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Modernitys Spell - The New Atlantis
"Credulity: A Cultural History of U.S. Mesmerism By Emily Ogden"
book  review  intellectual  history  credulity  belief  rationality  18c  19c 
april 2019 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Populists as snake oil sellers
Recap of research on why snake oil medicine cures were so popular in 19c.
political-science  success  failure  medicine  19c  fake-news  marketing 
april 2019 by tsuomela
The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America, Pearson
"In 1877, the American Humane Society was formed as the national organization for animal and child protection. Thirty years later, there were 354 anticruelty organizations chartered in the United States, nearly 200 of which were similarly invested in the welfare of both humans and animals. In The Rights of the Defenseless, Susan J. Pearson seeks to understand the institutional, cultural, legal, and political significance of the perceived bond between these two kinds of helpless creatures, and the attempts made to protect them. Unlike many of today’s humane organizations, those Pearson follows were delegated police powers to make arrests and bring cases of cruelty to animals and children before local magistrates. Those whom they prosecuted were subject to fines, jail time, and the removal of either animal or child from their possession. Pearson explores the limits of and motivation behind this power and argues that while these reformers claimed nothing more than sympathy with the helpless and a desire to protect their rights, they turned “cruelty” into a social problem, stretched government resources, and expanded the state through private associations. The first book to explore these dual organizations and their storied history, The Rights of the Defenseless will appeal broadly to reform-minded historians and social theorists alike."
book  publisher  history  19c  american-studies  children  animal-rights 
april 2019 by tsuomela
Kierkegaard, D. Anthony Storm's Commentary on
"Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a nineteenth century existentialist philosopher, and arguably both the father of existentialism and modern psychology. He is a grossly misunderstood figure, whom some argue was a mystic, an anti-rationalist, or, as is more reasonable, an anti-philosopher. Often his overtly religious writings are overlooked or de-Christianized in favor of the pseudonymous authorship. An idiosyncratic style, along with a complex authorial method, go far in confounding the unwary reader. This site features a commentary on the writings of Kierkegaard. Information on every published work and article (including many unfinished writings and journal entries) is presented here with publication data, quotes, detailed commentary, and images. There are also supplementary materials to aid in your research. A good place to start is to go straight to the Commentary itself where you can view abstracts of the works before diving in."
philosophy  19c  commentary  religion  existentialism  faith 
march 2019 by tsuomela
The White Man’s Boredom – The New Inquiry
"Jeffrey Auerbach shows in a rich new book, Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire, despite the parades and the hunts, even colonial governors in the late 19th century British Empire found their work endless, fruitless, and boring."
book  review  colonialism  history  bureaucracy  boredom  19c  country(GreatBritain)  empire 
march 2019 by tsuomela
A Sadistic Master Storyteller | The New Republic
"THE COLLECTED STORIES OF MACHADO DE ASSIS by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, edited by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin PattersonLiveright, 960 pp., $35.00"
book  review  fiction  19c  country(Brazil) 
february 2019 by tsuomela
The Happiness Philosophers: The Lives and Works of the Great Utilitarians // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Bart Schultz, The Happiness Philosophers: The Lives and Works of the Great Utilitarians, Princeton University Press, 2017,"
book  review  philosophy  history  utilitarianism  19c 
september 2017 by tsuomela
Prophet and Loss | New Republic
Review of Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones.
book  review  biography  marx  19c  ideology  capitalism 
september 2016 by tsuomela
UNC Press - The Virgin Vote
"There was a time when young people were the most passionate participants in American democracy. In the second half of the nineteenth century--as voter turnout reached unprecedented peaks--young people led the way, hollering, fighting, and flirting at massive midnight rallies. Parents trained their children to be “violent little partisans,” while politicians lobbied twenty-one-year-olds for their “virgin votes”—the first ballot cast upon reaching adulthood. In schoolhouses, saloons, and squares, young men and women proved that democracy is social and politics is personal, earning their adulthood by participating in public life. Drawing on hundreds of diaries and letters of diverse young Americans--from barmaids to belles, sharecroppers to cowboys--this book explores how exuberant young people and scheming party bosses relied on each other from the 1840s to the turn of the twentieth century. It also explains why this era ended so dramatically and asks if aspects of that strange period might be useful today. In a vivid evocation of this formative but forgotten world, Jon Grinspan recalls a time when struggling young citizens found identity and maturity in democracy."
book  publisher  american  american-studies  history  politics  youth  generation  19c 
july 2016 by tsuomela
"THE WEATHER EXPERIMENT The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future By Peter Moore Illustrated. 395 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $30."
book  review  science  history  meteorology  weather  19c  20c 
july 2015 by tsuomela
After Appomattox, by Gregory Downs, reviewed.
Book review of After Appomattox: Military occupation and the ends of war by Gregory P. Downs
book  review  civil-war  history  american-studies  race  slavery  19c  occupations  military 
april 2015 by tsuomela
Military-industrial complex? Blame the torpedoes - Ideas - The Boston Globe
"But as the history of the torpedo shows, the roots of the military-industrial complex lie deeper. Even before World War I, the government and the private sector were entwined: The government investing in defense contractors and guaranteeing a customer for their products; a branch of the private sector depending on the military for growth; and a body of rules growing alongside their collaboration to ensure that scientific and technological information emerging with private-sector input would stay protected, rather than travel like other discoveries."
history  sts  war  military-industrial-complex  20c  19c  government  research  r&d 
january 2014 by tsuomela
150 Years of Misunderstanding the Civil War - Tony Horwitz - The Atlantic
"This and other scenes of unromantic slaughter aren't likely to get much notice during the Gettysburg sesquicentennial, the high water mark of Civil War remembrance. Instead, we'll hear a lot about Joshua Chamberlain's heroism and Lincoln's hallowing of the Union dead. It's hard to argue with the Gettysburg Address. But in recent years, historians have rubbed much of the luster from the Civil War and questioned its sanctification. Should we consecrate a war that killed and maimed over a million Americans? Or should we question, as many have in recent conflicts, whether this was really a war of necessity that justified its appalling costs?"
american  american-studies  civil-war  history  19c  memory  war  violence 
june 2013 by tsuomela
Q&A with Erkki Huhtamo | The MIT Press
"The moving panorama was a highly visible form of education and entertainment for the nineteenth-century people. In the very basic sense, these words refer to huge rolls of painted canvas that were unrolled in front of an audience. A lecturer interpreted the scenes, and the atmosphere was heightened by live music and sound effects. To make the moving pictures livelier, they were often illuminated by dioramic "special effects.""
book  interview  19c  history  media  film  visual  fads  archaeology 
may 2013 by tsuomela
The New Atlantis » The Possibility of Progress
"At any moment, the imagination says no to the world as it is while saying yes to an alternative reality — to a world that never was or has yet to be. Behind every vision lies dissatisfaction. This holds true for the statesman as much as for the artist. Both say no to the world in which they find themselves, even as they say yes to its next incarnation, now disincarnate. In his story “The Hall of Fantasy,” Nathaniel Hawthorne hints that every form of human activity verges on the unworldliness of fantasy, negating the present in favor of the future or imagined past. Yet it is the political use of the imagination that attracts Hawthorne’s most skeptical treatment. "
literature  19c  politics  imagination  progress  vision  fantasy  utopia  possibility 
february 2013 by tsuomela
The American Scholar: A New Birth of Reason - Susan Jacoby
"Robert Ingersoll, the Great Agnostic, inspired late-19th-century Americans to uphold the founders’ belief in separation of church and state"
atheism  religion  secularism  american-studies  history  19c 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Lincoln Against the Radicals | Jacobin
"Lincoln is not a movie about Reconstruction, of course; it’s a movie about old white men in beards and wigs heroically working together to save grateful black people. And that’s exactly the point: this is not a movie about the long process of reuniting the country or black freedom."
movie  politics  19c  civil-war  slavery  american-studies  bipartisanship  moderation  radical 
december 2012 by tsuomela
[1207.2016] A Sense of Crisis: Physics in the fin-de-siecle Era
" Whereas physics in the period from about 1880 to 1910 experienced a steady growth, it was also a revolutionary period in which the foundations of the physical world picture were criticized and reconsidered. Generally speaking, from about 1890 mechanics and materialism came under increasing attack and sought replaced by new formulations based on either energy, the ether, or the electromagnetic field. Fin-de-siecle physics was in many ways a chapter of turmoil in the history of science. I review the main developments and alternatives to the established physics, in particular energetics, ether physics, the electromagnetic world view, and also the role played by radioactivity and other new rays discovered in the years around 1900. In the end the anticipated revolution based on the "matter is dead" catchword did not succeed. A revolution did take place in the period, but it was a different one that did not derive from the Zeitgeist of fin de siecle. "
sts  science  history  physics  19c  paradigm 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Scientific History and the Lessons for Today's Emerging Ideas - Technology Review
"Kragh clearly shows that only a small fraction of the mainstream scientific debate in the 1890s is relevant today. And there's no reason to think that same won't be true when historians reassess early 21st century science in a hundred year's time."
sts  science  history  physics  19c  paradigm 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Hall’s Law: The Nineteenth Century Prequel to Moore’s Law
"Interchangeability of parts breaks the coupling between scaling and manufacturing capacity by substituting supply-chain limits for manufacturing limits. For a rifle, you can build up a stockpile of spare parts in peace time, and deliver an uninterrupted supply of parts to match the breakdown rate. There is no need to predict which part might break down in order to meaningfully anticipate and prepare. You can also distribute production optimally (close to raw material sources or low-cost talent for instance), since there is no need to locate craftsmen near the point-of-use.

So when interchangeability was finally achieved and had diffused through the economy as standard practice (a process that took about 65 years), demand-management complexity moved to the supply chain, and most problems could be solved by distributing inventories appropriately." Annotated link
history  economic  technology  innovation  manufacturing  interchangeable  industrial  18c  19c  country(UnitedStates)  country(GreatBritain)  military  growth  revolution  capitalism  capital  design 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Nineteenth Century Philosophy: Revolutionary Responses to the Existing Order // Reviews // Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Let me put the point this way. There are two kinds of philosophical historians: derivative and original. While the derivative follow the standard curriculum, the original have the powers to reform and create a new curriculum. It is the ideal and obligation of every genuine philosophical historian to be original, to get beyond the standard curriculum, to resist the pressure of pedagogical interests and intellectual fashions, so that he can give an accurate account of the depth and breadth of an historical period. No period of the philosophical past stands in more need of an original historian than nineteenth century philosophy. The standard tropes and figures do no justice to its depths, riches and powers. The ultimate purpose of this review is to give the reader some indication of how we must strive to get beyond them."
philosophy  history  19c  curriculm  standard  cliche 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Ruth Kinna on Guy Aldred | berfrois
"Guy Aldred is an obscure but important figure in the history of socialist thought. He sometimes crops up in histories of British socialism, syndicalist and labour organisation, but rarely in discussions of socialist theory. "
socialism  history  anarchism  19c  1h20c  politics 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept | Technology and Culture
"The hazardous character of technology—the word, the concept—is a consequence of the history just outlined. As I have argued, the generality of the word—its lack of specificity, the very aspect which evidently enabled it to supplant its more explicit and substantial precursors—also made it peculiarly susceptible to reification. Reification, as the philosopher George Lukacs famously explained, is what occurs when we endow a human activity with the characteristics of a thing or things. It thereby acquires, as he put it, “a ‘phantom-objectivity,’ an autonomy that seems so strictly rational and all-embracing as to conceal every trace of its fundamental nature: the relation between people.”27 In contemporary discourse, private and public, technologies are habitually represented by “things”—by their most conspicuous artifactual embodiments: transportation technology by automobiles, airplanes, and railroads
history  technology  sts  science  language  vocabulary  19c  industrial  definition  abstraction 
may 2011 by tsuomela
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the "Gateway to the Deep South." The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However, renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city.
civil-war  history  the-south  state(Tennessee)  park  national-parks  19c  american-studies 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Welcome To Duke University Press
The Heavens on Earth explores the place of the observatory in nineteenth-century science and culture. Astronomy was a core pursuit for observatories, but usually not the only one. It belonged to a larger group of “observatory sciences” that also included geodesy, meteorology, geomagnetism, and even parts of physics and statistics. These pursuits coexisted in the nineteenth-century observatory
book  publisher  science  history  19c  observation 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Buchwald, J.Z. and Josefowicz, D.G.: The Zodiac of Paris: How an Improbable Controversy over an Ancient Egyptian Artifact Provoked a Modern Debate between Religion and Science.
"The Zodiac of Paris tells the story of this incredible archeological find and its unlikely role in the fierce disputes over science and faith in Napoleonic and Restoration France.

The book unfolds against the turbulence of the French Revolution, Napoleon's breathtaking rise and fall, and the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne. Drawing on newspapers, journals, diaries, pamphlets, and other documentary evidence, Jed Buchwald and Diane Greco Josefowicz show how scientists and intellectuals seized upon the zodiac to discredit Christianity, and how this drew furious responses from conservatives and sparked debates about the merits of scientific calculation as a source of knowledge about the past. "
book  publisher  history  europe  religion  conservatism  19c  archaeology  anthropology  humanities 
february 2011 by tsuomela
The First War on Terror - Reason Magazine
What the fight against anarchism tells us about the fight against radical Islam.  Review of  The World that Never Was: a true story of dreamers, schemers, anarchists, and secret agents by Alex Butterworth.
history  19c  anarchism  politics  book  review 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Victorian Literature, Statistically Analyzed With New Process -
Victorians were enamored of the new science of statistics, so it seems fitting that these pioneering data hounds are now the subject of an unusual experiment in statistical analysis. The titles of every British book published in English in and around the 19th century — 1,681,161, to be exact — are being electronically scoured for key words and phrases that might offer fresh insight into the minds of the Victorians.
data  literature  criticism  statistics  analysis  19c  english 
december 2010 by tsuomela
The SF Site: An Interview with Alexei Panshin
SF may have been called "science fiction" in the 50s and 60s, but by then science-beyond-science was no longer being invoked in stories as the name of the transcendent wonders and marvels which distinguish SF from mundane fiction. At least, that's what Hugo Gernsback -- the inventor of the name "science fiction" -- declared in 1963.
I think the changeover point came in the middle 40s. By 1947, Robert A. Heinlein was suggesting "speculative fiction" as an alternate name for SF. And by 1954, Forrest J Ackerman was calling SF "sci-fi," the popular name it's currently best known by.

It was because imaginary science was no longer at the core of SF..
sf  literature  history  19c  1h20c  golden-age  science  fiction 
august 2010 by tsuomela
American Authors
Extensive American literature resources, especially before 1900, maintained by Donna M. Campbell.
american  american-art  american-studies  literature  18c  19c  authors  biography  timeline  history 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Alan J. Rocke: Image and Reality
In Image and Reality, Alan Rocke focuses on the community of organic chemists in Germany to provide the basis for a fuller understanding of the nature of scientific creativity.

Arguing that visual mental images regularly assisted many of these scientists in thinking through old problems and new possibilities, Rocke uses a variety of sources... to investigate their ability to not only imagine the invisibly tiny atoms and molecules upon which they operated daily, but to build detailed and empirically based pictures of how all of the atoms in complicated molecules were interconnected. These portrayals of “chemical structures,” both as mental images and as paper tools, gradually became an accepted part of science during these years and are now regarded as one of the central defining features of chemistry. In telling this fascinating story... Rocke also suggests that imagistic thinking is often at the heart of creative thinking in all fields.
book  publisher  books:noted  chemistry  visual-thinking  19c  history  discovery  innovation  creativity  images  via:cshalizi 
june 2010 by tsuomela
History of the Central Limit Theorem
This study discusses the history of the central limit theorem and related probabilistic limit theorems from about 1810 through 1950. In this context the book also describes the historical development of analytical probability theory and its tools, such as characteristic functions or moments. The central limit theorem was originally deduced by Laplace as a statement about approximations for the distributions of sums of independent random variables within the framework of classical probability, which focused upon specific problems and applications. Making this theorem an autonomous mathematical object was very important for the development of modern probability theory.
book  publisher  history  mathematics  statistics  methodology  19c  probability 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Darwin's Literary Models
It may not be structured like a journal paper, but "On the Origin of Species" was written according to classical rules of rhetoric.
darwin  charles  logic  rhetoric  argument  style  writing  science  persuasion  19c  evolution  biology  communication  scholarly-communication 
may 2010 by tsuomela
Up from Slavery - Reason Magazine
Debunking the crypto-nostalgia of some libertarians for the "golden age" of freedom in 19c America.
libertarian  politics  history  america  power  ideology  slavery  nostalgia  19c  race 
april 2010 by tsuomela
Books of The Times - ‘Marx’s General’ by Tristram Hunt - Humanizing Engels - Review -
In his new book, “Marx’s General: The Revolutionary Life of Friedrich Engels,” Tristram Hunt argues that Engels has become a convenient scapegoat, too easily blamed for the state crimes of the Soviet Union and Communist Southeast Asia and China.
marxism  history  communism  19c  revolution  capitalism  about(KarlMarx) 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Hong Kierkegaard Library, St. Olaf College
The Library is a special collection of St. Olaf College which serves anyone interested in the writings and ideas of Søren Kierkegaard, the 19th-century Danish philosopher, and related thinkers. T
library  kierkegaard  soren  philosophy  19c  existentialism  commentary  criticism  religion  spirituality  christian  school(StOlaf)  minnesota 
august 2009 by tsuomela
UnderstandingSociety: Marx's theory of political behavior
What assumptions underlie Marx's analysis of the political behavior of class? I would say that his theory comes down to three elements: a theory of individual means-end rationality, a theory of ideology, and a theory of class consciousness.
marxism  about(KarlMarx)  social  action  politics  19c 
july 2009 by tsuomela
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