Thursday, April 21, 2022

Rome - Ellicott City

April 21, 2022 Peace and Good, I travelled from Rome to Ellicott City on Easter Sunday. I would have like to travel the next day, but the US requires a covid test within 24 hours of one's trip (and it would have impossible to obtain it in Rome on Easter Sunday). It is getting easier to travel, though, and the flights are more and more full. I have been in Ellicott City for a couple of appointments (eyes and teeth). As is common at my age, this has caused another couple of appointments in a month or so. I am surprised at how much cooler Baltimore is compared to Rome where it is high Spring. Rome was packed with tourists for Easter, and most of them are foreigners. These days I have been able to finish two major reports and do two weeks of daily reflections. That was very good, for tomorrow I head to San Antonio and I will be one the road for the next couple of months. I have finished some reading: The Luddites by Charles River Editors This is an historical outline of the movement in England during the 18th and 19th century of people who opposed the modern machines in the cloth mills that put so many people out of work and which created an environment of oppression for many of the workers (e.g. the small children who worked in those mills and were often horribly injured by the machines). The term Luddite is still used today to signify someone who opposes modernization. The French Revolution by Hourly History This short account speaks of the major events of the French Revolution and its significance in Europe and around the world. It deals well with the mob violence which killed thousands, and the fact that the original idealism of many of the participants was crushed under the gradual degradation of the movement until it all ended with the rise of Napoleon. The Maccabean Revolt by Charles River Editors This is an outline of the Maccabean rebellion against the forces of the Seleucid Empire, especially those of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The author points up that at times this was more of a civil war between the traditionalists of the Jewish faith and those who were willing to accommodate themselves to new, Greek ways (even when they opposed some of the major tenets of the faith). The Battle of Stalingrad by Hourly History This is a short description of the rise of Nazi Germany, it opposition to Communism, its attack on the Soviet Union, the battle for Stalingrad and the importance of that particular city (symbolic and material). Because of the length of the book, the author could not go into great detail, but this particular volume of the productions of Hourly History is well done. Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch I truly like all the books I have read by Ben Aaronovitch. His stories are about an older detective who trains a young detective in the arcane area of magic. He heads a special unit that investigates and responds to magical occurrences. The younger detective is the main figure in this volume about a kidnaping of two young girls and their eventual return (although even this is filled with mystery and odd facts). If one likes modern detective/magical stories, then there should certainly be on one’s list. Understanding Russia: A Cultural History by Lynne Ann Hartnett This is one of the Great Courses with 24 lectures on Russia. The emphasis tends to be on the period before the fall of the Romanov dynasty. The lecturer is informative and insightful. I especially liked the lectures on cultural issues. I could recommend this, as well as most other Great Courses series, for anyone who wants more knowledge about this topic. The Pilgrims’ Way by John Adair This is a short overview of many of the most important (and a number of more obscure) pilgrimage sites in Great Britain and Ireland. Many of the shrines were sadly desecrated either in the time of Henry VIII or of the Puritanical movement, but the author describes what was there and what still can be seen. Mr. Lincoln’s High-Tech War by Thomas and Roger Allen This is the story of how President Lincoln and the Union and Confederate forces used new technology during the Civil War. This includes the telegraph, the railroad, ironside boats, submarines, new types of firearms, etc. The author presents Lincoln who was fascinated with new inventions, much like Churchill during the Second World War. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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