The Rest Is History

Ceramic pillows, onions, and some guys.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, August 27, 2021

Pillow in shape of reclining woman, China, circa twelfth century. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Samuel T. Peters, 1926.

• “Remembering When Bermuda Was an Onion Island.” (Atlas Obscura)

• On Alan Taylor’s view of early American history: “This isn’t Great Man history, but Some Guys history. The political leaders and famous personages that tower over our imaginations are condensed to life-size. They make grubby, horrid choices; they bumble, fumble, and scheme their way through moments of import.” (The New Republic)

• “What Made the Battle of Blair Mountain the Largest Labor Uprising in American History.” (

• “Why a Nineteenth-Century Plan to Replace Black Labor with Chinese Labor Failed.” (New York Times)

• The loves of Simone de Beauvoir. (The New Yorker)

• How to use a medieval Chinese ceramic pillow. (

• Ancient Romans and invisibility. (JSTOR Daily)

• “How Martha’s Vineyard became a Black summertime sanctuary.” (Vox)

• On the 9/11 Museum: “The explanatory text throughout this section is anodyne, but presenting a day of mass destruction and terror—of heroic cops and firefighters and stoic leadership from the likes of Dick Cheney and Rudy Giuliani—is not a neutral act; it cannot help but replicate the jingoism that was so pervasive after 9/11 for those of us old enough to remember it. For those who aren’t old enough, the museum is a plausible reconstruction of the day itself—but this raises the question of whether 9/11 is something everyone necessarily needs to experience.” (Intelligencer)

• This week in obituaries: Charlie Watts, James W. Loewen, Micki Grant, Chuck Close, Jean Breeze, Jean-Luc Nancy, Sonny Chiba, Gary B. Nash, Don Everly, Stanley Aronowitz, Angela Milner, Jill Murphy, Stanley Harris, Rod Gilbert, Elizabeth Blackadder, Jerry Harkness, Barbara Kannapell, Larry Harlow, Hugh Wood, David Roberts, Hissène Habré, John Stillman, Kaari Upson, Alan Heller, Tony Mendez, and Tom T. Hall.