View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:32 pm



Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context 
Author Message
Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
Another of my WWII reads, but an absolutely first-rate oral history that, like the Bradley bio, seems to have threads that connect to RAH's background -- perhaps not quite so much as the Bradley, but enough to make me mention it here.

"In rural America, a man's word was his bond, and a handshake sealed all deals. Harry Truman, growing up in nearby Independence, Missouri, a few years earlier said, 'You never had to sign a piece of paper when you made a bargain....you just lived up to what you'd agreed on....That's what your word meant."

Seems pertinent to RAH, particularly when he ran into the problem of author rights during and after WWII, when the contract he had signed with Astounding ran directly counter to the oral agreement he had with Campbell -- and led to him not returning to the stable after the war, along with other better-known factors.

1953 speech by Eisenhower, describing growing up in Abilene, Kansas: "Now, that town had a code and I was raised as a boy to prize that code. It was: Meet anyone face to face with whom you disagree. You could not sneak up on him from behind, or do any damage to him, without suffering the penalty of an enraged citizenry. If you met him face-to-face and took the same risks as he did, you could get away with almost anything, as long as the bullet was in front."

There is more comparing it to the fifties, but that struck me as very much like the values of BTH, and the general attitude RAH had about dealing with your problems. It does explain the Arthur Clarke confrontation in the eighties.

One of his childhood friends said: "It never occurred to him [Eisenhower] that the world owed him a living. He believed in getting ahead on his own."

Think TCWWTW and Bill.

And this, which may explain the slew of anecdotes about people RAH cut out of his life: "There were certain things he did not believe in, personal revenge, for example, personal vengeance. He did not believe in getting even; he did not hold grudges, but he did not forgive people either; if they had done something to offend him, they simply no longer existed."

There is this midwestern culture that forms Bradley and Eisenhower and RAH, and all three of them left the midwest behind and rarely returned, and never lived there again after their youth -- but they took those values with them, and when the world disappointed them or upset them, all three of them tended to promote those values.

One of the striking things about RAH's late works is how much he is re-creating those values for a younger generation to take on.

What is also striking is that his rebelliousness, his heretical side, struck out against much of the matrix that produced those values -- the religious fundamentalism, the blue-belly painting, the parochialism, and so forth.

He doesn't ever seem to have considered that in rejecting much of that restriction, he was undercutting what he wanted to promote from it as well.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:29 am
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2402
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
You probably already know it, but you can skip - if not hunt down and burn - the recent biography Ike. A complete waste of time and dead trees.

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:40 am
Profile
Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
I didn't know, but having read Stephen Ambrose's multi-volume bio, I hadn't planned on reading another. I was just attracted to the oral history aspects.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:48 am
Profile
PITA Bred
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:17 pm
Posts: 2402
Location: The Quiet Earth
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
Fluffy bunny name-dropping and speculation throughout. I read it early and then read a number of reviews that excoriated Korda for it. His interest and focus seems to be that (dimly recalling) his father was an attache or something who crossed DDE's path, and that was his qualification for writing the bio.

I can usually sift nuggets from second-rate books and move on, but this one is a stinker.

_________________
"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:59 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 345
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
Personally, I go right for the primary sources. Ike's own memoirs of WWII and his presidency are pretty first rate.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:03 am
Profile WWW
Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
Yes, I do too -- although later secondary sources can be useful correctives for any number of issues -- mistaken memories, obfuscations, and outright lies.

The Bradley autobio I discussed in another post does much of this for earlier sources, such as Patton, Monty, and Ike.

This anecdotal history is a fine read. Very revealing.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:41 pm
Profile
Heinlein Nexus
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
Posts: 2233
Location: Pacific NorthWest
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
RobertJames wrote:
[Heinlein] doesn't ever seem to have considered that in rejecting much of that restriction, he was undercutting what he wanted to promote from it as well.

Um, what makes you think he didn't consider it? He seems to have considered everything else...

It never occurred to me that just because some church said that it was a good idea to be nice to people that I was rejecting that principle if I rejected their bible-thumping. Although that correlation may be more prevalent in America, where I find the belief that you need to be a religious person to be a good person much more common than it is in Europe.
Quote:
What is also striking is that his rebelliousness, his heretical side, struck out against much of the matrix that produced those values -- the religious fundamentalism, the blue-belly painting, the parochialism, and so forth.


What's this blue-belly painting?


Wed Jul 21, 2010 3:19 pm
Profile WWW
Heinlein Nexus

Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:05 am
Posts: 375
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
Peter, for the general run of people, they don't think about why they believe what they believe. As is spoofed in reverse in the classic "Inherit the Wind", "I do not think about,,,the things I do not think about."

The blue-belly painting is a reference Heinlein makes that when everyone around you paints their belly blue, you must prepare to do so too.

And yes, in America, there is an intense surface connection between behavior and church attendance -- or used to be. Lots of Americans these days don't attend church, and still call themselves Christians. but as a boy, we went to church because if we didn't, other people would not associate with us socially.

Eisenhower began attending church regularly as a part of his presidency, for the same reason.

It's always seemed to me ironic that Reagan got the born-again vote, but rarely attended church, while Clinton was, and is, a devout church-goer.

And yes, that undercuts the connection in modern times. But with the rise of fundamentalism in this country over the past three decades, as evidenced by the elections of Reagan, and especially Bush -- and the building in the last 10-20 years of enormous nondemoninational fundamentalist churches, I think that strain of American public life known as Great Awakenings is in full roar again -- perhaps in the Fifth of Sixth iteration.

Does that make more sense, or open more questions? Both? Neither?

But I do feel like RAH never really pondered what would happen to the general run of human being if one rejected what he rejected, simply because he retained the sense of morals, manners, and (selective) mores that he did. He kept the good stuff, and threw away the bad, as so many thinking people do -- but I find that most people, particularly when they are not trained to think by our culture, educational system, and the literalism of many fundamentalist faiths, simply do not think -- at all.

Of course, they say they think -- but try to get one of them to examine what is unexamined, and they get very, very frustrated and angry.

Which is why they don't like Heinlein....:)


Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:10 pm
Profile

Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:40 pm
Posts: 540
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
PeterScott wrote:
Quote:
What is also striking is that his rebelliousness, his heretical side, struck out against much of the matrix that produced those values -- the religious fundamentalism, the blue-belly painting, the parochialism, and so forth.


What's this blue-belly painting?


_Time Enough for Love_ p 461 (Ace paperback)
"When the locals rub blue mud in their navels, I rub blue mud in mine just as solemnly."

_The Number of the Beast_ p 414 (Fawcett Columbine edition)
"A good time to rub blue mud in my belly button -- "

_Job: A Comedy of Justice_ p 57 (Del Rey paperback)
"It does not require a broad education to function as a social and economic animal . . . as long as you know when to rub blue mud into your bellybutton. But a mistake in local customs can get you lynched."

_To Sail Beyond the Sunset_ p 25 (Ace paperback)
"Maureen, rubbing blue mud in your belly button is an indispensable survival skill . . . everywhere, anywhen."

The phrasing has spread to authors influenced by Heinlein:

John Varley _Steel Beach_ p 373 (Ace Paperback)
"I swear, if three people ever got together to sing hosannah and rub blue mud on their bodies for the glory of anything, I rooted them out, ran them to ground, and shook them by the lapels until they told me their idea of the truth."


Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:53 pm
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:18 pm
Posts: 345
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Ike The Soldier: As They Knew Him / RAH context
The reference is to the ancient Celts as the Romans found them.

_________________
"Rub her feet." --Woodrow Wilson Smith

"Hey, if I'm going to pass on the timeless wisdom of the ages in a Sig, that pretty well qualifies, in my experience." --Geo Rule


Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:38 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 14 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF