Much like its eponymous waterway, V.S. Naipaul’s A Bend in the River meanders steadily through the dark reality of postcolonial Africa, alternately depicting minimalist beauty and frightening tension. Like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, subtle prose reveals the timelessness of the continent’s remote corners alongside human corruptibility.
The death of Muammar al-Qaddafi and the end of his rule in Libya marks the end of an era. Our untiring colleague in International History, Jeremi Suri, blogs about the historical background.
On September 13, 2011, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues released its report on the syphilis experiments conducted by the US government in Guatemala in the 1940s. Over 1300 prisoners, prostitutes, psychiatric patients, and soldiers in Guatemala were infected with sexually transmissible diseases (through supervised sexual relations among other methods), in an attempt to better understand treatments for diseases such as syphilis.
On the evening of June 24, 1941, Prime Minister of Great Britain Winston Churchill came on the radio. He declared: “Any person belonging to a country fighting against fascism will receive British aid.” He went on to say that he will give Russia and its people all the help that the British government can offer.
“Took my wife, and Mercer, and Deb., to Bartholomew Fair, and there did see a ridiculous, obscene little stage-play, called “Marry Andrey.” While this may seem rather boring in content, it is extraordinary considering that Samuel Pepys originally wrote that in 1668. And now it is a tweet.
Democratic governments often have a hard time changing their minds, as recent U.S. decision-making about Iraq and Afghanistan has made clear. Even when the United States encountered monumental frustrations and setbacks, Washington kept fighting, adjusting its strategy and tactics but not its overall goals or the assumptions that underpinned them.
“In the Baggage Coach Ahead” is a great example of the sentimental ballads that became popular in the United States during the 1890s. The classic ballads were maudlin tearjerkers, narrative tales of lost love or dead mothers designed to pull at the heartstrings.
Today, people who live in democratic societies take religious freedom for granted. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, most Europeans found the idea of “freedom of conscience” deeply threatening. How could the fabric of society withstand competing religious ideas? What would convince people to live moral lives in the absence of a single, state-supported church?
Fred Wong grew up in San Antonio and in 1936 married Rose Chin from Chelsea, Massachusetts. They moved to Austin in 1938 and opened New China Food Market at 714 Red River.
History can sometimes surround us – sometimes it’s even underfoot. This rug, from the Art and Art History Library Collection at the University of Texas, represents the kind of textiles that were made by skilled Navajo weavers and sold on the Navajo reservation from the late 19th into the early 20th century.