The birth of political parties: I thought for the longest time that parties were a relatively new idea in America, but I was wrong. The country was split into two factions – the Federalists, who wanted a strong central government, and the Anti-Federalists, who didn't–since the second presidential election between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This series on one of my favorite podcasts, American History Tellers, chronicles the birth and rise of both sides of the aisle. Listen to the first episode: "A Tale of Two Parties."
A beautiful metaphor: Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" is one of my favorite short stories. Since it's October and Friday the 13th (oooo spooky), I thought I'd include this incredible reading from The Tale Master on YouTube. Turn off the lights, light some candles, and hook this up to your Bluetooth speaker for a heart-racing thirty minutes.
Poe's writing is dark and riveting. One of my favorite metaphors ever is in this story. When the main character is sneaking into the old man's room, and explaining how quietly and slowly he's moving, he writes: "A watch’s minute hand moves more quickly than did mine."
Compliment this with: A Pale-Blue Eye on Netflix with Christian
Alexis de Tocqueville: Reading about early America is fascinating, and it's almost impossible to get a clear understanding of the country without reading Tocqueville's Democracy in America. I'm slowly making my way through that work, and it's surprisingly easy to read, and Tocqueville was an interesting character. On the role of central government, he observed that it "excels in preventing, not doing." I thought that was a prescient observation, especially since, as far as I can tell, that's what the founding fathers had in mind. I hear often that the government isn't efficient. No, it's not. It's not supposed to be. Individuals and states are supposed to be efficient, not the federal government, because their role is to prevent, not do.