Monthly Archives: August 2012

In the midst of this terrible storm, Dame Politic, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and bucket, twisting her mop, squeezing out the sea-water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean

Sudden Sea : The Great Hurricane of 1938     Boston : Little, Brown & Co., c 2003 R.A. Scotti Hurricanes Northeastern States History  20th century,     New England Hurricane, 1938  Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. viii, 279 p. :  ill., maps ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical  references (p. 257-263) and index.  Clean, tight and  strong binding with clean dust jacket. No  highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

Before they gave them women’s names – or in our more enlightened age decided to spread their names between [if not across] the sexes, the the Great Hurricane of 1938 left a wake of death and destruction across seven states. It battered J. P. Morgan’s Long Island estate, wiped out beach communities from Watch Hill to Newport, flooded the Connecticut Valley, and flattened Vermont’s prized maples.Traveling at record speeds, the storm raced up the Atlantic Coast, reaching New York and New England ahead of hurricane warnings and striking with such ferocity that seismographs in Alaska picked up the impact.

Winds, clocked at 186 mph, stripped cars of their paint. Walls of water 50 feet high swept homes and entire families out to sea. Sandwiched between the Great Depression and World War II, the storm had a profound impact upon a generation. ‘The day of the biggest wind has just passed,’ the newswires read the next day, ‘and a great part of the most picturesque America, as old as the Pilgrims, has gone beyond recall or replacement.’

Drawing upon newspaper accounts, the personal testimony of survivors, forecasters, and archival footage, SUDDEN SEA recounts that terrifying day in gripping detail. Scotti describes the unlikely alignment of meteorological conditions that conspired to bring a tropical cyclone to the Northeast then follows the trajectory of that awful wind – and recovers for posterity the lost stories of those whose lives, families, and communities were destroyed by the Hurricane of 1938.

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Four names and two storms – a tale of a ship and her treasure.

Lost gold of the Republic : the remarkable quest for the greatest shipwreck treasure of the Civil War era    Las Vegas, NV : Shipwreck Heritage Press ; [S.l.] : Distributed to the book trade by Continental Sales, 2005   Priit J. Vesilind Shipwrecks North Atlantic Ocean, Republic (Steamship) Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. ix, 276 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm.  Includes index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

She was launched as the ss Tennessee in 1853. In 1862 her owners converted her to the blockade runner CSS Tennessee. In 1864 the union captured her and she became USS Mobile. After the war she was sold to New York shipping interests and became the ss Republic.

“Lost Gold” tells the story of the SS Republic, a side-wheel steamship that sank in a hurricane shortly after the end of the Civil War. Before sinking in 1865, the Republic had an amazing history, including serving as a battleship for the Union Navy and as a blockade runner for the Confederacy. The ship was steaming from New York to New Orleans loaded with precious cargo and a fortune in gold and silver coins for the war-stricken city. The Republic, if it could be found, would offer not only a fortune in treasure, but also an incredible historical snapshot of life in the late 1800s.

The book weaves the historical account of the Republic with the story of Odyssey Marine Exploration’s quest to find the shipwreck. Odyssey’s founders spent more than a decade hunting for the Republic and finally the Company located the vessel 100 miles off the coast of Georgia in 2003, nearly 140 years after she sank. Odyssey archaeologically excavated the shipwreck and recovered approximately 14,000 Civil War-era artifacts and $75 million in gold and silver coins, 1,700 feet deep in the Atlantic Ocean.

Ironically, a month after “Lost Gold” was published, and as the Republic’s artifacts and coins were about to be displayed for the first time in the city of their original destination, New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina bore down on the city.

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Long has it waved on high, And many an eye has danced to see That banner in the sky; Beneath it rung the battle shout, And burst the cannon’s roar; The meteor of the ocean air…

Mad Jack Percival : legend of the old Navy    Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c 2002   James H. Ellis United States. Navy Officers Biography,  Percival, John, 1779-1862 Hardcover. Library of naval biography xxv, 242 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.  Includes bibliographical references (p. 217-228) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship in the world and it is one of the most restored. Percival was responsible for the first restoration and subsequent circumnavigation.

John Percival, was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts on the 3rd April 1779 and served in the Quasi War with France as a midshipman and master’s mate before entering the merchant service. He was impressed by the Portuguese and was sent to HMS Victory where he took place in the Battle of Trafalgar. When put in command of a Spanish prize, Percival, he took her to Madeira where he escaped to USS Washington.

In 1809 he was assigned to USS Siren, part of the New York flotilla under Capt. Jacob Lewis. He served in the gunboat Yankee in 1812, but was using a fishing boat when he captured HMS Eagle on the 4th of July 1812. Percival joined USS Peacock on the 9th of March 1814 and made three cruises capturing fourteen merchantmen and two warships, HMS Elsevier and Nautilus. For his gallantry in the capture of HMS Elsevier, he was promoted to Lieutenant and given the thanks of Congress.

Not finished yet in 1826 he took the USS Dolphin to the Pacific to track down the mutineers on the whaleship Globe. Finally he saved the eagle of the sea, the USS Constitution, from the harpies of the shore and took her on the only voyage where she circumnavigated the globe in 1844-46. If anybody deserved a sea chantey named after them John Percival did and the group Schooner Fare obliged with the Ballad of Mad Jack.

As late as the first world war a grateful nation still remembered the derring do of Mad Jack and named the old four stack destroyer USS Percival [DD298] in his honor – photograph from the Naval Historical Center

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…you will find as you grow older that courage is the rarest of all qualities to be found in public life… circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power… Benjamin Disraeli

Men of vision : Anglo-Jewry’s aid to victims of the Nazi regime, 1933-1945    London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1998  0297842307 Amy Zahl Gottlieb World War, 1939-1945  Jews  Rescue Hardcover. 1st. ed. xiv, 258 p. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text.  VG/VG

Helped by the chance discovery in the late 1980s of files and documents, Amy Gottlieb has been able to tell for the first time the story of the greatest communal endeavour in the history of Anglo-Jewry-that of rescuing the victims of Nazi oppression-which succeeded in saving thousands of lives. This is the story of a remarkable group of men and women who responded with generosity, determination, and courage in an hour of great need.

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A leading social scientist’s depiction of the Holocaust as the culmination of liberal, European modernization

The origins of Nazi violence New York : New Press, c 2003  Enzo Traverso ; translated by Janet Lloyd Political violence Europe History 20th century Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. vii, 200 p. ; 22 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 167-186) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

In the half-century since the appearance of Hannah Arendt’s seminal work The Origins of Totalitarianism, innumerable historians have detailed the history of the Nazi years. Now, in a brilliant synthesis of this work, Enzo Traverso situates the extermination camps as the final, terrible moment in European modernity’s industrialization of killing and dehumanization of death.

Traverso upends the conventional presentation of the Holocaust as an inexplicable anomaly, navigating antecedents both technical and cultural. Deftly tracing a complex lineage — the guillotine and machine gun, the prison and assembly line, as well as widespread ideologies of racial supremacy and colonial expansion — Traverso reveals that the ideas that coalesced at Auschwitz came from Europe’s mainstream and not its margins.

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