Weekend Reading

This week: the effect of austerity on antiquities; a troubled Reformation history book; Jane Austen as a teenager; flags, and the poles that hold them; burying Lenin – at last; the 1940 Census; Hitler, Stalin, and hunger; bomb shelters; and presidential dads.

• One consequence of the financial crisis in Greece is that museum budgets are being slashed, leaving them with shorter hours or diminished security.

• InterVarsity Press had to recall one of its newest releases, on the history of the Reformations, after a scholar-blogger pointed out dozens of historical inaccuracies in it.

• Is this what a thirteen year old Jane Austen looked like?

• In belated honor of Flag Day: the history of flag pole design and a 1938 short film on the evolution of the Stars and Stripes.

Lenin and Stalin
Lenin and Stalin, ca. 1923

• Why the stories of eight great inventions are a bit more complicated than you might think.

• Nearly ninety years after his death, V.I. Lenin might finally be buried.

• In April we blogged about the 1940 U.S. Census, whose data have now been made public. Using those records and other documents, City University of New York published a side-by-side comparison of the Big Apple’s neighborhoods in 1940 vs. today. And here’s a survey of some differences between the U.S. of today and of 1940 revealed by those census data.

Killing by hunger: more mass murder from Josef Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

• Stalin also plays a starring role in the pre-Photoshop history of faking photos (so do two famous 19th century U.S. presidents)

Home bomb shelters left over from the Cold War, and the surprising financial benefit they may carry.

• In honor of Father’s Day… Historian and biographer Douglas Brinkley identifies the best and worst dads of U.S. presidents. (The father of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. makes one of the two lists…)

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