The finale of my series on Abraham Lincoln and on American political history in the 19th century. Next up, "Twentieth Century Girls": A series on American women writers.
In 1864, Grant took command of the Union armies, Lincoln was re-elected, Atlanta fell and Sherman gave his president Savannah as a Christmas present. We look at all of these things and the impact of emancipation on American politics and the war effort in this episode.
The war turned to the Union's favor in 1863 in no small part due to the Emancipation Proclamation. In this episode I look at the consequences of emancipation on the war through Lincoln's writing, the major turning points of the siege of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, and the growing opposition of the "peace" Democrats.
1862 was a bad year for the Union army and Abraham Lincoln with numerous defeats and military frustrations along with some Democratic gains in the mid-term elections. But it was also the year in which runaway slaves forced Lincoln to rethink the meaning of the war.
In this episode, I look at the writings of Abraham Lincoln during his trip to Washington and the first year of the Civil War. Here the major issues include his policy toward the border states and the early wartime questions about slavery.
In this episode I look at the writings of Abraham Lincoln from 1860. This was the year of the election that won Lincoln the presidency and saw the first state secede from the Union.
In this episode, I look at the writings and speeches of Abraham Lincoln from 1859. The most notable document is the "Cooper Union" speech Lincoln gave in New York City, but there are some other interesting texts, including a speech he gave in Milwaukee on technology and labor.
In this episode, we see how Abraham Lincoln lifted his 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas to a new level by pursuing the moral argument against slavery and against its expansion.
The Philip K. Dick Book Club will be on hiatus for a while, but here are my future plans. Let me know if you have any additional ideas.
Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 150: When the Rough Draft is Better than the Final Product: Radio Free Albemuth
In this "finale" of the Philip K. Dick Book Club, I look at RADIO FREE ALBEMUTH. This novel is far superior to the re-write (VALIS). I love the look at a slowly creeping dystopia and the necessity of futile but inevitably victorious resistance.
In this episode, I look at the third and fourth of the great Lincoln-Douglas debates. It seems to me that Lincoln was on the defensive in these two debates. He has yet to lift the subject of the debate to issue of the morality of slavery.
The best of Philip K. Dick's later novels is THE TRANSMIGRATION OF TIMOTHY ARCHER. It explores the religious culture of California during Dick's own life. We get some Bishop Pike, some John Allegro and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and some Alan Watts.
This podcast is the first of three episodes exploring the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.
In addition to reading them I watched the reenactments aired by C-SPAN in the 1990s. I recommend them.
We have come all this way in order to read Philip K. Dick's most disappointing book. It is an opaque novel that betrays much of what Dick established in his earlier career on what it means to be human and how to respond to power. But share your thoughts.
Philip K. Dick's "VALIS Trilogy" begins with a little novel called VALIS. A fan favorite, but not one I care for very much. Let me know what you think.
"The Alien Mind" was Philip K. Dick's last published story, appearing in The Yuba City High Times in February 1981.
Next up, we will look at the VALIS novels.
"Rautavaara's Case" by Philip K. Dick is one of his last stories. It uses an interstellar dispute over a man's remains to explore the limits of understanding between cultures and what a truly religious system could look like. This story also asks some nice bio-medical ethics questions.
This episode examines Lincoln's writings from the aftermath of the Kansas-Nebraska Act to his nomination by the Illinois Republican Party to the Senate in 1858. The highlight of this period is his famous "House Divided" Speech.
In "I Hope I Shall Arrive Soon" (published in PLAYBOY) Philip K. Dick wrote a nice story about change, how we do not trust memories, and how memories may fill in for what we have lost. One of his last stories.
Philip K. Dick Book Club: Episode 143: Philip K. Dick Writes about Crazy Neighbors (Strange Memories of Death)
Philip K. Dick wrote with brilliance about mental illness and institutionalization throughout his career. Check out this story (the first work of his from the 1980s, I look at), "Strange Memories of Death". It is a mainstream story about living next to the Lysol Lady.
What did Philip K. Dick think of Watergate and state secrets and the military-industrial complex? I think we know, but if you have any doubt read "The Exit Door Leads In" which was published in ROLLING STONES COLLEGE PAPERS. It is a very nice story Dick published in 1979
In this episode, I take a close look at the writings and speeches of Abraham Lincoln during the years after the Mexican War, as the sectional conflict began in the United States. Lincoln completes his only term in the House of Representatives and returns to Illinois and lawyering, but remained an observer of Whig politics during the last years of that party.
Now we get to some of the strange late Philip K. Dick stories. The first of these is "The Day Mr. Computer Fell Out of Its Tree", in which Dick takes on once again the dangers of automation. One of his first themes was also one of his last.
In the finale of my review of A SCANNER DARKLY by Philip K. Dick we see the ultimate fate of Bob Arctor and his friends, as well as possibly the fate of all of us in the eternal struggle between the individual and the institution. And this conclusion is set in Dick's greatest depiction of an asylum.
The years 1845 to 1848 see Lincoln engaged in local Whig politics and then moving onto national politics by serving on the House of Representatives where he opposed the Mexican War. In this episode I look at his major speeches and writings from those years.
Bob Arctor learns that working undercover is not all it is cracked up to be as he hits rock bottom, loses his sense of identity, and ends up being put through the consuming machine of the state. All of this and more in part 4 (of 5) of my review of Philip K. Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY.
In part 3 of my review of Philip K. Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY we follow Bob Arctor as he descends into the ultimate of paranoia and addiction by investigating himself. Is this is metaphor for the ultimate fate of the surveillance state? Of course.
A new series and a new phase in American political thought. In this episode we meet Abraham Lincoln as a young Whig politician in the 1830s and early 1840s.
As we get deeper into Philip K. Dick's A SCANNER DARKLY we see just how deeply paranoia runs in a world governed by the police state. But just how much of the paranoia is justified? And how paranoid is the state compared to the people it tries to control?
The finale to my extended review of Alexis de Tocqueville's DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA.