Texas Liberal

All People Matter

The American By Henry James Tops Labor Day Reading List


It’s Labor Day Weekend. The wife and I are going to drive 50 miles south to Galveston on the beautiful Texas coast. It should be a nice day-trip. Maybe we’ll see a Bottlenose Dolphin.  

That said, holidays are a time for reading. All days are a time for reading.

Here is a Labor Day Reading List—-

I just purchased the novel The American by Henry James. Published in 1877, The American is about a millionaire who goes to Europe looking for a wife. In Europe, this wealthy American is seen as crude and vulgar by the old established families.

This will be my second Henry James novel. I’ve read Washington Square. That was about a father who would not let his daughter marry a man he saw as a phony and without prospects. The father was cold and cutting and I enjoyed the book.

I’ll also be reading William W. Freehling’s The Road To Disunion: Secessionists at Bay 1776-1854.

The chapter I’m currently on in Disunion is about antebellum South Carolina.

The author contends South Carolina worked itself up into rebellion over a period of many years. South Carolina pulled back from rebellion in the Nullification conflict in 1832 between Jackson and Calhoun. By the 1850’s however, South Carolina was pretty much ready to go.

Freehling says the bravado and aggression of plantation owners was the flipside of insecurity over, among other things, South Carolina’s economic stagnation and the rise of white man’s democracy outside of South Carolina. South Carolina elites wanted as little democracy as possible.

Insecurity is often the flipside of aggression.

I’ll also be reading my monthly copy of the liberal magazine The American Prospect. It’s often quite well done. Click this link to see if it’s something you might find informative.

I hope all blog readers and everybody else has a great Labor Day Weekend.   

August 31, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Galveston, Reading Lists, Sea Life


  1. Insecurity is often the flipside of aggression? true. i’m insecure and often times feel like smashing things and people, but not u. keep up the great work

    Comment by geo | August 31, 2007

  2. oh yeah…….

    Comment by geo | August 31, 2007

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