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  #51  
Old 09-25-2022, 05:47 PM
wdmullins wdmullins is offline
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More comedians:








This next one is a year earlier than the Pro Line posted above, but neither is his first. He was in a set called "Uncle Milty" from the 1950s, when he had an early TV show.





Again, this next one is not his first card, but it's the only one I have signed.
























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  #52  
Old 09-25-2022, 05:47 PM
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And a few more, that wouldn't fit in the previous post









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  #53  
Old 09-26-2022, 01:24 PM
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1937 Famous Minors series. I got the whole set for $5, tons of history figures. British tobacco is largely dirt cheap. My leanings are toward antiquity and literature, so these two are nice in my book. I have no idea what John Milton's rookie card is.
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  #54  
Old 10-04-2022, 05:52 PM
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Writers.
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  #55  
Old 10-04-2022, 07:37 PM
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Love the Mark Twain.
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  #56  
Old 10-05-2022, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
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I have no idea what John Milton's rookie card is.
Rookie cards make (a little) sense in the sports card hobby. In non-sports, it's silly.
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  #57  
Old 10-05-2022, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdmullins View Post
Rookie cards make (a little) sense in the sports card hobby. In non-sports, it's silly.
Why? Why for example isn't Michael Jackson's first card as significant as Mike Trout's, relatively speaking?
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Last edited by Peter_Spaeth; 10-05-2022 at 11:09 AM.
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  #58  
Old 10-05-2022, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdmullins View Post
Rookie cards make (a little) sense in the sports card hobby. In non-sports, it's silly.
Personally, I don’t think they make much sense in either world. First card, I get a little bit, but rookie with its million inconsistent rules to not include any cards that are difficult or the collector doesn’t want to have to buy don’t make a lick of sense.

I have no idea what John Milton’s first card is. Probably a Neurdein or something like that.
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  #59  
Old 10-05-2022, 03:53 PM
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I have the 1937 Wills British Authors set, so it has some of my favorites like P.G. Wodehouse and G.K. Chesterton. Hilaire Belloc is a favorite of my dad's. A.A. Milne too. All rookie$.
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  #60  
Old 10-05-2022, 03:59 PM
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I love the British Authors set, great and cheap issue. The Huxley and the H.G. Wells (he was a favorite of my childhood) are my favorites. Nice to see them get some love. British tobacco is a goldmine for historical and cultural cards.
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  #61  
Old 10-20-2022, 11:46 AM
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Seems to early to let this die already. Here's my very first cabinet card, a German image of the Bard I got when I was 12 or 13. I don't know if the 1881 date relates to the cabinet, or the image. Probably the image. One of the most significant figures in literary history, and I think still an enjoyable read today (Macbeth > everything else).

Looking a little piratey with the earring.
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  #62  
Old 10-20-2022, 12:04 PM
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And for those that don't like old playwrights, here's my favorite card of George Washington. Trenton might have been Washington's most impressive military engagement.
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  #63  
Old 10-20-2022, 12:07 PM
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And that transitions into Cole Porter, whose Brush Up Your Shakespeare is incredibly brilliant IMO. I think Hamlet is as good as MacBeth, but those two above the rest.
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  #64  
Old 10-20-2022, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
And that transitions into Cole Porter, whose Brush Up Your Shakespeare is incredibly brilliant IMO. I think Hamlet is as good as MacBeth, but those two above the rest.
My primary hobby is really reading more than cards, though I don't collect books, just reading copies. I love that song, anything that begins by shouting out Aeschylus and Euripides is a gem. Though I'm apparently not doing it right, unlike Mr. Porter citing Euripides and Shakespeare has yet to wow a lady....

I will never complain about Hamlet. The Laurence Olivier film version of Hamlet is one of my favorite movies of all time.
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  #65  
Old 10-20-2022, 12:40 PM
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I have no idea if it's still available, but there's an amazing recording with Richard Burton as Hamlet. I guess if I had to choose I would rate Hamlet first, the Burnham Wood coming to Dunsinane and no man of woman born feel a little too gimmicky to me although the central soliloquy is better. I also find Hamlet's situation ultimately more interesting because the circumstances that test his character are thrust upon him whereas MacBeth's are of his own making.
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  #66  
Old 10-20-2022, 06:30 PM
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Just added to my Amelia Earhart collection today with this very tough 1933 Orami card from Germany. The PSA population shows just three Earhart cards from the set. The card is about the size of a T206 and glossy. Even though the image is black and white, I think this is my favorite Earhart image on any of her cards. I am surprised this image of Earhart is not seen more often beyond this obscure German card.
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  #67  
Old 10-20-2022, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
I have no idea if it's still available, but there's an amazing recording with Richard Burton as Hamlet. I guess if I had to choose I would rate Hamlet first, the Burnham Wood coming to Dunsinane and no man of woman born feel a little too gimmicky to me although the central soliloquy is better. I also find Hamlet's situation ultimately more interesting because the circumstances that test his character are thrust upon him whereas MacBeth's are of his own making.
I think my preference for MacBeth is more of personal grounds than literary analysis. It was the play that caught me first when I read Shakespeare originally, and some of its lines still resonate particularly well. Both are masterpieces and I would watch pretty much any version of either being performed.

Shakespeare is very fun to see as a play, but I think one of the merits of him that has helped him age so well is that, like the 3 surviving classical Greek dramatists, his work reads very well on the page even though that was not the original intent and presentation.

He has the Look N See, and a Goodwin and Allen & Ginter card that are easily found among a ton of more obscure items. I pick his stuff up whenever I come across something I don't have cheap. I would love for a full set of great writers cards like some of the old cigarette issues to be made again, but I imagine the market for that is about a dozen non-sport guys total.
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  #68  
Old 10-20-2022, 09:30 PM
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And as not to sidetrack too far, here is another great writer on a similar German cabinet card. Poet, playwright, novelist, but also a scientist who published several books on botany and anatomy, and a politician. Faust is his masterpiece, but Elective Affinities and it's tragic characterization of reason versus passion I enjoyed most.

This card was about $7, the missing corner doesn't bother me with the clean image.
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  #69  
Old 10-20-2022, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G1911 View Post
I think my preference for MacBeth is more of personal grounds than literary analysis. It was the play that caught me first when I read Shakespeare originally, and some of its lines still resonate particularly well. Both are masterpieces and I would watch pretty much any version of either being performed.

Shakespeare is very fun to see as a play, but I think one of the merits of him that has helped him age so well is that, like the 3 surviving classical Greek dramatists, his work reads very well on the page even though that was not the original intent and presentation.

He has the Look N See, and a Goodwin and Allen & Ginter card that are easily found among a ton of more obscure items. I pick his stuff up whenever I come across something I don't have cheap. I would love for a full set of great writers cards like some of the old cigarette issues to be made again, but I imagine the market for that is about a dozen non-sport guys total.
Perhaps not one of the more famous passages, but to me, someone who (sorry to get opinionated here) thinks psych drugs are in many cases overprescribed, this really resonates and shows remarkable insight.

Macbeth:
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Doctor:
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
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  #70  
Old 10-20-2022, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
Perhaps not one of the more famous passages, but to me, someone who (sorry to get opinionated here) thinks psych drugs are in many cases overprescribed, this really resonates and shows remarkable insight.

Macbeth:
Canst thou not minister to a mind diseas'd,
Pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain,
And with some sweet oblivious antidote
Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff
Which weighs upon the heart?

Doctor:
Therein the patient
Must minister to himself.
He has so many lines that resonate in many contexts. Off memory so I've probably got some of these a bit off, but the point remains:

"There's daggers in men's smiles"

"Present fears are less than horrible imaginings"

"Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill"

"What's done cannot be undone"

"The false face must hide what the false heart doth know"

I find him always worth returning too for another read.
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  #71  
Old 10-20-2022, 11:04 PM
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Too full of the milk of human kindness.
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  #72  
Old 10-21-2022, 11:55 AM
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And for a completely different track, here's Butch Cassidy (far right) and "the Sundance Kid" (left) on another cabinet card of the Fort Worth Five.

This picture is the image that was found in a photography gallery in Forth Worth by the Pinkertons, and used to distribute wanted posters of each of the men, pushing them to flee to Bolivia.
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  #73  
Old 10-21-2022, 02:59 PM
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And the modern day version.
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  #74  
Old 10-22-2022, 03:55 PM
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This is one of my favorite cabinets, I really like the image and a black frame tends to look better. Wilhelm I was the first ruler of unified Germany and the first of the three emperors, for 16 years even though he was in his 70's when he became Kaiser. His Prime Minister has the fame these days, but Wilhelm was a major figure of 19th century history and has a ton of CDV's and Cabinets available cheaply because his importance then vs. his historical renown now are out of sync.
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  #75  
Old 10-25-2022, 01:58 PM
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And here's James Garfield, the only sitting member of the house to be elected President as a dark horse candidate after a dramatic convention in 1880. I presume this card is from his campaign, based on the photograph and that it identifies him as General. Garfield was one of the many politicians given commissions in the Union army.
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  #76  
Old 10-25-2022, 04:09 PM
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And another forgotten President, #23 Benjamin Harrison. Shame there's the paper loss in his beard, as the image is otherwise really crisp in hand.
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  #77  
Old 10-26-2022, 11:38 AM
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Where the citizen is sovereign and the official the servant, where no power is exercised except by the will of the people, it is important that the sovereign — the people — should possess intelligence.

The free school is the promoter of that intelligence which is to preserve us as a free nation. If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.

Now in this centennial year of our national existence, I believe it a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundation of the house commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago, at Concord and Lexington. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the more perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion.

Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support, no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that the State or Nation, or both combined, shall furnish to every child growing up in the land, the means of acquiring a good common-school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistic tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain.

--US Grant, speech at the Annual Reunion of the Army of the Tennessee in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875
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  #78  
Old 10-26-2022, 12:36 PM
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A more pedestrian Grant card.
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  #79  
Old 10-26-2022, 12:44 PM
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Grant CDV's are a bargain. Here's my favorite, not the best image but one portraying him at his best, magnanimous in victory, the gentleman Lee had feared he was not. He allowed Lee's men to keep their horses, recieve a general amnesty, and didn't even take his opponents sword. He intervened multiple times in the next five years to prevent the federal government from going after Lee.
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Old 10-26-2022, 01:20 PM
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And here's two more of my Grant's. These images are hand colored, after printing. They were not colored and then printed in quantity, but each one was hand done. I can imagine these were fairly pricey for the time if done by the photographic studio that sold them instead of an artistic end buyer. On close examination, the detail is really impressive.
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  #81  
Old 10-28-2022, 08:57 AM
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Presidents.
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  #82  
Old 10-28-2022, 11:20 PM
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The President with the highest WAR:
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  #83  
Old 10-28-2022, 11:23 PM
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And more Washington, because there's never enough Washington:
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  #84  
Old 10-29-2022, 10:40 AM
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Ike's WAR might be higher.
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Old 10-29-2022, 01:23 PM
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I think you're using the milgraphs version of WAR while I'm using the Military-reference.com version. My favorite Ike card is probably his Red Menace, but I haven't finished that set and don't have his.

Here's the Presidents whose primary career before the Oval Office was the Military. Roosevelt was greatly boosted in his political career by the Rough Riders and their exploits in the Spanish War, and some others served as general officers, but it was not their primary careers nor were they really professional soldiers.

I love this set in all 3 of it's forms, these are from the 1956's in which I only need FDR to finish. I keep hoping Topps will give us cards in this style of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Trump and Biden in one of their Heritage style releases to update the set.
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  #86  
Old 10-29-2022, 02:12 PM
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Washington had weaknesses that keep down his WAR.

https://www.washingtoncrossingpark.o...hs-weaknesses/
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  #87  
Old 10-29-2022, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
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Washington had weaknesses that keep down his WAR.

https://www.washingtoncrossingpark.o...hs-weaknesses/
Interesting piece. I don't disagree, though I think using Trenton as the example is a bad idea as that was an astounding domination victory for Washington. He lost 2 men to exposure and had like 5 casualties while taking out an entire regiment. It is the same core weakness that Lee had, who I know historians love to attack now, but successfully beat the odds time and time again against a much better armed and numerically superior force for two entire years in one of the best fought series of campaigns in history, until his best subordinates were dead. He continued to use more complex tactical movements that his new commanders could not or would not really execute and it cost him Gettysburg and the northern invasion. His gentility and distaste for confrontation kept too many of his weaker replacement commanders in place for too long.

All have strengths and weaknesses, I give Washington points for having the odds heavily stacked against him. Eisenhower would win inevitably almost no matter how he actually performed. He saved many coalition lives by not messing it up and making mostly the right calls at mostly the right times, but with US industrial power and the Soviets doing most of the actual fighting and draining Hitler's resources, it would have been almost impossible to actually lose it. Pershing is in a similar boat but seems to be mostly forgotten now. Grant's reputation as a General is being rehabilitated to suit our contemporary narratives, though he was never really considered bad, just a user of brute force instead of careful tactics to save his mens lives. Winfield Scott probably deserves more consideration than he gets.

But anyways, here's some of the WWII command in one of my favorite cheap common sets, the Look N See's that the 1952 baseball issue lifted the design from. I like low grade, but even I need to upgrade the Truman...
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Old 10-29-2022, 02:47 PM
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From my reading Lee's strategic decision to invade the North in the first place, and tactics at Gettysburg, do not hold up well to scrutiny. Longstreet knew better, but Lee valued Longstreet much less than he had Stonewall Jackson.
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Old 10-29-2022, 03:13 PM
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From my reading Lee's strategic decision to invade the North in the first place, and tactics at Gettysburg, do not hold up well to scrutiny. Longstreet knew better, but Lee valued Longstreet much less than he had Stonewall Jackson.
It was the same gamble Washington made; he can't hold them off forever, the other side has almost unlimited resources. His only path to victory was taking Washington, or getting Europe to back them and provide resources.

The narrative of Gettysburg today is largely writ by Longstreet's memoirs, who Lee never criticized for his almost outright insubordination and screwing up the timing of what was supposed to be, in Lee's plan, a multi-pronged action with a lot more than Pickett's division going up alone in a scene of astounding courage and little chance of survival. Longstreet is one of the great generals in American history himself outside of this, there can be a long debate about whether Lee's battle plan was a good idea or not, but Longstreet's disbelief in it (at best, there's a reasoned argument that he straight up ruined it by delaying for hours for seemingly no actual reason) ensured the failure. My personal opinion is that his army of 1862 may well have triumphed over Meade, but his reconstituted 1863 army with a lot of new leaders that were above their talent level as senior staff kept going, was not capable of the precision they had demonstrated before. Lee's 1862 campaigns are some of the best fought in military history, after that it's the impressive northern invasion ending in a wrong decision that lost the only chance the South really had. If he had not done rolled those dice, the South wasn't likely to ever have a better chance at DC or foreign backing than they did then. After Gettysburg it's the long and slow inevitable failure. Lee's generalship is hard to get an honest assessment of these days; the competing traditions of his near-hagiographic reputation after the war and the modern absolute hatred of him as a devil of history because he does not fit our politics of the present.

Washington and Lee both had to really roll the dice. Washington won. Lee lost. Both are among the most interesting of Americans, and hard to penetrate the surviving numerous records they left behind to really 'know'. They had a lot more in common than their familial relations and similar military positions.

I really need a good Longstreet CDV; and some of Washington's excellent commanders don't have very many card options, like Nathaniel Greene. Historic Autographs put out a really cool set entirely dedicated to Washington recently I picked up and really had fun with.
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Old 10-29-2022, 03:16 PM
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The Civil War News cards are rather sensationalist and not entirely accurate history telling, but some of them look really nice. Here's the two adversaries. I really like Grant's scene here.
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Old 10-29-2022, 03:34 PM
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I can't remember where I read it, but there's a probably fictionalized exchange between Lee and Longstreet on the evening before the final day of Gettysburg. Lee says to Longstreet, if Meade is still there (meaning his position on the high ground) in the morning, I shall attack him. Longstreet replies, if Meade is still there in the morning, it's because he wants to be. Then Longstreet tries to persuade Lee to withdraw and retreat, but Lee refuses -- perhaps believing Jackson, had he lived, would have urged an attack.

I never did read Douglas Southall Freeman, it just seemed too long.

At least one account I have read suggests Lee did not fully appreciate what was happening in the battle, when Pickett was driven back Lee allegedly said to him, General, rally your diviision, to which Pickett replied, General, I have no division.
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Old 10-29-2022, 04:02 PM
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I can't remember where I read it, but there's a probably fictionalized exchange between Lee and Longstreet on the evening before the final day of Gettysburg. Lee says to Longstreet, if Meade is still there (meaning his position on the high ground) in the morning, I shall attack him. Longstreet replies, if Meade is still there in the morning, it's because he wants to be. Then Longstreet tries to persuade Lee to withdraw and retreat, but Lee refuses -- perhaps believing Jackson, had he lived, would have urged an attack.

I never did read Douglas Southall Freeman, it just seemed too long.

At least one account I have read suggests Lee did not fully appreciate what was happening in the battle, when Pickett was driven back Lee allegedly said to him, General, rally your diviision, to which Pickett replied, General, I have no division.
Both those scenes are from The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, and subsequently the Gettysburg film version of it. Shaara’s novel is heavily based on Longstreet’s memoirs. I really like the book and the epic movie. His son expanded into a career of similar novels, most of which are very well done too.

Freeman’s 4 volume biography of Lee is definitely hagiographic, though Freeman was an excellent historian and his sourcing and documentation is good. He includes too many anecdotes running in old Virginian families, though he does always cites the source and notes several times that anecdotes are not really verifiable. His bias is very much in favor of Lee and of Washington (who he also wrote a big biography on) and he does a good job debunking several myths. It is by far the best Lee biography out there even with the unfortunate hagiography; I’ve yet to find one without a heavy bias one way or the other and Freeman’s detail is unmatched by anyone else. It’s hard to find these days in its original form, I believe it’s been several decades since it was reprinted unabridged. I had to pay $75 for my set.

Lee’s Lieutenants, the 3 volume follow up on the commanders of the Army of Northern Virginia is the better work and, in my personal opinion, a masterpiece of historical writing. It’s much less hagiographic as it isn’t about Lee himself, and his weighing of the weaknesses and strengths of division and corps commanders as the war goes on is the best work of its kind still and always fair. Longstreet and Jackson shine when the facts support that and come for heavy criticism when the facts support that. A classic on leadership in general, and military history, if one has the patience to read the behemoth. It too is now published as a one volume abridgment but the uncut version was published through at least the 1980’s and is easy to find.

EDIT: some of the reprintings and the abridgments remove the footnotes that contain a ton of information on his sourcing. A lot of the contemporary academic attacks on Freeman evidently did not have the uncut originals or chose to ignore them.

EDIT 2: sorry for hijacking off cards

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Old 10-29-2022, 05:34 PM
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Well, Freeman was a Virginian and if I recall his father was in Lee's army, so I guess if he was biased towards Lee it's understandable. I grew up in Northern Virginia in the 60s and a lot of stuff was named for Lee, not sure how much of it the woke movement has now changed.
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Old 10-29-2022, 07:46 PM
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Well, Freeman was a Virginian and if I recall his father was in Lee's army, so I guess if he was biased towards Lee it's understandable. I grew up in Northern Virginia in the 60s and a lot of stuff was named for Lee, not sure how much of it the woke movement has now changed.
He talks about his Virginian roots in the Introduction off the bat, but you can tell even without him saying it lol. I tend to agree with the 20th century thought that you cannot fully remove yourself from what you are looking at, but I also agree with the 19th century German theory that objectivity should always be the goal. I wish the 5% that's hagiography had been cut out, but I really wish other historians dived into their subjects with the same passion and depth he did. Producing a 4 volume history work and a 3 volume supplemental followup is unthinkable now to a mainstream publisher.

I don't want to get to far into wokeism before people go nuts and this turns into an outrage thread, but I will never understand how Lee and Jackson are held as the symbols of things they had little involvement in and mixed records with for so many of my fellow citizens today. I am simultaneously against the hagiography. It's a shame we can't stick to facts for events within the last ~150 years.
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Old 10-29-2022, 08:27 PM
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And back to cards, I like the Chrome parallels of the Heritage series, especially the founders:
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Old 10-29-2022, 09:10 PM
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He talks about his Virginian roots in the Introduction off the bat, but you can tell even without him saying it lol. I tend to agree with the 20th century thought that you cannot fully remove yourself from what you are looking at, but I also agree with the 19th century German theory that objectivity should always be the goal. I wish the 5% that's hagiography had been cut out, but I really wish other historians dived into their subjects with the same passion and depth he did. Producing a 4 volume history work and a 3 volume supplemental followup is unthinkable now to a mainstream publisher.

I don't want to get to far into wokeism before people go nuts and this turns into an outrage thread, but I will never understand how Lee and Jackson are held as the symbols of things they had little involvement in and mixed records with for so many of my fellow citizens today. I am simultaneously against the hagiography. It's a shame we can't stick to facts for events within the last ~150 years.
When San Francisco renamed a school named for Abraham Lincoln because of his involvement in the Black Hawk War, I got off the fence and decided all this symbolic stuff really wasn't helpful to solving the very serious issues out there. The Confederate flag, OK I get that.
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Old 10-29-2022, 09:24 PM
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It's hard to know how to view Lee IMO. On the one hand, it's easy -- he was a traitor to his country; rather than serving it he led an army against it and worse fought to uphold slavery. On the other hand, there has always been this romantic notion of the tormented warrior reluctantly siding with his beloved Virginia, and doubtless too the Civil War was far more complex than free vs. slave states and the South's grievances were not necessarily all illegitimate.
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:18 PM
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It's hard to know how to view Lee IMO. On the one hand, it's easy -- he was a traitor to his country; rather than serving it he led an army against it and worse fought to uphold slavery. On the other hand, there has always been this romantic notion of the tormented warrior reluctantly siding with his beloved Virginia, and doubtless too the Civil War was far more complex than free vs. slave states and the South's grievances were not necessarily all illegitimate.
At the risk of getting into !@#$% with the ideologues....

Lee wasn't exactly the proponent of slavery he is cast as today. He said he would eliminate it if he could and prevent the war. Little survives of his own ownership as a young man, the Lee's were prominent as a military family but not a wealthy one. It seems he owned a few he had no use for, as a military man, from an inheritance. What actually happened to them does not seem to survive in the record, as I recall. They must have been rented out for some time but that they just disappear later would suggest they eventually were either freed or sold. The slaves at Arlington were owned by his father in law, not him or his wife (often said today to be his wife's). He left his army headquarters in the 1862-1863 winter partially to file the paperwork to free his father-in-laws slaves pursuant to his will as the executor.

There is certainly a criticism of Lee here. But that criticism is that he was not a man ahead of his time. Lee was never a boat rocker in his social world. From today's view, he should have been. He was certainly racist, no moreso than men of his class and time in Virginia, but also not much less so, maybe a little. Lee was not a proponent of the institution he is now seen as the symbol of by the left, and had minimal involvement with it. It seems to have not been an issue he kept in mind much at all.

My personal opinion is that the traitor tag doesn't mean much for revolutionaries. Washington betrayed his country too by the exact same standard. He picked his state over the feds, after Lincoln raised an army to invade his homeland, just as Washington picked the colonies he lived in instead of the greater State ruling them. A fellow is a patriot when we judge his revolution right, a traitor when we judge his revolution wrong. A revolutionary is by definition a traitor. Lee himself saw it as defensive, he didn't want to do it but he could not join an invasion of his home and so did the obvious. I think most in that situation would, really. If the other states raised an army to invade my state, I don't see how I would join them even though I despise my state's corrupt government and radicalism. My friends and family are still here, it is my homeland. I have a hard time holding a man wrong for this choice. I find it easy to despise, say, the South Carolina planters for whom the slavery issue was the driver, but the North's tariff punishment of the South pushing them to leave surely bears some responsibility too. The South left, and aimed to go peacefully, but the North chose to make it a war of conquest. Raising 100,000 men to invade others, no matter how just the ones raising that army see it, will make the people who live in that place tend to prefer to fight against them rather than for. This seems to me natural more than an issue for political narratives.

History as political narrative of the now is popular everywhere, and usually total bunk, oft absurd, always misused. People of the past did bad things by our standards, we can still look at what happened and why, we can look at how values have changed and ask if they are good (in the particular example of slavery, the answer here is obvious, but am I speaking of a greater context of all history), we can look at the virtues and we can admire Lee's gentlemanly virtue, Grant's grace and honor in victory, Cato's dedication to the republic, Washington's military brilliance, Franklin's wit and practical intellect, Aristotle's genius; slave owners all who we can criticize for their acceptance or even advocacy of a thing we see as wrong and unnatural (which I agree with; I just don't see my moral views as eternal truth).
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:51 PM
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As has been said, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The whole thing was so aptly summed up in the exchange between Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun back I think in the 1830s, and I think this one actually happened.

Jackson, at a dinner, but directly addressing himself to Calhoun: Our federal union. It must be preserved.

Calhoun: The union, next to our liberty, the most dear.

And now we are removing Calhoun's name from dorms.

I had a teacher way back in the day who was young then but became a well=known Civil War scholar. His theory was that it was what he called a preemptive counterrevolution by the South.
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Old 10-30-2022, 12:15 AM
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As has been said, one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter.

The whole thing was so aptly summed up in the exchange between Andrew Jackson and John C. Calhoun back I think in the 1830s, and I think this one actually happened.

Jackson, at a dinner, but directly addressing himself to Calhoun: Our federal union. It must be preserved.

Calhoun: The union, next to our liberty, the most dear.

And now we are removing Calhoun's name from dorms.

I had a teacher way back in the day who was young then but became a well=known Civil War scholar. His theory was that it was what he called a preemptive counterrevolution by the South.
I have no idea if it's true but I've seen that anecdote. If it isn't true, it still perfectly encapsulates the two men and what would become the great conflict of American history.

I love history and there are many complicated things in it, but I think the origin of the War is made a lot more complicated today than it really was. It's all there, all documented in detail by the people who chose and fought it. Each state defined what it was doing and why, and the individuals have left millions of pages of documentation. Some of the deep South put slavery right in their declarations of secession; the southern romantic notion that it was a side issue is as false as todays coastal elite narrative that it was just a bunch of evil racists who wanted only to be racist and deserved to be annihilated by the federal state. Even the North didn't decide until 1863, half way in, that their position going forward was that the war was largely about ending slavery.

In a time where the federal state was seen as a loose collection of independent states, and that federal state is becoming dominated by one block of states and used as an economic weapon against the other block of states, it isn't hard to see why people might want to pull out of that confederation. Slavery is one part of that, the biggest part of that for certain states whose economies were especially reliant on it like South Carolina, but not for other states like Virginia. Virginia's leading reason was that they would not invade their brother states, and thus joined the defense. It is easy to see why the side dominating the confederation wouldn't want the others to be permitted to leave. Lee's choice is exceptional in that he was offered the command of the North or the command of his state (not the Confederacy, just Virginia), but his choice was faced by thousands. I disagree with many modern views, but I think I will never understand why people expect a man to be willing to invade his own home. Some might and some did, but I cannot see why it would be expected. I could never do it. I doubt most advocating it today and condemning Lee's choice would. I have a hard time imagining California and New York elites joining in invading their home states if the federal government said to do it...
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