Last Doolittle Raider Dies

Lt. Richard E. Cole, the last crewmember of the Doolittle Raiders, has died. Lt. Richard E. Cole, known as Dick Cole, was co-pilot on the lead plane, piloted by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, during a bombing mission on Tokyo in April 1942.

Sixteen B-25 bombers of the U.S. Army Air Corps launched from the USS Hornet aircraft carrier on 18 April 1942, on a mission to bomb Tokyo, in an attack that became known as the “Doolittle Raid.”

The New York Times reports: “Richard E. Cole, who was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot in the lead plane of a storied mission in the history of American air power, the bombing raid on Japan in retaliation for its attack on Pearl Harbor months earlier, died on Tuesday in San Antonio. He was 103 and the last survivor of the 80 Doolittle raiders, who carried out America’s first strikes against the Japanese homeland in World War II.”

Lt. Richard E. Cole, co-pilot, is pictured second from the right in this photo. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force.

Students in HIST 384 History of War since 1500 at Northern Illinois University will be interested in this story, having read John Dower’s War Without Mercy, while studying the Pacific War this semester.

For context on the Doolittle Raid and the Pacific War, see:

Gunter Bischof and Robert L. Dupont, eds., The Pacific War Revisited (Baton Rouge, LA, 1997).

John W. Dower, War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York, NY:
Pantheon Books, 1986).

Richard B. Frank, Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire (1999).

Ronald Spector, Eagle Against The Sun: The American War With Japan (1985).

The New York Times has published an obituary on Dick Cole.  CNN also reports on Dick Cole’s death.

Posted in History in the Media, Maritime History, Strategy and International Politics, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society | Leave a comment

Swiss Reformation Conference

The H. Henry Meeter Center will host “The Swiss Reformation at 500,” a two-day conference to mark the beginning of the Swiss Reformation in 1519, when Huldrych Zwingli started his work in Zurich. Bruce Gordon (Yale Divinity School), Amy Nelson Burnett (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), John Roth (Goshen College), Jordan Ballor (Acton Institute), and Esther Chung-Kim (Claremont McKenna College) will assess the impact of Zwingli’s work and of the Swiss Reformation and its significance for us today. Please join us on September 13-14, 2019 at Calvin Theological Seminary (3233 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546).

For more information and to register, see https://calvin.edu/…/meeter-c…/swiss-reformation-conference/.

Posted in Conferences, Early Modern Europe, European Union, European Wars of Religion, Reformation History, Religious History, Renaissance Art and History | Leave a comment

Occupation of Paris after the Napoleonic Wars

My French history colleague and friend, Christine Haynes, discusses her new book on the occupation of Paris at the end of the Napoleonic Wars in a podcast of The Siècle.

Christine Haynes’s book is entitled, Our Friends the Enemies: The Occupation of France after Napoleon (Harvard University Press, 2018).

The Siècle podcast is available online.

Harvard University Press provides this overview:

“The Napoleonic wars did not end with Waterloo. That famous battle was just the beginning of a long, complex transition to peace. After a massive invasion of France by more than a million soldiers from across Europe, the Allied powers insisted on a long-term occupation of the country to guarantee that the defeated nation rebuild itself and pay substantial reparations to its conquerors. Our Friends the Enemies provides the first comprehensive history of the post-Napoleonic occupation of France and its innovative approach to peacemaking.

“From 1815 to 1818, a multinational force of 150,000 men under the command of the Duke of Wellington occupied northeastern France. From military, political, and cultural perspectives, Christine Haynes reconstructs the experience of the occupiers and the occupied in Paris and across the French countryside. The occupation involved some violence, but it also promoted considerable exchange and reconciliation between the French and their former enemies.

“By forcing the restored monarchy to undertake reforms to meet its financial obligations, this early peacekeeping operation played a pivotal role in the economic and political reconstruction of France after twenty-five years of revolution and war. Transforming former European enemies into allies, the mission established Paris as a cosmopolitan capital and foreshadowed efforts at postwar reconstruction in the twentieth century.”

 

 

Posted in Civilians and Refugees in War, Early Modern Europe, European History, French History, French Revolution and Napoleon, History of Violence, Paris History, Urban History, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | Leave a comment

Titian Portrait on View

A Renaissance masterpiece, Portrait of a Lady in White, is currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.  The portrait by Tiziano Vecelli (known as Titian) is on loan from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister in Dresden and will be shown at the Norton Simon Museum through March 2019.

Titian painted Portrait of a Lady in White around 1561. She’s captivated historians and art lovers for centuries — but nobody knows who she i

NPR reports that “in letters, the Venetian Renaissance master Titian referred to the elegant woman as his ‘most precious being’ and the ‘mistress of my soul.’ But he never named the subject of his 1561 painting Portrait of a Lady in White.”

The portrait needs to be considered in the history of clothing and consumer culture in Renaissance Italy. Carol Tognari, curator at the Norton Simon Museum, remarks that “Venetian women were known throughout the world as being well-dressed — sumptuously dressed — and taken care of.”

Evelyn Welch, a prominent Renaissance art historian, has done extensive research on shopping and consumer culture during in Renaissance Italy. Her book, Shopping in the Renaisance: Consumer Cultures in Italy, 1400-1600, demonstrates that women were important consumers in Renaissance Italian city-states.

Court women were especially prominent buyers of cloth, clothing, and jewelry for sale in the shops and markets of Renaissance Florence, Venice, Rome, and other cities. Welch argues that “with more cash in hand than many patrician men, they were powerful purchasers who were able to make a significant impact on the Renaissance marketplace” (Welch, p. 245). She focuses especially on the example of Isabella d’Este’s shopping expeditions to Venice to show how princely women purchased clothing, jewelry, antiquities, and other precious objects.

NPR reports on Titian, Portrait of a Lady in White.

See: Evelyn Welch, Shopping in the Renaissance: Consumer Cultures in Italy, 1400-1600 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).

 

 

Posted in Art History, Court Studies, Cultural History, Early Modern Europe, Italian History, Material Culture, Museums and Historical Memory, Noble Culture and History of Elites, Renaissance Art and History, Social History | Leave a comment

Historians Consulting on Historical Films

Historians often critique historical films through film reviews and newspaper articles that are written after the films are released or when Oscar nominations generate media buzz. Journalists sometimes ask historians to “fact check” and assess the “historical accuracy” of blockbuster feature films set in historical periods.

Less often, historians are invited to act as historical consultants on films during the production process. Historians serving as consultants might engage in screenplay writing or offer feedback during filming and editing.

Filmmakers sometimes utilize historians’ works without having them serve as consultants, however, and sometimes without even acknowledging their publications.

The Guardian reports that: “The ever-expanding number of history programmes on television ought to mean boom time for historians. Yet a growing number of authors and academics believe they are being unfairly cut out of the process. The Society of Authors says it has seen a rise in complaints from members about their work being used in TV shows without credit or payment.”

A complaint regarding the series Harlots has been particularly significant, according to an article by James Tapper, entitled “Historians Fight Back as TV Raids their Research Treasures for its Shows,” which appears in The Guardian.

“Two years ago,” according to Tapper, “Hallie Rubenhold complained that ITV had used her book, The Covent Garden Ladies, as inspiration for Harlots, the drama about the sex trade in Georgian London. She has since been credited as the series inspiration, and her complaints galvanised the Society of Authors, who had been looking at the issue, to draw up guidelines, with Pact, the body that represents independent TV producers.”

One of the best works on the complex relationships between filmmakers and historians is a conversation between filmmaker John Sayles and historian Eric Foner, published in Mark C. Carnes, Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, rev. ed. (New York, NY: Henry Holt, 1996).

Posted in Careers in History, Cultural History, Early Modern Europe, European History, Historical Film, History in the Media, Museums and Historical Memory, Noble Culture and History of Elites, War in Film | Leave a comment

The Weight of Antiquity

The Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago is hosing a graduate student conference on The Weight of Antiquity: Early Modern Classicisms at the Regenstein Library on 23 February 2019.

The conference participants will present new research on the fascination with antiquities and the reception of classical culture in early modern Europe.

The conference program and poster are available online at the University of Chicago:  The Weight Of Antiquity – Early Modern Classicisms Feb 23.

Posted in Art History, Conferences, Cultural History, Early Modern Europe, European History, Graduate Work in History, Italian History, Museums and Historical Memory, Renaissance Art and History | Leave a comment

The Defeat of Napoleon and the Occupation of France

My French historian colleague, Christine Haynes, recently published Our Friends the Enemies, a new book on the defeat of Napoleon and the occupation of France.

The book description at Harvard University Press’s website reads:

“The Napoleonic wars did not end with Waterloo. That famous battle was just the beginning of a long, complex transition to peace. After a massive invasion of France by more than a million soldiers from across Europe, the Allied powers insisted on a long-term occupation of the country to guarantee that the defeated nation rebuild itself and pay substantial reparations to its conquerors. Our Friends the Enemies provides the first comprehensive history of the post-Napoleonic occupation of France and its innovative approach to peacemaking.

“From 1815 to 1818, a multinational force of 150,000 men under the command of the Duke of Wellington occupied northeastern France. From military, political, and cultural perspectives, Christine Haynes reconstructs the experience of the occupiers and the occupied in Paris and across the French countryside. The occupation involved some violence, but it also promoted considerable exchange and reconciliation between the French and their former enemies.

“By forcing the restored monarchy to undertake reforms to meet its financial obligations, this early peacekeeping operation played a pivotal role in the economic and political reconstruction of France after twenty-five years of revolution and war. Transforming former European enemies into allies, the mission established Paris as a cosmopolitan capital and foreshadowed efforts at postwar reconstruction in the twentieth century.”

Haynes-OurFriends

Haynes has written a post entitled “The Occupation of France after Napoleon, or Confessions of a Cultural-Turned-Military Historian,” on Age of Revolutions about her historical research and the genesis of her book project.

Haynes explains that: “The ‘Age of Revolutions’ was also an Age of Wars. While this point may be obvious to most readers of this site, as well as historians of the period, it took me an embarrassingly long time to understand. Trained as a cultural historian focused on nineteenth-century France, I saw military history as separate from, and tangential to, the dramatic political and social changes unleashed by the French Revolution and Napoleonic Empire. Sure, I studied and eventually taught the wars that ensued from the French Revolution and their role in the rise and fall of Napoleon, but it took me a good while to recognize the centrality of war to all aspects of life in this period. … Paradoxically, my realization of the importance of war in this period came while researching a topic that, on the surface, could not be farther from military history: book history.”

Haynes discusses the trajectory of her research process: “While writing what ultimately became my first book on the ‘politics of publishing’ in France during the century after the re-regulation of the book trade by Napoleon in 1810, I noticed that following the fall of the Empire, many of the booksellers and printers in Paris came from outside of France. Curious about why so many foreigners arrived in the French capital at that time, I realized that this influx was spurred by the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, particularly the military occupation of France by the powers allied against the Emperor following his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo. Seeking to sell books to the thousands of foreign soldiers and civilians in occupied France, these cosmopolitan printers and booksellers served as a reminder that the years after 1815 were a period of post-war reconstruction.”

OccupiedParis

Christine Haynes’s new book is Our Friends the Enemies: The Occupation of France After Napoleon (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018).

Posted in Early Modern Europe, Empires and Imperialism, European History, French History, French Revolution and Napoleon, Paris History, Strategy and International Politics, War and Society, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | Leave a comment