Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fred gave me a heads-up the other day that Websters had bought a collection from a local Civil War buff, so I dropped by yesterday on my bi-weekly trip through State College. The history section had burst loose from its usual back-corridor location to take over two additional bookcases by the cash register, the operator of which was clearly not thrilled with the situation as such, although she was more disparaging of the apparent excess of WWII carnography than the more elderly, and thus more respectable, ACW material. I relieved their crowding situation a tad by picking up second-hand copies of Foner's Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men, that book of Hagerman's that Dimitri is always on about, and Brook Simpson's biography of Grant up through the end of the war.

In Foner & Hagerman's cases, I'm not going to fret about buying used, because they're both tenured professors whose opinions I could give a pinch of owl dung - especially since Foner started acting the ass in public on current affairs, and Hagerman got into the business of retailing Korean-era ChiCom propaganda to trash on the US military. I'm a little more ambivalent about buying Simpson used, though. On the one hand, nobody gets royalties from used sales. On the other hand, I wasn't about to buy the book new regardless of where I might pick it up royalty-free.

I started in on the Foner book on the way into work this morning. Interesting so far - a little alarming how much I find myself in agreement with that Stalinist SOB when it comes to discussing the sociology of ideology.

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