Thursday, February 25, 2010


I thought the reading this week was very interesting. It gave me a great insight to how things used to be during the 1950’s. I look at how things used to be and compare them to this generation. I think the men and women of the 1950’s were much tougher than the men and women of today. In class someone mentioned the main character to be a wimp. In my mind he was as far from a wimp as anyone could be. He was a paratrooper in the army and was dropped behind enemy lines many times. For someone to say he was a wimp I thought was outrageous. This is a fictional book but the author related to the generation after the war. Many men had a similar story to what Tom Rath and had experienced what many believe as the worst war in history. Yes, Tom Rath had many issues and often had the attitude to go with the flow no matter what happened. In my opinion this comes from the war because he often thought he would die in battle. He was going to be dropped no matter what he wanted to do and it was out of his control.
I don’t believe he was a wimp because he often didn’t care.
The book also made me wonder about people’s priorities then and now. In the 1950’s get a job, work hard, and make life for yourself. It made me think that people today are spoiled with all the advantages and technologies we have access to. I thought the book was a really good read and it made me think of how today is so much different.

Monday, February 15, 2010


The readings this week I thought were very interesting. Hayden’s research on the early stages of suburbs was fascinating. Even to think that at one time Brooklyn was referenced as a suburb. I also stared comparing the first suburbs to the suburbs that we have in the present. Most people who lived in the suburbs were very wealthy. Now many other people live in the suburb and in my opinion a lot of wealthy have moved back into areas of the city. Look at Buckhead for instance in Atlanta. Many cities have area were the wealthy live. As Hayden describes most people back when suburbs began had to be extremely wealthy and there were no middle class.
I also enjoyed looking at how transportation improved vastly in a short period of time. The first transportation showed was the Brooklyn ferry. Then shortly after omnibuses pulled by horses appeared. After this was in action for a while they discovered the street car. With the street car land speculators could find cheap land and sale due to the fact they would run a street car line out to the suburb. Even back in that time everyone was out for money. The land speculators were very sneaky and often had a political partner or friend.
Another aspect of the readings I thought was interesting was how people in the suburbs approved of gardening. Downing made a living on designing gardens and landscape for people. How you kept your lawn often showed status. Beecher was also mentioned as the designer of the inside of your home. Beecher wrote literature on how to create as much space with your home as possible. Hayden described her as being quite famous and popular for her writings on that issue. In all the Hayden’s first few chapters of her book show the begging stages of what is now a mostly suburban country.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


One question the teacher brought up in class was her use of Nye’s book. I thought the book was an excellent book for this class. It showed stages of American expansion and growth and the guide’s such as the axe, train, and others that helped the expansion. In the last chapter we read it discussed the positives and negatives of the train. It surprised me that the train grew so quickly in North America. The land was cleared so quickly and right behind them were the railroad. In my opinion without the railroad the country would have taken many years to expand. I can see the points of arguments that were brought up that countered railroad expansion. Men like Emerson didn’t like how nature was being affected by the growth of the railroad. Emerson was all for being at one with nature and his theory that men learned from nature and from being in it was being violated by railroad expansion. How you could be in nature and hear the railroad when you thought you were at one with nature vastly affected his thoughts on railroad expansion. It did link the country together and made it quite easy to sale goods and travel. Before they would put goods on a raft and float it down the river. This way of trading was vastly affected by area and weather. Water ways such as canals in the North often had hard times transporting goods in the winter. Railroad was much more affective and could go through cold winters and still be able to trade very efficiently. Railroads did have issues that were negative such as pollution, land speculators, and affecting nature. With these aside the positives I believe far out weight the negative of railroads.

Monday, February 1, 2010


After reading the chapters this week in the book “American as Second Creation,” It made me think of my hometown. When I was younger I used to landscape this estate that was owned by an elderly lady in my church. On the river that ran through her yard was an old mill that was one of the first mills in Cherokee county, North Carolina. For some reason I always wanted to buy that peace of property and fix the mill up. I thought it would be a cool restaurant. After the lady died she gave the estate to her family and when I would be fishing the river I would run across the mill from time to time. The last time I went by the family had fixed up the main part of the mill and I wondered what they might be doing to the mill. It ended up they just fixed it up for looks. After reading this material I thought of the mill and after reading the material I realized people that moved into the area of my hometown possibly just moved because of the jobs and work a mill created. Then I thought of all the negative aspects a mill would bring to the workers who had been there. The workers who possibly worked at the mill of my town could possibly have gone through a harsh work environment. I also wonder what type of mill it was. After the reading they were many mills that it could be. Next time I go home I will ask my father if he knows or where I can find out.