Source: RAND Corporation
War has always been a dangerous business, bringing injury, wounds, and death, and — until recently — often disease. What has changed over time, most dramatically in the last 150 or so years, is the care these casualties receive and who provides it. Medical services have become highly organized and are state sponsored. Diseases are now prevented through vaccination and good sanitation. Sedation now ameliorates pain, and antibiotics combat infection. Wounds that once meant amputation or death no longer do so. Transfers from the field to more-capable hospitals are now as swift as aircraft can make them. The mental consequences of war are now seen as genuine illnesses and treated accordingly, rather than punished to the extreme. Likewise, treatment of those disabled by war and of veterans generally has changed markedly — along with who supplies these and other benefits. This book looks at the history of how humanity has cared for its war casualties, from ancient times through the aftermath of World War II. For each historical period, the author examines the care the sick and wounded received in the field and in hospitals, the care given to the disabled veteran and his dependents, and who provided that care and how. He shows how the lessons of history have informed the American experience over time. Finally, the author sums up this history thematically, focusing on changes in the nature and treatment of injuries, organization of services on and off the battlefield, the role of the state in providing care, and the invisible wounds of war.
Source: PLoS ONE
We report here trends in the usage of “mood” words, that is, words carrying emotional content, in 20th century English language books, using the data set provided by Google that includes word frequencies in roughly 4% of all books published up to the year 2008. We find evidence for distinct historical periods of positive and negative moods, underlain by a general decrease in the use of emotion-related words through time. Finally, we show that, in books, American English has become decidedly more “emotional” than British English in the last half-century, as a part of a more general increase of the stylistic divergence between the two variants of English language.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
In January 1913, when the U.S. Department of Labor was formed, the buffalo nickel would soon replace the Liberty Head nickel, women were protesting for the right to vote, and a family could buy a pound of potatoes for less than two cents. Fast forward 100 years to January 2013, when the U.S. Department of Labor is a century old, credit cards and online purchases are the more common forms of payment than the cash purchases of 1913, a record number of women are elected to Congress, and a pound of potatoes now costs 62 cents. These historic comparisons show how much has changed in the United States, and food prices have changed as well.
To examine prices over time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has Consumer Price Index (CPI) data going back to January 1913 and a few average prices going back to at least that far.1 This article summarizes some average food prices over the last century. Table 1 lists selected food average prices a century apart.
Source: RAND Corporation
Debates over the U.S. global defense posture are not new. As policymakers today evaluate the U.S. forward military presence, it is important that they understand how and why the U.S. global posture has changed in the past. Today’s posture is under increasing pressure from a number of sources, including budgetary constraints, precision-guided weapons that reduce the survivability of forward bases, and host-nation opposition to a U.S. military presence. This monograph aims to describe the evolution of the U.S. global defense posture from 1783 to the present and to explain how the United States has grown from a relatively weak and insular regional power that was primarily concerned with territorial defense into the preeminent global power, with an expansive system of overseas bases and forward-deployed forces that enable it to conduct expeditionary operations around the globe. This historical overview has important implications for current policy and future efforts to develop an American military strategy, in particular the scope, size, and type of military presence overseas. As new and unpredictable threats emerge, alliance relationships are revised, and resources decline, past efforts at dealing with similar problems yield important lessons for future decisions. The author draws recommendations out of these lessons that touch on the importance of strategic planning; the need to think globally; the desirability of a lighter, more agile footprint overseas; and more.
Source: U.S. Army Military History Center
The Civil War Begins: Opening Clashes, 1861 is the first in a series of campaign brochures commemorating our national sacrifices during the American Civil War. Author Jennifer Murray examines the successes and challenges of both the Union and the Confederate forces during the early days of the Civil War. Notable battles discussed include: Fort Sumter, South Carolina; Bull Run, Virginia; Wilson’s Creek, Missouri; Cape Hatteras, North Carolina; and Port Royal, South Carolina. This brochure includes six maps and three tables.
EconSouth Looks Back at Evolution of Economic Indicators
Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Economic policymakers today have massive amounts of data at their disposal. Their circumstances are drastically different from those faced by their counterparts during the Great Depression. Indeed, armed with little more than stock indices, freight car loadings, and industrial production figures, policymakers struggled to monitor the economy’s pulse during the worst economic contraction in modern history.
The lack of data spawned a push for more and better data collection on the U.S. economy, explains staff writer Lela Somoza in “Part Chart, Part Science: The Evolution of Economic Indicators.” As a matter of fact, gross domestic product (GDP), one of the most closely followed indicators, has its roots in the Great Depression. Over time, however, it and other indicators have evolved to keep pace with the changing U.S. economy, which has grown in size and complexity.
Just as indicators have evolved over time to reflect the increasingly complex U.S. economy, their relative importance has waxed and waned also, Somoza notes, pointing to monetary aggregates as a prominent example.
To read more about the evolution of economic indicators since the Great Depression, see the full article in the third-quarter issue of EconSouth. The article also includes a survey of some of the more offbeat indicators economists and others turn to for a more nuanced view of the U.S. economy.
Performing on the Global Stage: Exploring the Relationship between Finance and Arts in Global Cities
Source: Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Research Network ( Loughborough University)
In this article, we explore the relationship between contemporary Global Financial Centers or GFC and Global Arts Centers or GAC. Are financial entrepôts still places for cultural encounters? Does the symbiotic relationship between international financial prowess and ditto prominence in arts in cities still hold in an era of intensified globalization? Are Asian cities which have become prominent financial centers in recent years also global arts centers? To address these questions, we compare a ranking of Global Financial Centers with a ranking of Global Arts Centers. For the first, we make use of the Global Financial Center Index constructed by the Z/Yen Group, for the latter we created a large database with “art events” to be able to construct a ranking of cities according to their prominence-global and local-in arts. Our data show that the relationship is much more complex. At the top of both rankings, there is indeed a strong overlap, apart from Berlin which is GAC but not a GFC, but further down the picture gets blurred with only a partial overlap. European cities are strongly overrepresented, and to a lesser extent North-American cities, while Asian and South-American cities are underrepresented and African cities do not show up at all.
Source: U.S. Institute of Peace
Despite interesting patterns from the past and at least superficially striking parallels with the present, policies on Afghanistan have not been adequately informed by an understanding of the country’s history. Nor has the extensive academic literature on Afghan history been translated into policy; on the contrary, much that has been attempted in Afghanistan since late 2001 has been remarkably ahistorical. This report identifies broad historical patterns and distills relevant lessons that may be applicable to policies during the 2011 to 2014 transition and beyond.
The Short Stories of Playboy and the Crisis of Masculinity (PDF)
Source: Utrecht University
We look at the world through media. They bring us the news; they bring us entertainment, science, art. They influence the way we view the world. In a way, they influence who we are. This does not mean that they change a person from one day to the next, but they co-determine structures of thought. One specific area in which the role of media becomes clear is gender – perhaps best described as the culturally defined and self-defined aspects of one’s identity relating to being a ‘man,’ a ‘woman,’ or perhaps something else. Different media propagate ideal images of what it means to be a man or a woman, and in our daily lives these ideal images are not often questioned.
This observation lies at the foundation of this thesis. My initial plan was to examine the ways in which media (re-)present gender identity. In particular, I wanted to examine male gender identity. The first ensuing issue was that as a historian, the historicity of gender and media needs to be acknowledged. In other words, media and masculinities are fluid and change over time. The second issue was that ‘media’ was too wide a category. Since this thesis is of a limited scope, I needed to demarcate the research further.
Ultimately, I chose one case-study of a magazine in a specific historical context: Playboy in 1950s America. The American 1950s were interesting given the subject, since a lot of literature discusses some sort of perceived ‘crisis of masculinity’ – it was a time where historical developments caused tensions with contemporary male identities that required a re-thinking of masculinity. Playboy was perhaps one of the most iconic examples of this re-thinking. The magazine offered a specific masculine identity that reacted to the contemporary gender identity crisis.
In a way, a magazine is a patchwork: It consists of differing elements, from articles to pictorials to advertisements. In order to explore male identity in the magazine in more detail, I chose to highlight one element: short stories. One of the features in Playboy that appeared from its start in December 1953 were short works of fiction. Moreover, these appeared on a highly regular basis. Therefore, the short stories made for an ample amount of source material.
The goal of this thesis is thus to answer the following research question: “How do the short stories in Playboy Magazine (re-)present a male identity in the context of the American 1950s?”
Transgenerational transmission of trauma and resilience: a qualitative study with Brazilian offspring of Holocaust survivors
Source: BMC Psychiatry
Over the past five decades, clinicians and researchers have debated the impact of the Holocaust on the children of its survivors. The transgenerational transmission of trauma has been explored in more than 500 articles, which have failed to reach reliable conclusions that could be generalized. The psychiatric literature shows mixed findings regarding this subject: many clinical studies reported psychopathological findings related to transgenerational transmission of trauma and some empirical research has found no evidence of this phenomenon in offspring of Holocaust survivors.
This qualitative study aims to detect how the second generation perceives transgenerational transmission of their parents’ experiences in the Holocaust. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with fifteen offspring of Holocaust survivors and sought to analyze experiences, meanings and subjective processes of the participants. A Grounded Theory approach was employed, and constant comparative method was used for analysis of textual data.
The development of conceptual categories led to the emergence of distinct patterns of communication from parents to their descendants. The qualitative methodology also allowed systematization of the different ways in which offspring can deal with parental trauma, which determine the development of specific mechanisms of traumatic experience or resilience in the second generation.
The conceptual categories constructed by the Grounded Theory approach were used to present a possible model of the transgenerational transmission of trauma, showing that not only traumatic experiences, but also resilience patterns can be transmitted to and developed by the second generation. As in all qualitative studies, these conclusions cannot be generalized, but the findings can be tested in other contexts.
The Arts, New Growth Theory, and Economic Development
Source: National Endowment for the Arts
New growth theory argues that, in advanced economies, economic growth stems less from the acquisition of additional capital and more from innovation and new ideas. On May 10, 2012, the Brookings Institution and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosted a symposium examining new growth theory as a tool for assessing the impact of art and culture on the U.S. economy, including the theory that cities play a major role in facilitating economic growth. The symposium featured papers jointly commissioned by the NEA Office of Research & Analysis and Michael Rushton, the co-editor of the Journal of Cultural Economics. The presentations were moderated by experts from Brookings, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U.S. Department of Commerce.