Volume three: Shaping Earth's cultures and powers

Go to: Table of contents of Volume Three
Eleanor Roosevelt once said  "Noone can make you feel inferior without your consent." I, Alfred de Grazia, pretentious Author of America's History Retold, might consent to feeling inferior. Anybody who affects to claim that he has finished writing a history of the United States of America in a mere three volumes must rightly feel inferior to the task he set for himself, especially for claiming some kind of completion after signing off on a mere 1600 pages.
                Astronomers are beginning to prove that the universe created itelf in an instant Big Bang, that an infinity of black holes cuddles in the resultant Space, and that Time will never catch up with this infinity of events, because it is overworked chasing after Gravity. Every time I think of the corresponding infinity of events that ought to be related in the story of America, and appreciate my inevitable short-fall in telling them, I am bound to feel inferior and so ought blithely to give leave to all and sundry to agree.
                Just look at the pretensions of this Third Volume! With my typical impatience and drive, I launch into a set of overwhelming topics, none of which can be left out I believe, without understating the disasters of the years 1900 to 2012: An embroilment of Christian sects and Islamic sects, worldwide fiscal collapses whose threat continues,scores of armed conflicts from the singular act of terror to the greatest war in all history, labor turbulence from capitalists to communists, obstinate plagues from AIDS to billion drug abusers, from fast-disappearing ice fields to
poisoned oceans, immense forests stripped, - moving on nuclear catastrophe across the world at Chernobyl and twinned catastrophes of tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown along Japan's east coast at Fukushima...
    But then the large positive achievements in every science ?? - feats of microscopy and medicine, shooting satellites into space, culminating in man-and-instrument journeys to Moon and Mars, innumerable inventions of utensils and products,on our way, it seems,to a plenitude of welfare, knowledge, respect and affection for each other.
        Still, Two grand problems are far from solution and may be the most serious of all: the education and implementation of wise leadership. The
world needs about a million of Plato's Philosopher-Kings, on a regularly recurring basis. The large improbability of reaching this goal, Dear Eleanor, makes me ask your consent to feel inferior...   

A de G
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Cultural Change:

Duke Ellington's Home of the Blues

At the turn of the century in the South, the
Celtic-driven poor White regions were fighting
a successful war of resistance against the formal victory
of the North in the Civil War. Meanwhile, in the North, a
Celtic-driven Catholic movement gave leadership and
shape to the new urban popular culture.
Just as the Celts of the country took over the county
courthouses and local politics, the city Celts
took over the city halls and urban politics.
A great deal more was to happen in the twentieth century
to this urban culture, nationalizing it,
with changed ethnicity and styles, with flashy displays.
Long after the popular culture altered, however,
Irish Catholic prominence in city politics held steady
and even expanded around the metropolitan regions and
into the general offices of state governments and Congress.
Go to: Part Ten: Cultural Change

Religious Practices

Americans were Bible-literate in great part,
until multiplying Catholics and secularists
weakened the grasp of the Old Testament.

It was a typical old custom for the head of family to read at table a
randomly chosen verse of the Bible and comment solemnly upon it.
Its lesson having been figured out, ordinary life might proceed. If
one family affected this process 3,000 times, and twenty million
families in all underwent the experience, for a total of 6 billion
readings, every verse would have been read numerous times,
certainly punctuating the country with a Bible-effect,
never to be shaken off.

Actually Americans were all along ignorant of religious history and
philosophy, although every sect in the world has come to be found
here, and several new sects are born every year. No country has had
so many of them, counting from the beginning...
Go to: Religious Practices
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