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alex .

Mar 27, 2003, 8:00 AM

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My knowledge of history is horrible

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Trying to explain the whys & what-fors of the US/Iraq war to my Mexican wife and daughter has me boxed into a corner as none of us know any history. I vaguely remember a Disney movie about Davie Crockett and the Alamo, I suspect that the Mexican history books tell it differently. We have seen the Pyramides de la Luna y del Sol but it was impossible to appreciate life in Tenochtitlan 3000 years ago with no background. So its time to break out the textbooks of Mexican history, US history, and the History of the World to show that wars go all the way back to antiquity.
I'm thinking of learning & teaching the subject matter from today backward to show continuity to the past. I'm thinking that if I start in the traditional way, from time zero, that the lesson will be lost in the abstract concept of "long, long ago in a land far, far away". Your thoughts/advice?
Alex



Uncle Donnie

Mar 27, 2003, 9:42 AM

Post #2 of 11 (1942 views)

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Re: [alex .] My knowledge of history is horrible

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Hi Alex,

Two nights ago I finished a biography of Genghis Khan and it explained a lot about some of the early attitudes and reasons for the way a lot of folks in the Middle-East think.

As far as Davy Crockett is concerned, Mexican sources DO tell a differing tale from the "official party line" but many Texas historians and researchers are risking lives and reputations to seriously consider the Mexican version.

History is usually written by the victors, but in regard to the Aztecs you might look at a nice little book titled "Broken Spears" which is written from their perspective.

I was a history minor in college and my guess is that you'll be an old, old man or institutionalized long before you get through studies of just the wars of modern times. I read once that there has been at least one war in progress somewhere in the world since the dawn of recorded history.

For fun, and to get you thinking about the nature of conflict between differing people, look at William Golding's novel "The Inheritors" which is his idea of the first meetings between Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. The Neanderthals disappeared from the evolutionary string shortly thereafter. Interbreeding or eradication? Who knows. Or look in the King James Bible. We've always been an irrationally warlike species it seems.

I hope your intensive studies won't mean you're going to deprive us of your entertaining company on the forums.

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com


Rolly


Mar 27, 2003, 11:03 AM

Post #3 of 11 (1932 views)

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Re: [alex .] My knowledge of history is horrible

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Hola Alex,

Here are a couple of very different reads that should get you off to a good start.

Isaac Asimov wrote a history of the world that I read a couple of times and think you might find helpful. It has the rather ambitious title of "The History of the World from the Big Bang to Modern Times." Check here for more info: http://www.hallhistory.com/historical_study/57.shtml

In a more recent book, James Reston, Jr details the Third Crusade and a lot more in "Warriors of God." He tells the parallel stories of the two chief combatants, Richard the Lionheart and Saladin. It will give some insight into Sadam's dream of being a modern Saladin -- which of course he missed by light-years.

Go here: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/....asp?isbn=0385495625

Good reading!

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Mar 27, 2003, 11:06 AM)


pat

Mar 27, 2003, 4:44 PM

Post #4 of 11 (1911 views)

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Re: [Uncle Donnie] My knowledge of history is horrible

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Two nights ago I finished a biography of Genghis Khan and it explained a lot about some of the early attitudes and reasons for the way a lot of folks in the Middle-East think.


Back in the mid-70's, I read Caravans by James Michener. I think this book will give you a better insight into the mid-east mind than any other I can think of. And, as are most of Michener's books, it is a compelling read.

Pat


alex .

Mar 28, 2003, 8:59 AM

Post #5 of 11 (1888 views)

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maybe we can discuss the 2 versions here?

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The Mexican historian view of the Alamo? I went to look at history texts...man there is a LOT of history. I'll start with some recent stuff then pick up where you guys suggested.
Alex


jennifer rose

Mar 28, 2003, 10:55 AM

Post #6 of 11 (1883 views)

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Re: [alex .] My knowledge of history is horrible

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While I've not seen "The Idiot's Guide to Mexican History," nor could I imagine anyone other than a perfect idiot attempting to write "The Dummies' Guide to Mexican Politics," I do highly recommend T.R. Fehrenbach's "Fire and Blood: A History of Mexico," http://www.amazon.com/...v=glance&s=books.


Uncle Donnie

Mar 29, 2003, 2:28 PM

Post #7 of 11 (1851 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] My knowledge...the answer

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I forgot about this great site for history lovers: http://historicaltextarchive.com is Don Mabry's site which contains numerous articles on all aspects of world history. Might even be a Davy Crockett story on there.

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com


jsandrock

Mar 30, 2003, 6:11 PM

Post #8 of 11 (1831 views)

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Re: [alex .] My knowledge of history is horrible

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Greetings all -- I had to laugh when I saw the mention in these posts of the telling and re-telling of the Mexican-American war. As a kid I lived for a couple of years in Mexico City (my dad was working there) and in school, in the 8th grade, we studied the Mexican-American War. Santa Anna was the big hero, Davy Crockett was NADA, but some guy they killed off with some of his friends. Then the following year we return to the States and in the 9th grade, you guessed, it , we studied the Mexican-American war! I would like to say I was completely confused but even at the tender age of 14 I was able to figure out that history was "interpreted" by whichever side happened to be presenting it!

It was a lot easier when I was in the sixth grade and I had my Davy Crockett coonskin cap and could just play "Davy Crockett" with my little friends and not worry about what really had gone on.

In preparation for our possible move down to Mexico I have gotten hold of some good histories of Mexico which I am now reading-- no matter from which perspective, Mexico has had a fantastically interesting history!

I'd love to hear other examples of this bifurcated view of things if anyone has them....

best, Jsandrock


alex .

Mar 31, 2003, 7:40 AM

Post #9 of 11 (1821 views)

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Re: [jsandrock] I'll bet the British view

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of the Boston Tea Party is quite different from what we have learned. Dressing up like Indians and all....
But that deviates from the Mexico topic.
Alex


"El Gringo Jalapeño"


Mar 31, 2003, 8:51 AM

Post #10 of 11 (1813 views)

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Re: [alex .] My knowledge of history is horrible

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I am not a profuse reader, either in English or Spanish, but right now I'm slowly reading "El Seductor de la Patria" by Enrique Serna, a novel about Antonio López de Santa Anna(who was, by the way, an illustrious Jalapeño!). It is extremely interesting to see Santa Anna's viewpoint, at times very Nixonian in his overpowering desire to leave his mark on history. ¡Suerte!
Roy B. Dudley "El Gringo Jalapeño" See more about Xalapa at www.xalaparoy.com


Uncle Donnie

Mar 31, 2003, 12:22 PM

Post #11 of 11 (1797 views)

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Re: ["El Gringo Jalapeño"] My knowledge of history is horrible

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Hi Roy,

Smile when you say that (Santa An(n)a) to a Texan!

Now that we're on Mexican history with an international tinge, ya'll might be interested in The Irish Soldiers of Mexico by Michael Hogan of Guadalajara. Its the story of Irish deserters from the U.S. Army to the Mexican Army in the war of 1846-48. Santa An(n)a played a major role here too. And it's told with a sympathetic, or at least understanding, eye toward the deserters.

And for more recent adventures look at The Zimmermann Telegram by Barbara W. Tuchman. This is the story of a German plot during WWI to induce Mexico to form an alliance with Japan to invade the U.S.

President Carranza, Woody Wilson, "Black Jack" Pershing, Pancho Villa, and a cast of millions!

Shameless self-promotion:
http://www.headformexico.com
 
 
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