“There was no situation in which the abilities of Mr. Smith appeared to greater advantage than as a Professor. In delivering his lectures, he trusted almost entirely to extemporary elocution. His manner, though not graceful, was plain and unaffected; and, as he seemed to be always interested in the subject, he never failed to interest his hearers. Each discourse consisted commonly of several distinct propositions, which he successively endeavored to prove and illustrate. These propositions, when announced in general terms, had, from their extent, not unfrequently [sic] something of the air of a paradox. In his attempts to explain them, he often appeared at first, not to be sufficiently possessed of the subject, and spoke with some hesitation. As he advanced, however, the matter seemed to crowd upon him, his manner became warm and animated, and his expression easy and fluent. In points susceptible of controversy, you could easily discern, that he secretly conceived an opposition to his opinions, and that he was led upon this account to support them with greater energy and vehemence. By the fullness and variety of has illustrations, the subject gradually swelled in his hand, and acquired a dimension which, without a tedious repetition of the same views, was calculated to seize the attention of his audience, and to afford them pleasure as well as instruction, in following the same object through all the diversity of shades and aspects in which it was presented, and afterwards in tracing it backwards to that original proposition or general truth from which this beautiful train of speculation had proceeded” (p. 134).The strength of this book is certainly its depth and detail, which spotlights Smith at a specific time and place in history while elucidating his gradual but determined progressions toward his conclusions. However, the book’s weakness is in its preoccupation with many unimportant, even trivial, facts and remembrances that seem to stuff the story with incidentals while often wavering without purpose into excess.
Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson is a deeply probing historical biography. This book plunges into the depths of the “hows” and “whys” that prompted Adam Smith to write a...
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The future Kahn was born Temujin in 1162. He had three brothers and a sister, but he distinguished himself early, building a reputation as a warrior at 14. McLynn explains the young man’s rapid rise from an accomplished warrior to an influential leader this way: “The attraction of Temujin was that he had created a haven for all who had broken away from the rigidities of the old kinship-based clan structure” (50). One of McLynn’s themes is that Genghis was an innovator, because he “recalibrated” Mongol society, while also being mindful of his peoples’ traditions. First among them was the battue, or hunt, a massive training exercise that covered hundreds of miles and demanded many of the same skills used in battle. These hunts came to an end with thousands of Mongol warriors encircling herds of animals for slaughter.
After years of ferocious campaigning, Temujin united the disparate nomad tribes of the steppe. In 1205, he became Genghis or “tough ruler” (94). But the new Kahn did not rest; he had grand designs for his new Mongol empire in the west and especially south into Northern China. The Jin Dynasty was in the Mongols’ sights, but it would take years to subdue the Chinese kingdoms. The Khan’s conquests were made possible partly by his aptitude for administration and organization. McLynn compares the Mongol’s skills to Napoleon’s legendary prowess.
Whether Genghis used lightening tactics to engulf an enemy or more patient strategies to wear down a strong opponent, McLynn shows how much of the Mongol empire’s success can be traced to the ruler’s willingness to embrace a “do what works” mentality, instead of sticking to the old ways for the sake of pride or ancient traditions. Depending on what the circumstances dictated, Genghis would use a combination of feigned retreat, encirclements, frontal assaults, and ambushes. He insisted that his men were disciplined and well trained in these tactics.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Genghis Khan[/caption]
As highly mobile horse raiders, the Mongols had no expertise with the tactics and strategies of siege warfare. Genghis recognized this would have to change if they were to defeat China’s heavily fortified cities. His foresight in acquiring this knowledge served his heirs well as they rode west to conquer cities in the Middle East and Europe. In the course of his conquests, he captured or hired many of the finest experts in siege technology and tactics.
As with McLynn’s previous book on Marcus Aurelius, his treatment of Genghis Khan bolsters his belief in the efficacy of the “Great Man” concept for illuminating historical periods. But he is not content to discuss Genghis and the Mongols only in terms of tribal politics and conquests. He also describes weapons and tactics with the same vivid detail. For example, he compares the Mongol composite recurve bow to the English longbow. Many readers would be surprised to learn the Mongol bow, with a pull of 166 lbs., was greater than the legendary English version.
McLynn argues that even though the image of the Mongol ruler had been tainted by propaganda and legend, it is possible to get a sense of Genghis Khan, the man. He displayed many personality traits: he was paranoid, cruel, intelligent, and crafty. Of course, it is almost universally agreed that Genghis Khan was a political and strategic genius. He was also known to be interested in other religions and cultures, and eager to borrow from other ideologies if he thought they would help him in his endeavors.
This is the portrait of a complex man driven to greatness by the strength of his abilities and an unshakable will. But we must not forget it is also the story of a brutal leader responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold upheaval and suffering. McLynn effectively encapsulates the Mongol’s essence with the last words he spoke to his sons on his deathbed. “Life is short. I could not conquer the world. You will have to do it” (376). His sons honored his legacy, expanding his empire west into Europe. But they could not match their father’s unique capabilities and were unable to hold Genghis Khan’s empire together.
In the popular imagination, the name “Genghis Khan” continues to conjure images of savage Mongol hordes laying waste to everything in their path. But Frank McLynn’s sweeping study entitled Gengh...
Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald! Today marks the anniversary of the birth of one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, or F. Scott Fitzgerald, as he is ...
The Great Gatsby is hands down one of the greatest novels of all time. Don’t believe us? Well, let us lay out the evidence for you. First and foremost, The Great Gatsby is a masterclass in chara...
McGilligan rightly exults in this period, for many films of that era are great works of art. During these years, Hitchcock scored casting coups with the male leads for his films, primarily Cary Grant, James Stewart, and Henry Fonda. His female stars in the 1950s included Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, and Eva Marie Saint, with Kelly epitomizing the cool blonde.In the 1950s, Hitchcock gained acceptance within his own industry. It may sound ironic, but he was not as accepted in Hollywood as his reputation deserved. McGilligan records numerous instances of actors and writers thinking Hitchcock’s work and genre were second-rate. It took young critics from the French film magazine Cahiers du cinema—some of whom, such as Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Eric Rohmer, would become great film directors in their own right—to cement Hitchcock’s artistic reputation. They managed to convince the world of his artistry. This nouvelle vague acclaim culminated in the 1960s with the publication of Truffaut’s interview book, Hitchcock. Also at this time, he became a recognizable figure to the public because of his television show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a half-hour anthology series of suspense. (Toward the end of its seven-year run the program expanded to an hour.) The producer was Joan Harrison, a “third Hitchcock” dating back to his Gaumont British days. For Hitchcock, the 1960s were the beginning of the end, despite the early decade triumphs of Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963). McGilligan goes about his task of recording and explaining Hitchcock’s decline, as a biographer should, but he takes no pleasure in it, and, likewise, neither does the reader. A number of factors played into this decline: Hitchcock’s age and his health, Alma’s own declining health, and the loss of friends and colleagues, especially some of the production people he had relied on for years at Paramount. Changing trends in the industry contributed to his own sense that his style had become dated. His last two films of the decade, Torn Curtain (1966) and Topaz (1969) were, according to McGilligan, attempts to reclaim the spy genre from the Bond films and their imitators, all of which Hitchcock thought cartoonish. Unfortunately, both were commercial and critical failures. Hitchcock managed a brief comeback with Frenzy (1972), a serial-killer tale set in London, as though he were bidding a final goodbye to the city that nurtured his career. But McGilligan’s account of the making of this film is tinged with pathos. From here on, the story of Hitchcock’s life is saturated with Hollywood clichés of the aging filmmaker that were certainly absent from his films. To his credit, McGilligan conveys the psychological pain and loneliness of the great man in winter, but does not overdo it. And in case the reader has forgotten one of the reasons for the book’s existence, McGillgan added a coda that summarizes the greatness of Hitchcock’s career, though the preceding 700-plus pages hardly needed a recapitulation of their major theme.
In the years following Alfred Hitchcock’s death in 1980, an image of him as a dark, vindictive, and lecherous man clung to his memory. More than 20 years later, Film historian Patrick McGilligan re-...
Although some of his theories are still hotly debated, Sigmund Freud, (May 6, 1856–September 23, 1939) is widely regarded as a trailblazer in the realm of psychiatry and psychology. The Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist, who was allegedly the first to offer a comprehensive explanation of how human behavior is determined by the conscious and unconscious forces, is regarded as the founder of psychoanalysis.Along with the “talk therapy” that remains the staple of psychiatric treatment to this day, Freud popularized, among other notions, such concepts as the psychosexual stages of development; Oedipus complex; transference; dream symbolism; Ego, Id and Super-Ego; and the one that has become part of colloquial English more than any other psychiatric term—the Freudian slip. Edward Erwin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami at Coral Gables. He is the author of several books as well as numerous articles in philosophy of science, epistemology, philosophy of language, and philosophy of psychology. He is also editor-in-chief of The Freud Encyclopedia: Theory, Therapy, and Culture—the first in-depth Encyclopedia on the life, work, and theories of Sigmund Freud. He joins us on Culture Insight to share his insight into the life and work of Sigmund Freud. https://youtu.be/c36aocpGNjk SUGGESTED READING [table id=55 /]
Although some of his theories are still hotly debated, Sigmund Freud, (May 6, 1856–September 23, 1939) is widely regarded as a trailblazer in the realm of psychiatry and psychology. The Austrian ps...
1. Winston Churchill’s teachers described him as unambitious, rebellious, and violent, and said that he could not be trusted to behave himself in any situation.2. Even though he was known for his remarkable ability to make stirring speeches, he actually suffered from a speech impediment which he made a great effort to hide. 3. At his house in Kent, England, he stocked between 3,000 and 4,000 Cuban cigars at a time. 4. Churchill acquired his taste for cigars during his visit to Cuba in 1895. He traveled there because the Cuban uprising against the Spanish empire was, to him, the only interesting war going on at the time. 5. While fighting in the Anglo-Boer war in 1899, he was captured by the Boers and thrown into a POW camp. One night, he was able to make a dramatic escape by vaulting the prison walls. Once out, he stole food and hitched rides until he finally reached safety in Mozambique. 6. In 1904, during his first term in the British Parliament, Churchill helped draft a piece of legislation that mandated the sterilization of those who were referred to at the time as “feeble minded.” He was acting on what he had said years earlier to his cousin: “The improvement of the British breed is my aim in life.” 7. He suffered from intense bouts of depression which he called his “Black Dog” periods. It is now believed that he had bipolar disorder. 8. When justifying his support of the Soviet Union, Churchill famously said, “If Hitler invaded hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” He was expressing his belief that the enemy of your enemy is your friend. 9. In 1953, Churchill was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II to become Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill. During the same year, he had a stroke. Funeral plans were made and called Operation Hope Not. 10. Upon Churchill’s death in 1965, his funeral saw the largest gathering of members of the public and statesmen since 1852, when the Duke of Wellington was buried.
1. Winston Churchill’s teachers described him as unambitious, rebellious, and violent, and said that he could not be trusted to behave himself in any situation. 2. Even though he was known for his r...
With short, snappy chapters that are thematically and sequentially coherent, Kennedy seeks to demonstrate that Smith’s original message was very clear but has been misused by ideologues of the Right and more surprisingly perhaps, also the Left. Judicious citations from Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and The Wealth of Nations (1776) provide a compelling dynamic to Kennedy’s narrative. The former was an essential conceptual and philosophical link towards the latter, and with his moral philosophy in mind, Kennedy claims Wealth of Nations as a philosophical treatise rather than an economics textbook, for Smith “directed his intellectual output at emphasising the mutuality of human conduct through chains of exchange relationships arising from the dependence of each person in society on the services of many independent others” (p.18).
Consequently, Smith’s earlier work developed ideas of empathy, interdependence, and harmony of interests, and how these values played out in society were highly significant in underpinning Smith’s political economy. The author considers the passage relating “the propriety of generosity and the deformity of injustice” vitally important in countering the misinterpretations of those who argue that Smith preached the supremacy of self-love and self-interest, and that his fundamental doctrine was “greed is good” (p.137). Kennedy devotes considerable time to developing and demonstrating two fundamental points. Firstly, that Smith was neither the purveyor of pure laissez-faire nor the ideological forerunner of the neo-classical Chicago School, and secondly that he advocated a fairer, equitable society, based not on redistributive mechanisms but by sharing future affluence from economic growth and higher employment.
The idea of Smith as an ideologue of non-interventionist economics has a long history from the Classical Economists and the Manchester School to Hayek and Friedman. Yet, historians of economic thought, notably Jacob Viner and Mark Blaug, have acknowledged that Smith was not a doctrinaire advocate of laissez-faire policies (p.183). Smith accepted the legitimacy of protective duties, in particular cases, and more widely did not oppose Government intervention on principle but opposed policies that undermined or obstructed free competition. He added that many obstructions were enacted at the behest of merchants and manufacturers lobbying for protection and monopolies, which Kennedy attributes to Smith’s moral philosophy leading him to support perfect liberty “pure and simple” without favoring any special interest rather than any Leftist bias.
With moral philosophy always in mind, Kennedy presents a lucid account of Smith’s political economy, demonstrating, contrary to Schumpeter’s criticism that Smith’s esoteric methodology and expositions led to his failure to cross “the scientific Rubicon” into modern economics, that Smith’s economic concepts are finely-honed and highly-nuanced. Smith based much of his economic theory on a sweeping analysis of historical development of the Economic Ages of Man, from antiquity through feudalism to the commercial age, in the process demonstrating how commerce was the harbinger and catalyst of political reform and far-reaching economic development. Kennedy demonstrates how Smith appreciated how historical context influenced the division of labor and the labor theory of value. In primitive societies, where labor was the only factor of production it was valid to claim human capital was the only source of value, but in a multi-factor economy, this was not applicable. Equally, surplus output driving the division of labor, leading to further specialization and a constantly-evolving supply chain, “the essential difference between rude and commercial societies” was applicable to a particular era (p.56). For Smith, neither concept was immutable but changed according to prevailing economic circumstances.
If economic growth and development were positive aspects of commercial society, mercantilism in all its regulatory, institutional, and legislative forms, was the enveloping negative feature. Domestically, mercantilist regulations fuelled high prices, under-stocked markets, and poor workmanship. Not only were these customary practices and legislative enactments economically inefficient but they also inhibited long-term economic growth, and breached natural liberty in preventing free mobility of labor and capital (p.188). Mercantilist restrictions made international commerce “the most fertile source of discord and animosity” between nations (p.136). However, Smith did not, as the English manufacturer and Liberal statesman Richard Cobden later did, envisage free trade as a panacea for the dissolution of international rivalries. Chartered Companies, monopoly rights, and colonial possessions were criticized by Smith primarily on account of misallocation of resources disrupting capital flows, and retarding capital accumulation.
The contemporary relevance of Smith’s work has led to much misunderstanding and misuse, most notably the Invisible Hand metaphor, used once by Smith in Wealth of Nations, to describe how intentional acts could lead to unintended consequences, some of which were beneficial, some of which were not. The metaphor was not intended as a definitive explanation of free-market operations, yet successive economists have propagated it as a “mystical principle” of how market forces promote beneficial outcomes. Even Milton Friedman described how it had been “more potent for progress than the visible hand for retrogression.” Clearly, these ideologically-charged representations are a distortion. Similarly, claims of disapproval of government intervention are easily dismissed. Instancing Smith’s proposals on education, justice, and capital projects of economic infrastructure, complemented by an official apparatus of “instruments of intervention,” and a sanctioned list of governmental duties, Kennedy convincingly argues that utility, not principle, governed his stance (p.176).
For Smith, wealth creation and capital formation were instrumental towards alleviating poverty. British working-class history in the nineteenth and twentieth century validates his perspective, for contrary to Marx’s predictions of working-class immiseration, rising real wages, and the general spread of opulence raised working-class living standards. Smith has also been attacked for failing to grasp how economies of scale contradicted the harmony of self-interest with the common good, but it has to be remembered that Smith never asserted that self-interested acts were universally socially-benign. This type of criticism indicates that the idea of the Invisible Hand universally guiding market forces towards positive outcomes is still widely and mistakenly advanced.
Adam Smith’s fame and prestige never rested on originality. Many others anticipated elements of his thought, and a cross-current of Scottish and European Enlightenment thinkers influenced his writing. More may have been made of these intellectual influences. Yet, while the author’s admiration for his subject is clear, he does not shirk from criticism, especially relative to Smith’s often casual periodization and imprecise dating. If valid criticism, it hardly detracts from the magnitude of Smith’s achievement. It is now not credible to claim as the American economist George Stigler did in 1975 that The Wealth of Nations was merely a “stupendous palace erected upon the granite of self-interest” (p.109). As Kennedy argues, it is this type of careless, incomplete, and selective reading and quotation which has led to the “largely invented image” of Smith as an advocate of laissez-faire (p.172). To his credit, Kennedy aims to eliminate these misconceptions, and his concise and highly-analytical account makes a substantial contribution towards re-appraising the practical content and ideological application of Smith’s output. The nature, vision, and scope of Smith’s work, buttressed by extensive original quotations and careful reading, are well-delineated, and linkages between Smith’s historical analysis of economic development and his examination of human behavior and motivation are finely-drawn. By restoring Smith to his rightful place as a philosopher who described the nature of society he examined and who sought ways to improve the lives of the people, Kennedy has gone some way towards re-locating Smith in his proper historical context and perhaps in the process has made him a less partisan and divisive figure.
By re-examining Adam Smith’s theories as they were originally articulated, Gavin Kennedy, Emeritus Professor at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, aims at nothing less than rescuing the authentic S...
For nearly a century, he had already lived again and again and again—constantly reimagining himself and what was possible for a barefoot boy from southwest Georgia with a moral imagination and a driving ambition to live his faith. That passionate commitment—sustained long after others of his generation had left the field—would take him to the farthest corners of the earth, but he always came full circle to Plains, where his inner and out selves could find repose.Now you see the power of Alter’s title. Carter has always given America and the world “his very best,” showing what it can mean to be an American. But Carter’s story also seems biblical: He is our Methuselah.
The author of well-received and best-selling books about Franklin D. Roosevelt and Barack Obama, a seasoned political analyst on MSNBC and earlier on Newsweek, Jonathan Alter summons a well informed a...
Wade Rowland, the author of Galileo’s Mistake, characterizes the trial of Galileo Galilei by the Inquisition in 1633 as a defining moment in modern Western culture. As generally understood, this...
Iain McCalman, a historian, and research professor at the University of Sydney has many books and honors to his name. But perhaps equally important to this project is his familiarity with southern latitudes—he was born in Africa and pursued an academic career in Australia. Darwin’s Armada (Norton, 2009) recounts four successive voyages in the South Seas, each with a different ambitious young man in, at least, the partial capacity of naturalist on board. Darwin’s five-year expedition on the Beagle was only the first and most famous one. It was followed a few years later by Hooker, who joined Captain James Clark Ross’s expedition to Antarctica aboard the Erebus, after which Huxley sailed with the Rattlesnake along the coasts of Australia and New Guinea. Wallace was not associated with one particular ship, but the sea played a decisive role in his travels to the Amazon and later to Indonesia as well.
McCalman lays a good deal of groundwork for exploring the early life and forces that led these young men to leave home and travel for long periods in conditions that could hardly be qualified as comfortable. All had to get used to life on a ship, with men who were largely indifferent to the explorers’ aims, though often there would be another officer or surgeon aboard who would share some similar passion for collecting. And though by necessity this was a masculine way of life, all of them were sustained by their correspondence with women, whether family or, as was particularly true in Huxley’s case, those with whom they had formed a romantic attachment. The delay in getting letters meant that momentous news of deaths, births, and marriages would be received a year later. And in Hooker’s case, where much of his future life depended on his success in gathering the right assortment of specimens, he lived for months keenly feeling his father’s apparent disappointment, and not knowing that the next collection he sent had been met with excited approval.
Though the stakes were higher or lower depending on each man’s circumstances, all went to validate themselves at sea. Darwin, for example, had failed to become the doctor his father wanted him to be, and his family feared that he would turn into an idle dilettante. Hooker, without an independent fortune like Darwin, needed to make a mark that would procure him a rarely paid university position. By chance, each successive voyager started from a lowlier and more perilous beginning and had to work even harder than the one before him, not just for prestige, but also to achieve some recognition within the British society. But even their scientific accomplishments did not always bring them security.
The naturalists’ mutual interest in travel, adventure, and collecting specimens had a literary foundation. A British publication called Boy’s Own Paper, which both Darwin and Hooker had read in childhood, sparked dreams of exploration and discovery. Darwin’s ambitions were kindled by the Personal Narrative of Alexander von Humboldt, which told of his adventures in Tenerife and South America. And all four read, or, at least, knew of, the geological studies of Charles Lyell, which impressed them with new ideas of how old the earth really was, and how its formation had been slowly affected during this “deep time.” Once Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle had come out, the younger naturalists had read it too. In fact, a shipboard life, with its long stretches of idleness, proved to be a good basis for a scientific education, especially when a library was available on board.
But McCalman’s book is not all about scholarly research. Life at sea also held many adventures, some of them harrowing. As he describes it, this mixture of scientific discovery and hardship, combined at times with great beauty, shaped the travelers’ disparate personalities to a common understanding of the natural world. Though coming as they did from very different social backgrounds, they were in the end united in their advocacy of Darwin’s central tenets.
The final section shows how a very deliberate campaign on the part of the group and their supporters sensitized the public to give credence to the theory of evolution, which was revolutionary in its implications. Darwin felt more comfortable about publishing his theory because Wallace had come to the same conclusion on his own. Some discussion of how Darwin dealt with his rival and whether he was fair to him does come up for review, but, in general, McCalman is more interested in the bonds that he formed with the other men. And after all, Wallace remained a faithful friend to Darwin till the latter’s death.
Although the structure of Darwin’s Armada might be seen as repetitive, the effect is cumulative and at times quite moving. We are now in a different age, but one wonders what dreams of discovery and adventure might yet be planted by McCalman’s retelling of these voyages.
This group portrait of the foundational theorists of evolution opens with the funeral of Charles Darwin, who, despite his wishes, was buried with much pomp in Westminster Abbey in 1882. Three of the m...
The narrative has turns that are anecdotal, gossipy, speculative, and analytical. After striking an elegiac tone in the prologue describing the Western Flyer’s fate in retirement in Alaska, Bailey talks about the ship’s construction, including a brief profile of Martin Petrich Sr., the boatyard owner. The description of the ship’s dimensions and an accompanying diagram follow, as do profiles of the captain and crew when Steinbeck and Ricketts hired the Flyer. At that time, the Western Flyer was part of the sardine fishery, sailing out of Monterrey, California. Bailey enlivens this account with anecdotes and background information about Captain Tony Berry and crewmen Tex Travis, Tiny Coletto, and Sparky Enea. Steinbeck, of course, needs no introduction, but Bailey recognizes the book would be paltry without some background information on the Nobel Prize winner, and more than once he mentions that the author was an unpopular man in and around his native Salinas after the publication of The Grapes of Wrath. He also mentions that at the time of the six-week cruise Steinbeck’s marriage was all but over, yet his wife, Carol, chose to come aboard the Flyer for the entire journey. Steinbeck aside, Ricketts was the most interesting figure of the bunch. A marine biologist, a philosopher, and an early deep ecologist, he ran Pacific Biological Laboratories and was the inspiration for the character of “Doc” in Steinbeck’s novel, Cannery Row. (In this section Bailey also inserts another noteworthy figure into his narrative, the mythologist Joseph Campbell, who knew both Steinbeck and Ricketts.)
When Ricketts and Steinbeck had collected enough specimens in the shallows of the Sea of Cortez, the Western Flyer turned back toward Monterrey, where the ship and its crew returned to the sardine fishery. Unfortunately, by the late 1940s, the sardine boom had collapsed. Here Bailey presents a short, insightful analysis of the fishery’s demise, offering Ricketts’s explanation as well as other scientific views, some of which coincide with Ricketts’ and others don’t. As for Tony Berry and his crew, they decided to switch to tuna fishing. However, the Western Flyer was too small and slow for tuna fishing, so Berry sold it back to Martin Petrich who, in turn, sold it to Armstrong Fisheries of Ketchikan, Alaska.
For a year or so, the Flyer was part of the herring fishery in Alaska, but in 1952, the boat was sold to Dan Luketa, a fisherman from Seattle. Bailey draws an interesting profile of Luketa, including his sad final years. The enterprising Luketa eventually worked himself up to a small fleet of fishing boats, which, along with the Western Flyer—now transformed into a trawler—worked the Pacific Ocean perch fishery (also known as red rockfish.) Eventually, the perch fishery in the waters off the northwest coast suffered the same fate as the sardine fishery further south, only this time, the reasons were more complicated, both ecologically and politically, as industrial fishing had taken its toll—especially from Soviet and Japanese fishing fleets. Bailey’s explanation of this is detailed, including a graph showing the decline of the fishery.
When the Pacific Ocean perch could no longer be fished, Luketa took the Flyer further north to Alaska to get in on the boom for red king crabs. But as with sardines and perch, the crabs too became depleted, and Luketa sold the boat, renamed Gemini, in 1970. By the mid-1980s, the Gemini was merely a salmon tender, no longer used for fishing but only as the ship to which the fishing boats transferred their catches to be taken to the cannery. As Bailey describes it, “A fish tender is little more than a self-powered barge” (p. 93) and this would seem an ignominious end for one of the best-known boats in American literature.
In fact, the Western Flyer/Gemini was to suffer a worse fate. Disuse, as well as lack of upkeep and maintenance, were responsible for the boat sinking while it was tied up at an Alaskan dock. It was subsequently raised and is expected to be refurbished at an enormous cost. Its likely ultimate destination as of the time of Bailey’s writing is Salinas (instead of Monterey), where it will serve as a beached tourist attraction. Bailey bemoans this plan—his preference is that old fishing boats, even one as well known as the Western Flyer, ought to meet their natural fates—but seems at least partially accommodated to it: “In my own dreams the Western Flyer is a skeleton perched in the hills overlooking the [Salinas] valley, her whale ribs bleaching in the sun” (p. 113). And, really, there are worse fates the inexpungible Western Flyer could have suffered.
Readers of John Steinbeck’s The Log of the Sea of Cortez will certainly recognize the Western Flyer as the boat that Steinbeck and his friend, the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, hired in 1940 to take...
1. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain. He was named Salvador after his namesake brother, who had died the year before. Said Dalí of his brother, "We resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections. He was probably a first version of myself, but conceived too much in the absolute."
2. By the time Dalí went to the School of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1922, he was already an eccentric. To draw extra attention to himself, he would often walk the streets ringing a bell. At school, he became close friends with famed Spanish poet/playwright Federico Garcia Lorca. Expelled from art school in 1926 for insisting none of his professors were competent enough to examine him, he went to bohemian Paris, where he met up with fellow artists Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro, and joined the Surrealist group.
3. Five years later, in 1934, Dalí was again expelled—this time from the Surrealist movement, for supporting fascism. The ousting, however, didn’t stop Dalí from participating in Surrealist exhibitions.
4. When asked to deliver a lecture for the London Internationals Surrealist Exhibition in 1936, no one could have anticipated that would address his audience wearing a deep-sea diving suit. His justification: "I just wanted to show that I was plunging deeply into the human mind."
5. Despite his obvious flair for the unusual, Dali was nothing short of a commercial artist who longed for fame. During his lifetime, he even created a museum to display his own work, the Dalí Theatre-Museum in his native Figueres. This is where Dalí’s famous “lips” sofa originated.
6. In painting “Sacrament of the Last Supper” in 1955, he used his wife Gala’s face as the model for Christ.
7. In 1969, Dalí designed a bright yellow and orange logo for Chupa Chumps lollypops, one of the most iconic logos of all time.
8. Even as the years went on, he never ceased to amaze. In a “60 Minutes” interview with Mike Wallace, Dalí referred to himself in the third person. Topping that, he carried a leather rhinoceros with him when he appeared on the “Tonight Show,” and insisted on sitting on it throughout his interview.
9. It’s said that when Gala, his wife of nearly 50 years, died in 1982, Dalí lost his will to live. He completed his last painting, “The Swallowtail” the following year, in 1983. At that time, he suffered from palsy, which made his hands shake terribly, making painting a difficult task.
10. A fire forced him from his home in 1984, and he lived his final years in the Theatre-Museum until he died of heart failure five years later, at the age of 84.
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1. Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain. He was named Salvador after his namesake brother, who had died the year before. Said Dalí of his brot...