Non Civil War Books and Movies

Jim Klag

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The Post
Steven Spielsberg directs an account of the Washington Post newspaper's decision to print the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of Vietnam, part of which was leaked to the NY Times and part to the Post, a case that ended up in the Supreme Court. The crisis comes at a fraught time: the Post is being taken public by Kay Graham, the owner, and Nixon's retaliation could scupper the paper.

Its Tom Hanks and his crew of hard charging reporters vs. the lawyers, the suits, the Nixon administration and their archrivals the New York Times, invariably referred to as the "god damn New York Times" or the "f--king Times." One theme is the aristocratic Graham finding her feet and asserting her authority over the all male boardroom.
I saw this one. Pretty good movie.
 

Matt McKeon

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Terror to the Wicked by Tobey Pearl
Pearl recounts the first jury trial in North America, or New England at least: the trial of Arthur Peach for murdering a Nipmuc man in 1638.

This is a genre of history very popular lately: taking a small scale, even obscure incident and using it as a nexus for the various trends and attitude of society of the time.

Pearl traces the influence of various competing Puritan theologies, the birth of the jury system, the culture of the Nipmucs and other Algonquin tribes and societies of New England, and their deteriorating relationship with the encroaching English. Famous Puritans, like John Winthrop, Roger Williams, Edward Winslow and hardcase Myles Standish all play a role, as well as well known Native Americans like Massasoit.

The weakness is that the records are incomplete from the 17th century, so we read a lot of variation of: "As Standish stood in the courtroom, he must have recalled his earlier....."

Very interesting. One takeaway is that the New England Indians, like the Nipmucs, are still alive and kicking in the 21st century, thank you very much.
 

diane

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That looks like a book I'd like to read! Thanks for putting it up. My dad had a family Bible that traced the history on his side from the start of the CW to 1623 - his distant ancestors were New England bands obliterated so quickly they hardly had time to get baptized! It's more than births and deaths - there was a reference to an ancestor being involved in the John Andre affair...I wish they'd written more on that.

Yes, the New England people are still there! I've been told I don't exist, too. My dad had a bumper sticker on his truck: Indians are not extinct. They're just treated that way.
 

Matt McKeon

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I've Loved You For So Long
Kristin Scott Thomas plays Juliette, a morose woman who comes to live with her sister and her family. "What's wrong with auntie," asks one daughter of the silent tense woman looking out the window, who has been "away on a long trip." Fifteen years to be precise: her sentence for murder. She has to try to start over, to get work, and connect with her sister and humanity in general. The main barrier is her own deadened feelings, and self loathing over the awful crime she committed. "Was it good?" asks a lout whom she had a one night stand. "No, not really," she replies. She looks out the window. "It doesn't matter." Occasional flash of resentment to her sister, for the world that continued on without her, for the gulf between her and normal people. "I understand," stutters a hospital administrator where she is being placed for a job. He can't look her in the eye. "What do you understand," she replies coldly, briefly rising out of her indifference.

A beautiful, moving picture, very highly recommended.
 
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