Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Katyusha and History as a Science

Beware of historians who quote each other. It was a forgotten lesson that I remembered in pieces while commuting about ten years ago. 

When I was in junior high school, I watched different early morning lectures before going to school. “Sunrise Semester” was the paradigm, but there were others. In the ninth grade, I worked through an entire set on the history of communism. As I remember it now, the sponsors were Harvard University and the Marshall Law School, but the clues have proved impossible to follow. 


At the same time, I was on the school newspaper staff and I met a girl there who was a senior. I don’t know why she liked me, but she did talk to me. I told her about the tv lectures and I showed her my notes. She got a hall pass from the teacher and took me to the library. We went to the 900s where the history books were. She pulled down three. “That’s the one,” I said. She opened them all to their bibliographies and pointed to the names of the other authors of the other books. “They just quote each other,” she said. “That’s not history.” Her name was Kathy. Like many in the neighborhood, she was ethnically Russian. I knew her as Kathy; she once said, “My name is Katyusha but I am not an anti-tank rocket.” I had no idea what she meant. A few years later, I was working as a messenger at what we still called City Hospital but which they rebranded as Cuyahoga County Metropolitan General Hospital. Running labs, someone called my name. She was in for something minor, an appendectomy perhaps. We said our hellos and smiled to each other, but her mother was there. The next time that my rounds took me to her ward, she was gone. 


But I remembered the lesson and Google having been invented, I looked for “Katyusha.” Of the several versions, I like this one. I had to nod to the old veterans on camera at about 1:50 in. 





A Chronology of Recent Historical Periods 

Bringing Philosophy to Athens: Aspasia of Miletos 

The Texas Navy

Newton versus the Counterfeiter 

Murray Rothbard: Fraud or Faker? 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.