Lots of new books and lots of old

I have inundated myself with books to read and am loving every minute of it. I found the second and third volume of Taylor Branch’s trilogy on the Civil Rights movement and so started the first volume.
I grabbed a book I’ve had for decades on purism in language policy as it played out in Ukraine and bordering areas of Slavic speech. Looking it over, I find it quite sophisticated linguistically and it will make a nice addition to the one on the Greek language question I read a while back. ASU library has a volumne on national language policies I’m going to look at to see if it’s worth buying.
I am still working on Invisible Armies by Max Boot and am in the section on terrorism. He bolstered my contention that the issues Black Lives Matter is confronting go back to the beginning of the country and its foundation in slavery.
I am still stuck in the middle somewhere of Wise Men and The Slave Trade. Both are fascinating in the way they unfold the major elements of our modern world and lead to many other questions….. which is my problem.
I just can’t seem to get to African Polyphony and African Polyrhythm. Right now I’m in the section where he’s reviewing previous writers, incl. early explorers, missionaries, and colonizers, observed. I think I’m putting off going further b/c it is very dense and full of musical notation, which I don’t read. Sad.
The talk the other night on sex and Christianity prompted me to read Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels, which had been on my shelf for decades, and that led to her most famous book (one of Modern Library’s 100 best books of the 20th century!), The Gnostic Gospels. A real eye-opener, the first book pivots on St. Augustine as the generator of the extremist view of procreation, sex, and sin adopted whole-hog by Western Christianity. Why did they do it? Why did the Christians who had conquered the Roman Empire, turn to a neurotic view of sex and make it the center of their faith? She does try to answer that and it resonates with our times as we try to understand the appeal of the Evangelicals.
Add to that all my language studies, esp Harry Potter, and it is a wonder I get the dishes done.

Later – Gosh! I forgot the book that came out of the lecture on sex and Christianity, Moral Combat. Purchasing it gave me a chance to chat with the author and she confirmed that Evangelical Christianity went underground after the Scopes Trial. She also acknowledge Bob Jones, a previous speaker in the ASU series on Religion and Conflict. I found his book to be extremely informative.

And yet another book I forgot. I’m not quite done with Generations of Captivity, on U.S. slavery.

So there are 4 books I want to look at at ASU library: one on Congolese culture translated to the Americas, one on national language policy, one on the casualty figures in the Transmississippi Indian Wars, and the etymological dictionary of Spanish – I’m compiling a list of words I want to look up, incl. alacena; I want to see if it is related to almacen, given its clue to Arabic provenance in the initial al-.

March 20 Lord! I forgot Loving, the history of interracial sex and marriage in the U.S. So far a great book. I just wish I could give a copy to everyone exclaims, on hearing that Black/White marriages were unlawful when my wife and I got married, “I didn’t know that

March 29 – I’ve started a highly recommended book on autism and I hope that gives my wife and me more guidance in dealing with our grandson. Most of the time he’s a great kid but he gets spells of defiance and irritation. I know that is the case with any 16 year old but the autism augments the behavioral and communication problems.

April 12 – I finished Moral Combat. Having lived through most of that, I do wonder how a younger person would understand what Griffith has described. Mostly I think it’s the growing presence on the national stage of figures who, previously, would have been dismissed as backwoods preachers and charlatans, e.g. Pat Robertson, Falwell, etc. Billy Graham was respected but his son has joined the ranks of the right wing screw balls. It must be hard for younger people to grasp things like no Blacks on T.V., Mexicans being pretty much confined to the Southwest, serious discussions about whether women should have jobs once they marry and girls being given career and health classes and sports activities very different from those for boys. You can read about it but unless you’ve experienced it, you might not believe it. And if you don’t believe it, you won’t understand the older generation that wants those days back.

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