How do you enjoy history?
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10-04-2017, 09:44 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(29-03-2017 07:54 AM)DLJ Wrote:  In retrospect, usually


Is that your prediction going forward then?

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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10-04-2017, 11:34 PM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
I've never done active research in the field. I've been reading history since I was a boy. I've always loved aviation and that drew me into 20th-century history, what with the wars and all. After that, reading to understand the preceding causes of the wars dragged me deeper and deeper.

I enjoy history on a couple of levels. On one level, I appreciate oral histories from especially Studs Terkel and also Gerald Astor, who focuses on WWII combatants. That sort of thing is great, it gives me a sense of the nuts-and-bolts of the operation/organization/economy.

On the other hand, I enjoy Keegan for his broader outlook. Shirer and Toland are also good background sources imo.

My approach is to develop an interest in a culture, country, or era, and then read the Hell out of it. So my knowledge-base has big gaps in some spots, and in other spots I could tell you the names and bios of players involved.
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11-04-2017, 12:18 AM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(10-04-2017 04:31 PM)Shirina Wrote:  
(10-04-2017 03:00 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  @Shirina

One wonders if those crosdroad moments aren't such only in hindsight. WW II could happen without Hitler; there were authoritarian tendencies in Weimar Germany and Hitler was no wizard befudling minds of Germans, he just told people what part of them wanted to hear.

But in wider context I agree - individuals can change course of history. Not entirely though, Hitler probably would remain shitty bear hall screamer without economic crisis and underlying tendencies of German political scene.

Wysłane z mojego 6045K przy użyciu Tapatalka

Well ... WWII, I agree, *could* have happened. But ... where? Who would have started it?

I suppose it would all come down to who succeeded Hindenburg -- Schleicher? Papen? And would any of them had the guts and fortitude to abolish the presidency upon Hindenburg's death, take away the rights of the people, and declare themselves dicator?

Without Hitler, there would be no feasible Nazi party. Even while Hitler sat around in Landsberg prison, the party was in trouble and he was only there for, what, 9 months or so? Without the Nazi party to join and Hitler's charisma, I don't think any one man would've had the power or the backing to become a Fuhrer the way Hitler did.

If Hitler became an artist, there would be no Nazi party. No speeches. No Nuremburg rallies. No huge rearmament program. No abolishment of the Treaty of Versailles.

Then you have the generals, many of them Prussian, who had no desire to invade the USSR and didn't even want to take over Poland; they wanted a return to post WWI Germany thus they only wanted to retake the Polish Corridor. It was Hitler's singular force of will that drove the Eastern Front. Without that, without Hitler's drive, I don't think anyone else could have convinced the generals to do much more than take Gdansk.

Now, having said that, I do agree that there probably would have been some kind of war -- perhaps global -- in Europe. WWI left too many things undone. Without Hitler, even the communists had a chance to obtain a majority in the German Reichstag, especially if the right-wing had a split vote. If that had happened, Germany would've fallen into Stalin's orbit and the war *might* have been the Allies minus the Soviet Union -- against the Soviet Union and Germany. We might not have been able to win that one considering how horribly the West was prepared for war.

The tensions in the world as a result of the Depression, resource scarcity, and international inequity had already set the table for the rematch. Japan was well into China a couple of years before Hitler came to power; the fascists had taken Italy a good ten years before that same watermark; the fascists in France had been working overtime battling in rhetoric and occasionally fisticuffs with the Communists and other leftists there.

I don't think history entertains the inevitable at all, and there is surely a place for personality in history -- but the stage in 1935 was ripe for demagoguery. And we both know that demagogues wave the sword much more than the Constitution. (Us Americans are experiencing that right now.) It need not have been Hitler or the NaZis to set it off. The pot was already on the stove and had been burning for a while, only awaiting the adept cook to serve up a shitty dish.
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11-04-2017, 12:25 AM
RE: How do you enjoy history?
(10-04-2017 05:41 PM)RearViewMirror Wrote:  History and Science are by far my two favorite subjects (though I must admit I was bored to tears during Western Civ in college). I've always been interested in the "why" and "how" things in history came to be and not so much actual dates that you could recite verbatim. You learn the "why" and "how", and you learn history (same thing with science).

We just got back a few weeks ago from a vacation to D.C. My daughter, who is 12, is as much into history and science as I am. D.C. was a very interesting place to visit and not at all what I expected. The city itself is beautiful and the architecture is something to behold. But you can actually "feel" the history there.

I'll preface this with most of my vacations are taken out West. In 4 years we are moving to Colorado when I retire (I'll be 50) at the time. But the right set of circumstances came up for our trip to D.C. this year and I'm glad we went. I always assumed that I could spend weeks in the Smithsonian Museums but I have to be honest... I was a bit underwhelmed by them. Don't get me wrong... They are still amazing but not what I expected. We started off in the Museum of American History and this was by far my least favorite museum we visited. Partly because half of it was closed off due to an exhibit they are creating for 2018 but also there honestly wasn't much there that you couldn't find in countless other museums scattered across the country. The Star Spangled Banner Flag was impressive and is a must see if you enjoy anything about American history. But again... that's just a portion of the story. What really, for lack of a better word, pissed me off was a small display with a video camera sitting inside of it tucked back in some corner of the museum with no real context of it being there. If you didn't look hard you wouldn't know (or care) what it was.

I was lucky and stopped and looked. Then I realized what I was looking at.

[Image: I2shhn0.jpg]

[Image: LpnJwvx.jpg]

This is the camera that caught the first plane that flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11.

This camera captured the very first images of that fateful day along with the collapse of the buildings and was being held by Jules Naudet filming a documentary on the FDNY. In my opinion this camera deserved a room all to itself due to what that lens saw that day. But no... it was tucked back in some small corner of the museum.

Here is a picture of the spire off of the World Trade Center (which by the way was in a different museum).

[Image: KQb7grb.jpg]

But... on a lighter note. Here is a picture of the actual guitar that Jimi Hendrix played the National Anthem on at Woodstock. I stood there and looked at that guitar for at least 30 mins in awe of what I was looking at

[Image: dUXqoYu.jpg]

The Air and Space Museum did not however disappoint. It is everything that you would expect and more. I've got way too many pictures to post on that but it is a must see.

The National Mall is something that you can not describe until you actually step foot on it. Absolutely beautiful.

But out of everything that I saw and experienced there. Nothing compared to Arlington National Cemetery. Once you step foot inside you realize you are walking on hallowed ground. Watched the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and if that doesn't move you then not much will. I had studied how the Tomb came to be and it is a very interesting story and a must read. But when you actually see it nothing can prepare you for just what it means to be standing there. Everything is done in increments of 21 in relation to the 21 gun salute which is one of the highest honors you can receive as a soldier upon burial.

There is so much more that I could speak of about D.C. but it would take up the forum. So I'll just leave a random picture. This is an actual piece of the Hindenburg.

[Image: EtujrJE.jpg]

Epic mofo post. Seriously, got my heart moving. Thank you!
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21-04-2017, 11:05 PM (This post was last modified: 22-04-2017 07:13 AM by ghostexorcist.)
RE: How do you enjoy history?
I actively research various subjects, but mainly regarding the literary, religious, and folkloric origins of the Monkey King's magical staff from the 16th-century Chinese classic Journey to the West.
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