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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Uprising of the 20,000: New York and the 1909 Shirtwaist Strike

"An equal number of men never would hold together under what these girls are enduring."

You know what gets all the attention? The Triangle Factory fire. Which is understandable, because it was a massive public tragedy that improved New York's fire codes and led to greater safety for factory workers, as well as sympathy for the union.

BUT BEFORE THAT. There was the Uprising of the 20,000. Which was damn great and almost unprecedented.




In the late 1800s and early 1900s, workers had begun to speak up more and more for their rights. These were mostly male workers, from the Knights of Labor to the AFL (American Federation of Labor), the latter headed by the inimitable Samuel Gompers:



Women were traditionally not a large part of the unions, if allowed in at all. They were seen as part-time workers who could be disregarded as their investment in their jobs would only last until they got married.

This assumption was a mistake.




Shirtwaists' popularity had blown up in the early 190…

For the Republic! and so forth (Some Revolutionary War Lady Talk)

I'm reading more about 18th century women's history (yes, American, it's always American unless it's English), and just being GENERALLY enraged most of the time. Some women in the colonies had the right to vote? In New JERSEY? Until it was taken away in 1807. So not even just in the colonies! Into statehood time! 

That's just bananapants and the sort of thing where I'm like, if I did not know this thing, most people will not know it. That could sound condescending, but what it means is obvs that this is most of what I read about. And no one in my books had really thrown that fact around before. Until I was reading Gail Collins's American Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heroines, which is really great so far and has some A+ anecdotes, like how Margaret Brent basically saved Baltimore.



Honestly, HAD I BUT WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME, I would just spend all my days learning about every single woman who ever lived in history. But life is finite, etc, …

TBR Library Pile Self-Challenge

I'm sure at some point or other, we've all looked at our library items and gone "Hm. I seem to be one away from the maximum number of checkouts, which is 50." 
I find myself therefore treading this, as we have just discussed, very familiar path of having 49 library items checked out of the library. Because of this situation, I have determined, like before, but with much more determination this time, to not check out any more (minus incoming hold items) until I have at the very least gone through the ones I have strewn about my girlfriend's condo. They are (almost in their entirety):



The books are in preferred reading order. Comics are, y'know, whatevs. I'm kind of amazed by Rick Riordan's fourth entry in Heroes of Olympus right now (House of Hades). He has a character come out in a pretty damn decent way, and he's such a mainstream middle grade white dude author, I reeeeally thought this character being queer was a fan invention based on subtext. 

I&…

July 2017 Reading!

I READ SO MANY COMICS IN JULY.

Also some regular books, but MAINLY a lot of comic volumes. Marvel knows what it's doing. It has you reading a story and then bam! The story doesn't make sense! So you have to read another character's story. And then hey, who's that guy in that story? What's his deal? AND YOU KEEP GOING. I am this close to reading Fantastic Four because they seem to have some dealings with the Inhumans and omg what is life now.
By far, my favorite of July was Doctor Strange, which is weird because I REALLY wasn't expecting to like him. But his storyline is compelling. Then Loki: Agent of Asgard was also surprisingly good. "Surprisingly" because I'm not one of those "I like the misunderstood villain dude" people (I like the misunderstood villainESS), and I'm definitely not a Loki stan at all, but again, it's well-written and the story's good. Basically Loki is trying to redeem his past actions by doing tasks for Fr…

American Eclipse: How an Intrepid Band of Ladies (and Edison) Saw the 1878 Eclipse

American Eclipse, the nonfiction book by David Baron about the 1878 solar eclipse, was published just this summer in anticipation of the August 21st solar eclipse that will be visible across the middle of America, cutting a horizontal swath across the country, lingering longest in Illinois (yes, of course I'm proud of this) and being most fully visible in what looks like Kentucky and Indiana.



The book's subtitle is "A Nation's Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World."

So that's fun.

It's really readable, and I say that as someone who thought The Martian was way too damn sciencey. Baron keeps skirting the edges of my interest but does not go over the cliff into the pits of Too Much Science Don't Care. Because he also talks about humans! I love humans!

The main humans involved here are University of Michigan astronomer James Craig Watson, Vassar astronomer and comet-discoverer Maria Mitchell, and then Thomas Edison.


James Cra…