“Fascism cannot be explained only in terms of fanaticism, the history of the places where it gains a lodging must be taken into account.” — Northwest author Robert Cantwell, 1939Starting in late 2015, Knute Berger of Seattle's Crosscut magazine began a lengthy series on the historical roots of fascism in the Pacific Northwest. [more inside]
'Priceless collection' in Russia was never registered so is therefore worthless and does not officially exist, say developers
In 1926, Nikolai Vavilov founded the world's first modern seedbank, and amassed a collection which today contains over 90% unique varieties of plant, contained in no other collection in existence. For his opposition to Lysenkoism he died in prison, and several of his colleagues famously starved to death instead of eating their specimens during the Siege of Leningrad. Now the Pavlovsk seedbank facility has been seized by the Federal Agency for Public Estate Management, and pending a court ruling will be demolished - contents and all - to build a housing development. The collection cannot be moved in time because it is a working seedbank of living plants.
"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear." He is one of America's great novelists, but you don't expect Philip Roth to be barreling up the best-seller list with a book that hasn't even been published yet. And yet "The Plot Against America" is in the top 3 at amazon.com. It spins a what-if scenario in which the isolationist and anti-Semitic hero Charles Lindbergh runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats F.D.R. "Keep America Out of the Jewish War", reads a button worn by Lindbergh supporters rallying at Madison Square Garden. And so he does: he signs nonaggression pacts with Germany and Japan that will keep America at peace while the rest of the world burns. The Lindbergh administration hatches a nice plan to prod assimilation of the Jews. Innocuously called Just Folks, it's a relocation program for urban Jews, administered by an Office of American Absorption fronted by an obliging and pompous rabbi of radio celebrity. The teenage Roth character is shipped off to a Kentucky tobacco farm, to finally live among Christians. The book is about American Fascism, but while Roth is no fan of President Bush ("a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one"), he points out that he conceived this book (LATimes registration: sparklebottom/sparklebottom) in December 2000, and that it would be "a mistake" to read it "as a roman à clef to the present moment in America." (more inside)
Dr. Seuss, politcal cartoonist. Before the Cat strode in wearing a Hat, and before Horton heard a Who, Dr. Seuss drew for a liberal New York newspaper called PM. Through most of 1941 he drew images that criticized isolationists who thought we could sit out the war. He already had developed his idiosyncratic style, and the University of California at San Diego has all 400 of his PM cartoons on its site. Here's what he drew Dec. 5, 1941, and this is his cartoon of Dec. 8. Later in the war, he wrote scripts for 28 "Private Snafu" animated cartoons, which taught servicemen what not to do. Some were directed by Chuck Jones.
Dr. Seuss Went to War. This page has many of the comics that show up in the book of the same name. WWII era political cartoons from Dr. Seuss.