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All People Matter

A New Literary History Of America—A Good Book To Read

Vanity compels me to tell you that I am reading the 1095 page A New Literary History Of America.

This egoism can’t surprise you as blogging itself is an act of vanity.

As you can see from the picture below, A Literary History is a larger book than Last Train To Memphis— The Rise Of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick, and the 2010 The New York Times Almanac.

A Literary History has been well- reviewed. I’d link to a review if I knew how to make links when blogging with my iPhone while my computer us busted.

A Literary History is a collection of essays. They range in time from the first point the word America appeared on a map–that was in 1507—up to Barack Obama’s election last year.

I’m on page 113 at the moment. The next essay is about John Adams defending the Constitution.

The essays tell the history of the nation by examining, among other things, books, poems, art, political essays and sermons.

These writings and comunucations are considered, and then are connected to some larger aspect of American history,or some larger characteristic or trait of the American makeup.

There are around 225 esays in the book. If one bores you it will end soon enough.

Nothing had bored me yet in A Literary History. The topics are eclectic and often creative while remaining relevant.

It may be that telling you I’m reading a 1095 page book is snobby, but the other side is that I believe people have a far greater capacity to understand complex things than they realize.

Go get yourself something new and interesting to read. Suggest to someone you value that they do the same. Life is too short not to learn and understand as much as we can in the time we have.

November 3, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

No Surprise That 17th Century Book That Respected Native Americans Also Respected Women—Roger Williams Of Rhode Island

I’ve been reading A New Literary History of the United States.

Here is some information about this very good book.

I read an essay in A New Literary History today about a book written  in 1643 by Roger Williams.

(Above–A 1681 painting by an unkown artist of a Narragansett Indian Chief named Ninigret. It is the only reliable image of a Southern New England Indian of the time. This painting is owned by the Rhode Island School of Design.)

Roger Williams was the founder of my native state of Rhode Island. Here is a blog post I wrote about Williams. I’ve been told I’m related in some way to Williams. I hope this is the case. 

The name of the book Williams wrote was A Key To The Language Of America

Here is a picture of the cover of this book from 1643.

Key was about the langauge and customs of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Indians.

Here is information about the Narragansett Indians.

A New Literary History says that Williams saw these Rhode Island natives as equal to the New England Puritan colonists.

This angered the leaders of Massachusetts because it set a precedent of treating the natives in a way that might encourage them to be more assertive in their dealings with the colonists.

In A Key To The Language Of America Williams also acknowledged the role of Narragansett Indian women. This was unusual for the times.

Williams wrote that Narragansett women worked at least as hard as did the men and that they never complained no matter how difficult life became.

It is no surprise that a book that was ahead of its time in regard to Native Americans was also respectful of women in a time that women were not treated so well ( Just like today.)

Respect for all people is connected. Regard for one only has meaning when it is regard for all. Roger Williams of Rhode Island had this insight in the 17th century. It is that many people lack in the 21st century.

October 8, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment