Friday, August 6, 2010

William Hogeland on American Creation

Author William Hogeland takes positive note of American Creation, here and here with some very nice and thoughtful observations.


King of Ireland said...

Pretty cool.

bpabbott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bpabbott said...

I agree ... very cool!

Its nice to read how the blog is received from outside our little group.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Glad to hear you say "our," Ben.

I sent a comment to William Hogeland thanking him for his recognition of AC, but he has comments moderation on and he just went on vacation. Waiting for it to be approved.

Some clarifications, that we're not Allan Bloom.

That this blog is the sum of our contributors and commenters. All of us. A karass. All sent to each other by somewhere and somehow to find each other and be together.

Cheers, Ben. You are "ours" and we are yours and we are all together. I am the eggman, we are the eggmen, koo-koo-katchoo.

Dunno who the walrus is yet, though.

King of Ireland said...

We are showing even higher on many google searches than we used to. I used to be top 5-9. Some of them are top 3 now.

jimmiraybob said...

I went to the bookstore this afternoon to look for Pauline Maier’s American Scripture, which was not in stock, so I went browsing. I picked up a copy of Hogeland’s Declaration and read the first two chapters. As an aside I almost picked up a copy of Zinn’s Peoples History solely based on its rave reviews here. :)

To summarize, a Calvinist, a Deist, and an unreconstructed quaking Quaker walk into a bar....uh, I mean a revolution and the rest is history*. Hogeland is not looking at the elite – the names on the currency, so to speak – of the looming Revolution, as he notes on his blog, but is looking at those who had boots on the ground**. And as you move through the opening chapters you can almost hear the shuffling of boots across the planked coffee house floors. Sam Adams the Calvinist, Dr. Thomas Young the Deist and hostile to religions, and Christopher Marshall the unreconstructed Quaker are three of the characters that come together to take the nation from a resistance posture to revolution.

At this point I’m hooked. Disparate fellow travelers when it came to God and religion but common in their belief in the right of individual conscience and separation from Britain. Since this looks at ground level, there’s also an element of class distinction and property-based enfranchisement issues and the role of those actually wearing the boots hitting the ground wanting to get their fair share of the political pie. Maybe I’m not missing out so much by not picking up Zinn.

Anyway, looking forward to the whole read – I did buy the book.

* The secret meeting at the Adames’, although to be fair these guys also met in taverns/bars too
** John Adams is present but so far in my reading isn’t engaged

PS William***, Google's not a bad assett at the blog comments level if you know how to evaluate the results.

***since you've comment on AC and I've read your blog and bought your book, I assume we're on a forst name basis. :)

PSS Speaking of Pauline Maier, I came across this article on Thomas Young. I'm not ready to plunk down the $24 but will look for it if I can get to a library.

jimmiraybob said...

a forst name basis

Forst? Sounds Irish if you roll the r.

Tom Van Dyke said...

JRB, it's a shame my eloquent reply to Mr. Hogeland is caught up in his comments moderation while he's on vacation. I agree completely that he's got cool facts and will buy his book too.

He's a marxist.

Not to say he's a Communist, just describing his approach to history, the little people, class struggle, etc. The Zinn approach is in fashion, and just talking "key" Founders as if the rest were all sheep would certainly miss the point.

We are Straussians hereabouts, even Jonathan Rowe, who is no conservative. Where marxists look at the dynamics, the "feet on the ground," Straussians look at the ideas.

Both are valid approaches. It does come down to whether you think history is a series of accidents, will and power, or the result of ideas whose time has come even if imperfectly realized. I'll leave off here. This is very fertile ground and Straussianism and marxism [small "m", not Commies] should contest their approaches to history on the battlefield/marketplace of ideas.

[That last bit was pretty good, if you think about it.]

William Hogeland said...

Thanks, all, for responding to my posts and my book. Appreciate clarifications and get your "karass" approach; saying some more on my site. jimmiraybob: If we're on a first-name basis, I'm Bill. And no, you don't need to read Zinn, as far as I'm concerned, but that's decidedly a minority opinion in some of the circles I move in. On disparate fellow travelers in religion and rationalism, coming together in radical democracy: if you haven't yet, look at E.P. Thompson's first chapters in "Making of the English Working Class" (an actual Marxist) to see the same alliance in late 18th C. London radicalism. Then in the 19th C. came the deadly split between the two.

William Hogeland said...

And meant to say: Right, Google's OK for research -- indispensible, now, maybe -- but you *do* need to evaluate the results, and I was suggesting maybe y'all really didn't, regarding the Newburgh thing. ...