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url 2021-03-04 17:15
Shakespeare and Elizabethan England’s Royal Court Political Marketing
Tree of Life - Nataša Pantović Nuit
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit
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I read all of Shakespeare & love his plays! Seen them all, many a time, in many languages! Yet researching the most intriguing history of Elizabethan 16th, 17th century England & Royal Court Political Marketing I had to ask d obvious: Who wrote Shakespeare? #Shakespeare and Elizabethan England’s Royal Court Political Marketing. What do we really know about Shakespeare?#art#Education, Power of #Mind, Learning from the Imperial Elizabethan England about mind-manipulation, and Shakespeare’s cultural heritage. 

Learning from the Imperial Elizabethan England about -manipulation, , and Shakespeare's cultural heritage

by Nataša Pantović

Was "the Stratford man" a front for a powerful literary group of writers that included the English contemporary writers, Bacon, and Marlowe, etc. used by the Queen Elizabeth and her predecessors for their political marketing, and why does this matter today?

No letters or signed manuscripts written by Shakespeare survive. The appearance of Shakespeare's six authenticated signatures, indicate that he was illiterate or barely literate.

Shakespeare's six surviving signatures have often been cited as evidence of his illiteracy

Shakespeare's six authenticated signatures

So when you read Lady Macbeth’s “Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,” during your 10th grade English class, or: “Make thick my blood, Stop up th’ access and passage to remorse.” do you ever wonder, is this how it was originally written?

Shakespeare's authorship was first questioned in the middle of the 19th century by Joseph C. Hart in “The Romance of Yachting” (1848). Hart argued that the plays were written by many different authors. Shakespeare has never overseen the publication of his plays in his retirement. So controversial, by 1884, the question had produced more than 250 books.

Source: artof4elements.com/entry/280/shakespeare-and-elizabethan-englands-royal-court-political-marke
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review 2020-08-08 22:56
The master of Britain's manpower
The Life and Times of Ernest Bevin, Volume Two: Minister of Labour, 1940-1945 - Alan Bullock

Of the many editorial cartoons drawn by David Low during the Second World War, perhaps the most famous was the one he penned in May 1940 after Winston Churchill formed the coalition government that he would lead as prime minister. Entitled “All Behind You, Winston,” it depicts Churchill at the phalanx of a group of determined men, all of whom are rolling up their sleeves in preparation for the fight ahead. Standing next to the prime minister is Clement Attlee, the leader of the Labour Party and a natural choice that reflected the politically united nature of the coalition. On Attlee’s other side, however, is another large figure, one who almost seems to be crowding past Attlee to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Churchill. That figure is Ernest Bevin.


On the face of it, Bevin’s inclusion in the front rank is a curious one, as Bevin had just been named minister to what was regarded as a second-rank department and who would not even win a seat in the House of Commons for another month. Yet Alan Bullock makes it clear in his second volume about Bevin’s life and times that such a position was more than warranted, as in his role as Minister of Labour and National Service Bevin played an utterly indispensable role in addressing one of the greatest challenged Britain faced in the war: the mobilization of the nation’s manpower for the drawn-out struggle against the Axis powers.


To have been charged with this responsibility in the coalition government was both unusual and completely understandable. Given that Bevin had never even served in Parliament before, his sudden promotion to ministerial office was nothing short of extraordinary. As the longtime head of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU), however, Bevin was an ideal choice for the post, especially after the years of poor relations between the labor movement and the British state. Bevin brought instant credibility to his new post, as well as enormous energy and a wealth of new ideas.


First among them was the need to strengthen his position. From the start Bevin insisted on centralizing within his ministry authority over the nation’s manpower. Though he would never gain total control, Bullock shows how Bevin won this fight in the Cabinet. This put him in a prime position to address the competing challenges facing the allocation of manpower from an early stage. Here the core problem was in resolving the competing demands of industry and the military, which often complicated the government’s efforts to run as efficient a system as possible. Bullock’s coverage of this throughout the book illustrates that this was a challenge that was never fully resolved, and could only be managed to the best of his ability. Added to this was Bevin’s reluctance to impose coercion, as he believed firmly that such efforts reduced workers’ efficiency rather than aided it.


Bevin’s views about doing what was best for the worker were a hallmark of how he approached labor problems throughout his time in office. With a career spent fighting alongside as well as for workers, Bevin based all of his positions on his appreciation for their qualities and his assumption of their commitment to the nation’s wartime goals. His efforts to improve conditions for workers earned him considerable goodwill, making it easier (though far from easy) to work out the numerous compromises necessary for maintaining the war effort. Second only to this, though, was Bevin’s interest in ensuring that the British worker was fighting for a better future, and as the immediate crisis ebbed he spent an increasing amount of time concerned with the issues of postwar reconstruction. It was a testament to his stature as a minister that as the coalition came to an end he was approached about succeeding Attlee as the party’s leader – an offer that Bevin firmly declined.


Bullock’s book is so much more than an account of Bevin’s tenure as Minister of Labour. It also describes Bevin’s transition from labor to parliamentary politics, as well as his growing involvement in questions of foreign policy. Though dense with details of wartime initiatives and parliamentary battles, Bullock provides wonderfully clear descriptions of Bevin’s policies and how they worked within the context of the war effort. It makes for a magnificent work that can be read with profit not just by those interested in Bevin’s life or his contributions to the war as Minister of Labour, but by anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of Churchill’s wartime government.

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review 2020-08-04 02:37
The political career of a liberal lion
Herbert H. Lehman: A Political Biography - Duane Tananbaum

Among the quotes printed today in American passports is one that reads: “It is immigrants who brought this land the skills of their hands and brains, to make of it a beacon of opportunity and hope for all men.” For Herbert Lehman, the man who spoke those words, this was more than just political rhetoric. As Duane Tananbaum makes clear in his deeply researched account of Lehman’s political career, it was one of the many sincerely held views that he fought for strenuously, even in the face of what often proved insurmountable opposition.


As the son of an immigrant Lehman knew well what it meant to be one. The son of a businessman and commodities trader, Lehman grew up in a well-to-do family. As a young man he enjoyed success as a textile manufacturer and investment banker, yet in his spare time he volunteered at a settlement house on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It was here where he first met Lilian Wald, with whom he enjoyed a lifelong friendship. Tananbaum’s focus on Lehman’s partnership with Wald illustrates his approach in the book, which is to frame Lehman’s political career in terms of his relationships with the major figures with whom he worked. In this respect, Wald was the first of many with whom Lehman labored to address the social ills of his era.


Another was Al Smith. Though the two men came from very different backgrounds, they shared a belief that the government should use its authority to address society’s problems. Throughout the 1920s Lehman played a number of important roles in Smith’s political operation, spearheading his campaigns for governor and working for his selection as the Democratic Party’s nominee as president in 1928. Seeking to maximize the turnout of Jewish voters in New York City, Smith encouraged Lehman to run for lieutenant governor that year; though Smith lost New York in the Republican route that year, Lehman’s victory inaugurated a new career as an elected official, one that would engage Lehman for the next three decades.


As lieutenant governor, Lehman served under Smith’s successor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This began a firm partnership that lasted until Roosevelt’s death in 1945. When Roosevelt was nominated for president in 1932, he encouraged Lehman to run to succeed him, believing as did Smith that Lehman’s presence on the ballot would help with Jewish turnout in the state. Lehman went on to serve as governor of New York for a decade, during which time he worked to emulate Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. In this he was frequently stymied by a Republican-controlled statue legislature, which may have contributed to his frustration with his post. Though Lehman aspired to a seat in the United States Senate and frequently announced his intention not to run for another term, his proven vote-getting abilities (which Tananbaum attributes to Lehman’s demonstrable sincerity and liberal politics rather than to any great oratorical or other political gifts) made him indispensable to Democrats, who pressured him constantly to run again.


Lehman’s tenure as governor coincided with the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany. The governor was not shy about using his position as the most prominent Jewish elected official in America to lobby for Jewish causes, notably the admission of Jewish refugees. As war threatened, though, Lehman longed to do more, and in 1942 he joined the Roosevelt administration as the director of foreign aid operations, first within the State Department and then as the first director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Lehman struggled throughout the war to ensure that his agency was not slighted in the battle for resources, a struggle that grew more difficult when his friend Roosevelt was succeeded by Harry Truman in 1945. Frustrated by the declining priority of aid in penurious postwar budgets, Lehman resigned from his post in 1946.


No longer in office, Lehman nonetheless remained active in politics. When Robert F. Wagner resigned in 1949, Lehman finally achieved his long-cherished goal of becoming a United States Senator. Lehman’s seven years in the Senate take up nearly a third of Tananbaum’s book, as he details his subject’s often frustrating battles on behalf of liberal causes. Though he emerged early on as a prominent opponent of Joseph McCarthy, Lehman’s greatest foes in the Senate were the conservative Southerners of his own party. Benefiting from their greater seniority, these senators used their positions as committee chairs to bottle up the reform measures Lehman fought for, such as civil rights legislation and measures to ease immigration restrictions. Tananbaum is blunt in his assessment of Lehman’s unwillingness to play by the rules of the Senate’s club, a decision which limited his effectiveness as a legislator but established him as the liberal lion of the Senate by the time he retired from public office in 1957.


Tananbaum notes that by the time of Lehman’s death in 1963, Congress was on the cusp of passing many of the measures he had championed. While he may be overly generous in crediting Lehman for his role in making it possible, Tananbaum nevertheless does an excellent job of recounting the political career of one of the great champions of New Deal liberalism. While his focus on Lehman’s political career to the exclusion of his personal life and business career is regrettable, his book represents a remarkable labor of research and analysis. It’s a fitting monument to a great and often underappreciated man, one that should be read by anyone interested in Lehman and his achievements.

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text 2020-07-25 04:46
My reading plans for the rest of July
Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography - Thomas A. Schwartz

The past couple of days have been extraordinarily productive for me reading-wise, with three books removed from my TBR stack and a fourth reviewed for a site. It's nice to have pared down the stack after a stagnant month of progress on it until now.


As is so often the case, though, progress was only possible because of compromises elsewhere. I need to get back to Arendt this weekend, and I have to prep for an interview about a new biography of Henry Kissinger. But once the interview is out of the way I plan on getting back to work on the TBR stack. Three additional books is probably a little ambitious (the three I read were low-hanging fruit reading-wise), but finishing two more would mean having pared down the stack by a quarter in a week and a half — putting me well on the way towards finishing it off for good.

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review 2020-07-08 21:54
The ceaseless labors of a trade union leader
The Life and Times of Ernest Bevin, Volume One: Trade Union Leader, 1881-1940 - Alan Bullock

When he died in 1951 Ernest Bevin was eulogized by many for his decade-long service as a cabinet minister. As Minister of Labour in Winston Churchill’s wartime government, he presided over the mobilization of the British workforce for the war effort, while as Foreign Secretary in the postwar Labour government he worked for the reconstruction of Europe and shaped the West’s response to the challenge posed by the newly-dominant Soviet Union. Yet this remarkable period came after a long career as a labor organizer, during which he played a pivotal role in the growth of British unions during the first half of the 20th century.


It is this period of Bevin’s life that is the focus of the first book in Alan Bullock’s three-volume account of his life and achievements. An academic best known for writing the first complete biography of Adolf Hitler, Bullock was invited by Arthur Deakin, Bevin’s successor as the general secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGUW), to chronicle Bevin’s multifarious achievements. Bullock rose to this challenge by authoring one of the great works of modern political biography, one that details Bevin’s lifelong efforts on behalf of the workers and the nation he held so dear.


As Bullock details, Bevin’s life of labor began at an early age. Growing up in rural Somerset, Bevin was forced at a young age to quit school and seek work as an agricultural laborer. After moving to Bristol, Bevin was employed in a number of different jobs before finding his calling as a labor organizer for the Dockers’ Union. Bullock shows how Bevin’s work as a labor leader was not just a career but a passion, one in which he invested an enormous amount of his time and energy, often to the point of exhaustion.


Such commitment was necessary given the challenges facing the labor movement in Britain at that time. One of the many strengths of Bullock’s book is in how he sets Bevin’s life in the context of an era, one in which unions struggled against numerous challenges to their existence. He credits Bevin with much of their success during their period, thanks to such achievements as his contributions to the postwar Shaw Inquiry and his key role in the formation in 1922 of the TGWU, his position in which cemented Bevin’s place at the forefront of Britain’s labor leadership.


While Bullock spends the bulk of the book describing Bevin’s many activities, he also draws from them a deeper understanding of his views and motivations. Though Bevin was a committed socialist from an early age, Bullock notes his longstanding ambivalence towards the Labour Party and particularly towards the intellectuals who shaped much of its ideology. In his view, their ideas all too often lacked a grounding in the realities facing the British working class. These Bevin was all too familiar with, as his duties as general secretary often took him across the length and breadth of the country and brought him into direct contact with the circumstances workers faced. Informed by such experiences, Bevin often found the political party claiming to be working on their behalf to be far too detached from problems they sought to address.


Nevertheless, Bevin became more invested in political solutions to these problems over the course of his career. As Bullock shows, this was a consequence of the setbacks facing the labor movement in the interwar era. With Britain’s global economic dominance eroding, workers often experienced the effects of this in the form of reduced wages and high unemployment. Despite his success in organizing workers, Bevin emerged from the famous General Strike of 1926 with a painfully-earned lesson in the limits of direct action. In its aftermath, he increased his involvement in politics, participating in Labour’s victory in the 1929 general election and helping to rebuild the party after their setbacks two years later. Though Bevin was periodically offered opportunities to stand for Parliament during the interwar era, he preferred to work from outside as a union leader, and it was only the demands of war in 1940 that compelled him to abandon his longstanding reluctance to serve in government and accept Winston Churchill’s offer to become Minister of Labour.


By the end of the book, Bullock has left his readers with a thorough grasp of Bevin’s accomplishments as a labor leader. Had he retired as general secretary in 1941 as he intended Bevin still would have lived a life deserving to be written about. As a prelude to his even more noteworthy achievements, though, it is even more worthy of study. Though clearly an admirer of Bevin’s, Bullock is critical enough to draw out key insights that provide a better appreciation of his subject’s views and motivations. His immersion in it results in a text that is often dense with details, but no less readable for it. It’s a book that is absolutely indispensable for anyone seeking an in-depth understanding of one of the greatest figures in modern British history, and it stands as a monument to his lifetime of ceaseless effort.

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