The Rest Is History

Remodeling our fundamental national narrative, rethinking silent film, and fake bumps.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, December 10, 2021

Scene from the 1913 Italian silent film Quo Vadis?, c. 1913. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

• “Nathan Bedford Forrest Has Fallen.” (Nashville Scene)

• “What are the difficulties that greet a journalistic endeavor when it aspires to function as a more concerted kind of history, and not just any history but a remodeling of our fundamental national narrative?” (

• The “original archaeologists” of Arnhem Land. (The Guardian)

• Emily Wilson on the comedies of Aristophanes. (London Review of Books)

• “If professional women can advance their careers by handing off work like childcare and meal preparation to low-paid women in the service industries, is that an advance for feminism?…This modern question also swirled around domestic servants’ labor organizing in early twentieth-century Britain.” (JSTOR Daily)

• “In 1989 PepsiCo Inc., the maker of Pepsi, acquired seventeen submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer from the Soviet Union. In recent years, an internet legend has grown up around this deal, which holds that Pepsi briefly possessed the sixth-largest fleet in the world.” (Foreign Policy)

• The history behind fake-bump conspiracy theories: “For much of the nation’s history, respectability demanded that pregnant people become as invisible as possible.” (Jezebel)

• The legacy of Gordon Parks. (4Columns)

• “When our collective mental image of silent film is dominated by a white male comedian acing a pratfall, or a white female star elegantly swooning in an embellished silk gown, we fail to make room for the films and characters that challenge this impression. If we had to establish a new avatar of silent cinema, could it be a laughing Black woman shot in a loving close-up? A Jewish woman defying a mob? Or a Native woman facing down a posse of cowboys? The answer is yes.” (Current)

• The fad for “Little Switzerlands.” (Public Domain Review)

• This week in obituaries: Greg Tate, Bob Dole, Lina Wertmüller, Marie-Claire Blais, Darlene Hard, Almudena Grandes, Barry Harris, Sibghat Kadri, Claudia Levy, Hyun Sook Han, Stu Rasmussen, Fred HiattClaude Humphrey, Lawrence Weiner, Justo Gallego, Lamine Diack, and Robbie Shakespeare.