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     H I S T O R Y    H O U S E    N E W S L E T T E R - July 4, 2000
                 http://www.historyhouse.com/

July Fourth is upon us. The civil religion that is American patriotism has
always struck us as a bit odd. In fact the Texas office of History House
was all set for a little siesta in Mexico over the long weekend until we
remembered they were having elections and thus banning beer, liquor and 
pretty much all non election related fun. Bummer.

Yes -- we here at History House think that the the concept of the nation 
state may be getting a bit dusty... or at least confused. Come Tuesday 
night, the Boston pops will finish their July 4th concert as they do 
every year with a rousing rendition of the 1812 overture -- a piece penned
to commemorate Russia's victory over Napoleon, not American independence.
This year also sees the British and French fighting: the frogs are upset
that the Brits named their biggest train station Waterloo, after a 
humiliating battle that took place in neither country, but nearly two 
centuries ago in the hills of Belgium... the country that gave us the 
French Fry. And since we're in a dog mood here at History House, we'll 
remind our gentle readers that the Australian Shepherd is a now "American"
breed that comes by way of Australia from Basque sheepherders, who don't 
even have a country, but live in Spain instead. Don't get us wrong. We 
love history, of course we do. But doesn't this patriotism stuff seem a
little mixed up and arbitrary at this point? 

Featured Story: Put it on Washington's Tab

     George Washington, one of the founding fathers of the United States, 
     famously declined a salary to head the Continental Army in 1775. 
     Instead, he merely insisted that Congress take care of his "expenses". 
     When you take a look at that expense account, the first thing you
     notice is how well Washington lived on it -- in an average year he 
     spent double what he would later make as President. You might say 
     the father of our country is the father of padding his receipts. 

     http://www.historyhouse.com/stories/washington.asp

Under the Sun: Put up your Nukes

     The United States just can't keep its nuclear secrets secret. Congress
     and the Department of Energy seem to spend all their time in a he-said
     she-said shouting match while important stuff keeps getting lost or 
     wanders out the door. To make matters worse, the scientists argue that
     they're too restricted. The US has suffered already by being too nice
     and docile in matters military -- just ask former Secretary of State
     Henry Stimson, whose 1929 decision that spying was ungentlemanly
     contributed to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Oops! 

     http://www.historyhouse.com/stories/us_20000625.asp

Book Review: Duel

     Duel, an account of the gun battle between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron
     Burr in 1806, manages to squeeze putrageous amounts of nineteenth-
     century political and personal intrigue into a snug 406 pages. Sounds
     long? Given what's in there, it's probably short as humanly possible.

     http://www.historyhouse.com/book.asp?isbn=0465017363


Cheers,
     The History House Teleologists

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