Roundtable

The Rest Is History

Puritans, old yeast, and puzzled archaeologists.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bread, c. 1479–1458 bc. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1927.

• Who took this photo of Lincoln’s inauguration? (Library of Congress Blog)

• “Nothing lives forever—except maybe yeast, which can go dormant and hibernate, perhaps indefinitely. An archaeologist, a biologist, and a baking enthusiast have recently embarked on a collaborative project to revive and reuse millennia-old yeast.” (Archaeology)

• Tuberculosis isn’t history. (Nautilus)

• On a movie that won’t be appearing on Disney+. (The Guardian)

• “In 2029, the Internet Will Make Us Act Like Medieval Peasants.” (New York)

• The Puritans and historical memory: John Winthrop “has been imagined as raising his voice into the roaring wind on the roiling sea. But in fact, he was more likely to have delivered the speech—often called a lay sermon because he was not an ordained minister—in Southampton before embarking. Or he may never have delivered it at all.” (The Nation)

• Remembering Noel Ignatiev: “He argued that it would be impossible to build true solidarity among the working class without addressing the question of race, because white workers could always be placated by whatever privileges, however meaningless, management dangled in front of them.” (NewYorker.com)

• “But it is not enough to learn Latin alone, to excise it from its place and time for merely personal use. It may be naive to think we can appreciate the past’s beauty all the more after recognizing its horrors; that we can find comfort and hope in shared humanity; and that we can still learn from the imperfect past to improve our imperfect present.” (Boston Review)

• “Two Infants Were Buried Wearing Helmets Made from Kids’ Skulls. And Archaeologists Are Puzzled.” (Live Science)

• This week in obituaries: a photographer, “the woman who began the rebellion of Ethiopian women,” a museum head, a writer who had to wait for her deserved recognition, a pilot, a survivor of the Hindenburg disaster, and a biographer.