". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Archfiend Haunting Bloody Andy - John Quincy Adams

Just to be clear as to where Henry Adams got the habit of biting wit and subtle sarcasm for his own histories -- from his grandfather.

John Quincy Adams As His Grandsons Would Have Known Him
I've been wanting to read JQA's Memoirs for a long time now, but I don't have time for the many volumes that they are.  However, I am looking into the volume of the 1830's -- Holy Cow!  This stuff is not only historically revelatory, but fabulously entertaining.   He deliberately worked to annoy the slavers' Gag Rule (imposed by Jackson and the southerns that JQA refers to simply as "the slavers," to keep abolition and emancipation from being discussed in the House or Senate), to tie up at least an hour, hour and a half,  of every session by forcing "the slavers" to shut him up about slavery and their censorship of even mentioning the issue.

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