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Cat's Cradle Blog

Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

Southern Appalachia: where the laurel grows

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Sky-land: Stories of Picturesque North Carolina, Volume 1, Number 1I invite you to download and view my Appalachia catalog. All titles subject to prior sale. Inquires may be made to info@catscradlebks.net. I accept major credit cards and PayPal.

This new catalog contains materials on southern Appalachia. The Great Smokies, the Blue Ridge, the Black Mountains–they are all part of this ancient mountain range.

Although Appalachia extends northward into Maine, I focus on the region from West Virginia southward. It’s a wild, beautiful, and fascinating place.

Mountain folk, their culture, and their history; terrain, including a collection of technical materials on the geology of the area; and travel are all represented.

If you love the region as much as I do, you’ll find something in this catalog to explore. Enjoy.

Kathy Carter@Cat’s Cradle Books

The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West Virginia

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

McCormick, The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West VirginiaMcCormick, Kyle.   The New-Kanawha River and the Mine War of West Virginia.  Charleston, West Virginia: Mathews Printing and Lithographing Company, 1959.

176 pp. 9.25″ (21.5 cm) tall. Hardcover. G/ NONE.

Signed by author on title page with additional inscription.

Sound binding and hinges. Pages clean, tanned. Cloth over boards is edge rubbed with heavier wear at spine top/bottom and corner tips, which are bumped. General shelf wear including some scuffing.  Gilt lettering on front and spine is darkened.  Illustrated with black and white plates, maps on endpapers.

Contents: The New-Kanawha River. Early history. The Civil War. River travel. The West Virginia capitol. Railway development. Industrial development of the river.  Legends of New River. Colorful stories of the river. Miscellaneous stories. The Mine War of West Virginia, 1912-1921 (the Cabin Creek strike, the first armed march, murder in Mingo, the second armed march, persons involved in the Mine War).  $125.00.    #3690035

Purchase here.  Major credit cards, PayPal accepted.  Inquiries about the book may be made to info@catscradlebks.net.

Download my Appalachia catalog.  Twenty-nine pages of books, maps, magazines, and ephemera related to the southern Appalachians.

Patriotism, Protest, and the Land of Hope and Dreams

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Wrecking Ball

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Wrecking Ball (2012)

On this Fourth of July, I’m reflecting on what patriotism means.

To revolutionaries who were British citizens in the thirteen colonies, if they were even articulating the word “patriotism,” I think it might have meant fighting to forge a new destiny independent of the old ruling power.

At NASCAR races and other sporting events, it means standing solemnly while jets fly overhead or paratroopers skydive, and then while someone sings the national anthem.

All too often in American politics and history, dissenters have been described as less “American” (i.e., patriotic) than conformers; in that context, conformity has become identified with being “American.” I think Patrick Henry would have disputed this.

In March Bruce Springsteen released his first CD since 2009, “Wrecking Ball,” and launched his current tour featuring the songs from that CD. The lyrics are dark, stark, critical, and yet triumphantly hopeful for America in the end. With a flavor that ranges from rock to gospel to folk to country to an Irish jig, Springsteen reminds us consistently that, while America may be traveling over rocky ground, we the American people are still here.  We’re gritty, we’re strong, and we will weather this current crisis.  We’ll come out the other side despite being shackled and drawn by foreclosures, lack of work, and hard times. His faith in America – as seeen through ordinary working Americans who trust in God and the virtues of their own hard work – is unshakeable.

That’s patriotism to me.  It’s not blind nor mawkish, nor does it require an unquestioning stance of “my country, right or wrong.”  It’s patriotism that speaks to a vision of what America has been and what we will become again. It’s very much part of the literature of protest on behalf of workers that has marked our past in cycles since the Industrial Revolution hit this land.

Sometimes we show our patriotism by holding America to a higher standard and articulating a need for change in this land of hope and dreams.  Patrick Henry knew this.  So did Eugene V. Debs and Asa Philip Randolph.  And so does Springsteen.

We are the nation we are because the wealthy invested and grew industry and governments at all levels collaborated in this investment and growth (and often, as in the 1830s, 1870s, 1890s, 1907, and 1920s) turned a blind eye to the destructive side of it all).

But let us never forget that we are the nation we are, too, because of the people who spoke out in protest and the people who “built this country by the sweat of their two hands” (American Land).

And lest I forget the obvious, although I value the virtue of protest, I also appreciate the sacrifices that American service men and women have made to keep this country secure. These things are not mutually exclusive.

Happy Fourth of July, America.