Friday, December 02, 2005

iPods

Students, as anticipated, you will need to return your iPods and the iTalks to Dr. Vess during finals week. Unfortunately, a purchase option is not available, since the iPods are university property. Perhaps now that you are interested in iPods, you could purchase your own from the Apple site. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Kathleeen, turn in both of the mikes that you have. We'll take the broken one in for repair. I enjoyed working with all of you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

Our interview of that wonderful Cuban-American lady at the library last week reinforced my view of Castro and his dictatorship. Of the many waves of immigrants that have arrived on America's shores, Cuban refugees from Castro's opression in the early 1960's expected to be returning to their homeland after Castro's overthrow, and hence, viewed their residence in the United States as a temporary affair. Here we are fifty years later, and many of these Cuban-Americans, their children and grand-children are still in the U.S. and are American citizens. The stories of these original refugees are heart breaking. What Castro did in his early years in power was to force into exile many of Cuba's "best and brightest" to the United States. This was to the detriment of Cuba and the professional and cultural enrichment of the United States.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Biography/Gender

This week we will complete our discussion of course themes. Our discussion will focus on our biography projects. For our class meeting and discussion on our blog, consider the following questions: How does a good biographer approach his or her subject? What special problems does biography pose for the historian, who is often far removed in time from his or her subject? To what extent should the biographer attempt to explore motivations, thoughts, emotions, and other aspects of the subject as an individual that may or may not have influenced their decisions? To what extent can the biographer do this? Consider Robin Collingwood's claim that the biographer should attempt to "get inside the minds" of their subjects. What problems does such an approach create? Please listen to the presentations of your peers via our pod casting channel on biography. Get the link to the biography channel for the course on the left side of the blog main page. We have pod casts from all but two or three of the students.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

Personal, ecorded interviews can play a key role in recording historical events. What must be kept in mind is that the subject's memory will often fail to recall certain key incidents or worse yet, embellish or invent incidents in order to make his or her story more interesting or plausable. That being said, a carefully thought out and carefully recorded interview can often provide valuable historical data when combined with other methods of evaluating historical events.

Historical Methods and Interpretations

President Lyndon Johnson noted, in effect, that American politics are nothing more than an amalgamation of local politics from every county
in the nation. The same holds true for American History. While we tend to think that historical places like Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Valley Forge or Washington, D.C. are where history actually "happened." We should always keep in mind that a lot of history has happened in our own backyards. Far-away events have often impacted local history and the study of local history will make our nation's history seem much more significent, closer and personal.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Oral History

Several of our students presented at the iPod showcase for the Apple Digital Campus Leadership Institute. I am very proud of our projects, and you should be too. For this week, we have Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell with us to discuss oral hisory. Most of you know Dr. Caldwell and I know we will enjoy this session. It gets even better, as Dr. Jesse Hingson has arranged some projects for us to complete in oral history. You will be interviewing members of the Cuban community here. Dr. Hingson has graciously arranged all of this and will be lending his help to you while we work through the project. Once again, we will be pod casting the interviews along with your analysis of the material. If you have not listened to the genealogy projects of your peers, you will want to do that, as they were very interesting. We have lots to discuss about our materials over the last couple of weeks, so I am looking forward to our next class and to discussing these materials on the blog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Local History

Our topic for 11-1 is local history. This is a wonderful topic for us in Milledgeville, as we have a rich history here. Milledgeville is the former capitol of Georgia and there are living reminders here of Sherman's March to the Sea. You will be amazed what you will learn in your projects for this unit. We are fortunate to have Dr. Bob Wilson with us for a guest lecture. We'll be providing you with assignments to be completed for the following week. You will complete a pod cast on your assignment, explaining what you learned, providing insight into the history of Milledgeville, and also explaining your research methods and materials. These are due BEFORE the next class session (not weeks after!). Also, several students have not posted to the blog in weeks. You are required to do a weekly posting so let's get these done. The genealogy pod casts should be available to you by 11-1 on the genealogy channel. Download those and listen to them, as we'll discuss them the week of 11-8.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Genealogy

It's genealogy week! Tonight we will enjoy a guest lecture by Dr. Stephen Payne, who has joined our blog for the week. If you have any questions about your research, you may ask him or the rest of us on the blog. For your research assignment, trace back your family history five generations. For your pod cast, narrate this history, as well as the resources you used and problems you may have encountered. You may want to consider an enhanced pod cast, where you can hyperlink your discussion to appropriate web sites. If you want to do that, come talk to me about it and your pod cast will need to be completed early in the week. We will have Dr. Bob Wilson with us next week, and we may only get to enjoy the geneaology reports via pod cast. Please turn in your pod casts no later than Monday. For this assignment, timeliness is crucial.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

Dr. Vess' class last Tuesday night on "internet historical research" was a revelation to me! Here is why: have you seen the movie "Cold Mountain" starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law? The opening scene in the movie depicts "The Batttle of the Crater" in July of 1864 during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. When I first saw the movie, it struck a strong personal note with me. When I was growing up, I had heard numerous family stories about my Great Grandfather, Charles M. Sanders, who as an 18 year old Confederate soldier fought in that battle and was severely wounded.

In the movie, Jude Law's character deserts from the Confederate army following that battle to go home. In real life, Great Grandpa Sanders recovered from his wounds and remained in Lee's army until the surrender at Appomattox. Way back in 1973 I was one of sevral individuals that decided that it was time to "re-activate" the old 3rd Georgia and apply for membership in the North-South Skirmish Association. The N-SSA requires units applying for membership to submit a history of the original Civil War regiment and also documentation of the uniforms worn by the members of the original unit. So I started researching the history and uniform of the 3rd Georgia. Over the years I dug up a lot of information about the original 3rd Georgia, but not enough to publish a regimental history. Then in 1998 I ran acoss a 3rd Georgia website run by Don Worth at UCLA in California. The California 3rd Georgia is a re-enactment unit that does "Living History" at Fort Tejon State Park in California. So, I sent Mr. Worth much of the information I had found on the 3rd Georgia and he posted it on the website. That started a trend, because other researchers (including many descendents of the original veterans of the 3rd Georgia) sent in their information and over the years the website has grown tremendously and won several awards: all thanks to the interest and hard work of Mr. Don Worth.

The 3rd Georgia website has become an "online community" for everyone interested in the original 3rd Georgia: re-enactors, skirmishers, historians, and descendents of the regiment's veterans! Until Dr. Vess' class Tuesday night, I had never realized how valuable the internet has become as a historical resource, even though I had been involved with the 3rd Georgia website for years! So check out the 3rd Georgia website:

http://www.3gvi.org/ga3history.html

P.S. Note the picture of the three members on the original 3rd Georgia. Note that the two soldiers on the left are holding U.S. Model 1842, .69 caliber, smoothbore muskets taken from the U.S. Arsenal At Augusta that was seized by the state in 1861( I verified that information in a state ordnance letter book I found in the Georgia Archives). The soldier on the far right is holding what appears to be a 2nd Model. .577 caliber, British Enfield Rifle-Musket. Eventually, the entire 3rd Georgia was re-equipped with Enfields. What is yet to be determined was IF that Enfield was one of the arms that was involved in that political clash between Georgia and New York as written up in the current issue of the Georgia Historical Quarterly OR if the regiment was re-equipped with Enfields that came into Savannah harbor aboard the blockade runner, "Finigal". Only additionl research will answer that question.







Monday, October 17, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

My mother worked for the college library at Georgia Southern College for twenty-something years. On the nights she worked late, when I was in the 8th Grade and for three years in high school; I would ride the school bus to the college campus and then spend the next five or six hours in the library waiting for her to get off work. I like to say, I literally "grew up" in a college library. I initially spent my time in the library reading and sometimes later "researching" subjects that were of interest to me. I also ended up be assigned simple tasks like re-shelving books, dusting, etc.

One of the reasons I enjoyed the time we spent in the GC&SU library last Tuesday night was to see how much computers and the "Information Age" has changed library research. In the old days, when researching a topic you went to the card catalog and looked for books delving with your particular subject. There was always the readers guide to look up articles in the bound perioditicals or newspapers the library had on microfilm.
Even back then there was "Interlibrary Loan," but the wait to get a book in from another library could be as long as two or three weeks. That was about it, research sources were rather scant in many ways in the old Georgia Southern's library. Today, thanks to modern computers, we literally have an "explosion" of historical tomes,papers and information available for researching almost any historical subject. My, how times have changed, and for the better! Thank You for the library trip Dr.Vess!

Historical Methods and Interpretations

My mother worked for the college library at Georgia Southern College for twenty-something years. On the nights she worked late, when I was in the 8th Grade and for three years in high school; I would ride the school bus to the college campus and then spend the next five or six hours in the library waiting for her to get off work. I like to say, I literally "grew up" in a college library. I initially spent my time in the library reading and sometimes later "researching" subjects that were of interest to me. I also ended up be assigned simple tasks like re-shelving books, dusting, etc.

One of the reasons I enjoyed the time we spent in the GC&SU library last Tuesday night was to see how much computers and the "Information Age" has changed library research. In the old days, when researching a topic you went to the card catalog and looked for books delving with your particular subject. There was always the readers guide to look up articles in the bound perioditicals or newspapers the library had on microfilm.
Even back then there was "Interlibrary Loan," but the wait to get a book in from another library could be as long as two or three weeks. That was about it, research sources were rather scant in many ways in the old Georgia Southern's library. Today, thanks to modern computers, we literally have an "explosion" of historical tomes,papers and information available for researching almost any historical subject. My, how times have changed, and for the better! Thank You for the library trip Dr.Vess!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Library Research

Next week, we begin our study of research materials available through the library. We'll be working through several exercises together. Let's discuss any questions you might have about the resources we study here on the blog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Historical Methods and Interpretations

Historian Marc Bloch might have died in 1944, but with the scientific and technologial advances since then in computers, archeology, biological and forensic sciences; his "critical analysis" method that uses a multitude of disciplines and specialties is "coming of age" in ways that Bloch could have never forseen. Unfortunately, Bloch's vision and what IS possible now due to the new technologies flies directly in the face of the time honored and "Rugged Individualist, Lone Eagle Historian" tradition which has been around since Herodotus first put quill to parchment over two thousand years ago.
While there is little doubt that eventually Bloch's "critical analysis" method will win out, the "Lone Eagle" tradition will never totally die.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Karl Marx

Karl Marx
That Repulsive Little Man with Those Repulsive Little Ideas

Karl Marx was convinced that he could predict history and that 'history' was on the side of Marxism. One of Marx's disciples, Premier Nikita Khurshchev of the Soviet Union, on a visit to the United States in the 1950's predicted that by 1965 the grateful communist workers of New York City would erect a statue honoring Marx in Central Park.

OOPS! Looks like Premier Khrushchev was wrong with that little particular bit of socialist clairvoyence, despite what are probably the fondest secret wishes of both the editorial writers at The New York Times and Michael Moore.

First of all, lets take a look at the life of Karl Marx. Despite a good education, Marx refused to take up gainful employment, but frittered away his time, talents and resources studying and writing his sick "philosophy." All the while,
he and his family lived in grinding proverty. Marx only survived by sponging money off of his friends and associates. One version of Marx's story has it that one or more of his young children died because Marx did not have the money to pay for medicine that would have possibly saved their lives. If this story is true, then Marx's own dead children were his first victims.(Stay tuned, millions and millions of innocent victims were to follow Marx's children in the 20th Century.) What type of repulsive and irresponsible monster is it that lets his own children die without doing everything possible to save their lives?

A contemporary of Marx, John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil fame, once observed that the ability to make money was a 'talent' that some men had while others didn't. As one of America's most successful enterperters of the 19th Century, Rockefeller certainly knew what he was talking about.

It is ludricrious to believe that a personal economic failure, a "no talent" financial boob like Karl Marx, (a man that could barely feed his own family and lived in abject poverty nearly all of his life) could design a philosophy and economic system that would be successful on a national and international scale! Therefore, it is not suprising that in every nation that has had "Marxist" or "communist" dictatorships imposed on it by murdering revolutionaries; that same nation has also had national economies that were all stark failures.

Under Marxism, economic failure is "built in" to the philosophy because when Marxist revolutionaries sieze power in a nation, the creative and economically successful enterperteur class in that country is immediately attacked and destoryed as "enemies of the people.". The successful and hardest working enterpertual citizens are replaced in positions of economic power by dull witted party hacks and staid, bumbling bureacrats. Just one example of the many, many failures of Marxism: in the present day Cuba, toliet paper and tooth brushes are considered to be "luxury" items. Marx, if he were alive today, would feel "right at home" living in Cuban misery, poverty and squalor.

The 20th Century will forever be known as the "Century of the Gangster Politician," despite whatever "ism" they were spouting for propaganda purposes. The list fo gangsters just goes on and on. Lenin in the early days of the Soviet Union, Mussolini in Fascist Italy, Mao in China, Fidel Castro in Cuba, Amin in Uganda, Salddam Hussein in Iraq to name but a few. Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party retained their iron grip on power in Germany until 1945 only by the mass murder of political opponents. Stalin, the greatest of all gangster "Marxist Revolutionaries," started his "revolutionary" career as a bank robber and moved into and remained in the circles of leadership in Soviet Russia only by mass terror and mass murder.

Marxist "philosophy" does give blood thirsty revolutionaries a ready made propaganda tool to be used to lie and murder their way into power. Whether or not Marxist revolutionaries actually believe what they are preaching is another matter entirely. Mao, the communist revolutionary in China, cut to the chase and candidly observed that "Power comes from the barrel of a gun."

Marxist revolutionaries and leaders are not in the least hesitant to use mass terror and mass murder to gain and/or retain their hold on power.As far as Marxist are concerned, "Human Rights" just don't exist. Directly or indirectly the Marxist "philosophy" of that repulsive little man from Germany is responsible for somewhere around the deaths of 100 million human beings on this planet during the 20th Century. That single fact alone is enough to condemn Karl Marx , Marxist and Marxism for all times.

At least Marx, (in a way he didn't plan) had one of his predictions come true at the end of the 20th Century. Marx predicted that eventually the communist state would "wither away." That is exactly what happened in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Captive populations got tired of living in grinding poverty and state sponsored terror in Marxist police states. They overthrew their own Marxist governments.

In closing, I will admit that there is one thing about Marxism and modern American Marxist 'intellectuals.' that is truly puzzling to me.
How can those high minded and brilliant American Marxist intellectuals continue to live in this rotten, decadent, worker exploiting, capitalist society that exist in the United States today? Especially, since that wonderful, ideologically pure, tropical "Workers Paradise" of Marxist Cuba is only 90 miles away from our shores?

It seems to me that those American Marxist intellectuals should be relocating pernamently to Cuba to preserve their "intellectual honesty and integrity," To those American Marxists, I would say (to paraphrase Delta Airline's old slogan): The [Cuban] Gulag is Ready When You Are!

Brannen M. Sanders
Denhamville, Georgia

Monday, September 19, 2005

Survey of Ancient and Modern Historians and Their Methods

This week we begin our discussion of famous historians. Please post your thought questions for class discussion here. Listen to the pod casts on the Ancient and Medieval Historians channel, http://podcasting.gcsu.edu/4DCGI/Podcasting/Channel/44.xml. This was originally the Historian's fallacies channel. I will be bringing some text materials to load onto your ipods using the notes function. Please bring your iPod to class starting this evening every week.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Historians' Fallacies

For the next few weeks, we will be working through Historians' Fallacies. Fischer talks about the use of good logic in historical reasoning. What are some of the examples he gives of fallacious historical reasoning? Can you make any connections between what Fischer argues and Carr's comments on the nature of history? Post your chapter summaries and responses to this week's discussion questions by clicking on the comment button. You will also be able to reply to the various postings by the teams here too.