New Books Network. It doesn’t occur to me often to look for Australian histories on this site, but there are some! This podcast Australian Jurists and Christianity features Prof. Wayne Hudson, who co-edited the book along with Geoff Lindsay. He doesn’t so much talk about individual jurists featured in the book (from Macquarie, James Stephen, Higgins, Higinbotham, Gough Whitlam, Michael Kirby) but more about the relationship between religion and politics in Australia. I found him rather patronizing and sweeping in his pronouncements, and it didn’t particularly encourage me to read the book – and at $99.00, I’m not likely to buy it.
The Latin American History Podcast. We’re getting near the end now. In The Conquest of Mexico Part 12 there’s a whole string of people whose names I can’t remember, one of the remaining chiefs is accused of treachery and killed, and really…it’s just looting and conquest now. I’m glad there’s only one more episode. I’m a bit lost, to be honest.
The Documentary (BBC) There’s going to be a series of these replays of broadcasts Syria’s decade of conflict. I have Syrian neighbours and I know so little about their previous life. This episode Syria’s Secret Library was recorded in 2016, when the town of Darayya was besieged by Syrian government troops. There was a secret library hidden in a basement, and in the midst of hunger and the dropping of barrel bombs, people went there to read. In an update at the end we learn that, once the siege ended, the library was discovered and the books sold off in markets.
Travels Through Time In this podcast, a historian chooses a particular year and three dates within that year in order to talk about their recent book. In this case, it’s The Lost History of Mary Davies, who at the age of 6 months, inherited the Manor of Ebury after her father died in the Plague. This Manor included Park Lane and Mayfair. When she married Sir William Grosvenor at 12 years of age, her lands were merged with his properties which now comprise central London. When he died when she was about 35, she had already converted to Catholicism and went off to Rome, became entangled in a spurious marriage, and became mentally ill. A rather sad story, told in the speaker, Leo Hollis’ book Inheritance: The lost history of Mary Davies. Actually, I’m hearing about lots of good books in this series.
Heather Cox Richardson And there I was, thinking that Barack Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ was original. There was an earlier ‘pivot to Asia’ after the Civil War, when the Republicans had the pip with Europe because they felt that they had supported the Confederates. So, they decided with the Burlingame Treaty of 1868, to give each other Favoured Nation status to China. But it was pretty much gutted by the passing of the Chinese Restriction Act which passed on May 6, 1882, which is why she did this podcast on 7th May. Actually, it was interesting listening to the American response to the Chinese, both during the Californian goldrush and then in the 1880s and compare it with Australia’s racial policies.
Rear Vision (ABC) I’m glad that there is more attention being paid to Morrison’s Pentecostalism. As an ex-born-again myself who sometimes attended Pentecostal gatherings, I know that the world-view of Pentecostalism leaches into all aspects of life. I felt chilled by the idea of Morrison laying hands on unwitting citizens. The history of Pentecostalism is explored in Pentecostalism- the fastest growing religion on earth.
Psychedelics- the curious journey from medical lab to party drug and back again delivers just what it says- a study of how psychedelics started out as a pharmacologic treatment for mental illness until they were taken up by the counter-culture and came into the crosshairs of the Republican party. In recent years, they are again being investigated as a form of treatment.