9.02.2013

Da Kine Red Wine up here in cowboy country



So I'm in one of those moods. I'll lay it out for you: last day in Amerika. Red wine, Hot Fuzz video (no it's not porn), and da kine, beautiful evening. I was at the beach today, with all others celebrating a lack of labor today. I was laboring away at finishing my book. With only 2 chapters left, it has no space for my limited space (3 70lb suitcases... ahem).

I believe I mentioned it  in my last post.  Well, I was just going to skip it due to lack of motivation mostly, but I just read a 'tweet' about Genghis Khan:
"Genghis Khan exempted the poor from taxes, encouraged literacy and established free religion, which is why many joined his empire"  tweeted by (@UberFacts)

I mention this because the book I just finished reading, Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World,  by Jack Weatherford was so interesting that I checked out what else the author had written. Of the half dozen or so, two stuck out:

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
and
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens

The book I read is listed as 'History: Social Science, Literary Criticism- Native American.' I really, really like this genre. As well, Dr. Weatherford is the DeWitt Wallace Chair of Anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota, as well as a position in a Mongolian uni. I don't know about you guys, but a vague memory from school reminds me that I learned that he was a sort of heathen savage...

As for the Mongol queens, who doesn't love a dramatic storyline following the women who walk with great leaders. Sounds like lots of sex, betrayal, hamams, frolicking and folly. I can roll with that as well. I wanna know why Genghis Khan said, "Let us reward our female offspring."

But back to my book, there are a few highlights that I want to make note of.  I also wanted to write a blog post tonight so I'm killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Bear with me, or not...

*Weatherford mentions "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" in his book.  I loved that book.  I gave it to L-Fezz. She loved that book.  I need to check and see if Mr. Perkins has written something recent.  

*Clio was the muse of history.  She was the daughter of Zeus, or sometimes Uranus, & Mnemosyne- where we get 'mnemonic' from if my memory serves me correct...So as the story goes, Zeus slept with her for 9 consecutive days and they had 9 'muses'. As I like to think of myself as a history buff, I like this.  Somehow I will weave 'Clio' into my fabric and come up with something delicious.

*Now, Native Americans were the true pathfinders of America as far as I'm concerned.  This book looks at a range of ways that this has played out in American, and sometimes European history. From silver and capitalism (the mines of Potosi) to plant food/medicine to architecture and urban planning, this book has it all.  Each chapter is dedicated to another endeavor that helped to make America great (that was then, this is now..), and of course, there is hardly a mention of them in any of the legacies.

I am highly suggesting this book. It reads quite nicely.  Not academic in that sense that it puts one to sleep. It's not historical fiction (another genre that I deeply enjoy), and it's not fluff. It's about how so much of what we see every day in America has a lasting legacy going back to the original inhabitants of the Americas.

I bought the book up in Sault Ste. Marie on the Michigan/Canadian border, but I'm sure it's everywhere. I know that I saw both the Genghis & Mongol queens books at bookstores near the front displayed at the airport so they must be rather new I'm thinking- I could be wrong on that. At any rate, I have $200 in iTunes giftcards (Thanks Georgetown Apple Store) so... if I feel like I want an electronic book (which I don't), I would be inclined to purchase it this way. But, alas, I like the texture of an old-fashion book.  I love turning the pages, writing notes and putting weird postcards to mark my page.  I suppose almost all this could be accomplished with an electronic reader, but... but... but...

So it seems that Hot Fuzz has been playing and I have no idea what is happening in the film.  It's time to put the electronics down and pay attention. Be kind, rewind...