The Rest Is History

Post offices, over a hundred mammoth skeletons, and endless chewing.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, September 11, 2020

Men and Wheat (mural study, Seneca, Kansas, Post Office), by Joe Jones, 1939. Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfer from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1965.

• “It is easy to overlook how loud premodern education was. Most of our evidence for more than a thousand years of teaching consists of books, and, to the modern way of thinking, books are objects used silently. That this was not the usual way of doing things for much of Western history is now better known, though still difficult fully to understand.” (London Review of Books)

• Found: more than a hundred mammoth skeletons. (Reuters)

• “For the first time in its 150-year history, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has hired a full-time Native American art curator.” (ARTnews)

• On the jet-age aesthetic. (Aeon)

• Remembering when chewing at great length was the hottest trend. (Narratively)

• A history of the American post office: “This relationship between democracy and the U.S. postal system is the essential backdrop for the current ‘reform’ efforts being launched by the Trump-appointed majority on the U.S. Postal Services Board of Governors and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.” (Boston Review)

• On the Creek Freedmen. (New York Times)

• “The conditions in America today do not much resemble those of 1968. In fact, the best analogue to the current moment is the first and most consequential such awakening—in 1868. The story of that awakening offers a guide, and a warning.” (The Atlantic)

• The birth of the American thru-hike. (Dissent)

• How women wearing masks in 1918 were perceived. (Nursing Clio)

• A full set of accessories was unearthed in a Silla-era tomb in South Korea. (Korea Times)

• This week in obituaries: Diana Rigg, Ronald Bell, Jiří Menzel, Eleanor Jacobs, Forrest Fenn, Constance Weldon, Alan Minter, Lou Brock, Gerald Shur, Ronald Harwood, George Bizos, and Joseph Bartscherer.