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How Many Elite Early European Immigrants to US Were There?
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When I was a kid, Stravinsky (who in 1913 composed “The Rite of Spring,” the climax of pre-Great War European high culture and more or less the finale of classical music) lived not far from me on the other side of the Hollywood Hills, just above the Sunset Strip. He composed the opera The Rake’s Progress in his favorite booth at a Hollywood IHOP.

By then it was pretty normal for famous Europeans now known to history by one name — e.g., Einstein, Toscanini, Auden (who had written the libretto for The Rake’s Progress), Nabokov — to live in America. For example, Schoenberg had lived near Stravinsky in West Hollywood in the 1940s (they didn’t get along).

But my impression is that America didn’t get many elite European immigrants before the 20th Century. America just wasn’t a desirable destination for European celebrities until roughly the 20th Century. A few famous names washed up on American shores, but the list of people who were already famous in Europe don’t really add up to much:

Talleyrand, the protean French foreign minister, sat out the Reign of Terror here for a few years in the US before returning to his titanic career in France.

Da Ponte, the Jewish Venetian Catholic priest and pimp who was a friend of Casanova and then, after a run for the border Mozart’s librettist for Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosi Fan Tutte (his most important artistic decision was agreeing to Mozart’s supremacy — You da boss, Wolfie was more or less Da Ponte’s realistic response to the balance of talent in their relationship. Da Ponte was always having to flee whatever country he was in to escape imprisonment. He washed up in the U.S, and after years of obscure struggle as a shopkeeper in Mid-atlantic states became, in his old age, an early Manhattan celebrity, being appointed Professor of Italian Literature at Columbia U. and a founder of the first opera house in America. On his death bed, he was accepted back into the Roman Catholic Church in a scene that was admired as fittingly operatic.

The pioneering industrialist and socialist utopian Robert Owen came to the US to build his utopian community at New Harmony, Indiana in the 1820s. He went back to Britain, but three of his sons immigrated and carved out impressive careers, two as academics, one as member of the House of Representative, sponsoring the Smithsonian Institution

Lajos Kossuth, who had been head of Hungary briefly in the wake of the 1848 revolution, spent some of the 1850s in the U.S.

Carl Schurz was perhaps the most famous Forty-Eighter who wound up in the US, but he’d only been a teenager in 1848.

Thomas Paine quickly enjoyed a spectacular career as the most leftist Founding Father after his arrival in the US after meeting Ben Franklin in England in 1774, but he was obscure and unsuccessful in England before his immigration.

William Penn spent a number of years in Pennsylvania, but always returned to England.

Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury, came from an elite family in Geneva of the kind that generally didn’t send sons to America.

The Revolutionary War brought in various minor celebrity officers such as Lafayette, but Von Steuben appears to have been fleeing a gay scandal in Prussia so he wasn’t exactly the pick of the European pack.

I’m sure there are vastly more elite European migrants to the US that I’m not mentioning. But there were comparable numbers of talented American migrants to Europe: painters such as Benjamin West, James McNeil Whistler and Mary Cassatt, and writers such as Henry James and T.S. Eliot.

Ben Franklin, a global superstar of the Enlightenment, seriously considered moving permanently to England for the more interesting company but eventually returned home.

So, America for a long time tended to be restricted to homegrown geniuses like Franklin, Charle Pierce, Josiah Willard Gibbs, etc., along with obscure immigrants who made good like Carnegie. But the influx of mature, recognized geniuses that we became familiar with in the 20th Century mostly didn’t happen earlier. So American life, while prosperous and lively, tended to be deficient in very high end intellectual distinction until quite late. Americans didn’t begin to win lots of Nobel Prizes until the late 1920s, for instance.

 
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  1. Altai says:

    It’s actually an interesting phenomena just how many Americans (Typically upper middle class and up) have been emigrating to Europe in the last 10 years. Maybe it’s just a general terraforming of Britain and Ireland into immigrant countries (Dubai-ification?) which makes it easier and less shameful for recruiters to go looking abroad first. But maybe part of it is less attachment as home stops being so much like home. My boss had a serious meeting with a man in his beautiful lakeside home in suburban Chicago with his youngish family. (The kind that used to be prominent in John Hughes films) He couldn’t fathom that he was about to upstakes and move all the way to Florida. The distance Americans travel for university is staggering by European standards and maybe adds to a sense of rootlessness among it’s educated classes.

    It’s also been noted that highly educated Swedes have also been emigrating in larger numbers since the mid 2000s but that might have more to do with the economic and housing consequences of mass migration and their excellent fluency in English making international employment easier than purely a sense of ennui. Though some Swedes have mentioned that some people from Stockholm and Malmo emigrate to Oslo for a more familiar place, even if that means another language and even if Norway has had a similar immigration history to Sweden except they didn’t quite push things into overdrive in the 2010s like the Swedish government did.

  2. Big Bill says:

    America has been a place for foreign revolutionaries to hide out for a while, marshal their forces, and plot their return (or give up). Kerensky and Trotsky, for example.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  3. AndrewR says:

    Ingraham cucks*. Sad!

    On her show yesterday, she said some seriously woke stuff.

    Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people, and they are changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically, in some ways, the country has changed. Now, much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.

    Big!

    But then “Dr.” David Duke endorsed her comments and she insta-morphed into antifa.

    A message to those who are distorting my views, including all white nationalists and especially one racist freak whose name I will not even mention. You do not have my support. You don’t represent my views and you are antithetical to the beliefs I hold dear.

    She could have disavowed him diplomatically but she chose not to. There of course was no need to even mention “all white nationalists.”

    And then she goes on to pretend that her comments yesterday had “nothing to do with race and ethnicity.” Well we all know she’s lying. Now she just looks weak. The left certainly isn’t going to sing her praises. But no self-respecting person who liked her comments yesterday can continue to respect her after she needlessly punched right then insulted our intelligence by lying.

    https://www.google.com/amp/thehill.com/homenews/media/401212-ingraham-disavows-ex-kkk-leaders-endorsement%3famp

    *Some people think that “cuck” – whether noun, adjective or verb – should not be used to describe women, but I disagree

    • Replies: @Rod1963
    , @3g4me
  4. Luke Lea says:

    You forgot the Puritans.

  5. Anonspc says:

    After the disasterous Lisbon earthquake and fire, the Portuguese Royal Court decamped to their Brazilian possession and actually stayed there a while. It was the beginning of the “Elite Acceptability” of the New World

    • Replies: @Silva
  6. Karl von Rotteck, Jr., eldest son of his famous father, fled the Baden Revolution of 1849 and became a farmer and newspaper publisher in Keokuk and St. Louis.

  7. Not sure where Kościuszko fits in your taxonomy, but he surely merits a mention.

  8. Here’s a $20 bill lying on the ground: A comprehensive book on Western elites since the 18th century.

  9. Exigencies of the Revolution required Anglo-Saxons to make temporary alliances with non-whites like Crispus Attucks, Von Steuben or Kosciuszko.

  10. dearieme says:

    Joseph Priestley, though he was hounded out by the mob rather than being a volunteer.

    But yes, it seems to me pretty obvious that on the whole the USA and its forerunner colonies attracted mediocre people, rather than very bright or very dim. (Though that may ignore some pretty dim convicts and indentured servants.)

    It’s worth sticking your nose into Ferguson’s history of the House of Rothschild: why did that bank not flourish in the US? Because none of the youngsters in the families was prepared to live in NYC or Philly when he could live in London, Paris, or Vienna. (Or, God save us, Frankfurt.)

    In my father’s family there was a generation when four mediocre brothers emigrated to the US and the bright brother stayed behind. The advantage of the US was cheap land and less competition.

  11. Jimi says:

    European intellectuals and elites reluctantly came to the USA to escape the political tumult in Europe from 1930s-1940s. Afterwards they came to the US out of economic necessity. Postwar Europe needed money to rebuild their countries not to subsidize arts and professorships.

    Most of the cultural elite were quite honest about how much disliked US culture and how they missed prewar European culture.

    The European intellectual/professor with a thick accent was a common character in American movies from 1940s-1970s. Growing up in 1990s NYC I would often run into older European (usually Jewish) people, very educated, with thick European accents. I think they’re mostly dead or too infirm to walk around anymore.

    Mind you, these are cultural elites. The economic elite stayed in Europe as much money was to be made in rebuilding the continent.

  12. @Luke Lea

    But were the Puritans well-known or respected outside their own circle of judaizing heretics?

    • Replies: @Le Autiste Corv
  13. Quietist says:

    Easy to explain. Frederick Jackson Turner did in 1893. American culture was shaped by the frontier. The frontier favors practical skills over refinement. Teddy Roosevelt declared this a virtue, the man in the arena vs. the man of words, etc. But the fact remains that literary and cultural genius was a bit scarce in 19th century America, and many of those that did exist were either educated in Europe, or went to be based there. People in the 19th century lamented this: where are the genius Americans to rival those of Europe? Where was the American Mozart? Pre WWII Europe had the salons and galleries and circles in which geniuses thrived, not the dusty and harsh US. NYC has always been a partial exception. But Chicago was a pig town and LA wasn’t LA until much later.

    But once the frontier closed and the best of us began building culture rather than settling the wilderness, and after Europe turned to totalitarianisms, the US became more attractive to the wordsmiths and painters and composers. Also, patriotism and nationalism got stronger, think Charles Ives.

    • Agree: Autochthon
    • Replies: @advancedatheist
  14. J.J. Sylvester (1814-1897) was a Cambridge-educated mathematician who coined the terms “matrix,” “graph” and “discriminant.” He taught in the U.S. from 1841 to 1844, and then again from 1876 to 1883 as the first math professor of the new Johns Hopkins University. From 1883 until 1894 he was the Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford, a position held at other times by Edmund Halley, G.H. Hardy, and the father of Robert Baden-Powell. In 1901 the Royal Society began awarding a math prize named in his honor.

  15. Jack D says:

    The US was a developing country in some respects up until the end of WWII. Elite talent doesn’t tend to move to 3rd worldish places and anyone talented from such places tends to move to someplace better, for the same reason that water always flows downhill and not uphill.

    Beginning in the 1830s the US had its own Industrial Revolution and gradually the US took the lead in various sectors one by one but the transformation was slow and incomplete. Intellectually, Europe was still considered the leader in most of the arts and sciences. Germany (and to a lesser extent England) was the acknowledged center for most sciences. Ambitious American artists would go to France to study. MIT was founded after the Civil War to support the needs of an industrializing country and it was expressly modeled after the German polytechnic universities (the entire US educational system, starting with “kindergarten” was copied off of the German model). Most of the Manhattan Project guys, even the American ones, had studied in Europe. Oppenheimer went to Cambridge and then to Göttingen because there was really nothing comparable in the US at that time. The turning point, of course, is when Hitler came to power and the universities got rid of all their Jews and Jewish sympathizers, leaving behind a lot of mediocrities. A lot of these guys ended up in the US, so the US became stronger and Germany weaker – I don’t think too many US physics grad students went to Germany in the ’30s, even before the war. After the war, Germany was destroyed and France and the UK weakened and the center of gravity for almost everything shifted to the US.

    • Agree: Triumph104
  16. BB753 says:

    Does Graham Bell count?

  17. ald says:

    Never heard of Josiah Willard Gibbs. Pretty incredible guy.

    • Replies: @SimpleSong
  18. Anon[119] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: New support for magic dirt theory – via Indian chess prodigy deportation row –

    https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/shreyas-royal-indian-origin-chess-prodigy-uk-visa-father-income-reactions-5295414/

    Note the very last paragraph – the father explicitly appealing to the idea that, for purposes of development of his son’s human capital, the family must remain in the UK.

    Magic dirt, indeed!

  19. @Luke Lea

    They were middle class not elites.

  20. If I recall correctly, one or two of Napoleon’s generals or marshals escaped the Bourbon restoration and retired to the States. For that matter, two of King Louis Philippe’s grandsons (and thus pretender-heirs) came to the US and served as staff officers in the Union Army. L-P himself spent some years during the post-1789 period in the US.

    • Replies: @Dtbb
  21. Anon[119] • Disclaimer says:

    In terms of European elites – don’t forget Friedrich List and Pierre L’Enfant:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_List

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Charles_L%27Enfant

  22. Tiny Duck says:

    fascists fighting for a nightmare future for humanity.

    On both sides of the Atlantic, fascists Trump need to be confronted, hounded, and driven out of power.

    everything you guys stand for is disintegrating. So enjoy your delusion and remember that history will remember you for what you are.

    the world is becoming browner and more diverse by the minute..you hate it and your hate and racism is what will make your life miserable…stop hating. we need more love in this world

  23. OFF TOPIC

    Alex Jones Is A Canary In The Corporate Media Censorship Coal Mine

    Alex Jones on a barge in an English canal berating the Bildebergers through the amplification of a bullhorn.

    Alex Jones to Bildebergers:

    “The Bildeberger days are numbered. The new world order will fall. Humanity is awakening.”

  24. drawbacks says:

    Casimir Pulaski and Michael Kovats?

  25. Pat Boyle says:

    Yes Steve your erudition is wide and deep. That’s why we read your blog.

    I subscribe to the theory that music advanced in complexity and sophistication until the year 1928. It may be a coincidence that others think physics also peaked in 1928 and nothing much has been learned since.

    It took me a little while but I learned how to appreciate Hindemith and late Strauss but I could never quite grok Berg. Music gets richer and deeper every year until it all sounds like noise. We (or at least me) reached some human limitation. We will have to make better people if we want to go further.

    Men of our generation, as was discussed here recently, see 1968 as another one of those watershed years. I think 1968 was of less importance than 1928.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Autochthon
  26. So I guess it’s fair to say, Europe wasn’t sending their best. Emma Goldman being the obvious exception.

  27. carol says:

    Rachmaninoff was in SoCal for a while do but didn’t like it. I think he died in Switzerland.

    He’s not terribly cool now but I think of him as having a very large brain. And he was from the white Russian landed class. Typically, his father lost practically everything Living the Life.

    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    , @Anon
  28. Alice says:

    The high concentration of intellectually gifted talent into the US occurred as a result of the Great War, its aftermath, and then the chaos after the end of WWII.

    Before the Great War, the US was still an intellectual backwater. The best of the rich here was educated over there. After the Great War, things began to change in large part because of the collapse of living standards there.

    In 1910, life in Berlin, Paris and London was very advanced. Merchant class middle class had newspapers telling of news from around the globe, telegraph as common as our phones were. Trade by train. It was 80+ years before living standards got back to that for the middle class in most of Western Europe.

    Most of Europe lost everything in those two wars. England lost a bulk of a generation of best and brightest in the Great War. In the poverty afterward on the continent, and then the devastation of WWII, most of the well off merchant class became poor to the point of starving. The university folk had to hide or escape or die. War destroyed indiscriminately, but survivors probably had some skills, including genes for health under difficult conditions.

    Refugees after world war II were as likely to be peasants as professors, carpenters as composers. Many of those elite refugees arrived in the US, others in Canada.

    The elites didn’t come here until they’d lost everything. The US was the recipient of a grand brain trust over a very short window. It isn’t getting that concentration or rate any more.

  29. @Jack D

    I wouldn’t say that the exodus of German Jews to Britain and the US was entirely beneficial – there were many top-class scientists and intellectuals, but there was also Herbert Marcuse and other members of the Frankfurt School, whose legacy to the US has had long-lasting ill effects.

  30. George says:

    John Ericsson’s Swedish genius, which trumped Confederate home grown Scots-Irish genius, saved the Union. Americans just provided the muscle and the BS (Like the Gettysburg address, that Lincoln dude could write).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ericsson

    The Erie canal project is also of interest. Europe is where the big tax funded projects, like Cathedrals and wars, were.

  31. Jack D says:
    @Pat Boyle

    Nuclear fission was discovered in 1939 so the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not agree with you that nothing much has been learned in physics since 1928. That nuclear fission went from being something that was completely unknown (and in fact believed to be impossible) to something that was understood on a theoretical level but without any ability to be used on a practical level to a working invention of sufficient power to destroy a city in 5 years is nothing short of amazing.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
  32. Da Ponte, like Elvis, lives! He was active on the New Jack Swing scene with Levert….

  33. Thoughtful entry as usual, Steve. Except … The Rite of Spring “more or less the finale of classical music”? De-platforming late Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Richard Strauss, Prokofiev, Shostakovich et al.?

  34. Philo says:

    “Charles [Sanders] Peirce.”

  35. @Jack D

    K-12 system is also standard in Canada.

    This was also the era when Germans and Austrians were considered tops in medicine too.

    But the Germans and Austrians casually tossed all this “soft power” aside by starting WW I.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Jack D
    , @Colin Wright
  36. @Pat Boyle

    I mostly agree, though I give credit to the geniuses of jazz and rock in the twentieth century despite it’s being fundamentally less sophisticated than classical or baroque music (mostly – the likes of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Dream Theater continued to do things every bit as mind-blowing as the earlier great composers did…). The decline began about when you reckon, but it was gradual; the bottom fell out, however, in our lifetimes. Here’s a pretty solid – and, importantly, objective! – analysis of the phenomenon which shows its not just down to codgers perennially griping things were better “in my day.”

  37. Sean says:

    Charle[s] Pierce

    https://frieze.com/article/art-and-politics
    An interview with Clement Greenberg

    After the war, some of us were interested to see what the French had done in the meanwhile. We hadn’t seen much 30s French art over here. When we saw what they had done in the 40s we thought, well, we’re way better. It wasn’t chauvinism. We were disposed to it… the best American Modernist art comes out of Paris, no question about it: it comes from Picasso, Matisse, Miró and Mondrian. But we were disappointed with what we saw of Paris painting after the war, and in New York we got parochial, not provincial.

    Was that sense of disillusionment with European art in any way linked with a disillusion with European politics?

    No, that came up in the last 10 or 15 years with academics such as Serge Guilbaut and maybe Tim Clark. 2 That was a lot of shit and still is – how the State Department supported American art and that part of the cold war, and so forth? It was only after American art had made it at home and abroad, principally in Paris, that the State Department said we can now export this stuff. They hadn’t dared to before that. The fight had been won.

  38. Why would anyone go, let alone live in America in 19th or early 20th C? America was a Sahara of bozart (Mencken) & science & philosophy were not comparable to the best of Europe’s.

    Of course, some Europeans did come to the US (Louis Agassiz, Carl Gauss’ son, who became a millionaire,..), but mostly British came to the US on lecture tours (Kipling, Trollope, Wilde, now almost forgotten Herbert Spencer; then, D.H. Lawrence & some others).

    Basically, US was the beneficiary of Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini & Hitler.

    Would Einstein have made such an impact had he been American (Jew)? I doubt it ….

  39. Deckin says:

    Tying together a number of themes from here or near about: Lola Montez. Adventuress extraordinaire, de facto ruler of Bavaria for a time, ended up in the little northern CA town of Grass Valley for a couple of years (where even there she managed to stir up trouble). Certainly one of the more interesting 19th European immigrants ever to set foot here.

  40. Interesting. I think that Carnegie was from Scotland, n’est pas?

    Years ago I read somewhere that Da Ponte was homosexual but evidently he was quite the opposite. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY, I believe.

  41. Tiny Duck says:

    white supremacy is a cancer on the world that infects even innocuous mediums like comics

    The right cannot compete with the likes of Trevor Noah

  42. Mark G. says:

    Because of the English system of primogeniture it would often be the case that among the nobility an older brother would inherit the whole estate and the younger brother would come to America to seek his fortune. This caused a surprising number of more upper class people to come to America and probably helped the country. My ancestor was a younger brother who came to Virginia in 1630. One of his descendants was Edmund Pendleton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A number of the signers probably had upper class English origins.

  43. donut says:

    Flashman spent a good amount of time in the US as well .

    • Replies: @OFWHAP
  44. Lot says:

    Vermont Dem Gov primary: a 14 year old boy, a psychedelic guru to the left of Bernie, and the leading candidate, a transwoman CEO who fathered 3 children.

    https://www.politico.com/story/2018/08/07/vermont-transgender-governor-hallquist-764951

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @David
  45. Bruce Lee’s great-grandfather was the Dutch ambassador to Hong Kong who later went bankrupt, abandoned his Chinese family, and moved to California. Coincidentally, Bruce Lee was born in California.

    • Replies: @Altai
  46. Lot says:
    @Jack D

    “The US was a developing country in some respects up until the end of WWII”

    Except in the single most important respect, per capita GDP, where the US has been much higher than any large part of Western Europe since about 1675.

    1850-1950 was more a multi-polar world in terms of culture and science, with UK, USA, France/Belgium, and greater Germany the poles. You could find as many ways the USA was a leader in 1900 as ways it was behind.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Jack D
  47. But there were comparable numbers of talented American migrants to Europe: painters such as Benjamin West, James McNeil Whistler and Mary Cassatt, and writers such as Henry James and T.S. Eliot.

    And Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, etc…

    As far as the other way around, there’s Marlene Dietrich who became popular in the US a little before the Nazis took power.

  48. Altai says:
    @Triumph104

    Lee’s grandfather there doesn’t look mixed race to me. Maybe a bit early to claim him for the tribe. But I do love the idea of Bruce (((Lee)))

  49. being appointed Professor of Italian Literature at Columbia U.

    A nice parallel with Mario Pei, who was professor of Romance Philology there in the mid-20th century. Pei came as a child, though, and made his name over here. His The Concerns of a Conservative is kind of an ethnic East Coast academic counterpart of Barry Goldwater’s similarly titled book a few years before.

  50. Today is the 165 anniversary of a notable European-American event. From The Minnesota Book of Days:

    1853 The Chicago Landverein, or land society, which would eventually establish the town of New Ulm [Minn.], is formed by a group of German immigrants. At first, lawyers and preachers are banned from membership.

  51. Altai says:

    OT: As I see Steve is writing about more concerns that the total population of the giant desert continent of Australia has too low a population so logically it must import more people into it’s overcrowded main cities. BBC Pidgin has the headline ‘Australia dey wan you’.

    https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/world-44873258

    On Wednesday 18 July, Steven Marshall wey be di Premier of South Australia State tok say if federal goment make im state di number one choice for migrants, e go help increase di state population wey get di slowest population growth for di kontri since 2012.

    But no be only for Australia dem dey suffer dis low population. Some oda kontris dey wey most women no dey gree born pikin and dis na wetin dia goment dey do to increase dia population:

    It’s almost like Australia has been having a crisis of affordable housing which is particularly affecting young people trying to start families. And it’s so bad in South Australia it hasn’t been this bad it hasn’t been this bad since 2012! Adelaide will be abandoned to nature!

    The solution to this problem is to bring in more foreigners to depress wages and increase the demand on housing whilst keeping the housing bubble going by buying houses with cheap loans from their home countries that locals can’t take out.

    I feel like only BBC pidgin excludes the stupidity that goes into these property developer slogans that corrupt politicians trot out in Australia for shockingly small bribes or influence.

    “Dey Australia is dying, dey need you bru!”

    Why is the idea that populations can’t possibly keep growing forever impossible for a critical number of people to understand? Did Ireland disappear after the famine and the incredibly reduced population growth afterwards that went on for decades? Boom times when people can have families early and large can’t last forever and then a period comes when the population stabilises and even declines before this process clears the way for another period of growth due to lowered competition for resources.

  52. @Luke Lea

    You forgot the Puritans.

    He’s talking about Europeans.

  53. @Lot

    Vermont Dem Gov primary: a 14 year old boy, a psychedelic guru to the left of Bernie, and the leading candidate, a transwoman CEO who fathered 3 children.

    I support the 14-year-old. He’s the most mature, by default.

    From the link:

    …and young black transgender women in the U.S. are more than four times as likely to be murdered as are their peers in the general population, according to an investigation by Mic.

    Is that out of line with black men in general?

    Oh, and who’s doing the killing? Inquiring minds want to know.

  54. Tex says:

    Two of Joachim Murat’s (best known for tight pants and cavalry charges) sons settled in the USA. Prince Achille ended up in rural Florida. Probably not in a tar-paper shack. Lucien Murat married a South Carolina gal in New Jersey.

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Prince_Achille_Murat

    https://infogalactic.com/info/Lucien_Murat

    There were a certain number of French exiles in the US after Napoleon’s fall. Many were rather ordinary folk looking for a new life, but some princes showed up too.

  55. Jack D says:
    @Lot

    I agree. I said “in some respects” and that gradually the US took the lead in various sectors 1 by 1. You are saying that by 1900 the US was in the lead in half of all fields – that’s probably about right. The end of WWII was the point where this process reached its high water mark but it had been building for more than a century.

    Obviously having the highest GDP helped drive this process. At the beginning of the process almost all of the water (intellectual capital) was in the European pond and by the end of the process most of it was in our pond . Money was the fuel that drove the pumps that pushed the water from one to the other but it was not an instantaneous process even if the US had more of it. There is a lag – even if China’s GDP exceeds that of the US it might be 50 years before the Chinese take the undisputed lead (wars speed up the process). People have established lives, careers, connections to their culture and language, etc. Even if people in the US were making 20% more than Germans, the German professors were not going to uproot their lives for 20% raise. If it hadn’t been for Hitler, it would have taken much longer if ever.

  56. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:

    “Von Steuben appears to have been fleeing a gay scandal in Prussia so he wasn’t exactly the pick of the European pack.”

    Huh? Von Steuben was a genius at military training; Franklin recognized him as such in Paris (where he was hiding out) and sent him to America, where his training methods helped win the war. BTW, he and his boyfriend shared a tent at Valley Forge with Hamilton and HIS boyfriend; has anyone been able to afford tickets to Hamilton to report on whether they mention this?

  57. Brabantian says: • Website

    Wow, Steve Sailer might have knocked a baseball through Igor Stravinsky’s window … Steve’s note about Stravinsky’s ‘Le sacre du printemps’ being the “finale of classical music” … and also Pat Boyle’s comment above, suggesting ‘peak classical music’ was 1928 (Why 1928 specifically?) raise a major cultural topic

    A good question is why classical music petered out after 400 years of development … Most of the music played in classical concerts is no later than the earliest 20th century late Romantic period, from the last ‘great’ composers such as Sibelius or Richard Strass, the final popular ones often being Russians such as Rachmaninoff & Shostakovich or Steve Sailer’s neighbour Stravinsky. Opera too, faded around the same time, after Puccini in the early 20th century.

    ‘Classical’ music has continued to be written & occasionally performed, but it tends to be either ‘weird’ academic-modern stuff people don’t like, or else rather un-original if pleasant. Music for Hollywood movies can be seen as essentially derivative of late Romantic classics as well, Richard Strauss especially seems to have framed cinema musical score idioms.

    What happened to music? Did we just run into the limits of musical idiom, & what can be developed that people still find enjoyable? It’s been noted recently that a huge amount of pop music hits, use the same 4 chords over & over (!) – they ‘work’ in winning the human ear … it has perhaps become, like so much else, a manipulation … Here’s Australian group ‘Axis of Awesome’ doing a hilarious mash-up of hit songs using those 4 ‘pop-hit-making’ musical chords … over 50 million views, 5min31:

    Curiously, the critical mass of classical musical study & performance today, is East Asia & notably China big-time … the hard work involved doesn’t much suit Western youth today

    For those who don’t realise that East Asians OWN the Western classical music tradition now, here is brilliant & sexy Chinese classical pianist Yuja Wang, famous for performing in alluring outfits, but a world-class performing genius … credited with performing key difficult classical pieces better than anyone ever did before … Here she is with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 29, the ‘Hammerklavier’

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  58. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:

    Well, obviously, the flow was the other way, for the reasons James and Eliot gave; England/Europe had all the culture and institutions. On the other hand, America benefited from the fact that the only game for the ambitious and smart was politics; hence, revolution, Federalist Papers, Constitution, etc.

  59. Steve, Are you pulling our legs or did Stravinsky actually frequent an IHOP? I am sure that today’s budding geniuses avoid all chain restaurants where CNN rules the TVs and rap blares from the sound system. Good article and as I have said before, you can learn something new and worth while every day on this site. Too bad it isn’t a bar, ala “Cheers.” Next round’s on me.

  60. Anonymous[342] • Disclaimer says:

    As Stephen Jay Gould kept reminding us, Louis Agassiz, a prominent Swiss paleontologist and authority on the Ice Ages, was probably the first ‘bigfoot’ European scientist lured to the USA.

  61. Anon[277] • Disclaimer says:

    “The turning point, of course, is when Hitler came to power and the universities got rid of all their Jews and Jewish sympathizers, leaving behind a lot of mediocrities. A lot of these guys ended up in the US, so the US became stronger and Germany weaker ”

    Perhaps in the sciences, but Americans looked to German Kultur, and the exiles in that were pure poison (Frankfurters, Weil, Schoenberg, etc.). Imagine the havoc they would have wreaked in Germany — Hitler was sometimes right, you know.

    As for the sciences, “the US became stronger and Germany weaker”? Perhaps, but wasn’t it more Germans setting up a breakaway civilization? See Farrell, Jorjani and others on the Fourth Reich.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  62. Jack D says:
    @Frau Katze

    But is the Canadian system borrowed directly from Germany or did they copy from the Americans who had copied it from Germany first? I don’t know the history but obviously the whole history of Canada and the US involves a lot of cross border pollination (and the US ends up being the role model rather than the nominal mother country more often than not – e.g. baseball instead of cricket). This goes in both directions (you sent us Lorne Greene) but mostly from the US to Canada because the US is the 500 lb. gorilla in the room.

    • Replies: @Frau Katze
  63. Abe says: • Website
    @Jack D

    The US was a developing country in some respects up until the end of WWII. Elite talent doesn’t tend to move to 3rd worldish places

    A bit of an overstatement. The US had better quality of life for the large majority of its people for pretty much its entire existence as an independent country. Yes, it was not producing thinkers on the level of Kant in Washington’s time, but then again none of its freed people were living at the state of Silesian peasants either (who were not that far removed from medieval serfs as I recall, including the ways in which their nobility were allowed to punish them). All this despite literally fighting a continual border war on its Western edge with Stone Age savages.

    But you’re right about cultural cachet. Even into the 80’s, for example, there were no great, high art US filmmakers. Scorsese is great, but would have been considered a vital primitive by European critics, much in the same way Truffaut/Godard admired American gangster movie directors of the 40’s- in a highly patronizing way. Woody Allen was the closest we had to a master then, but he basically disqualified himself by littering his movies with references to European art cinema (parodying SEVENTH SEAL, walking out of a showing of an Ophuls movie in another) that made clear while he could irreverently throw a few yucks at high cinephile culture, he was still deeply, painfully inadequately in awe of it.

    • Replies: @Bragadocious
  64. OFF TOPIC

    Elizabeth Barrett Browning Is Better Than American Demographic Browning

    Browning Automatic Rifle Is Better Than American Demographic Browning

    New Hampshire Cities Are “Browning” At A Rapid Rate

    Nashua And Manchester And Concord Are Demographically “Browning” At A Rapid Rate

    Superintendent Says Nashua is “Browning” So Fast He Needs More Cash

    Seth Mandel Says Something About A “Brown Planet”

    Steve Sailer Notices Seth Mandel’s Snide “Brown Planet” Comment

    This Is The Guy Talking About The “Browning” Of Public Schools In Nashua, New Hampshire:

    • Replies: @Olorin
    , @Rohirrimborn
  65. syonredux says:

    Two of Cromwell’s Major-Generals, William Goffe and Edward Whalley, fled to New England after the Restoration:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Goffe

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Whalley

    Milton apparently also considered settling in New England after the Restoration, but decided against it.

  66. syonredux says:
    @Jack D

    The US was a developing country in some respects up until the end of WWII. Elite talent doesn’t tend to move to 3rd worldish places

    Describing the pre-WW2 USA as ” 3rd worldish” is quite silly.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  67. @Frau Katze

    ‘But the Germans and Austrians casually tossed all this “soft power” aside by starting WW I.’

    There’s a lot to be said about who ‘started’ the First World War. Books, in fact, have been written on the subject.

    However, it’s grotesquely inaccurate to say ‘the Germans and Austrians’ started it. I would say the situation in general made such a conflagration almost inevitable, but if I was going to single out any of the actors as particularly blameworthy, I’d pick France and Serbia, not Germany and Austria.

    The tendency to blame Germany of course arose at the time — among her opponents. However, I think it has endured largely as an anachronism. Germany was to blame for World War Two — ergo, she was to blame for World War One.

    No she wasn’t. No more than anyone else was, and — I’d say — less than some.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    , @Frau Katze
    , @Frau Katze
  68. syonredux says:

    SJW-Orgasm alert:

    James Bond Producers Are Reportedly Leaning Toward Idris Elba as the Next 007

    https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a22685301/james-bond-producers-idris-elba/

    • Replies: @Pat Boyle
  69. Olorin says:
    @Tiny Duck

    we need more love in this world

    You go first.

  70. OFWHAP says:
    @donut

    He was even a slave! I sure hope his descendants get affirmative action!

  71. Olorin says:

    celebrity

    Good lord, who cares?

    This republic was founded in the name of practicality, not celebrity. It was an HBD experiment for Homo faber, not the diaspora outpost of Mediterranean/Near Eastern Urban Drama Genres LLC, designed by, starring, and worshipping Homo sexual.

  72. Olorin says:
    @Charles Pewitt

    On the good side, they’re all admitting that there’s something about brownness that no amount of money can fix…though brownness is a damn lucrative tin cup.

    Dolt wrangling, as I’ve always said. That’s where the shekels are. And that’s why both Dems and Reps alike, and nonaligned too, won’t hear anything about reducing population. Bigger better faster louder more more more for ever and ever, Mammon.

    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt
  73. Marcus D. says:

    Another example is Thomas Mann, the most important German writer of the last century. He also lived in Los Angeles area. Recently, the German government purchased his house by 13 million dollars and turned it in a house for artists.

  74. Whitehall says:

    The old truism is that “Dukes don’t emigrate”

    Why should they, barring political dispossession?

    In the 19th century, the excess wealth of the US had better investment opportunities in settling the continent and in building its industry. European culture offered return on investment in intellectual attainment and infrastructure. The US Republic had little use for the High Cathedral of European universities. What’s the economic rate of return on Hegel?

    The German innovation in chemistry and British in electro-magnetics offered evidence of the national return on science as both build early leading industries. The US quickly caught on.

  75. @Olorin

    Dolt wrangling, as I’ve always said. That’s where the shekels are. And that’s why both Dems and Reps alike, and nonaligned too, won’t hear anything about reducing population. Bigger better faster louder more more more for ever and ever, Mammon.

    Mammonites Howl At The Mass Immigration Moon

  76. @Quietist

    But the fact remains that literary and cultural genius was a bit scarce in 19th century America

    Except for Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, John Dewey, William James, Mark Twain, etc. Even the mulatto ex-slave Frederick Douglass showed some literary ability.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Desiderius
  77. @Abe

    Scorsese is great, but would have been considered a vital primitive by European critics, much in the same way Truffaut/Godard admired American gangster movie directors of the 40’s- in a highly patronizing way

    Blecch. Truffaut and Godard are overrated. You seem to think that because the French look down their noses at others that they must be correct. French waiters look down their noses at customers making 100 times what they make. It’s like the Seinfeld episode. “You can’t be seen with me? You’re a cashier!”

    American filmmakers have nothing to apologize for. John Ford, Kubrick, Hawks and Preston Sturges were frigging geniuses, and their works stand the test of time far better than some arthouse puffery from Godard.

  78. @Cagey Beast

    The Puritans were bourgeois with the attendant paranoia about losing status. Of course the other colonies were just as bourgeois, Southern pretensions to gentility aside.

    The current sad state of American society is a result of Yankee myopic pedantic, congratulatory self-righteousness mixed in with the amoral greed of New Amsterdam and the South, the hypocritical posturing of Virginia economic elites, and the knuckle-dragging backcountry nihilism of the yeomen and poor whites. The resentful “we’ll show ‘em” victim attitudes of subsequent immigrants towards the aristocrats back home and the real or imagined snobs here hasn’t helped much.

    You can see all these strains in your average American normie and popular politician.

    Everyone in America likes to out do each other in being a victim and claims of egalitarianism, but by God don’t Americans love it if a European potentate gives ‘em a medal.

  79. The US did become a more comfortable place over time, but 19th century Europe didn’t have Stalin and Hitler.

    In the ’30s, we got many outstanding people who were willing to risk your “golfocaust” if they could avoid the holocaust:

    https://www.atomicheritage.org/article/scientist-refugees-and-manhattan-project

  80. Thurston says:

    I would add Joseph Priestley to this list.

    “The controversial nature of Priestley’s publications, combined with his outspoken support of the French Revolution, aroused public and governmental suspicion; he was eventually forced to flee in 1791, first to London and then to the United States, after a mob burned down his Birmingham home and church. He spent his last ten years in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.”

    Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Priestley
    See also http://chronicles.dickinson.edu/studentwork/ancienthall/tome/priestley.htm

  81. Jack D says:
    @syonredux

    I didn’t say 3rd world, I said 3rd worldish… to a Viennese intellectual or a Parisian painter, Los Angeles might as well have been Riyadh. Where were you going to get a decent Kaffe mit Schlag? Where was the Opera? Where were the salons where you could debate Marxism? Economically yes the US had hit the mother lode (often literally) and had a higher standard of living for the common man but as far as the Europeans were concerned we were all Beverly Hillbillies and American intellectuals (if any) were lightweights.

    Maybe the better term would have been “the minor leagues”. The people who play AAA baseball are really good and some of them could play in the MLB tomorrow, but every major leaguer would consider playing in the minors a demotion and not just because of a pay cut. If you had a chair at Heidelburg in 1928 you were not going to give it up to move to Pasadena even if they offered you more salary. Money is not everything.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @syonredux
  82. Thurston says:

    ASIDE: Warren Zevon, my favorite musician, overlapped with Stravinsky.

    “By the age of 13, Zevon was an occasional visitor to the home of Igor Stravinsky, where he briefly studied modern classical music alongside Robert Craft.”
    Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Zevon
    See also

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  83. OT

    Kobach kucks

    Says he will recuse himself from the recount

    Sad

  84. @Tiny Duck

    Tiny Duck, do you believe that pale-skinned peoples of European descent are innately inferior to everybody else on a cognitive, moral, spiritual, and creative level? Do you believe that pale-skinned peoples of European descent have no cultures except what they stole from everybody else? Do you believe that pale-skinned peoples of European descent are responsible for all the world’s misfortunes from the dawn of humanity to the present? Do you believe that pale-skinned peoples of European descent are inclined to slavery, genocide, and violent conquest to an extent unmatched by all others? If race is a social construct with no biological basis, how can whypeepo be vermin, biologically predisposed to every imaginable evil, whose total disappearance will improve the world?

  85. JMcG says:
    @Colin Wright

    I agree, though I do think that Russia has a lot to answer for.

    • Replies: @Flip
  86. Jack D says:
    @Anon

    Perhaps, but wasn’t it more Germans setting up a breakaway civilization?

    You can set up a breakaway religion but you can’t set up a breakaway science because science (the post-modernists notwithstanding) is rooted in the physical reality of the universe and there is only 1 reality possible (at least in the dimension that we live in). 2+2 always equals 4 and if your breakaway science says it’s 5 for some political reason, then it is not really science, it’s just wrong. The Germans tried to set up another (Deutsche Physik) in opposition to Jewish or Einsteinian Physics but it was a flop and it was always bound to be a flop because Einstein was right. If the Germans got anywhere during the war in their work on atomic weapons, it was in spite of and not because of, Deutsche Physik – they let Heisenberg use Jewish Physics so long as he was careful not to mention Einstein’s name or give him any credit. Even Himmler lost patience with the German Physics crowd because he realized that they wouldn’t get him anywhere.

    I don’t buy Farrell and I have no idea who Jorjani is – there is no Fourth Reich any more than Trump is Hitler. Only Hitler is Hitler. Crackpots do not interest me.

    • Replies: @utu
  87. OFF TOPIC

    NY TIMES ATTACKS DAVE BRAT USING WHITE WOMEN ANGLE

    NY Times gets this tidbit from White lady voter:

    Ms. Gaborik said she moved to the county from Richmond several years ago for the same reason so many other women have — for the schools and lower housing prices.

    White lady moves to Dave Brat’s 75 PERCENT WHITE congressional district from 50 PERCENT BLACK Richmond, Virginia and immediately starts agitating on behalf of the Democrat Party.

    The Democrat Party is a squalid coalition of Blacks, Jews, Mestizos, Asians, White government workers and other White wackos.

    Hillary Clinton moved to the mostly White town of Chappaqua, New York in order to avoid having to live around Blacks and non-Whites.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/us/politics/dave-brat-women-virginia.html

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  88. Pat Boyle says:
    @syonredux

    I suppose something like this black guy as James Bond is inevitable. The Bond series is by now very, very old. The owners are just trying to squeeze a few more paydays out of their property.

    But if you are just going to jump the shark wouldn’t it be wiser to jump a little further out? Substituting a black guy for a white guy isn’t that interesting. A female Bond is a possibility but better yet would be some kind of hermaphrodite. Or at least a homosexual.

    And we haven’t even considered all the various disabilities. How about a James Bond with Down’s Syndrome or Cerebral Palsy? How about amputees?

    There was a time in the last century when Quinn Martin on TV had a whole lot of ‘defective detectives’. Ironside was a fat paraplegic. Buddy Epson played some geriatric sleuth. There were many others.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  89. vinteuil says:
    @Brabantian

    Thanks for the Yuja Wang vid. I’d always assumed that she was a pretender, trading off her absurd outfits. But that’s a helluva performance.

  90. Rod1963 says:
    @AndrewR

    The thing is, she’s always been part of the GOP kool kids club (establishment) and you can see it on her TV show where she makes excuses for the Koch Brothers and antiTrump scum like McConnell and Graham.

    Recently she praised the movie about LBG. e.

  91. Wilkey says:

    If you’re a capable, enterprising person you may wish to head off to build a new settlement, but if you’re an intellectual who wants to indulge in intellectual pursuits you probably wouldn’t want to move to such a place. You wait for the early settlers to build it and turn it into some place worth moving to, first.

    None of America’s early settlers were intellectual giants, but many of them were smart enough and capable enough – the East Anglian founders of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies come to mind – that they were able to produce quite accomplished offspring.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  92. Wilkey says:
    @Pat Boyle

    If you’re a capable, enterprising person you may wish to head off to build a new settlement, but if you’re an intellectual who wants to indulge in intellectual pursuits you probably wouldn’t want to move to such a place. You wait for the early settlers to build it and turn it into some place worth moving to, first.

    None of America’s early settlers were intellectual giants, but many of them were smart enough and capable enough – the East Anglian founders of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies come to mind – that they were able to produce quite accomplished offspring.

  93. @Thurston

    13 year old Warren Zevon knocked on Igor Stravinsky’s front door and asked to take music lessons. He ended up taking them not from Stravinsky, but from Stravinsky’s right hand man, a part-time conductor.

  94. vinteuil says:
    @Jack D

    Where was the Opera?

    New York & Chicago were in the forefront well before WWI. Check out the biographies of Caruso, Tetrazzini &c.

    • Replies: @Deckin
    , @Jack D
  95. @Colin Wright

    I’ve read a lot on the subject of who started WW I and I know it’s controversial.

    I agree with Albertini’s exhaustive take on the subject.

  96. Pat Boyle says:
    @Tiny Duck

    Tiny Duck is trying to sound apocalyptic. But it doesn’t wash.

    Most things are going well in America right now. The leftists are upset but just why is hard to say. Trump by any objective measure is doing very well. As far as I can determine the Democrat’s objections to him are that the occupies a position of power that they wish were occupied by themselves. They simply want to get back into power again.

    Tiny Duck misuses the term ‘Fascist’. It is easy to show that Trump is the opposite of a Fascist. Barrack Obama – the feckless fascist – essentially tried to remake the US government into a something modeled on the ideas of Mussolini.

    Mr. Duck conflates race realism or racism with hate. He means the race ideas of whites against blacks. But whites very obviously don’t hate blacks. Whites vote for blacks, watch them play ball and see them in every TV commercial. It is rare to hear any white man in the media express hatred toward blacks. Blacks are often observed expressing hate toward whites but it is generally not reciprocated. Blacks are the race haters.

    Duck thinks the world is turning brown and I suspect that it is right now. But in the slightly longer run it seems likely that all the tropical black and brown people will be eliminated. Whites may go too. The East Asians may decide to populate the planet with people who look like them. You can chant diversity is our strength if you like but the Chinese don’t seem to want to import Africans.

    Looking ahead I see less hate but more nuclear exchanges and more genocide. Hope I’m wrong but I fear I’m not.

  97. Deckin says:
    @vinteuil

    Or check out Caruso’s account of waking up during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  98. The Atlantic was a big ocean before transatlantic air travel (or at least affordable and comfortable shipping).

    And the concentration of interesting people in America was much lower.

    For a long time there weren’t even any proper cities in North America, so why would an inhabitant of – say – London, go? They didn’t. London contributed far less to the share of early English immigrants to America relative to its share of the English population (even though Londoners were far richer than the national average, and cross-Atlantic fares were the equivalent of two years’ worth of a laborer’s wage).

    Anyhow, I imagine that once that critical concentration was reached – this transition seems to have occured from the 1920s-40s – only then did US became an elite magnet in its own right.

    Indeed, there are now far more interesting Americans than Europeans.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Art Deco
    , @Daniel H
  99. Marcus D. says:

    I didn’t say 3rd world, I said 3rd worldish… to a Viennese intellectual or a Parisian painter, Los Angeles might as well have been Riyadh. Where were you going to get a decent Kaffe mit Schlag? Where was the Opera? Where were the salons where you could debate Marxism? Economically yes the US had hit the mother lode (often literally) and had a higher standard of living for the common man but as far as the Europeans were concerned we were all Beverly Hillbillies and American intellectuals (if any) were lightweights.

    Maybe the better term would have been “the minor leagues”. The people who play AAA baseball are really good and some of them could play in the MLB tomorrow, but every major leaguer would consider playing in the minors a demotion and not just because of a pay cut. If you had a chair at Heidelburg in 1928 you were not going to give it up to move to Pasadena even if they offered you more salary. Money is not everything.

    I think that the best term is not “3rd worldish” or “the minor leagues”. The best term is “new rich”. The Americans had the money, the power, but they don’t have the higher culture. The rich plebeians prefer the local popular culture. The perception of USA as a tacky country continues even today.

  100. @Colin Wright

    There are counter factuals suggesting that the UK should have stayed out. After all, the Germans pretty much run the EU at present. A German win would have prevented WW II. The government prior to WW I was somewhat focussed on war, neglecting their “soft power”, but they were not remotely like Hitler.

    It’s worth pondering, I agree.

    Even if Germany was not the proximate cause, they could have prevented it.

    But they had all these elaborate plans on how to fight such a war. You can not deny that. The Serbs merely provided a trigger.

    But all discussion is taking place after the disaster of both wars.

    I honestly do not think that any European governments pre-WW I foresaw how bad it would be. They should have taken note of the high death rates in the American Civil War.

  101. Jack D says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The ’24 Immigration Act meant that American doors were closed to non-elite immigration so elite immigrant was pretty much all you got in that period. I’m sure the relative cost of transatlantic (ship) passage just kept dropping in that period. The elite/non-elite mix would have stayed tilted toward non-elites because there are a lot more of the latter.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @res
  102. @Jack D

    I don’t know either.

    Even if it was an American influenced decision it still shows they respected the German system.

  103. @advancedatheist

    But did Emerson and Thoreau compare as prose stylists to their British equivalents?

    America had a lot of interesting individuals but they tended to lack the high polish of an ancient capital. Churchill’s rhetorical skills, for example, would seem unworldy

    Henry James explained that he had moved to London from New York due to the extremely complex social system and class structure of England being more suited for the kind of novels he wanted to write. He often returned to visit his brilliant siblings William and Alice. He said in the 1900s that America had matured enough that he wouldn’t have made the same decision if he were young today.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @vinteuil
  104. Jack D says:
    @vinteuil

    Sure big artists would visit on tour just as big stars today go on tour to say Australia or even Buenos Aires (even in those days stars would tour those places too), but you’ll notice that they mostly did not settle here permanently. I wouldn’t say the forefront. Caruso loved the Met because they paid crazy good by Italian standards (plus he had lucrative recording contracts with RCA Victor in Camden, NJ) but (maybe even to this day) it’s more prestigious to sing at La Scala.

  105. syonredux says:
    @Jack D

    I didn’t say 3rd world, I said 3rd worldish…

    Yes, I know. Hence, my response:

    The US was a developing country in some respects up until the end of WWII. Elite talent doesn’t tend to move to 3rd worldish places

    Describing the pre-WW2 USA as ” 3rd worldish” is quite silly.

    So, yes, describing the pre-WW2 USA as ” ” 3rd worldish” is really silly…

    but as far as the Europeans were concerned we were all Beverly Hillbillies and American intellectuals (if any) were lightweights.

    William James, Charles Sanders Peirce , John Dewey, George Santayana, …..

    If you had a chair at Heidelburg in 1928 you were not going to give it up to move to Pasadena

    I was thinking more in terms of Boston or New York….

    • Replies: @Jack D
  106. Flip says:
    @JMcG

    Yes. I remember reading a couple of years ago about new evidence that the Russians put the Serbs up to the assassination of Franz Ferdinand

  107. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer

    But did Emerson and Thoreau compare as prose stylists to their British equivalents?

    Emerson’s a bit tricky, as his prose pretty much only works on the level of the sentence; his paragraphs can be nearly incoherent.

    Thoreau, in contrast, compares quite favorably with what was being done in Britain. Indeed, the Brits accorded his writings a warmer reception in the 19th century than they received at home…

    America had a lot of interesting individuals but they tended to lack the high polish of an ancient capital. Churchill’s rhetorical skills, for example, would seem unworldy

    Churchill was also a stand-out in the UK….

  108. Jack D says:
    @syonredux

    William James, Charles Sanders Peirce , John Dewey, George Santayana, …

    I was thinking more of the hard sciences and anyway Peirce is not exact a household name outside of philosophy. In fact none of those guys would mean anything to the average Joe who could OTOH tell you who Einstein, Marx and Freud were if only in a vague way.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @MBlanc46
  109. syonredux says:
    @Frau Katze

    . A German win would have prevented WW II.

    Or made it inevitable…..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septemberprogramm

  110. 3g4me says:
    @AndrewR

    @3 Andrew R. : “And then she goes on to pretend that her comments yesterday had “nothing to do with race and ethnicity.” Well we all know she’s lying. Now she just looks weak. The left certainly isn’t going to sing her praises. But no self-respecting person who liked her comments yesterday can continue to respect her after she needlessly punched right then insulted our intelligence by lying.”

    Solid comment. I have disliked Ingraham for years, but my husband still insists on watching Fox News when he gets home and I can’t help but hear some of what she says while I’m in the kitchen. She’s pontificating about race and American “ideals” while she lives the standard life of the credentialed globalist single woman: over-educated, unmarried, and with adopted alien children (being raised by her undoubtedly immigrant housekeeper). So she cucked and explicitly denounced White identitarians? Well, after all, her Bolivian adoptee is right now being infused with
    Americanness from all the magic dirt – how could a mere social construct like race possibly matter with such evidence to the contrary right before her daily?

    • LOL: AndrewR
  111. syonredux says:
    @Jack D

    I was thing more of the hard sciences

    Is “intellectuals” normally used for people who are engaged in the hard sciences?When someone says “intellectuals,” I think of people like Rousseau and Bergson, not Newton and Maxwell…

    In fact none of those guys would mean anything to the average Joe who could OTOH tell you who Einstein, Marx and Freud were if only in a vague way.

    Yeah, but we’re not talking in terms of average joes….we’re talking about elites, the kind of people who would be acquainted with William James….

  112. @ald

    Yeah, I think he definitely didn’t get the recognition he deserved in part because he was American at a time when U.S. science was considered second rate. He also was apparently quite introverted, not a self promoter, and was content to stay at Yale University his entire career, which at the time was not considered on the same level as the more venerable European institutions.

    The work speaks for itself, though: invented vector calculus, the dot product, the cross product, the idea of Gibbs free energy, chemical potential, loads of other stuff. I like to think you can judge the quality of a thinker by how many of his ideas are salted through the preliminary required courses at university. Anybody with a STEM degree has spent a lot of time studying Gibbs without even realizing it.

    As far as elites immigrating from Europe to the U.S.–maybe not cultural or scientific elites, but inventors came over a fair bit in the 19th century. Alexander Graham Bell, Tesla, and John Ericsson spring to mind. Plus a lot of native talent (Edison, Westinghouse, Morse, Whitney, etc…)

  113. Art Deco says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    For a long time there weren’t even any proper cities in North America, so why would an inhabitant of – say – London, go? They didn’t.

    Not sure what you mean by ‘a proper city’. If the data I’m looking at is precise, in 1860 only five Germanophone cities would have made the top 10 in the United States: Vienna, Berlin, Cologne, Munich, and Dresden, of which none were larger than Philadelphia much less New York. Italy had a clutch of cities over 100,000 in population: Bologna, Florence, Genoa, Messina, Milan, Naples, Palermo, Rome, Turin, and Venice. As far as I can tell, only Naples would have topped Baltimore, much less Philadelphia or New York. In Spain, you had 4 cities over 100,000: Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, of which none were larger than Baltimore.

    • Replies: @Jack D
  114. vinteuil says:
    @Deckin

    Wow, Deckin – I’d never seen that before.

    So even San Francisco was up & running as an outpost of opera as early as 1906!

  115. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    The ’24 Immigration Act meant that American doors were closed to non-elite immigration so elite immigrant was pretty much all you got in that period.

    IIRC, annual immigration was on the order of 0.125% of the extant population on average. An equivalent inflow today would be 400,000 persons per year.

  116. Jack D says:
    @Art Deco

    You have to look at quality, not quantity. Dresden was filled with baroque masterpieces, NY was filled with immigrant slum tenements. Parts of the Lower East Side had the highest population densities this side of Calcutta and were about as appealing.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  117. @Wilkey

    Response to Wilkie 93:

    One of those offspring being Jonathan Edwards, whose arguments about the freedom of the will are as fresh and compelling as the day he wrote them.

    Probably the greatest native-born American mind.

    • Replies: @Meretricious
  118. @Charles Pewitt

    Hillary Clinton moved to the mostly White town of Chappaqua, New York…

    “Mostly” is quite the understatement.

    Chappaqua is neither a town (i.e., township) nor a village. In New York parlance, Chappaqua is merely a hamlet.

    In New York, should an unincorporated wish to incorporate as a village (remaining in the surrounding town) or a city (seceding from it), each hamlet must ask itself, “to be, or not to be?”

    It would be interesting to know why a community of 1,400 with its own school district never bothered to incorporate. The only village in the town of New Castle is Mount Kisco, birthplace of Michael Eisner, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr, and Caitlin Jenner.

  119. David says:
    @Lot

    Long, detailed article about “Christine” Hallquist. Makes the hassle Paul Gauguin caused his family seem mild by comparison.

    “Her” chances aren’t too bad because the otherwise well liked Phil Scott signed some gun control legislation. But those turned off by gun control are even more put off by a tranny, so I’m betting on Scott.

    Hallquist remembers a nun beating her head against the blackboard in front of the whole class because she wouldn’t give the answer to a math equation.

    “You know the answer,” the nun kept saying. And yes, Hallquist knew the answer. She was just being spiteful. “I didn’t want to give in,” she said. “I was a real pain in the ass.”

    Hallquist didn’t give in because she didn’t want to “let go of myself.”

    “I always thought I was a girl,” she said.

    https://vermontbiz.com/news/2017/august/06/plugged-out-christine-hallquist-vermont-electric-coop

  120. Daniel H says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Fanny Trollope, in Domestic Manners of the Americans (recorded and written in the 1830s) had kind things to say about American cities (she just didn’t like American people that much, but she was honest in both her praise and criticism). She considered American coastal cities that she visited (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC) to be superior – in beauty, hygiene, organization, ambience – to European cities that she was acquainted with.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  121. vinteuil says:
    @Steve Sailer

    William James was, by far, America’s greatest thinker & writer. There is, quite literally, nothing you can read by him that won’t get you thinking harder & better.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Anon
  122. Cortes says:

    RL Stevenson (“Treasure Island” etc) spent time in California during the 1880s and his overland journey is told in “The Amateur Emigrant.” His “The Master of Ballantrae” has a couple of episodes set in mid-18th Century America and as heir to a title, the Master probably qualifies as an elite immigrant. And Stevenson, from the family of lighthouse builders, and himself a qualified advocate (equivalent to barrister) like Sir Walter Scott before him, falls into the elite category also.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson

    One of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence, John Witherspoon, was “headhunted” (he accepted the second invitation) to become president of the College of New Jersey at Princeton and can fairly be called an elite immigrant.

    Lillie Langtry, sometime squeeze of the Prince of Wales, went to America and immortality as the idol of Judge Roy Bean (and later appeared as tutor to “The Murderous Miss Mooney” – an entertaining collection of cosy crime stories featuring key moments in US history).

    But for aristocratic immigrant verve who could fail to appreciate Richard Harris who went from noble hero (“A Man Called Horse”) to the butt of ridicule as the Duck of Death (“Unforgiven”)?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  123. George says:

    Johann August Röbling, who actually did sell someone the Brooklyn bridge.
    https:/en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_A._Roebling

    Futurist who came to the US with Roebling in 1831.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Adolphus_Etzler

  124. We’re going to see Ariadne Auf Naxos at the Santa Fe Opera tonight. There is a Stravinsky terrace at the venue as he was a very big deal and his support helped draw supporters who wrote very big checks. I’m amazed at how expensive Opera tickets are yet how little of the cost they cover. Thank you rich people.

    Next week we are seeing Dr. Atomic. We will be able to see the lights of Los Alamos in the distance. Santa Fe Opera really is worth it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @vinteuil
  125. George says:

    Slater the Trailor steals Britsh intellectual property and brings it to the land of no respect for intellectual property rights, 1789.

    Children aged 7 to 12 were the first employees of the mill; Slater personally supervised them closely

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Slater

  126. vinteuil says:

    Oh, and…the other undeniably great composer to seek refuge in the US during the war years was Béla Bartók.

    Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, he hated it here.

  127. @Jimbo in OPKS

    Pacific Opera Project’s version of Richard Strauss’s “Ariadne Auf Naxos” a few years ago was insanely entertaining.

    Strauss’s opera is about a rich benefactor who is hosting a party for which he has hired two different forms of entertainment: a popular knockabout comedy troop and a new Wagnerian tragic opera. Due to scheduling problems, he ends up demanding that both the vaudevillians and the opera singers put on their shows simultaneously on the same stage, turning everything into rapid-fire farce but with Strauss providing near-Wagner quality music (the show is quickly over after the fat lady sings) that normally you’d have to sit thru a four hour opera to hear.

    • Replies: @utu
  128. @Cortes

    Spyglass Hill golf course on the Monterey Peninsula is named after Treasure Island by RL Stevenson, who lived near there during his peripatetic life before dying young in Samoa.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  129. Cortes says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Must be fun there on 19th September…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Talk_Like_a_Pirate_Day

    (My daughter’s birthday, so I can’t not be aware of this nonsense).

  130. utu says:
    @vinteuil

    Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, he hated it here.

    Dickens wasn’t crazy about America either. Actually, who was? Tocqueville was even handed but certainly was not in love with it. Somebody should put together an anthology of writings about America by famous visitors. Most 18-19 century European visitors concentrated on nature and great expanses of land of which they wrote a lot except for visitors from Russia for whom it was nothing exceptional.

  131. Someone mentioned the “second son” point–many English lords came over to make their way.

    However, there wasn’t much IQ sorting I. Those days so the peasant we got had a good chance of being smart.

    America did have original respected art. Not much of it. But JFC was widely translated, as was Washington Irving, and both of them created stories that hold up today. The Hudson river school was a uniquely American form that was well regarded overseas.

    But our original contributions were in the practical arts. Nathaniel Bowditch was an astonishingly good mathematician, almost entirely applied. Eli Whitney, Cyrus McCormack, Samuel Colt, even Alexander Graham Bell came to America when he needed funding for the telephone. Americans were innovators in business, sales, and advertising.

    What are the earlywritings we are known for? Applied philosophy, aka politics and governance. The Mayflower Compact, the Fundamental Orders, the Declaration and Constitution are all widely regarded as classics.

    Btw, we produced one of the most famous people in the world less than years after Jamestown. Born into the working middle class, he ended his formal education at 10. Let’s not say we “only” produced Franklin. Many much older countries couldn’t do that much.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
  132. utu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    If Strauss, then Johann; if Richard, then Wagner.

  133. @Big Bill

    ‘America has been a place for foreign revolutionaries to hide out for a while, marshal their forces, and plot their return (or give up). Kerensky and Trotsky, for example.’

    Madera comes to mind as well. Morsi, now that I think about it. Sun Yat-sen was educated in pre-annexation Hawaii and relied heavily on the support of the Chinese community in the United States. Cubans innumerable.

    Really, we’ve been a source of trouble to the rest of the world for some time.

  134. WeeJack says:

    My favorite, as a Pennsylvanian, is Joseph Priestly, probably the most famous scientist, certainly the most significant, in late 18th Century England. He discovered oxygen, for example, and was quite the theologian as well. His mistake was to be a little too enthusiastic about the French Revolution, which led him to Northumberland County in PA in 1794. There are less than a hundred thousand people in Northumberland County today, it’s hard to believe there were more than a handful in 1794. He is the exception that proves the rule, perhaps.

  135. utu says:
    @Jack D

    The Germans tried to set up another (Deutsche Physik) in opposition to Jewish or Einsteinian Physics but it was a flop and it was always bound to be a flop because Einstein was right. If the Germans got anywhere during the war in their work on atomic weapons, it was in spite of and not because of, Deutsche Physik – they let Heisenberg use Jewish Physics so long as he was careful not to mention Einstein’s name or give him any credit. Even Himmler lost patience with the German Physics crowd because he realized that they wouldn’t get him anywhere.

    Where do you get this nonsense from? Do you really believe it? Einstein relativity theory was irrelevant for the development of nuclear weapons. Actually, it still irrelevant to development of any technology since.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @Anon
  136. @carol

    “Rachmaninoff was in SoCal for a while do but didn’t like it. I think he died in Switzerland. He’s not terribly cool now but I think of him as having a very large brain.”

    The Rach died in Beverly Hills, California. He was 6’6″ with a large head and immense hands — his outspread index and pinky fingers could span an 11th where most pianists can barely span a 10th from thumb to pinky (and many female pianists can’t manage even that). He’s known for his gorgeous melodies, but his compositions are well-constructed and forbiddingly complex. The Rach was a towering genius and the most technically gifted pianist of the 20th century.

    Stravinksy (a naturally hilarious man) described the Rach as a six-and-a-half-foot scowl — almost every Rach piece is in the minor mode. Stravinsky also described the harpsichord as sounding like two skeletons copulating on a tin roof. Funny man.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  137. Silva says:
    @Anonspc

    It wasn’t the earthquake that did it (1755; Lisbon was rebuilt earthquake-resistant) – it was Napoleon (transfer in 1807).

  138. res says:
    @Jack D

    I think doors were closed is an exaggeration (or you have a broad definition of elite).
    1923 ~700k immigrants
    1924 ~300k immigrants
    Then in 1930 dropping under ~100k and staying there until after WWII.

    https://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/Annual-Number-of-US-Legal-Permanent-Residents

  139. George says:

    Garibaldi, 1850 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Garibaldi

    In the US Garibaldi lived with Inventor Antonio Meucci

    On 13 April 1850, Meucci and his wife emigrated to the United State

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Meucci

  140. Cortes says:
    @utu

    Not a famous writer at all, but the on-the-spot observations contained in an important tobacco partnership’s local representative’s correspondence in

    https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/sesh.1986.6.6.81

    (the Cuninghame firm in Virginia just prior to the Revolution) are worth a read since much of the firm’s effort was directed at expansion of tobacco cultivation south and west into the hills in order to provide it with tobacco better suited for the French market. Lots of good stuff on market awareness even in isolated areas and problems created for the firm’s buyers (even if there’s an element of special pleading) and on handling of slaves.

  141. George says:

    “Americans didn’t begin to win lots of Nobel Prizes until the late 1920s, for instance.”

    Fwiw the first Nobel was awarded in 1901. First ‘American’ science Nobel 1907 Albert A. Michelson, German Jewish born 1852 immigrates to US at age 2.

  142. Cortes says:
    @Je Suis Omar Mateen

    Rachmaninov (his 3rd Concerto) is the focus of the very interesting Australian biopic “Shine”:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shine_(film)

  143. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    Don’t you know lawyers are the best science experts?

  144. @Frau Katze

    ‘…Even if Germany was not the proximate cause, they could have prevented it.

    But they had all these elaborate plans on how to fight such a war…’

    You say that as if the French, Russians, and Austrians did not.

    I’ve been through this before. Note that I am not claiming the Germans were innocent. I am merely arguing that they were no more responsible than the rest.

  145. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    I never trust anything in literature that goes “Of course, X was by far the greatest Y“.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  146. Before 1840/50 (steam ships), “passenger” ships didn’t really exist. You had to hitch a ride on a cargo ship or a naval vessel or charter a whole ship.

  147. Anon[643] • Disclaimer says:
    @carol

    Also, Vladimir Horowitz was in L.A. in the early 1940s and hung out with Rachmaninoff during his Beverly Hills days.

    Rachmaninoff was not freakishly tall, vd. Wikipedia for details on this urban legend.

    Would-be pianists in the U.S. always went to Europe to train. Josef Hofmann in the early 20th century was one of the first U.S. pianists to encourage pianists to stay in the U.S., because there were many great teachers there by that point, and the whole Europe thing had developed into a big of a scam.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  148. Anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    My grandmother studied under Ernest Bloch (not to be confused with Ernst Bloch) at Berkeley. He immigrated to America before we entered World War I.
    As far as European composers settling in Los Angeles, Arnold Schoenberg counts among their number, although he probably should have gone to San Francisco. Otto Klemperer also moved to Los Angeles, heading the LA Philharmonic.

  149. @advancedatheist

    None of those are truly first rate.

    Only Poe and Dickinson are of that class.

  150. @vinteuil

    I can report that his son is much more fond of the place and doing well in his nineties in Florida. My wife just paid him a visit.

  151. @Frau Katze

    France succeeded where the Confederacy failed in recruiting the UK to her side in her Continental War. Had she not, Germany would likely have followed in the footsteps of the American Union side; well, followed seventy years sooner.

  152. @education realist

    Well said. A firm foundation for a reasonable patriotic pride.

  153. @Charles Pewitt

    A good friend, descended from the many french canadians who worked in New England mill towns, recently returned to Nashua to bury his mother. He said the local RC church used to have the majority of masses in french with one in english when he was growing up in the 1950s. Now the majority of masses are in spanish with one in french and one in english.

    • Replies: @prosa123
    , @Anonymous
  154. @Old Palo Altan

    Wow, that’s really high praise. Also I see that he was one of 11 children, and had 11 children himself. White people were really out of control back then.

  155. Rob McX says:

    US Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming was a grandson of the Earl of Portsmouth, “thought to be the only person to have served in both the British House of Lords and the Wyoming House of Representatives”, says Wikipedia.

  156. Art Deco says:
    @Jack D

    1. Why not compare art with art and wage-earners’ housing with wage-earners’ housing, eh? You kinda rigged it there. (A subscription to American Art Review might assist you in getting a sense of what was being produced in this country at that time).

    2. The Maddison Project’s latest issue of historical statistics estimates that per capita product in the United States in 1860 was more than double that of Germany and 40% higher than that of France. Somehow, I don’t think urban accommodations in the U.S. were all that bad compared to those abroad.

  157. Dtbb says:

    Benjamin Thompson and Josiah Harlan are two interesting characters who went the other way.

  158. Dtbb says:
    @The Man From K Street

    My father’s hometown of Demopolis Al. was founded by former generals of Napolean.

  159. @vinteuil

    “Undeniably great”? Bartok?

    I’ll have you know that … oh, never mind.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  160. @utu

    Dickens was not exactly popular with the Americans he met over here himself.

    He dined with my great great grandfather in New York City and caused deathless offence by being overly familiar with his host’s wife.

    And what of Poe? Certainly a world-class writer, and still revered in France more than he ever has been in his native land.

  161. Perhaps the greatest of all Wagner conductors, Karl Muck, left a brilliant career behind in Germany to lead the Boston Symphony in 1906. He was interned near the end of the First War, and expelled in 1919, reviled by the sort of Americans who imagined that kicking dachshunds was a sign of manly patriotism.

    Unsurprisingly he never returned, but devoted what remained of his career to Bayreuth and Wagner. His recordings of Parsifal, from 1927 and 1928, are the greatest there are, or ever will be.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  162. prosa123 says: • Website
    @Rohirrimborn

    “A good friend, descended from the many french canadians who worked in New England mill towns, recently returned to Nashua to bury his mother. He said the local RC church used to have the majority of masses in french with one in english when he was growing up in the 1950s. Now the majority of masses are in spanish with one in french and one in english.”

    Given that Nashua is barely 10% Hispanic, not all of whom speak Spanish well enough (if at all) to prefer Mass in that language, I would imagine that this one church is hardly representative of the city as a whole. One thing Nashua does have is a fairly substantial Asian population.

    I would imagine that most of the Hispanics in Nashua are a “spillover” from nearby Massachusetts. The city of Lowell, which is heavily Hispanic, is something like 20 minutes away.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  163. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:
    @Frau Katze

    I honestly do not think that any European governments pre-WW I foresaw how bad it would be. They should have taken note of the high death rates in the American Civil War.

    They were expecting a replay of the Franco-Prussian war, which wasn’t very bloody or protracted. The trend of warfare was towards ever greater speed – of mobilization, movement and attack – so the expectation that it would be ‘over by Christmas’ was not unreasonable.

    In retrospect, we can see that the Franco-Prussian war was an unusual conflict which resulted from a set of circumstances that would never occur again. (Everybody thought Prussia was the weakest of the great powers and no match for the French. That mistake wouldn’t be made again.)

  164. Anonymous[408] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu

    It’s fine to mock the manners and pretensions of your own people, as Dickens did, but when foreigners join the laughter the situation can become awkward. (Wodehouse found himself in a similar situation a couple of generations later.)

  165. Anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:
    @Rohirrimborn

    In the 1950s the Mass was in Latin everywhere. Vatican II was about at the end of the JFK/MM era and in some places didn’t roll out until ‘65 or ‘66 as memory serves. I seem to remember that there had to be some changes like moving the altar forward and this allowed recalcitrant parishes or dioceses to drag it out. I think by ‘68 the vernacular rite was universal.

    • Replies: @Anon
  166. AaronB says:
    @Daniel H

    This is false. I’ve read her book.

    She hated every American city she visited except New York, and she hated Americans and their manners.

    She loved New York and the Hudson Valley, which she found beautiful.

    Even though it has a terrible climate and is ugly and dirty, New York does have a certain intangible appeal. It’s interesting that it had it so early, before it was a world city.

    Aside from New York, the only good thing in America is the vast and easily accessible wilderness. There are landscapes her unmatched anywhere in the world, and easily reached.

  167. AaronB says:

    Rudyard Kipling lived in Vermont, which he loved – he later said the only two places in the world he ever wanted to live in was Bombay and Vermont, and he wasn’t able to settle down in either.

    • Replies: @Anon
  168. Anon[202] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I think he must mean the sermon and the readings.

  169. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123

    Given that Nashua is barely 10% Hispanic, not all of whom speak Spanish well enough (if at all) to prefer Mass in that language, I would imagine that this one church is hardly representative of the city as a whole. One thing Nashua does have is a fairly substantial Asian population.

    The irony is, of course, that much of the stoop grade labor we see out of Mexico and Central America is not Hispanic, in the true sense, at all. They are indios and they do not speak Spanish very well, if at all, and they are illiterate in any language. If they haven’t learned to read and write Spanish in, umm, ….when did Cortez land in Veracuz, anyway?….well, that many years , you can guess how long it will take them to learn English.

  170. Anon[175] • Disclaimer says:
    @AaronB

    What did he say about Bombay?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  171. AaronB says:
    @Anon

    That he loved Bombay and wanted to live there the rest of his life.

    Later he felt that way about Vermont.

  172. vinteuil says:
    @Anon

    I never trust anything in literature that goes “Of course, X was by far the greatest Y“.

    Quite right. Nor do I. That’s one reason I didn’t say “of course.”

  173. vinteuil says:
    @Jimbo in OPKS

    Ariadne auf Naxos is nothing if not clever – but it won’t win anybody over to opera who isn’t already convinced. So arch, so Viennese.

    Salome, on the other hand…

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  174. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    …Karl Muck[s] recordings of Parsifal, from 1927 and 1928, are the greatest there are, or ever will be…

    Well, they are certainly of great historical interest. And the sound is simply astounding, for the time.

  175. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Oh, c’mon – If you can fall for Parsifal, you can fall for Pelléas. And if you can fall for Pelléas you can fall for A csodálatos mandarin. And so on and so forth.

    Where is one to draw the line?

    Surely even you must admit that the Concerto for Orchestra & the 3rd Piano Concerto are reasonably listenable.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  176. @vinteuil

    You are absolutely right.

    Salome is the greatest musical depiction of pure evil as has ever been penned. A shiverfest from first note to last.

    Still, I agree with the Kaiser that it should have been banned.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  177. @vinteuil

    Where to draw the line?

    Simple – between genius and talent, between semi-divine inspiration and hum-drum listenability.

  178. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Salome is the greatest musical depiction of pure evil as has ever been penned.

    At last we agree on something.

    And, yes, it should have been banned. In fact, I think it was, here & there, about a hundred years ago.

    I keep hoping for the Mariinsky to add it to their repertoire.

  179. MBlanc46 says:
    @Jack D

    The Average Joe isn’t likely to recognize, Hume, Kant, Hegel, or Heidegger, either. James, Peirce, and Dewey are the Holy Trinity of the one original American contribution to philosophy, pragmatism.

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