This one goes to 0

by Eric on February 2, 2015

For my new book, I spent long hours trawling through the many, many reels of the microfilmed diaries of Henry Morgenthau, Jr. We didn’t have them at my university, so I had to order a few at a time from Interlibrary Loan, wait, and then seize upon them and go through them before they were due back at their home institution. Working through them at that speed, and on the microfilm reader whose lens & screen combination wasn’t quite right to show a full page, invariably gave me motion sickness.

Then they showed up, digitized, free to download. The joke was on me.

Except, for some reason, the digitized edition seems to begin with Book 1. Which you would think was okay – except the first book is actually Book 00. And that’s the book that covers the beginning of the Roosevelt administration, which was a critical period during which decisions were made about monetary policy that lasted for the duration of Roosevelt’s terms in office.

A peril, perhaps, of the digital archives.

I Aten’t Ignoring You

by Belle Waring on February 2, 2015

I wasn’t paying attention to un-approved comments in the queue, so a bunch got stuck there. Why? Because I almost never do anything about them until a co-blogger is like, “hey Belle, remember how we have a moderation queue that ever requires you to do a thing ever?” I just went and approved them all, as is generally my inclination, even–I will have you know–the ones calling me a bad person who writes in a fundamentally unserious way about serious subjects, and who is personal friends with Brad DeLong even though he is an economic quisling and opinionatedly wrong about works of history about Eastern Europe which I (myself, Belle Waring) have not read. So, if it seemed as if you were in moderation hell, sorry about that.

You also really have to work at it to get me to ban you; please don’t. It’s tedious. I wouldn’t do it even if I personally disagreed with you about historiography of Eastern Europe, rather than at a trusted remove (at which remove I also won’t ban you obvi, since, here you are). Well, if I knew you were fabricating lies and hurling spurious claims of ‘anti-Semite’ everywhere I’d hassle you, but you’d have to be King Dick of it to get banned on my account. I did have some homophobia in the first thread from whoever it is who has been baiting MPAVictoria so incessantly. It was fake homophobia that he wasn’t even selling. I wasn’t buying a nickel bag of it. But pretending to be bigoted is almost worse. I seriously am too bored to look up his very-like-another-person’s name right now. You, thingface, knock it off, and MPAV for the love of all that is unholy just don’t rise snapping to that hand-tied-fly what has been cast onto the mottled surface of our limpen stream. And then…a male commenter said this to me:
[click to continue…]

Belle-ing the Chait

by Henry on February 2, 2015

So Jonathan Chait has “responded”: to his critics, sort of. The core claim:

The story’s critics have repeated their claim that I am personally upset so often, they have come to take it as an obvious fact. (“It’s understandable that Chait, and the many others who agree with him,” writes Amanda Taub faux-sympathetically, “find it so upsetting to be on the receiving end of what he refers to as ‘P.C.’ criticism.”) … If there were a single sentence in the story expressing self-pity, it would be widely quoted by the critics, but no such line can be found. (Belle Waring, unable to find any quotes substantiating her characterization of my views, actually goes so far as to invent her own quotes that supposedly describe my thinking.) Nor is such a sentiment hidden, lurking somewhere outside the text. I don’t feel victimized in any way by political correctness or (as some have alleged, in one strange variant of the charge) by new media, which has been a boon to me. I feel, with regard to my career and my place in American society, things have never been better. The response partly reflects the p.c. culture’s inability to evaluate arguments about identity as abstract arguments rather than reflections of the author’s own identity.

[click to continue…]