In praise of Julian Bond; 9 women that changed history; a dynamite interview with Foner; “Disunion” was awesome; Memphis & music history; beer history in comic form

This past weekend saw the passing of Civil Rights legend, Julian Bond. Here’s a fine mini-biography/tribute to an American warrior. Even better, is this essay by Jeanne Theoharis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, in which she discusses “What Julian Bond taught me” when she was an undergrad student and then later his teaching assistant.

Here’s a list of “9 women that changed history, but chances are you’ve never heard of them.” It is not a bad list, but I have to wonder if Anne Boleyn, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Gertrude Stein really fall into the category of “never heard of them.”

The most interesting thing I read today was this insightful interview with Eric Foner, which along with being compelling reading about several different topics, provides great insight into the mind of man that forever changed the historiography of both the antebellum Republican party and especially Reconstruction. I can’t say I agree with everything he says here (but most of it, by far), but I particularly liked what he had to say when discussing Reconstruction’s failures: “[Some historians] say, ‘They abolished slavery, but racism is permanent, and another form of slavery came in.’ Of course, terrible injustice came in. But it wasn’t slavery. I think that’s a very cynical view of social change — that if you don’t get utopia nothing has happened.” I couldn’t agree more.

Today on the History New Network, Terry L. Jones reflects on his experience writing for the New York Times Disunion series. I also wrote a few pieces for them; a couple of stories came from the research for my first book, and three others formed a trilogy about the 54th Massachusetts (the possible subject of my next book). Like Professor Jones, I also enjoyed the experience, and have nothing but high regard for series editor Clay Risen. It was indeed a great project.

Huffpo has a good essay today on the city of Memphis’s unparalleled American music heritage/history. Yes, it is more than Graceland and the blues.

How about 9,000 years of beer history in the form of a comic book? Check this story from NPR.

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