I bought a new tech toy. The Zagg Folio is a bluetooth keyboard/ipad case and I’m loving it. The keyboard is easy to type on, it’s easy to setup and the case works great. It’s also easy to remove the ipad for traditional use.
If I had purchased this as a “real” book instead of an ebook it would still be on my shelf. Fortunately I bought the kindle version and couldn’t tell how long it was. I purchased the book based on the recommendation of the Forbes list, “The 20 most influential business books.” I reading it and after what seemed like a small eternity I looked down and saw that I was 1% of the way through the book. But by that time I was hooked and kept on reading.
I read the first 20% of the book on my iPad and finished on my kindle. As an aside I like reading on both but the eInk display makes it easier to read for hours at a time.
Back to the review. The House of Morgan is fantastic and an excellent read. That is of course if you enjoy learning about “An American Banking Dynasty and the rise of Modern Finance”. Ron Chernow spent years researching this epic treatise and I am glad he did. I learned more about finance, banks, bankers and government regulations in this one book than I have by regularly reading the Wall Street Journal. And as a side note the WSJ make a heck of a lot more sense after reading this book and learning the history behind the various companies.
Anyone who wants to learn about the present needs to first learn about the past. As Seymour Morris Jr. said in “American History Revisited” “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme”. If you get the chance and are interested in the subject matter then read this book it will be well worth your time and I highly recommend it.
Here are a few of my highlighted portions of the book:
Their strategy was to make clients feel accepted into a private club, as if a Morgan account were a membership card to the aristocracy.
The bank won’t soil its white gloves with just anybody’s cash,
Like many who have overcome early hardship by brute force, he was proud but insecure, always at war with the world and counting his injuries.
“When the streets of Paris are running with blood, I buy.”telescopic philanthropy—bountiful love for abstract humanity combined with extreme stinginess toward the individuals he knew personally.
Mexico was a resource-rich country that always held out a seductive promise of prosperity,
“an institution is the lengthened shadow of a man,”
“The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try if you can to belong to the first class, there is far less competition.”
Facebook recently updated the way profiles look and added a few cool new features. On such feature is a section on your profile, under the philosophy section, called “People Who Inspire You”. I find it interesting that they would put people who inspire you under philosophy and not under interests. I believe this to be appropriate as people who inspire us tend to have an increased influence over our philosophy.
Upon the discovery of this section I quickly entered a few of the people who inspire me. Here they are in no particular order.
William F. Buckley, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
- Ronald Reagan
- Thaddeus Stevens
- John McCain
- Abraham Lincoln
- Theodore Roosevelt
And while several of these people wouldn’t like to be on a list with the others I find them all to be inspirational in their own way.
Anthony a leader in the Women’s suffrage movement is a person I admire because of her unwavering support for an idea that she believed in even though she believed she wasn’t qualified to be a leader. In studying Anthony and the Women’s suffrage movement I have become more convinced of the necessity of political involvement and especially involvement in the Republican party.
On November 18, 1872, Anthony was arrested by a U.S. Deputy Marshal for voting illegally in the 1872 Presidential Election two weeks earlier. She had written to Stanton on the night of the election that she had “positively voted the Republican ticket—straight…”. She was tried and convicted seven months later, despite the stirring and eloquent presentation of her arguments that the recently adopted Fourteenth Amendment, which guaranteed to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” the privileges of citizenship, and which contained no gender qualification, gave women the constitutional right to vote in federal elections.
The ticket she voted for was that of Ulysses S. Grant and running mate Henry Wilson. The Republican party platform at the time made one of the first mentions of “universal suffrage” all though it wasn’t until August 18, 1920 that the 19th amendment was ratified recognizing a woman’s right to vote. Ironically as a subnote it was Democrat president Woodrow Wilson who supported the amendment but regressed on the issue of segregation in the United States (especcially for government employees) saying, “segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.”
But back to the election of 1872. One of the major players in that election was Thaddeus Stevens. Steven’s was the house leader of the “Radical Republicans”, a segment of the Republican party that favored universal suffrage and a greater degree of emancipation and reconciliation for the previous confederate states. It was Stevens and the group of Radical Republicans who had passed the civil rights act of 1866 which was vetoed by then Democrat President Andrew Jackson who in turn had his veto overridden by the Republicans.
Steven’s was more than just an ardent abolitionist and fighter for equality. As the chairman of the house ways and means committee he fought for and impacted reforms in America’s financial system, although not all of the reforms happened he did succeed in financing the Civil War. Steven’s also had an impact on education. While a Pennsylvania legislature he worked for the free education law in 1834, some say it was his oratory skills that passed that law. He also worked for a constitutional limit on State debt and refused to sign the new state constitution in 1834 because it did not allow black citizens to vote.
When Steven’s died he was buried in the Shreiner Concord cemetery because it was the only cemetery at the time that allowed people to be buried without regard to their race. Steven’s also penned the inscription for his headstone.
“I repose in this quiet and secluded spot, not from any natural preference for solitude, but finding other cemeteries limited as to race, by charter rules, I have chosen this that I might illustrate in my death the principles which I advocated through a long life, equality of man before his Creator.”
Stevens dreamed of a socially just world, where unearned privilege did not exist. He believed from his personal experience that being different or having a different perspective can enrich society. He believed that differences among people should not be feared or oppressed but celebrated.
Anthony and Stevens, two people who believed in the ideas of equality and freedom and who didn’t live to see their work come to full fruition. These are two people that inspire me.
This has been another in a series of “ruminations“, half formed thought regurgitated via a blog to stimulate thought, discussion and the eventual assimilation of the best ideas.
Blogging has changed over the years, 7 years ago when i started blogging it was still new. In college, blogging was social networking and xanga was all the rage. Since then blogging went mainstream and a whole new world of social networking was discovered. As a result blogging became less popular but more important.
With the ease and connectivity of new sites like facebook and Twitter traditional blogging has become the realm of those passionate about a topic who are wiling to put in the time to blog about it. In essence social networking scraped off the short form content creators and left blogging to the medium and long form creators.
All that to say that I’m experimenting with my iPad and medium form content. Many years ago this blog was titled “ruminations” meaning half digested thoughts and that is what I intend to post more of.
Let me know what you think?
Yesterday Anna and I spent the afternoon hiking on Steinman’s run and Trout run, two beautiful tracts of land owned by the Lancaster County Conservancy.
The mission of the Lancaster County Conservancy is to save and steward the ecosystems and landscapes upon which we depend for food, clean water and air, economic and public health, and the restoration of soul and spirit.
Steinman’s run has several miles of trails and is quite hilly. Trout run has several miles of trails which are pretty flat and run along the creek. Here is the google map link of you want to visit.
It was a perfect day for a hike and here are a few pictures. It will be even prettier once the leaves start popping out.
In talking with people I’ve found out that most people don’t know about all the great hiking in Lancaster county. I’ve found that Lancaster has some of the best hiking around and you don’t have to go very far to find it.
So get out there and enjoy your own backyard.