day, as a priest and several marchers tried to carry him to safety.

I first learned of this incident in global studies class--one actually relevant moment in an otherwise forgettable course-- leafing through the pages of Life magazine. I wondered how this could happen in one of the cradles of western Civilization, British soldiers shooting down their fellow citizens, some roughly my own age, on a sunny weekend day. With time and some reading, you come to a more nuanced understanding of these kinds of incidents, but the sight of l3 coffins in the church where the mass funeral was held is something I can never forget. I saw it first in that life magazine, then was lucky enough to get to the Bogside Inn in Derry, where there is an entire wall dedicated to pictures of the march, then the mayhem, funeral and burials.

Fortunately, Londonderry is peaceful today, thanks to the passage of time, people's impatience with the "fanatics hijacking our lives" and the dedicated negotiators of the Good Friday peace agreement. But it can only be bittersweet for people who lost loved ones on that day, like Jack Duddy's sister, who laments that "all I can do for him now, on holidays, is bring him a fresh bouquet of flowers in the cemetery."

The image you see above is of the mortally wounded Jackie Duddy and the people who tried to get him some help. The priest you see is Fr. Daly, who later went on to become the bishop of Derry. The photograph is mine, but the mural is the work of the Kelly brothers, who call themselves the Bogside artists. All credit to them and their wonderful story of the northern Irish conflict in murals throughout the Bogside, or Catholic neighborhood of Derry. PLEASE go visit their official site and inspect their work. If you are in Londonderry, you can knock on the door of their studio, located just in back of the Bogside Inn, and if they are there, they will greet you warmly.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is a smart man--he's a billionaire turnaround specialist and Olympic mastermind--but he has some work to do on the world map. On a recent campaign stop, he was heard to declare, "America faces competition from countries like Asia and India."

Ouch. This reminds me of President Bush's confusion of Slovenia with Slovakia...these Republican candidates need to step it up a notch, as they say, if they want to spin the globe in the Oval Office.

Our luck has run out

It appears that the weather is not going to cooperate in giving us another Snow Day, so I'll see you tomorrow at the usual time. History 469 will not meet tomorrow, but MONDAY...I had planned on meeting Monday(the snow day) and so agreed to a lunch beforehand. MONDAY for 469, TOMORROW, WEDNESDAY, for everyone else. C U then...

Monday, January 28, 2008

No class anywhere!

NO CLASSES PERIOD AT WSU TRI-CITIES! Take your snow day and use it productively(lol!). See you Wednesday.


Like the headline says...NO CLASS TODAY in HISTORY 425, 469 or 450!! The roads between here and Tri-Cities are dreadful, and the roads around Tri-Cities look terrible, so let's do us all a favor and NOT RISK COMING OUT IN IT. We are to be plagued with high winds today anyway, making driving still more hazardous.

See you WEDNESDAY the 31st as usual...get out and play in the snow. We've got almost a foot of it here, so there will be a lot to play in...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Are you a good citizen?

If you weren't taxed enough by the previous quiz, here's some questions applicants for US citizenship must answer correctly in order to proceed to the swearing-in ceremony. I did okay, so I think I will be allowed to retain my residence in the country, but there are some traps for the unwary and uncertain.

So how did you do?

Friday, January 25, 2008


As is their wont, the editors of the London Independent newspaper made me think today, with their list of twenty things everyone should know. This is not academic knowledge at all, it is everything from how to change a tire( tyre, in Londonese)to the basics of conducting a background information(?!). Go and check yourself. I admit to some serious deficiencies in my basic life skills, starting with the background check...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Don't forget, we will NOT have class in History 425 tomorrow, Wednesday, 1-23. I will be regaling the Richland Kiwanians as the featured entertainment.

History 469 and 450 will meet, as scheduled. The Kiwanians go back to work or retirement promptly at 1 pm...

History 425 WILL meet on Friday, 1-25, as usual, l2:10.

Quiz on this information to follow(NOT!)...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A new contender

A propos of last year's contest in this space for Foreign Leader past or present with the most exotic name, e.g. Megawatti Bambang of Indonesia...there's a new entrant. The new President of the Turkmens is...Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, who recently replaced the immortal Saparmurat Niyazov, the self-styled "Father of all Turkmen" who named all the days of the week after himself, and some of the months of the year as well. President Berdymukhamedov--just try saying that three times quickly!-- has already reversed "Father's" decision to disallow circuses and opera(no word yet on returning the names of the days of the week), so he's on his way to a different place on the political landscape of Turkmenistan, but he's certainly got a name reminiscent of his illustrious precedessor.

A toast to the Turkmens and their new Leader!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Food geography--Italia

One of the great things about travel and geography is getting to know the various regions of a given country. Italy has a lot of them, and each has made its own distinctive contribution to the great cause of Italian cuisine. Liguria is in the northwest of the country, next door to France--Europeans know it as the Italian Riveria, because it's located on the Ligurian sea(the Grant's tomb part of the post, in case you missed it).

Its culinary signatures are its fish soup--cioppino--basil and(surprise!)pesto. Ligurians use pesto the way the rest of the Italy uses marinara is the standard topping. You can make yourself a quick introduction to Ligurian Italia by making this dish, the recipe for which is here:

Penne with pesto, green beans and potatoes

I standard-sized package of pesto, which you can buy at a good grocery or Italian food store. If you want to make your own, there are thousands of good recipes on the web…you’ll need fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil, pecorino-romano cheese and salt


1/2 lb small red potatoes, peeled and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 lb young, slender green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 lb penne, ziti or trenette pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp

Bring a large pot 3/4 full of water to a rolling boil and add about 2 tablespoons salt. Add potatoes and green beans and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and beans to a large, warmed serving bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil to keep the veggies warm.

Bring the water back to a rolling boil, add the penne, stir well, and cook, stirring occasionally(about l0 minutes), until al dente. Scoop out and reserve about 2 ladlesfull of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Add the drained pasta to the vegetables and then add the pesto. Stir and toss until the pasta and veggies are evenly coated with the sauce, adjusting with some of the cooking water if necessary. Add the butter and toss to coat evenly. Serve at once….

If you want more on Ligurian food and/or info on Italian cuisine from all the regions of the country, you can't do better than this site

A City in (Current)History, 2008

My oldest pal--we've known each other since the age of six months, so i'm told--wrote this about an incident that happened yesterday near her workplace on Capitol Hill, DC:

"It's a beautiful day in my neighborhood, a beautiful day in my neighborhood, won't you be my neighbor?

Well maybe not yesterday afternoon. One of those days we have in DC from time to time when something just a little bit odd pops out. In this case, it was a guy walking down the street with a loaded shotgun, a samurai sword and a bag that was found filled with gunpowder. He was walking down the street near my office, heading towards the capital. It's the sort of thing that sooner or later does draw attention, and he was stopped by the Capitol Police who arrested him and then sent a robot bomb detecting unit over to his car to blow up a suspicious package or two there.

Of course it is the sort of thing that does cause the streets to close down and police to swarm a bit, so people coming back from lunch to their offices (this happened around 1pm) get not only a floor show, but the fun of trying to find a new way to get back to their office because they can't cross one of the police lines."

That's one of the endearing features of both Washington and New York--both cities are nutcase magnets. Eccentrics are drawn there, especially to New York, like moths to light. One prefers the nonlethal eccentrics, of course, over the ones with shotguns and samurai swords, but it's difficult to sort them out...generally speaking, long live cities!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Your almighty 425 tier III...

Without further ado, the instructions for 425 tier III:

History 425—City in History—Writing Assignment 2008

This is a Tier III course, which brings with it a substantial, as in 5-7 page, writing assignment. What you will do is this: first, assume you are a professional researcher. You have been asked to do a profile of a city OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA that will be of interest to businesspeople preparing to live and do business overseas. You will proceed as follows:

A) Choose a city outside north America that interests you. If you’ve always been interested in London, for example, this is your chance to get to know it better, a lot better, for CREDIT.

b) START READING about your city. If there is a “biography,” a contemporary portrait of a city like Alastair Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris, read it. Then begin a search for related articles and books. You will be doing the bulk of your reading from newspapers and magazines, most likely, such as the London Times or Le Figaro for a city like Paris, or the International Herald Tribune, or Time or Newsweek or National Geographic. Travel books and magazines can be of help too. Lots of cities have websites, too, and you should consult those. You’ll be expected to read 2-3 articles per week about your city or events in it, writing and filing away a summary of each article as you go along(for a total of about l6-20 summaries). In mid-April, you will stop reading and prepare to write the profile based on your findings. Everyone needs to keep track of his/her reading, documenting it all along, establishing a “paper trail,” so to speak.

c) Once you are prepared to write the profile, you should do three things: one, give your businessperson an idea of how history and/or geography has shaped this city. New York is New York in part because of its geography; what major factor(s) made London/Paris/Brussels/Rio/Cape Town/Chennai what it is today? Secondly, what is a/the major preoccupation of this city at this point in time? One obvious example is London, shaken as it has been by terrorist incidents and plots. Finally, what should a foreigner know about this city’s business climate? What kinds of initiatives and proposals would have the best chance of succeeding? How is the cost of living?

D) Hand in the paper, your summaries and articles(your paper trail, in other words)on the designated day in mid-April. You should be finished with it before finals…


Continuing the thread about geography, and more particularly geography and politics, there is a great link for you to explore
here. It's the Department of History at the United States Military Academy, and they have done a great service in putting hundreds of maps online, a lot of them dealing(for some strange reason)with this country's wars, but many of them historical, e.g. Europe in l922. On the table of contents, look for the section "Our Atlases" and click.

I've already used the site many times, and I never even had to stand at attention. Go Army!!


Geographymania is the short-answer portion of the GEO midterm for 450. Even if you won't be doing these for credit, test cheating, now!

History 450…in addition to identifying countries and caps and a few other features, you will be asked SOME of the following short-answer questions on the upcoming GEO midterm…as usual, prepare ALL of them unless you are a betting man/woman.

What European regional capital is known as “Titanic town?”

Match the European country with its homegrown alcoholic beverage: Calvados, ouzo, shlivovitz, palinka, Bushmills, Pilsner, Dom Perignon

What central. European country is home to the Lippizaner stud farm?

Where is Dracula's castle? Name the country AND region

What French city was seat of the Papacy for a time a few centuries ago?

Which central European country is famous for gulyas and paprika?

What east European city is the location of the Lenin ship
Yard, famous for its role in the l980s? What country was it in before l945?

What defines the states we know as the “Baltics” and the “Balkans”? Name two Baltic and Balkan states.

What country’s capital has been the head of two major religious empires?

Where is the home base of the Ibizian hound, one of the biggest, skinniest dogs you will find? How about the celebrated hunting dog known as the “Kurzhaar?”

What accounts for both French and German being heard on the streets of the eastern French city of Strasbourg?

What city is considered the birthplace of the Beatles?

Identify the countries to which these Olympic cities belong: Turin , Lillehammer, Athens, Grenoble, Sarajevo, Munich, Barcelona, St. Moritz

Which city is lucky enough to have Schipol as its airport, one of the most user-friendly in the world?

For which southeast European country is the region of Kosovo the cradle of civilization?

Cartographic confusion: What are these cities called today, and where are they? Koloszvar, Caporetto, Breslau, Take one of them and explain how its name got changed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Geo quiz prep

All the Europe since l945 students are now or will be very familiar with the following's the map on which the geo midterm will be based, at least in part. It won't be just countries and capitals--there will be some short-answer questions--but filling this out correctly will be a good first step in the gradual reduction of your geographic illiteracy...

More on "The Jewish Americans"

If you're interested in the PBS series I referenced below, "The Jewish-Americans," you can access the website and accompanying resources here. PBS always sets up a website with all kinds of extras for people interested in a given program, so it's worth a look.

Must-see TV

The coming week features two PBS offerings that promise to be worth your time. First is the American Experience, by definition a must, featuring yet another look at the JFK assassination and Lee Harvey Oswald's role in it. I doubt this round will clear up the controversy that still continues to swirl around that tragic incident, but AE always has an interesting take on whatever it chooses to highlight.

Then Wednesday, KTNW will air part II of the excellent series "The Jewish Americans." Part I covered the Jewish experience in America from the arrival of the first Spanish and Portuguese Jews--the first Shearith Israel congregants in New York City--to the beginnings of the 20th century. Part II deals with the emergence of anti-Semitism in America after the turn of the century, an unhappy period to be sure, but a matter of record. This is a terrific program that should be of interest especially to City in History students, since so much of the Jewish experience in America is centered in the five boroughs of New York City.

Of course, if you want to take a break from history and politics, TCM and TVLand continue to make available the old favorites, e.g. Gone with the Wind, Andy Griffith, The Addams Family, Leave it to Beaver, etc. etc. I've almost always got something like that on, as background noise...the soundtracks of our lives, or something like that.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Merry Russian Christmas!

As some of you know, Russians actually get a double dose of Christmas and New Year's, because the Russian Orthodox Church continues to use the Julian calendar, while the society at large follows the Gregorian, as we do here. Many Russians celebrated western Christmas on December 25; now they get their second, as today is Russian Orthodox Christmas. Hooray! Three Cheers! Here is another picture-perfect church to help us mark the occasion, St. Anna-on-the Corner, Moscow.


...and 425, City in History. I think that's it...i HOPE I only have 3 classes this term!

History 425
City in History
Spring ‘08
B. Farley

A fatal moment for Budapest and Hungary—the Trianon Treaty of l920.

First things first: My office is 207J in the west building. You can call me at the office(372-7357), or you can EMAIL me at OR I will always try to get back to you by the next day if at all possible. You can also call me at my ancestral estate in Pendleton, Oregon(541-276-6962). In any case, feel free to get in touch. I don’t bite and at least some people feel that my other habits are satisfactory.
My office hours face-to-face are 4-5:30 pm, Mondays and Wednesdays and whenever else you can catch me on campus. Virtual office hours are 24/7—you can email me anytime and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible, preferably by the next day.

Students with Disabilities: Accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. See Cherish Tijerna, Disability Resources Coordinator, as soon as possible to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. To make an appointment, please call 372-7352. In other words, if you have a learning disability, people and resources are available to help you.

The lowdown: Welcome to History 425, City in History. This is a course that can be done two ways, either concentrating on the role of the city in history or the role of history in a given city. I’m a fan of historical travel, so I lean to the latter rather than the former. This term, we will do an overview of four cities—New York, Budapest, Londonderry and Belfast—and focus on one or two defining events, events that shaped or made that city what it is today. In the case of New York, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and 9-11 are an obvious touchstone; for Budapest, the ordeal of World War II and then the l956 revolution against Soviet control are both key moments in its evolution. In Londonderry and Belfast, the long-running conflict between Catholic and Protestant citizens of northern(British)Ireland has literally shaped Londonderry and divided Belfast into ethnic enclaves worthy of Iraq. We will read about, and discuss all these places and the force(s)that shaped them in the modern age.
We will have three texts this term: for New York City, City in the Sky, a history of the World Trade Center, whose demise at the hands of the cavemen ushered in the world we now inhabit. The two buildings were always, to put it mildly, star-crossed. For Londonderry and Belfast, John Conroy, Belfast Diary. John Conroy was a Chicago Tribune correspondent who volunteered to live in “The Falls,” the main Catholic neighborhood, for 8 months in the contentious year l980-81. Conroy lived in Belfast, but what he experiences was not much different than what you would’ve found in Londonderry. Then, Michael Korda’s book on the Hungarian revolution against Soviet power, which took place 62 years ago this August. 1956 was the key event in Budapest and Hungarian history in the 20th century, and Journey to a Revolution is a timely look at how the revolution affects the city 60 years later.

Evaluation: We will have two exams, one midterm and one final. Each will be worth 25%. This being a capstone course, you will also have a substantial writing assignment, which I will describe for you in the coming days.

Course objectives: To get to know three major world cities/capitals and how recent history has affected them. To look beyond the buildings and boulevards and learn something of how the history of their respective countries is or is not reflected in them. To think about what makes a great city. To become convinced of the virtues of visiting cities as certified residents of very small towns…


Part I : New York, New York

The beginnings—New Amsterdam, then New York

Revolutionary war and the making of Big Money in New York

The immigrant city

Catastrophe no. 1: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

The vertical city, the city in the sky

The twin towers

Catastrophe no. 2: September 11, 2001 and the future of New York

Required readings: City in the Sky: Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center. All.
Recommended readings: Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It’s kind of a kids’ book—I read it in 7th grade—but it gives all readers a real flavor of what life was like in Irish/immigrant New York circa l900. It is not a work of glowing nostalgia; it has the ring of authenticity and truth. Bernard Malamud, who died recently, wrote many works chronicling Jewish life in New York, such as The Chosen. Very worthwhile. Also, David Halberstam, Firehouse, one of the best books about 9-11, profiling the ten firefighters lost from the house closest to Halberstam’s home on the upper West Side
Recommended films: Where do you start? King Kong, Midnight Cowboy, Out-of-Towners, Odd Couple, Moscow on the Hudson, Radio Days (actually, almost anything starring Woody Allen), Once Upon a Time in America, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull (almost anything starring Robert DeNiro, who owns an expensive restaurant in lower Manhattan), The Apartment, Breakfast at Tiffany’s…and the list goes on.

First exam after conclusion of New York

Part II: Buda-Pest, tale of two cities

Buda-Pest, capital of the heart of Europe

How Buda-Pest became Budapest

Hungary and Budapest’s Golden Age

World War I and the tragedy of the Trianon Treaty

World War II and the destruction of the Hungarian Jews

Exit Nazis, enter Russians

1956: Budapest fights back

Budapest in the new Europe

Required readings: Korda, Journey to a Revolution, all.
Recommended readings: The Budapest Sun, English-language newspaper for Budapest. It isn’t a great source of hard news, but it does have interesting feature articles about the city and its culture.
Recommended film: “Sunshine,” starring Ralph Fiennes. Four generations of a Hungarian Jewish family, set in Budapest, and widely available in video stores here.

Part III: Londonderry and Belfast, cities shaped by war

Origins of Catholic and Protestant conflict

1968: beginnings of the Troubles

London-Derry, divided city in a divided country

Belfast, “Titanic town” and ethnic enclaves

1972: Bloody Sunday, Bloody Friday

Evolution of the Troubles

Londonderry and Belfast, a decade after Good Friday

Required readings: Conroy, Belfast Diary, all
Recommended readings: Eamonn McCann, War and an Irish Town, about life in Londonderry as a Catholic; Geoffrey Beattie, Protestant Boy, the life and education of a Protestant youth from Belfast.
Recommended films: “Michael Collins,” with Liam Neeson; “Patriot Games,” with Harrison Ford. Both deal with the Irish Republican Army and the Catholic perspective on the struggles; both are excellent.

Paper due date TBA before dead week. Second exam during finals week.

History 469, the writin' class

Continuing with the drumroll accompaniment, 469...

History 469
Seminar in History
WSUTC spring ’08
B. Farley

Essential details: Office is 207j on faculty row in WEST bldg; tel. 372-7357(office), 541-276-6962(ancestral estate). Emails, You can now send to either or both emails because I can actually view and read attachments now on the school email. Wonders truly never cease.
Office hours face-to-face this term are 4-5:30 pm, Mondays and Wednesdays. In addition, on days we are not meeting as a group, which is most of the second part of the term and some days before, you all have first priority. VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS are 24/7 on email. I will always try to get back to you at least by the next day.

Students with Disabilities: Accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. See Cherish Tijerna, Disability Resources Coordinator, as soon as possible to seek information or to qualify for accommodations. To make an appointment, please call 372-7352. Translation from Officialspeak: If you have a learning disability, people and resources are available to help you.

Introduction: Welcome to History 469, Seminar in History. This is the place where you will get the opportunity to produce a nice piece of historical research and writing, something which you have hopefully been preparing since History 300, the pre-requisite for this course. That is your major assignment, to research and write a 10-15 page paper on a topic of your choosing in 20th century European and American history. This will be something that you can present with confidence to a potential employer, or as a writing sample for graduate or professional school.
What we will do in this course is a) meet Mondays and some Wednesdays during the first few weeks of the semester. During that time, we will cover the essentials of bringing your original idea or the one you developed earlier to fruition—finding and/or refining a topic, how to find and use sources, how to evaluate and present information from sources, bias and how to avoid or minimize it, and generally the dos and don’ts of writing about history. The main point about that last matter is: be honest, and avoid trying for spectacular or controversial findings. Your task is to determine what happened with/to your subject, wherever that might lead you.
Also during this first few weeks, you will be reading ONE REALLY, REALLY FINE piece of work in American history: Doris Kearns Goodwin’s OUTSTANDING book on Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II, No Ordinary Time. I want you to read this first because she uses a diversity of sources to maximum advantage and makes them work for her. This book is serious and substantive, yet full of humanity and telling anecdotes. DKG is an ordinary mortal who produced this wonderful portrait; YOU are an ordinary mortal capable of doing the same thing. Oh, and did I mention that you will have an in-class quiz on this book in mid-February?
The second part of the course consists of your producing your DKG-style work, doing your research, putting the paper together and making sure the product meets standards of excellence in terms of diversity of sources, writing and editing. We will do that part together as well, face-to-face and in cyberspace. After we finish the in-class part of the course, I will be in the office during the class period exclusively to talk with anyone who has a question or an issue. In any case, you will turn in to me a rough draft by March 31, I will return it to you with comments, and you will then return to me a finished product by April l6.
In between, you have an excellent resource in the Marius book on how to conduct research in and write history. You also have first priority in the office and on email…I’m basically available at any time to help with ideas, editing, and whatever issues come up during the “birth” of this paper.

NB: Please stop by my blog,, periodically, for updates, announcements and between-classes happenings.

January 7-9: Course Introduction: types of history AND how to choose and/or refine a topic you have already chosen.
Your task: Produce a topic, presented in a coherent paragraph, by January l4. Read 2 chapters of Marius, also 2 chapters of Goodwin

January 14-16: Discussion of paper topics. Then: types of sources and how to use them
Your task: Investigate all possible primary sources accessible in this area and make a list of secondary sources. Continue with Marius and Goodwin.

January 22: NO CLASS this week. Searching for and getting what you need
Your task: Start gathering your sources. Continue with Marius and Goodwin.

January 29: Nuts and bolts of writing, part I: organization and note-taking
Finish Marius and Goodwin

February 7: Nuts and bolts of writing, part I: editing and annotating
Continue with Goodwin.

February l1-13: History on film, TBA

February 21-23: NO CLASS February 21, Prexies’ Day; QUIZ on DKG on February 23.
Your task: Read, make notes and WRITE SOMETHING EVERY DAY for the next couple of months. If you do those things, the paper will materialize.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back by popular(?!)demand...

SYLLABI, '08 editions. First up is History 450, Europe since l945...

History 450—Europe since ‘45
Spring ‘08

Contact Info: 207j West Building/372-7357(office), 541-276-6962(home). Face-to-face office hours: Monday-Wednesday, 4-5:30 pm and by appointment, Virtual office hours 24/7 via email, or Email was made for me—I don’t like talking on the phone and I always try to answer any communiqué I get that same day. Please feel free to get in touch anytime.

Make it a point to visit the class blog at for updates, syllabi, test questions and miscellaneous information and opinion. If you’ve forgotten or lost something, you can find it here, and you are always welcome to leave comments, using your real name or a pseudonym…

The Lowdown

Well, we’re back to contemplating Modern Europe, or Europe since l945, again. I was not sure what to do about this period in 2005, and I am no more so in 2008. Europe is allegedly united, but divided into more and less “established” camps of states. It supposedly saw the light and renounced war and violence after the horror of the Holocaust, yet was wracked by some of the worst genocide and ethnic cleansing of the century in the territories of the former Yugoslavia in the l990s. It touts itself as modern, tolerant and accepting, yet is continually threatened, and sometimes hit, by alienated young men who have embraced militant Islam. There is no grand national narrative, no unifying theme, that we can lean on in studying the modern history of this region. Therefore, we will look at several episodes in the period that seem to be particularly interesting and/or enlightening, and hope for the best. The first will be the uniting, then division, then reconstruction of postwar Europe, followed by the rise of anticolonialism, with particular emphasis on France and its desperate attempts to hold on to Algeria, Tunisia and Indochina. Then we will examine the Year That Was in Europe as well as America—l968—because we “celebrate” its 40th anniversary this year. The development of a vicious, prolonged conflict between Protestants and Catholics in northern Ireland comes next, and then the story behind the reunification of Europe in l989, the year that everything seemed to become possible.
Since we will be concentrating on four or five key episodes in European history, it seems reasonable to work in some crucial films highlighting some singular aspect of each. Besides, I like film, and Europeans do a great job on them. The first will be the newly relevant “Battle of Algiers,” to accompany the Alastair Horne classic. Next comes “Oratorio for Prague,” a film that began to chronicle the miraculous “Prague Spring” of l968, but ended up being shut down by invading Soviet forces sent to crush it.
“Bloody Sunday,” a re-creation of the worst day of the northern Irish conflict, will be the third offering. Closing out the term will be “Goodbye, Lenin,” an hilarious comment on the end of Communist Europe.


The readings pretty much go chronologically, and as usual, we were limited to what is in print at the moment. Still, the books are pretty good. We begin with the text, Felix Gilbert’s End of the European Era, l890-present. I’m not sure the European era is actually over, but he covers the events between l945 and now very well. I actually have read that book, a TEXT, several times. Alastair Horne’s classic study of the French struggle with its Algerian colony comes next. This book has new relevance in light of the US war in Iraq, since both US and French officials used torture on insurgents, a very controversial development. Heda Kovaly’s memoir, Under a Cruel Star, demonstrates how cruel and unforgiving the Communist regimes were, and how dreadful it was to get Communism as soon as the Nazis were vanquished. With respect to the Irish conflict, one highlight is the determination of a group of Catholic prisoners outside Belfast to resist being categorized as common criminals. They believed they were POLITICAL PRISONERS, not criminals, and deserved to be treated as such. The difference between them and a lot of ordinary mortals is that they were willing to die the most gruesome death in order to dramatize their convictions. The “Hunger Strikers” of l980-81 are the subject of David Beresford’s Ten Men Dead. Whether or not you agree with their ideas, you will be stunned by their resolve. Finally, Timothy Garton Ash’s modern classic, The Magic Lantern, so called since it was thought at the time that only magic, or supernatural forces, could put an end to Soviet domination in eastern Europe. As it happened, it wasn’t magic at all, it was a man named Gorbachev, but there certainly was an otherworldly quality to the events of l989, which united Europe after 50 years of division.


Modern Europe is an M class, meaning writing across the curriculum, It is impractical for everyone to write a term paper, so we will resort to an old warhorse: the semester-long reading and writing assignment(40%). One thing we WON’T probably get to is the dramatic expansion of the European Union that we witnessed in 2003 and continue to watch as the 21st century continues. Thus, YOU will cover this for yourself. You will select one of the countries admitted in 2004(Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia)OR one of the countries now seeking and/or preparing for admission(Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey), seek out 1-3 articles per week dealing with that country. You can select articles that reflect a sort of general acquaintance, or narrow your focus to something specific, like the economy, tourism, political challenges, minority rights issues, etc. You will summarize each article in a paragraph or two, then store the summaries in a folder. About two weeks before the end of the semester, you will write a 3-5 page paper summarizing your findings for a business that is seeking to establish itself there. What are the most important current issues with which these business people should be familiar as they move into the country? Both your summaries AND your final paper will form the basis for your grade on this part of the course, since this is a “writing across the curriculum” offering.
The writing exercise will be worth 40% of the final grade. Other than that, we’ll have a geography midterm, for 20%, a regular midterm(20%) and a final, or second midterm(20%).


Part I, l945-53: Victory, Unity, Recovery, Division, Confrontation

Background to l945

The “big three” and planning for the postwar: two Europes??

Europe and the Marshall Plan: Recovery, retribution, reconquest

The Berlin crisis

Two postwars

Readings: Gilbert, beginnings to chapter 12; start Horne, Savage War of Peace
Recommended readings: Norman Naimark, Russians in Germany, l945-49; Anthony Beevor, Paris after the Liberation, l945-49.
Recommended film: “Judgment at Nuremberg.”

GEOGRAPHY midterm after this section(!). Yes, you will finally have to learn the map of Europe, with all those brand-new countries in it, like Slovenia…or is it SLOVAKIA?!

Part II, The l950s: Reaction/revolt

The east in crisis: Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin

The west in crisis: France and the “colonial wars:” Indochina, Algeria, Tunisia

Featured film: “The Battle of Algiers(l956).”

Readings: Gilbert, chapters 13-14; Horne, all
Recommended readings: Roy Medvedev, Khrushchev: a Biography. Bernard Fall, Street without Joy, Hell in a Very Small Place; Robert Dallek, JFK: An Unfinished Life(new bio of President Kennedy).
Recommended films: “Indochine,” starring Catherine De Neuve

Garden-variety midterm exam after this section…

Part III: l968, the Year that Rocked the World

The USA: reversals, riots, bloody murder

The French crisis

The Czechoslovak l960s and the Prague Spring, January-August l968

Featured film: “Oratorio for Prague(l968).”

Readings: Gilbert, ch. 14; Kovaly, Under a Cruel Star, all.
Recommended readings: William Shawcross, Dubcek; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., RFK: His Life and Times; James Simon Kunen, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary; David Maraniss, They Marched into Sunlight

Part IV: The “Troubles” in Ireland

Prelude to a crisis: Catholics and Protestants in northern Ireland to l967

Catholics and the “Civil Rights movement,” l968-69

“Battle of the Bogside” and the coming of the British Army

Playing hardball with the British: Bobby Sands and the Irish hunger strikers

The road to Good Friday

Featured film: “Bloody Sunday(2003).”

Readings: Beresford, Ten Men Dead, all.
Recommended readings: John Conroy, Belfast Diary; Tim Pat Coogan, On the Blanket.

Part V: Europe re-uniting, l985-89

Ferment in the east: Gorbachev, Reagan and nuclear Europe

Gorbachev and the “satellites”

The “Sinatra doctrine.”

The end of the Berlin wall and the “German problem.”

Featured film: “Goodbye, Lenin(2003)!”

Readings: Gilbert, chapters 16-17; Garton Ash, The Magic Lantern, all.
Recommended readings: : David Remnick, Lenin’s Tomb: the Last Days of the Soviet Empire; Slavenka Drakulic, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed.

Final exam-- second midterm, actually-- at the scheduled time