Weekend Reading

This week: Mt. Vesuvius erupts and Twitter is there!; Tesla and “crowdfunding”; the burial place of Richard III?; the Dakota War of 1862; and a lesser-known moment in the career of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Garden of the Fugitives
The “Garden of the Fugitives” from Pompeii – Creative Commons (Lancevortex)

• A quick introduction to the history of the Roman Republic, in case you missed (or misplaced your notes for) Kevin Cragg’s Roman Civilization course.

• More from Roman history… Yesterday, a Twitter version of “Pliny the Elder” live-tweeted the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and its devastating effects on Pompeii in AD 79. Or just read his nephew’s famous letters about the disaster to the historian Tacitus.

• Has the last resting place of King Richard III, made a villain by Shakespeare and Tudor propagandists, been discovered… in a parking lot in Leicester?

• Fresh from a visit to Fort Snelling on the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S.-Dakota War, our own Chris Gehrz blogged about the bloody war between Dakota warriors and U.S. soldiers that remains a key moment in Minnesota history.

• Images from the U.S. Civil War, as we approach the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.

• One of our Spring 2012 Senior Seminar papers focused on the rivalry between inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla… Now Tesla fans have raised nearly a million dollars in two weeks for a new Tesla museum, which has some wondering about the effects of “crowdfunding” on museums.

• A 1915 story in the Minneapolis Tribune reported that debates at the University of Minnesota over male students playing female roles on the stage was sparked in part by similar productions at Princeton University featuring St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald! “According to his Twin City friends, Fitzgerald’s impersonation of a woman is ‘corking,’ but they do not fear that it will make him effeminate.”

• A participant summarizes a recent debate over the origins of the European Union — and, specifically, the role played by the United States in promoting European integration.

• A recording of a previously unknown 1960 interview with Martin Luther King, Jr. turned up in a Tennessee attic.

• An interview with the authors of the much-anticipated The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America.

On “cliodynamics”: a scientific (or is it “pseudoscientific”) approach to using history to predict the future.

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