Heather Cox Richardson. Heather Cox Richardson refers to herself as a ‘Lincoln Conservative’ and in this episode of 18th March she explains why. American conservatism had nothing to do with Edmund Burke’s conservatism (which arose out of his horror at the French Revolution). When the slave owners deprecated the new Republican party for being ‘radical’ and wanting to get rid of slavery, Abraham Lincoln claimed to be ‘conservative’ in that he wanted to keep to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, which was silent on slavery and proclaimed the equality of man (albeit, assumed to be white men). She does not use the term ‘conservative’ for today’s Republican party.
Start the Week (BBC) What if the Incas had colonized Europe? features the recently-released book Civilizations by Laurent Binet, which is a counter-factual fictional book that images what would have happened if the Incas and Aztecs had colonized Europe, instead of the other way round. He is joined by two academic historians, Caroline Dodds Pennock, one of the world’s foremost historians of Mesoamerican culture, and Christienna Fryar’s from Goldsmiths, University of London, who focusses on British/Caribbean History. Both historians are fairly relaxed about counter-factual fiction, and have some interesting observations about the new perspectives that what-if history can bring. I really enjoyed Binet’s HHhh, so I’ve put a reservation on this book at the library.
Rear Vision (ABC) I was out doing the weeding with ABC listen on my phone, and a string of Rear Visions floated past. The Suez Canal burst back into our consciousness when it was blocked by that humongous container ship, and The Suez Canal -ambition, colonial greed, revolution and the ditch that reshaped global trade tells the story of the creation of the Suez Canal and its interweaving with French and British colonial politics and Egyptian nationalism. I hadn’t realized that the Egyptians have blocked the Suez Canal in the past, or the broader political implications of the Suez Crisis (which I’m a bit fuzzy about anyway).
Next program was Edward and Harry- the men who left the Royal Family. The program focussed mainly on Edward’s abdication, then finished up by looking or debunking parallels between the two situations.
The Latin American History Podcast. Episode 10 of The Conquest of Mexico follows one of Cortez’s conquistadors, Pedro de Alvarado as he strikes out from Tenochitlan down to Guatamala. He might have been good at fighting, but he lacked the skills to actually establish colonies. Many of the names were unfamiliar here, so I found it a little hard to follow. But- in short, there was lots of killing and betrayal.