The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill's role in his death, Steve R. Dunn

The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill's role in his death, Steve R. Dunn

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The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill's role in his death, Steve R. Dunn

The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill's role in his death, Steve R. Dunn

Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock was the British admiral in command at the battle of Coronel, the first serious defeat for the Royal Navy since the War of 1812. He was the commander of a small squadron of outdated cruisers (and one even more antiquated battleship that was too slow to keep up with his squadrons) that was given the task of looking for Von Spee's far more powerful squadron of modern German cruisers. At Coronel two of Cradock's three cruisers were sunk with the loss of all hands, and Cradock went down with his ship. Unsurprisingly this defeat was hugely controversial in Britain, and Cradock's reputation came under attack (especially from Churchill, who had been First Lord of the Admiralty at the time of the battle).

Dunn's biography of Cradock follows him from his early childhood in Yorkshire and through a naval career that began when he was only 12 and continued for the next forty years. Cradock was very much a product of the late Victorian and Edwardian Navy, a powerful but very traditional force that had reigned supreme over the oceans since the end of the Napoleonic Wars, but without having to face a major challenge. The Navy had been involved in the Crimean War (operating in the Baltic and the Black Sea) and Naval parties fought on land in many Imperial wars (Cradock fought in the Sudan and China), but hadn't had to face a major naval challenge for many years. For many officers tradition ruled, and it was possible for an officer to reach flag rank with hardly any experience of commanding an up-to-date warship (Cradock only commanded a modern warship for five years during his career).

Although Dunn clearly sympathises with Cradock and is unimpressed with Churchill's performance at the Admiralty, he doesn't portray Cradock as blameless. Instead he looks at how Cradock's forty years of experience in the navy led him to make the fatal decision to attack Von Spee's superior squadron at Coronel. His orders from London were confused at best, but led him to believe that his task was to find and attack the German squadron.

Dunn does miss out one possible motivation for Cradock's decision to attack - in earlier naval conflicts outgunned and outnumbered squadrons had been able to inflict quite serious damage on their opponents before being defeated. By 1914 this was no longer the case - Von Spee's more powerful guns allowed him to sink two of Cradock's cruisers without suffered any serious damage, while at the Falklands the British battlecruisers were able to do the same to the Germans, sinking Von Spee's most powerful ships without suffering any serious damage themselves. Outclassed warships could no longer hope to inflict any significant damage on their more powerful opponents.

This is a fascinating biography of a figure who rarely gets much attention, helping to explain why he chose to attack Von Spee at Coronel, and also providing a fascinating view of the Victorian and Edwardian Navy, at a time Britain's domination of the seas was taken for granted, but was largely untested.

1 - Armageddon: HMS Glasgow, 1 November 1914, 1950 hrs
2 - Yorkshire, 1720-1874
3 - Cadet, Midshipman, Lieutenant, 1874-1883
4 - Egypt, the Sudan and Promotion, 1884-1893
5 - Following Orders, 1893
6 - Royalty and Back to School, 1894-1893
7 - Cradock in China, 1900-1901
8 - Bachelors
9 - Mistresses
10 - The Mediterranean, 1902-1905
11 - The Vicwardian Navy
12 - Royalty and Promotion, 1905-1910
13 - Cradock the Man
14 - The Great Schism, Fisher, Beresfort and Royals, 1904-1911
15 - Brothers in Arms and the Surtees Divorce
16 - Recalled to the Fleet and the Delhi Affair, 1911-1912
17 - 4th Cruiser Squadron and Mexico, 1913-1914
18 - War: Coronel in Context, June to October 1914
19 - The Admiralty in 1914
20 - Cradock versus Churchill, August to October 1914
21 - Arms and the Men
22 - On the Falkland Islands, October 1914
23 - The Battle of Coronel and its Aftermath, 22 October to 8 December 1914
24 - Gunnery and Coal
25 - Recrimination and Blame, 1914
26 - Memories, 1916
27 - In Memoriam, 1916 and Later
28 - Churchill's Attack on Kit's Reputation, 1923-1924
29 - Cradock the Movie, 1926-1927
30 - Envoi
31 - Postscript

Author: Steve R. Dunn
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing
Year: 2014

Eric Bermann

Published by University of Michigan Press, 1973

Used - Hardcover
Condition: VERY GOOD

Hardcover. Condition: VERY GOOD. Light rubbing wear to cover, spine and page edges. Very minimal writing or notations in margins not affecting the text. Possible clean ex-library copy, with their stickers and or stamp(s).

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Books, Arts, & Curiosities – In the Lands of the Prophet

Finest Hour 170, Fall 2015

Page 36

Review by Ashley Jackson

Warren Dockter, Churchill and the Islamic World, I. B. Tauris, 2014, 288 pages, £25.00 / $40.00.
ISBN 978-1780768182

A century ago Western politicians, as this book makes clear, were as clueless about Islamic culture and politics as they are today. But then as now that did not prevent Westerners from making airy pronouncements about the Islamic world or relieve their leaders of the need or temptation to formulate policies towards Islamic societies and initiate actions within them. Even a man such as Winston Churchill, who evinced a consistent interest in Islam and could bring to bear his intense intelligence, simply did not have a deep or objective enough knowledge to appear, in retrospect, well informed.

Finest Hour readers will be aware of the extent of Churchill’s association with the “Islamic world,” and the manner in which it presented itself to a politician of the period. The Ottoman Empire regularly intersected British imperial and foreign policy and influenced public awareness of the fault lines between east and west, Islam and Christianity. Further, the British Empire’s position as a “Muslim power” was never far from the thoughts of statesmen. Churchill experienced fighting on India’s North-West Frontier and was influenced by figures such as Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and T. E. Lawrence. He engaged with Islamic regions during stints at the Air Ministry, Colonial Office, and War Office, and was instrumental in determining the political contours of the Middle East following the Great War. Later came his engagement with political reform in India and the position of the subcontinent’s Muslim population, and the travails of British policy in Palestine.


Cradock was born at Hartforth, Richmond, North Riding of Yorkshire, on 2 July 1862, the fourth son of Christopher and Georgina Cradock (née Duff). [1] He joined the Royal Navy's cadet training ship HMS Britannia on 15 January 1875 and was appointed to the armoured corvette HMS Pallas of the Mediterranean Station on 22 December 1876. Cradock was promoted to midshipman on 22 December 1877 and was present when the British occupied the island of Cyprus the following year. He was transferred to the ironclad HMS Minotaur on 25 July 1879 and then to the corvette HMS Cleopatra on the China Station on 24 August 1880. Promoted to acting sub-lieutenant on 21 December 1881, Cradock returned to England on 6 March 1882 to prepare for his lieutenant's exams which he passed a year later. His rank confirmed, he then passed gunnery and torpedo courses later in 1883. [2] [3]

Cradock was assigned to the ironclad HMS Superb in the Mediterranean after completing his courses and in 1884 was assigned to the naval brigade which had been formed for service during the Mahdist War. After serving in a support role during the war, he returned to his ship [4] where he was promoted to lieutenant on 30 June 1885. [2] Cradock was then appointed to the gunboat HMS Linnet as her first lieutenant and remained there until he was placed on half-pay on 9 May 1889. He was briefly recalled to active duty aboard the new battleship HMS Howe to help during her shakedown cruise and to prepare her for the fleet review in Spithead in August. Cradock then spent a year on the corvette HMS Volage, assigned to the Training Squadron. During this time, he published his first book, Sporting Notes from the East, about the shooting of game. [5]

On 6 September 1890, Cradock was appointed first lieutenant of the sloop-of-war HMS Dolphin which arrived in the Red Sea shortly afterwards. The Mahdist War had flared up again and the British formed the Eastern Sudan Field Force around the garrison at Suakin, on Sudan's Red Sea coast. Cradock was assigned to the force in 1891 and participated in the capture of Tokar. He then became aide-de-camp to Colonel Charles Holled Smith, Governor-General of the Red Sea Littoral and Commandant, Suakin. For his service in this campaign, he was awarded the Ottoman Empire's Order of the Medjidie, 4th Class and the Khedive's Star with the Tokar Clasp. After returning to Dolphin, Cradock helped to rescue the crew of the Brazilian corvette Almirante Barroso, which had wrecked on the coast of the Red Sea near Ras Zeith on 21 January 1893 during an around-the-world cadet cruise. [6]

After a brief time on half-pay and another gunnery course, Cradock was appointed to the royal yacht Victoria and Albert on 31 August 1894 and published his second book, Wrinkles in Seamanship, or, Help to a Salt Horse. He served as a pallbearer at the funeral of Prince Henry of Battenberg on 5 February 1896. Promoted to commander on 31 August, he became the second-in-command of HMS Britannia. Before the beginning of the Second Boer War in October 1899, Cradock was briefly transferred to the drill ship President to serve as a transport officer, supervising the loading of troops and supplies for South Africa, and was reduced to half-pay before the end of the year. [7]

Command and flag rank Edit

On 1 February 1900 he was appointed in command of the third-class cruiser HMS Alacrity, [8] which was posted to later that year to the China Station during the Boxer Rebellion. He commanded a mixture of British, German and Japanese sailors during the capture of the Taku forts on 17 June, led a contingent of British and Italian sailors into the Tientsin on 23 June, and then led the naval brigade that relieved Vice-Admiral Edward Seymour's troops besieged in the Pei-yang Arsenal three days later. Cradock was promoted to captain effective 18 April 1901 and also received the Prussian Order of the Crown, 2nd Class with swords as a result of his actions. Alacrity arrived back in Britain on 32 July 1901 and Cradock was placed on half-pay. [9]

On 24 March 1902 he was posted to the protected cruiser HMS Andromeda on the Mediterranean Station, where from June that year he served as flag captain to Rear-Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, who commanded the fleet's cruiser squadron. [10] Cradock was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 26 June. [11] He assumed command of the armoured cruiser HMS Bacchante on 19 December and Wake Walker shifted his flag to the ship the following day. [12] When King Edward VII visited Malta on 2 June 1903, he appointed Cradock a Member of the Royal Victorian Order. [13] Off the coast of Sardinia, Cradock saved Prince Vudhijaya Chalermlabha, then serving as a midshipman in the Royal Navy, from drowning in April 1904. After the Dogger Bank Incident, Wake Walker commanded the cruisers, including Bacchante, shadowing the Russian Baltic Fleet as it steamed through the Mediterranean in October en route to the Far East. On 17 January 1905, Cradock assumed command of the armoured cruiser HMS Leviathan, but was invalided home on 17 June. He was on sick leave until September and was then placed on half-pay. [14] [15]

Cradock became captain of the battleship HMS Swiftsure on 17 July 1906 and was relieved on 6 August 1908, [2] publishing his last book, Whispers from the Fleet, in 1907. During this time the Royal Navy was riven by the feud between the reforming First Sea Lord, Admiral Jackie Fisher and the traditionalist Admiral Charles Beresford and their followers. [16] While Cradock's position on the issues dividing the navy are not positively known, a passage from Whispers from the Fleet may offer a clue: ". we require – and quickly too – some strong Imperial body of men who will straightway choke the irrepressible utterings of a certain class of individuals who, to their shame, are endeavouring to break down the complete loyalty and good comradeship that now exists in the service between the officers and the men and who are also willing to commit the heinous crime of trifling with the sacred laws of naval discipline". [17] After leaving command, he was again put on half-pay. He was appointed Naval Aide-de-Camp to Edward VII in February 1909 although he remained on half-pay. On 1 July Cradock was appointed in command of the Royal Naval Barracks, Portsmouth and promoted to Commodore second class while retaining his duties as aide-de-camp. Edward VII died on 6 May 1910 and Cradock stayed on until the end of October to assist his newly crowned son, King George V. [18]

In the meantime he had been promoted to rear-admiral on 24 August 1910, and was relieved of his command in October. Still on half-pay Cradock reported to the Royal Hospital Haslar on 24 February 1911 with kidney troubles and discharged himself on 7 March to attend a staff course at the Royal Naval War College at Portsmouth that lasted until 23 June. He came in sixth out of seven students, and was noted as "very attentive, but sick 1/3 of the term". On the 24th Cradock escorted visitors aboard a merchant ship to the Coronation Fleet Review at Spithead. He became second-in-command of the Atlantic Fleet on 29 August, hoisting his flag aboard the predreadnought battleship HMS London. When the ocean liner SS Delhi ran aground during the night of 12/13 December near Cape Spartel, Morocco, smashing all of her lifeboats, Cradock was ordered to take London and the armoured cruiser HMS Duke of Edinburgh to rescue the survivors in heavy seas. It took five days to get all of the passengers and crewmen off the ship, including Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, his wife, the Princess Royal, and the king's granddaughters. In recognition of his efforts, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order on 28 February 1912 [19] and later awarded the Sea Gallantry Medal. [2]

In May Cradock shifted his flag to the predreadnought battleship HMS Hibernia where he took charge of experiments that the RN was conducting with launching aircraft from ships. Commander Charles Samson had already flown off from Hibernia ' s sister ship HMS Africa while anchored earlier and she transferred her flying-off equipment to Hibernia, including a runway constructed over her forecastle above her forward 12-inch turret that stretched from her bridge to her bows. Samson took off from Hibernia in his Short Improved S.27 biplane while the ship steamed at 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h 12.1 mph) in front of George V at the Royal Fleet Review in Weymouth Bay on 9 May, the first person to take off from a moving ship. Cradock hauled down his flag on 29 August and went on half-pay. [20]

On 8 February 1913, he was given command of the 4th Cruiser Squadron, formerly the North America and West Indies Station (the main base remaining the Royal Naval Dockyard and the Admiralty House at Bermuda, and hoisted his flag in the armoured cruisers HMS Donegal then HMS Suffolk. [2] His orders from the Admiralty were to protect British lives and property during the ongoing Mexican Revolution, but to avoid any action that could be construed as British interference in internal Mexican affairs. The British Minister to Mexico, Sir Lionel Carden strongly disagreed with the official policy and argued for some sort of intervention. The situation was further confused by American suspicion of British actions, believing that the Monroe Doctrine meant that the Americans alone could intervene in Mexico. [21]

Together with the American Rear Admiral Frank Friday Fletcher, Cradock coordinated the evacuation of British and American citizens from Tampico, Mexico, when that city was threatened by rebels. [22] He then transferred his flag to HMS Essex on 18 February 1914 and sailed to Galveston, Texas, where he arrived at the end of the month. [23] There he visited some of the refugees and was feted by the Americans, including a visit with the Governor of Texas, Oscar Colquitt before returning to Mexican waters. Cradock was in Tampico, when the Mexican Army briefly arrested nine American sailors who were purchasing petrol in the city on 9 April. Rear Admiral Henry T. Mayo, commander of the American forces off-shore, demanded an apology, but the Mexican government refused. The incident contributed to the American decision to occupy Veracruz on 21 April. Cradock was able to evacuate some 1,500 refugees from Tampico, Mexico City and Veracruz without incident. [24]

First World War Edit

When the preliminary warning for war with Imperial Germany reached Cradock on 27 July, there were two German light cruisers in his area as the brand-new SMS Karlsruhe was in the process of SMS Dresden. Cradock dispersed his cruisers to search and track the German ships, but the Admiralty was concerned about the presence of numerous ocean liners in New York that it deemed capable of being converted into armed merchant cruisers and ordered him to concentrate three of his cruisers off New York harbour. He was able to order a pair of his ships northwards and followed them in Suffolk before the declaration of war on 4 August. [25]

On the morning of 6 August, Suffolk spotted Karlsruhe in the process of transferring guns and equipment to the liner SS Kronprinz Wilhelm about 120 nmi (220 km 140 mi) north of Watling Island. The two ships quickly departed in different directions Suffolk followed Karlsruhe and Craddock ordered the light cruiser Bristol to intercept her. Karlsruhe ' s faster speed allowed her to quickly outpace Suffolk, but Bristol caught her that evening and fruitlessly fired at her before the German ship disengaged in the darkness. Craddock had anticipated her manoeuvres and continued eastwards, but Karlsruhe was almost out of coal and had slowed down to her most economical speed and passed behind Suffolk the following morning without being spotted before putting into Puerto Rico with only 12 long tons (12 t) of coal remaining. [26]

Cradock continued northward in obedience to his orders and, after rendezvousing with the newly arrived armoured cruiser HMS Good Hope in Halifax, Canada, transferred his flag to her because she was faster than Suffolk. Dresden was under orders to rendezvous with the East Asia Squadron in the Pacific and Karlsruhe to intercept Allied merchantmen off the north-eastern coast of Brazil, so the reported losses of shipping showed both ships moving south. In response, the Admiralty ordered Cradock southward on 22 August and appointed him in command of the South American Station the following month whilst reinforcing him with the elderly and slow predreadnought battleship HMS Canopus. [27]

On 14 September, Cradock received new orders from the Admiralty: he was apprised that the East Asia Squadron was probably heading for either the west coast of South America or the Strait of Magellan and that he was to detach sufficient force to deal with Dresden and Karlsruhe while concentrating his remaining ships to meet the Germans, using the Falkland Islands to re-coal. To achieve this aim, he was to be reinforced by the modern armoured cruiser HMS Defence arriving from the Mediterranean. Until she arrived Cradock was to keep Canopus and one Monmouth-class cruiser with his flagship, Good Hope. Once he had superior force, he was to search for and destroy the German cruisers and break up German trade on the west coast whilst being prepared to fall back and cover the River Plate area. [28]

The day that the Admiralty issued its order, the East Asia Squadron appeared at occupied German Samoa. Its apparent movement to the west, and the continuing depredations of the light cruiser SMS Emden in the Bay of Bengal, caused the Admiralty to conclude that Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee, commander of the East Asia Squadron, meant to rendezvous with Emden in the south western Pacific and cancelled the transfer of Defence to Cradock's command. [29] Two days later the Admiralty messaged Cradock that von Spee was moving away from South America and that he should search the south western coast of South America for German ships without worrying about keeping his ships concentrated, but failed to inform him that Defence would not now be sent to him. [30]

By late September, it had become clear that Dresden had passed into the Pacific Ocean and Cradock's ships fruitlessly searched several different anchorages in the area of Tierra del Fuego before having to return to Port Stanley in the Falklands to re-coal on 3 October. Based on intercepted radio signals, the Admiralty advised him two days later that the East Asia Squadron was probably headed his way, although he did not receive the message until 7 October. [31]

The Hunt for the East Asia Squadron Edit

By late October Cradock had reliable intelligence that the East Asia Squadron had reached the western coast of South America. Cradock's fleet was significantly weaker than Spee's, mainly consisting of elderly vessels manned by largely inexperienced crews. However, the orders he received from the Admiralty were ambiguous although they were meant to make him concentrate his ships on the old battleship Canopus, Cradock interpreted them as instructing him to seek and engage the enemy forces. Clarifying instructions from the Admiralty were not issued until 3 November, by which time the battle had already been fought. [32]

Battle of Coronel Edit

Cradock found Spee's force off Chile in the late afternoon of 1 November, and decided to engage, starting the Battle of Coronel. Useless for anything other than searching, he sent the armed merchant cruiser Otranto away. He tried to close the range immediately to engage with his shorter-ranged six-inch guns and so that the enemy would have the setting sun in their eyes, but von Spee kept the range open until dusk, when the British cruisers were silhouetted in the afterglow, while his ships were hidden by darkness. Heavily disadvantaged because the high seas had rendered the main-deck six-inch guns on Good Hope and HMS Monmouth unusable, and with partially trained crews, Cradock's two armoured cruisers were destroyed with the loss of all 1,660 lives, including his own the light cruiser Glasgow managed to escape. This battle was the first defeat of the Royal Navy in a naval action in more than a hundred years. [33]

Departing from Port Stanley he had left behind a letter to be forwarded to Admiral Hedworth Meux in the event of his death. In this he commented that he did not intend to suffer the fate of Rear-Admiral Ernest Troubridge, who had been court-martialled in August for failing to engage the enemy despite the odds being severely against him, during the pursuit of the German warships Goeben and Breslau. The Governor of the Falklands and the Governor's aide both reported that Cradock had not expected to survive. [34]

A monument to Cradock, sculpted by F. W. Pomeroy, was placed in York Minster on 16 June 1916. [35] It is on the east side of the North Transept towards the Chapter House entrance. There is another monument to Cradock in Catherington churchyard, Hampshire. There is a monument and a stained glass window in Cradock's memory in his parish church at Gilling West. [36] Having no known grave, he is commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. [37]

Cradock never married, but kept a dog which accompanied him at sea. He commented that he would choose to die either during an accident while hunting (his favourite pastime), or during action at sea. [38]

Book Review-‘A Shipyard at War: Unseen photographs from John Brown’s, Clydebank 1914−1918′ by Ian Johnston

First World War stories usually concern the vast destructions wrought by conflict – the loss of life, the ruination of landscape, and the crushing of hope. We tend to forget that the other major preoccupations of the war years were construction and production. These encompassed munitions, food and, as illustrated in Ian Johnston’s new book, [&hellip] Read More

Filed under: WW1
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

Officer who led his sailors to their death 'was hero'

Author hopes to restore reputation of outgunned Rear Admiral who died in First World War battle.

It was a First World War naval disaster which called the Royal Navy’s mastery of the seas into question at a crucial moment.

The Battle of Coronel led to the disgrace of a senior officer, who was held responsible for the humiliating reverse.

Rear Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock, known as Kit, met with his death on November 1, 1914 at Coronel alongside 1,600 of his men.

Now Midland author Steve Dunn has written a book in which he hopes to set the record straight and clear the name of a “brave, possibly rash, man with a proven record of heroism”.

Mr Dunn, from Barnt Green, in Worcestershire, said he believes that Rear Admiral Cradock was the subject of a grave injustice – with the cowardice of another senior officer in an earlier incident to blame for his “rash decision”.

The battle happened off the coast of central Chile 100 years ago next month – and in reality was the result of a series of misunderstandings.

The British force was outgunned by the German fleet, led by famous Vice Admiral Maximilian von Spee. The Royal Navy group was unfortunately mainly composed of obsolete vessels crewed by reservists.

By contrast the German vessels were all modern and led by handpicked officers, and included the famous Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, which massively out-ranged their British opponents.

Cradock had been handed rather inexact orders in which he had been told to “be prepared to meet them in company” – orders which were an effective death sentence should the force meet stronger opposition – which it did.

Mr Dunn said: “As November 1 approaches I’m determined to do what I can to make sure people know the true story.

“Cradock, who was badly advised and equipped, was given orders to engage with the enemy, even though he’d outlined his concerns.

“Because he believed it was his duty to follow orders he sought out the opposing German ships, knowing they were almost certainly doomed.”

The two fleets met in the late afternoon, Cradock desperately trying to close the range to his opponents, so their guns could actually hit them.

As the fleets got nearer, the German shelling became much more accurate and HMS Good Hope and Monmouth were soon in flames.

Cradock had earlier left the battleship Canopus behind, believing that the old ship was too slow to allow him freedom of movement.

Monmouth was silenced first, and soon after Good Hope ceased firing, exploding, breaking apart and sinking. There were no survivors from either British ship. Only three men were wounded in the German fleet.

In the aftermath, First Sea Lord Winston Churchill said of Cradock: “Feeling he could not bring the enemy immediately to action as long as he kept with Canopus, he decided to attack them with his fast ships alone, in the belief that even if he himself were destroyed. he would inflict damage on them which. would lead to their certain subsequent destruction.”

There was significant outcry after the disaster which was the Royal Navy’s first defeat since the battle of Lake Champlain in 1812.

Subsequently a large force was assembled and defeated Von Spee at the battle of the Falkland Islands.

But Mr Dunn believes that Cradock has been wrongly castigated for leaving the Canopus behind and blames an earlier admiralty scandal for the actions which have been described as “rash”.

A friend of Cradock, Rear Admiral Ernest Troubridge, had been accused of cowardice just three months before.

In similar circumstances to the battle of Coronel, Troubridge, who commanded a squadron in the Mediterranean, allowed two German ships, the Goeben and Breslau, to escape. Troubridge’s ships which were outgunned – although they outnumbered the Germans – decided not to engage.

Mr Dunn said the subsequent censuring of the British commander had a big impact on Cradock’s decision making.

He said: “One of those reasons was the lack of offensive spirit, possibly cowardice, shown by Rear Admiral Ernest Troubridge in the ‘Goeben’ incident.

“Troubridge’s assumed cowardice played a part in Cradock’s decision to engage in a hopeless battle.

“I became intrigued to understand the character of Troubridge who, when offered the opportunity for glory and fame, could act as he did.

“Secondly, it was a study in contrasts. Cradock was a brave, possibly rash, man with a proven record of heroism.

“Troubridge is only remembered for his less than aggressive decision on August 7. He turned out to be a complex character whose life encompassed marriage and separation to Una Vincenzo, a talented artist, his loss of her to Marguerite Radcliffe Hall, the first lesbian novelist to achieve both fame and notoriety and war service in the little known Balkan theatre.

“It makes for an interesting and compelling story of war, humiliation, loss and the society of the time.”

He added: “It’s important that people know my intention is to honour Cradock, as opposed to condemning Churchill, who became one of our country’s greatest war leaders.

“However, in 1914 he was at the beginning of his naval and political career and wanted to shift the blame for the catastrophe.

“He faced up to the impossible task with courage, which I think makes him a hero. I hope that my book goes some way towards honouring these brave sailors and restores Kit’s reputation on the 100th anniversary of his death. It’s certainly a story I think needs to be told.”

* The Scapegoat the life and tragedy of a fighting Admiral and Churchill’s role in his death by Steve R Dunn is published by Book Guild. Available from Amazon (in hardback and e-book editions) and all good booksellers.

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Okumiya, Masatake and Horikoshi, Jiro
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O'Hara, Vincent P., Dickson, W. David and Worth, Richard
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Parshall, Jonathan and Tully, Anthony
- Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway *** (Recommended. Authors are the owners of the Nihon Kaigun website.)

Pearce, Frank
- Last Call for HMS Edinburg: A Story of the Russian Convoys **

Peattie, Mark R.
- Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power, 1909 - 1941 ** (Companion work to "Kaigun" - see above - this one covering naval airpower)

Peck, Taylor
- Round-shot to Rockets: A History of the Washington Navy Yard and the United States Naval Gun Factory ***

Perrett, Bryan
- North Sea Battleground: The War at Sea 1914-18 * (Very little new insight on the battle, perhaps best explained by the short bibliography which lists no original source documents and only a single work by a German author)

Pfannes, Charles E. and Salamone, Victor A.
- The Great Admirals of World War II: Volume II: The Germans **

Phillips, Russell
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Raven, Alan
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Raven, Alan and Roberts, John (Both of these books are excellent works and are highly recommended)
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Reilly, John C., Jr. [Editor, Naval Historical Center]
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Roberts, John
- Anatomy of the Ship: Battlecruiser Hood ***
- Battlecruisers *** (Very good history of these ships, but marred by a few errors)
- British Warships of the Second World War ** (Useful work on British warship designs of World War II, including auxiliaries and smaller vessels)

Robinson, C. Snelling
- 200,000 Miles aboard the Destroyer Cotten ** (Author's experiences during World War II)

Rogers, Anthony
- Churchill's Folly: Leros and the Aegean, The Last Great British Defeat of World War Two **

Roscoe, Theodore,
- United States Destroyer Operations in World War II **

Rose, Lisle A.
- The Ship that Held the Line: The USS Hornet and the First Year of the Pacific War **
- Power at Sea (Three Volume Set)
- The Age of Navalism, 1890 - 1918 **
- The Breaking Storm, 1919 - 1945 **
- A Violent Peace, 1945 - 2006 **

Roskill, S.W., Capt. RN
- HMS Warspite ** (Well-known history of a famous warship)
- White Ensign: The Royal Navy at War 1939-1945 ** (Good overall account of the Royal Navy during World War II)

Rowland, Buford, Lt. Cmdr. USNR, and Boyd, William B., Lt. USNR
- U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II ** (Official history of BuOrd. Full of interesting details on the development and deployment of naval weapons during the War.)

Ruhe, William J., Capt., USN (Ret.)
- Slow Dance to Pearl Harbor: A Tin Can Ensign in Prewar America *

Saki, Saburo, Ensign IJN
- Samurai! ** (Interesting personal account of one of the most successful Japanese fighter pilots of World War II)

Sanders, Michael, S.
- The Yard: Building a Destroyer at the Bath Iron Works *** (Good nuts 'n' bolts story about what it takes to build a modern warship and the community that surrounds the famous shipyard)

Sauer, Howard
- The Last Big-Gun Naval Battle: An Eyewitness Account aboard USS Maryland **

Scarpaci, Wayne
- French Battleships 1933 - 1970: An Illustrated Technical Reference * (Basically just a picture book with very little in the way of technical references. See the Jordan & Dumas book listed above for a much better work.)

Schmalenbach, Paul, Kapitän-Leutnant
- Die Geschichte der deutschen Schiffsartillerie *** (The History of German Ship Artillery by the former gunnery officer on Prinz Eugen)

Skwiot, Miroslaw
- German Naval Guns: 1939 - 1945 *** (see my review at Amazon)

Skulski, Janusz
- Anatomy of the Ship: The Battleship Yamato ***
- Anatomy of the Ship: The Heavy Cruiser Takao ***

Smith, Peter C.
- The Battle-Cruiser HMS Renown 1916-1948 *** (Very good book about a famous ship, full of small details concerning her career)
- Fist from the Sky: Japan's Dive-bomber Ace of World War II ** (Interesting history of Takashige Egusa, one of the leading dive bomber pilots of the Japanese Navy)

Snyder, Gerald S.
- The Royal Oak Disaster **

Spector, Ronald, H.
- At War at Sea: Sailors and Naval Combat in the Twentieth Century **

Spurr, Russell
- A Glorious Way to Die ** (The Final Sortie of the Japanese Battleship Yamato)

Staff, Gary
- Battle on the Seven Seas: German Cruiser Battles 1914 - 1918 ** (Short histories of individual battles, including three involving battles with the Russian Navy)
- German Battlecruisers 1914 - 18 ** (Good short book on the subject)
- German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations *** (Good long book on the subject)
- Skagerrak: The Battle of Jutland Through German Eyes ** (I didn't find much new here, but it is an interesting account of how the Germans perceived the battle)

Stafford, Edward P., Cmdr. USN
- The Big E: The Story of the USS Enterprise **
- Little Ship, Big War: The Saga of DE-343 ** (I enjoyed this first-person account of the author's tour of duty)

Stanton, Doug
- In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of its Survivors **

Stavridis, James, Adm. USN
- Destroyer Captain: Lessons of a First Command ** (A diary by the commander of an Arleigh Burke class DDG in the 1990s)

Sterling, Forest J.
- Wake of the Wahoo **

Stern, Robert C.
- Destroyer Battles: Epics of Naval Close Combat * (Odd book, not sure why the author thought it appropriate to include his political views on topics having nothing to do with them)

Stille, Mark
- Imperial Japanese Navy Battleships 1941-45 **
- Imperial Japanese Destroyers 1919-45 (1) **
- Imperial Japanese Destroyers 1919-45 (2) **
- The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War **
- The Imperial Japanese Navy of the Russo-Japanese War *** (Found much to like in this book)
- Italian Cruisers of World War II **

Stillwell, Paul
- Battleship Arizona: An Illustrated History ***
- Battleship New Jersey: An Illustrated History ***
- Battleships ***

Stratton, Donald, with Ken Gire
- All the Gallant Men - The First Memoir by a USS Arizona Survivor *** (Amazing autobiography by a crewman who survived the explosion and fires on USS Arizona. Recommended.)

Sumrall, Robert
- Iowa Class Battleships *** (Detailed account of many technical aspects of these ships)

Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M.
- United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 (second edition) ** (Reference book, basically a datapage or two with a sketch or picture of each type of aircraft ever produced or planned for the USN)


This is not a comprehensive bibliography nor does the inclusion or exclusion of any title imply FIA endorsement or lack of it. It is designed solely to introduce readers to some of the books dealing with matters relating to the Falkland Islands. Please feel free to suggest other books relating to the Falkland Islands that you consider should be included.

Note: Many of these books may be sourced through Ian Mathieson at 'Miles Apart', Callender House, 90 Callender Street, Ramsbottom, Lancashire, BD0 9DU: telephone 01706 826 467 orhis website at

'Falkland Islands Journal': ed Jim McAdam (published annually since 1967 &ndash

'History of the Falkland Islands': Mary Cawkell, Nelson 2001

The Falkland Islands: White Horse Of Hanover by Arthur Chatham, published by Vantage Press, ISBN 0-533-088 30-5 1990

'The Falkland Story 1592-1982': Mary Cawkell, Nelson 1983

The Falklands by Tony Chater, published by Penna Press. ISBN 09504113 1 0 1983

'Dictionary of Falklands Biography (including S.Georgia) from Discovery up to 1981': ed.David Tatham, Ledbury, 2008 -

The Falkland Islands by Paul Morrison, published by Aston Publications ISBN 0946627 65 7 1990

'Our Islands: Our History' & 'Our Islands: Our Home': 2012 FIG Booklets obtainable from FI Government Office, Broadway, London

'The British Government and the Falkland Islands, 1974-79' Aaron Donaghy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014

'Before, During and After the Falklands War' Parts 1 & 2: Richard Stevens, Tricorn 2017

'My Falklands Life: One Family's Very British Adventure': Jen Carter, Kindle Books 2017

'Falklands Facts and Fallacies: The Falkland Islands in History and International Law' by Graham Pascoe, Stanley Services 2020

Falklands adventure by Andrew Coe, published by Bluebell Publishing ISBN 0-9538220-1-X 2000

The Real Live Falklands by Mollie Ridout, 1992

Wider Context

'The Americas: History of the Hemisphere': Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2003/Phoenix 2004

'Pink Ice: Britain and the South Atlantic Empire': Klaus Dodds, I.B.Tauris, London 2002

'The Storied Ice: Exploration, Discovery and Adventure in Antarctica's Peninsular Region': Joan Brooke, Regent Press, Berkeley, California 2011.

'Operation Tabarin: Britain's Secret Wartime Mission: 1944 - 46: Stephen Haddlesea with Alan Carroll, History Press 2016

'The Disappeared: Voices from a Secret War' about Argentina's dirty war 1976-83 by John Simpson and Jana Bennett, Robson Books 1985

'The Antarctic Problem: An Historical and Political Study' by E.W. Hunter Cristie, George Allen and Unwin 1951

'Kelpers: Ni Ingleses, Ni Argentinos' by Natasha Niebieskikwiat, Clarin journalist, Penguin Random House 2014 (Spanish only)

'Darwin and the Beagle': A. Moorhead, 1969

'The Voyage of the Beagle': Charles Darwin, Penguin Classics 1989

'Darwin's Desolate Islands: A Naturalist in the Falklands: 1833 and 1834': Patrick Armstrong, Picton Publishing 1992

1st World War

'Falklands 1914': Richard Hough, 2003

'Coronel and the Falklands': Geoffrey Bennett, Batsford 1962

'Falklands, Jutland and the Bight': B. Bingham, 1919

'Coronel and Falkland': Barrie Pitt, 1960

'Defeat at the Falklands: Germany's East Asia Squadron 1914': Edwin Hoyt, 1981

'The Scapegoat: The life and tragedy of a fighting admiral and Churchill's role in his death' Steve R. Dunn, The Book Guild 2014'

2nd World War

'The Battle of the Plate': A. Campbell: Herbert Jenkins, 1941

SS Great Britain

'The Saga of the SS Great Britain': John O'Callaghan, Rupert Hart-Davis 1971

'The SS Great Britain': Hugh Gregor, 1972

'The Return of the Great Britain': Richard Goold-Adams, 1976

'The Great Britain': K.T.Rowland, David & Charles 1981

'SS Great Britain': A. Ball & D. Wright, David & Charles 1981

Islander Way of Life and Personal Recollections

'Falkland People': Angela Wigglesworth, Peter Owen 1992

'The Falklands I Knew': Howell Evans, Nelson 2001

'Falling off a Horse in the Falkland Islands': E. Colgate, 2002

'Penguin Summer': Eleanor Rice Pettingill, 1962

'Another Penguin Summer': O. W. Pettingill, 1975

Old Falkland Photos compiled by Shane Wolsely, published by Peregrine Publishing, ISBN 1873406 00 2 1990

'Falkland Islands Interlude': Tom Beaty, Antony Nelson 1991

'Falkland Island Shores': Ewen Southby-Tailyour, Conway Maritime 1985

'Falkland Scapes': Tony Chater, 2008

'Falkland Rural Heritage': Joan Spruce and Natalie Smith, Falkland Publications 2019 (obtainable in UK from [email protected])

'A Little Piece of England: My Adventures as Chief Executive of the Falkland Islands': Andrew Gurr, 2001

Atmosphere by Ian and Georgina Strange 2005

'In the Shadow of Shackleton's Cross: An Antarctic Memoir' Beverley McLeod, Orion Trading Co., 2014

'An Historical Scrapbook of Stanley - From Moody Brook to the Billy Rocks' John Smith, FIC Ltd. Stanley, 2013

Bridget&rsquos Book Memories of a Falklands Childhood by Bridget Blake, published by Henry Ling Ltd. At Dorset Press,

To The Falklands At The Toss Of A Coin by Brian Wilde, published by Author House, ISBN 978-1-4343-9914-4sd 2008

Uniquely Falklands by Andy Jackman, Dan Bernard and Gail Baird, published by Tricon Books, ISBN 978 1 909660 38 0 2014

Land Rovers of the Falkland Islands by Jean and Denis Crankshaw, ISBN 978-0-9952138-0-7 2016

'Falkland Islands Economic Study': Lord Shackleton, HMSO 1982

'Economic Survey of the Falkland Islands': Lord Shackleton, Economic Intelligence Unit, 1976

'Falkland Islands: Offshore Geology and Exploration': Phil Richards, Edinburgh 2003

'The Future of the Falkland Islands and its People': L. Ivanov, Double T Publications 2003


'The Falkland Islands and their Natural History': Ian Strange, David & Charles 1987

'A Field Guide to the Wildlife of the Falkland Islands and S. Georgia': Ian Strange, Harper Collins 1992

'Birds and Mammals of the Falkland Islands': Robin Wood, Wild Guides 2006

'The Unspoilt Beauty of the Falkland Islands': Algernon Asprey, 1988

The Falkland Islands Between The Wind And The Sea by Kevin Schafer, published by Coach House Publications Ltd,

'Visions of the Falkland Islands' by Julie Halliday, published in the Falkland Islands by Studio 52, 2020

'Birds of the Falklands': Robin Woods, Nelson 1975

'Guide to the Birds of the Falklands': Robin Woods, Nelson 1988

'Atlas of the Breeding Birds of the Falklands': Robin & Anne Woods, Antony Nelson 1997

'Important Bird Areas of the Falkland Islands': Falklands Conservation, 2006

'Falkland Islands Freshwater Fishes: A Natural History': R McDowell, Falklands Conservation 2005

'Field Guide to the Plants of the Falkland Islands' edited by Colin Clubbe, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew 2019

'Plants of the Falkland islands': Ali Liddle, Falklands Conservation 2007

'The Flowering Plants of the Falklands Islands', Robin Wood

'Wild Flowers of the Falkland Islands': T. Davies & J McAdam, 1989


'Specialised Stamp catalogue of the Falkland Islands and Dependencies': Stefan Heijtz, 6th edition 2013

'The Postal History of the Falkland Islands and Dependencies': E.B. Proud, 2006

'Postcards of the Falkland Islands: A Catalogue: 1900-1950': Henry Heyburn, Picton Publishing, 1985

'Churches of the S Atlantic Islands 1502- 1991': Edward Cannan, Anthony Nelson 1992


'Conflict in the South Atlantic 1981-84: Vol XIII of Foreign Relations of the United States': history of US policy towards the Falklands conflict compiled by Alexander Wieland from official US records, published 2015

'Falklands War 1982: Osprey's Guide': Duncan Anderson, Osprey Publishing 2014

One Man&rsquos War Photos by Paul RG Haley, published by Blurb Books'A South American War: Behind the Scenes in the fight for the Falklands' Jeremy Brown, Book Guild Ltd, 2013

Three Days In June by James O&rsquoConnell. ISBN 9780992631604 (3 Para) 2013

The Falklands War Then And Now edited by Gordon Ramsey, published by Battle of Britain International Ltd. ISBN 1-870067-71-1 2009

'Forgotten Voices of the Falklands': Hugh McManners, Ebury Press London 2007

'The Official History of the Falklands Campaign, Vols 1 & 2': Lawrence Freedman, Routledge 2007

'Victory in the Falklands': Nicholas van der Bijl, 2007

'The Falklands Conflict Twenty Years On: Lessons for the Future': Mark Grove, 2005

'The Falklands War' David George Boyce, 2005

'Memories of the Falklands': Iain Dale, Politicos London 2002

'Signals of War: The Falklands Conflict': Lawrence Freedman & Virginia Gamba-Stonehouse, Faber & Faber 1990

'Falklands Military Machine': Derek Oakley, Ravelin 1989

'The Little Platoon: Diplomacy and the Falkland Islands': Michael Charlton, Blackwell 1989

'The Falkland Islands as an International Problem': Peter Beck, Routledge 1988

The Land That Lost Its Heroes by Jimmy Burns, published by Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-0002-9 1987

The Falklands The Aftermath published by Marshall Cavendish Book Ltd. ISBN 0 86307 202 1985

'Operation Corporate: The Story of the Falklands War 1982': Martin Middlebrook, Viking 1985

'The Battle for the Falklands': Max Hastings & Simon Jenkins, Michael Joseph 1983

'Britain and the Falklands War': Lawrence Freedman, 1988'Franks Report: Report of a Committee of Privy Counsellors': HMSO 1983

Channel Four The Falklands War by Denys Blakeway, published by Sidgwick and Johnsons Ltd. ISBN 0-283-06101-4 1982

The Falklands War, The Full Story by the Sunday Times Insight Team, published by Andre Deutsch. ISBN 0 233 97515 2 1982

War In The Falklands, The Campaign In Pictures by The Sunday Express Magazine Team, published by Book Club Associates by arrangement with George Weidenfield and Nicolson Ltd. CN 4799 1982

Political Memoirs & Biographies

'The Shadow of My Hand' by Alun Chalfont, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2000

'The Downing Street Years': Margaret Thatcher, Harper Collins 1993

'Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Volume 1: Not for Turning': Charles Moore, Allen Lane 2013

'My Falkland Days': Rex Hunt, David & Charles 1992/2002

Power and Pragmatism' by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Biteback Publishing 2016

'Reflect on Things Past': Peter Carrington, Harper Collins 1988

'Ringing the Changes': Richard Luce, Michael Russell 2007

'Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Recollections of an Errant Politician': John Nott, Politicos 2003

'Politics of Consent': Francis Pym, Hamilton 1984

'Time and Chance': James Callaghan, Harper Collins 1987

'The Time of My Life': Denis Healey, Michael Joseph 1989

'Time to Declare': David Owen, Michael Joseph 1991

'Right at the Centre': Cecil Parkinson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1992

'Mandarin: Diaries of an Ambassador': Nicholas Henderson, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 1994

'The Falklands Crisis in the UN': Anthony Parsons, International Affairs Volume 59 (No. 2) 1983

'Fighting for Peace: 7 Critical Years at the Pentagon': Caspar Weinberger, 1990

'Caveat': Alexander Haig, Weidenfeld & Nicholson 1984

'One Man's Falklands': Tam Dalyell MP, C Woolf, London 1982

'Below the Parapet: Biography of Denis Thatcher': Carol Thatcher, Harper Collins 1996

'Diaries: Into Politics': Alan Clark, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2000

'Conflict of Loyalty' by Geoffrey Howe, McMillan 1994

Islander Recollections

The Other Side Of The Falklands by R.M. Edwards, published by Howden Press Services, ISBN 0 9522041 0 X 1993

'74 Days: An Islander's Diary of the Falklands' Occupation': John Smith, Century Publishing 1984/2002

'Falkland Islanders at War': Graham Bound, Pen & Sword 2002/Leo Cooper 2002/2006

'Invasion 1982: The Falkland Islanders' Story' by Graham Bound, Pen & Sword 2008 (paperback 2016)

'Fortress Falklands': Graham Bound, 2012

'A Falkland Islander till I Die': Terence Betts, Book Guild, Lewes 2004

'Waking up to War': Lisa Watson, Stanley 2010

'Before, During and After the Falklands War' Parts 1 & 2: Richard Stevens, Tricorn 2017

Some Account Of The Falkland Islands from six months residence in 1838 and 1839 by Laughlan Bellingham Mackinnon 2016

'Endure no Makeshifts': Henry Leach, Leo Cooper 1993

'One Hundred Days': Sandy Woodward & Patrick Robinson, Harper Collins 1992/1997

'The Royal Navy and the Falklands War': David Brown, Leo Cooper 1987

'Amphibious Assault Falklands: The Battle of San Carlos Water': Michael Clapp & Ewen Southby-Taylour, Leo Cooper, London 1996/Orion 1997

'Beyond Endurance: An Epic of Whitehall and the South Atlantic': Nicholas Barker, Leo Cooper 2002

The Falklands And The Dwarf by C.H. Layman and Jane Cameron, published by Picton Publishing, ISBN 0 0948251 76 X 2010

'Four Weeks in May: A Captain's Story of War at Sea': David Hart Dyke, Atlantic Books, 2007

'Through Fire and Water: HMS Ardent: the Forgotten Frigate of the Falklands': Mark Higgitt, Mainstream Publishing 2001/2007

'Bomb Alley, Falkland Islands 1982: Aboard HMS Antrim at War': David Yates

'Ordeal by Exocet: HMS Glamorgan and the Falklands War 1982': Ian Inskip, 2002

'Falklands: Voyage to War' on HMS Illustrious: James Barrington, Endeavour Press 2012

'Thatcher's Torpedo: Sinking of the Belgrano': Tam Dalyell MP, C Woolf, London 1984

'The Sinking of the Belgrano': Arthur Gavshon & Desmond Rice, Secker & Warburg, 1984

'The Right to Know: the Inside Story of the Belgrano': Clive Ponting, Sphere 1985

'Sink the Belgrano': Mike Rossiter, Bantam Press 2007

'Secrets of the Conqueror: The untold Story of Britain's Most Famous Submarine' by Stuart Prebble, Faber & Faber 2012, paperback 2013

'The Silent Deep: The Royal Navy Submarine Service since 1945': James Jinks & Peter Hennessy, Allen Lane 2015 - see chapter on Falklands conflict

Merchant Navy

'A Very Strange Way to go to War: the Canberra in the Falklands' by Andrew Vine, Aurum Press 2012, reprinted in paperback 2014

'They couldn't have done it without us: The Merchant Navy in the Falklands War': John Johnson-Allen, Seafarer Books, 2011

The Wreck Of The Isabella by David Miller, published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0 85052 4 56 3 1995

'Merchant Ships at War: The Falklands Experience': Roger Villar, Lloyds of London Press 1984

'The Falklands War: There and Back Again: The Story of Naval Party 8901' by Mike Norman & Michael Jones, Pen & Sword 2019

The First Casualty by Ricky D Phillips, published by Beic Books. ISBN 978-1-5272-0722-6 2018

Royal Marine Commandos In The Falklands War by Andrew Lane with the Royal Marine Museum. ISBN 1-84114-053-8 2000

'Falklands Commando': Hugh McManus, William Kinber, 1984

'Reasons In Writing: A Commando's View of the Falklands War': Ewen Southby-Taylour, Leo Cooper 1993

'March to the S. Atlantic: 42 Commando Royal Marines in the Falklands War': Nick Vaux, Buchan & Enright, London 1986

'Royal Marine Commandos in the Falklands War': Andrew Lane, Tiverton 2000

Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper': Helen Parr: Penguin Books Allen Lane: 2018'

'2 Para's Battle for Darwin and Goose Green': David Kenny 2012

That For A Game Of Soldiers by Mark Elyes-Thomas, published by Kenton Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9546223-2-9 (3 Para) 2007

The Falklands Hero Ian McKay, The Last VC Of The 20 th Century by Francis MacKay with Jon Cooksey, published by Pen-and-Sward. ISBN 184415515-3 (3 Para) 2007

'3 Para Mount Longdon: The Bloodiest Battle': John Cookley, Barnsley, 2004

'Goose Green': Mark Adkin, 2003

'5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands, 1982': Nicholas van der Bijl, 2003

'With the Gurkhas in the Falklands': Mike Seear, Barnsley 2003

'H Jones VC: The Life and Death of an Unusual Hero': John Wilsey, Hutchinson 2002

'With 3 Para to the Falklands': Graham Colbeck, Greenhill Books 2002

'No Picnic': Julian Thompson, Cassel 2001

'Not Mentioned in Despatches: the History and Mythology of Goose Green': Spencer Fitz-Gibbon, Lutterworth Press, Cambridge 2001

'Nine Battles to Stanley': Nicholas van der Bijl, Leo Cooper 1999

'Green-Eyed Boys: 3 Para and the Battle for Mt. Longdon': Christian Jennings & Adrian Weale, Harper Collins 1996

'Going Back: Return to the Falklands': Simon Weston, Bloomsbury 1992

'Walking Tall': Simon Weston, Bloomsbury 1989

Tumbledown: When the Fighting is Over': John & Robert Lawrence, Bloomsbury 1988

'2 Para Falklands: the Battalion at War': John Frost, Buchan/Sphere 1983

'Vulcan 607': Rowland White, Bantam Press 2006 also published in paperback by Corgi Press in 2007/2012

'RAF Harrier Ground Attack: Falklands': Jerry Pook, 2008

'Hostile Skies: the Battle for the Falklands' David Morgan, Weidenfeld & Nicolson 2006, also in paperback Phoenix Orion Books 2007

'Sea Harrier over the Falklands': Nigel Ward, Cassel 1992/2003

'Falklands Air War': Chris Hobson, Andrew Noble 2002

Air War South Atlantic by Jeffrey Ethell and Allred Price, published by Sidgwick and Jackson Ltd. ISBN 0-283-99035-X 1983

Special Forces

Across An Angry Sea The SAS In The Falklands War by Cedric Delves, published by Hurst. ISBN 978-1-78738-112-4 2018

'SBS: the Inside Story': John Parker 1997

'Looking for Trouble': Peter de la Billere, 1994

'Ghost Force: the Secret History of the SAS': Ken Connor, 2002

'Exocet Falklands: The untold story of Special Forces Operations' Ewen Southby-Tailyour, Pen and Sword Books, 2014

'Special Forces Pilot' Richard Hutchings, Pen & Sword Aviation 2008, re-printed in paperback 2014

'Across An Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War': General Cedric Delves: Hurst Publishers: 2018


'The Secret War for the Falklands: the SAS, MI6 and the war that Whitehall nearly lost': Nigel West, Little Brown & Co, London 1997

'Razor's Edge: the Unofficial History of the Falklands War': Hugh Bicheno, 2006

'The Silent Listener: Falklands 1982': David Thorp, Spellmount 2011

'My Secret Falklands War': Sidney Edwards, Book Guild 2014.

'The Red and Green Life Machine: A Diary of the Falklands Field Hospital': Rick Jolly, Century Publishing 1983/ 2007 also published in paperback as "Doctor for Friend and Foe&rdquo by Conway Publishing 2012

'White Ship: Red Crosses: A Nursing Memoir: Nicci Pugh, Melrose Books 2010

'Logistics in the Falklands War': Kenneth Privatsky, Pen & Sword 2014

'Journalists at War': David Morrison & Howard Tumber, 1988

'The Media and the Falklands Campaign': Valerie Adams, 1986

'Eyewitness Falklands: A Personal Account': Robert Fox, Methuen 1982

'Gotcha! The Media, the Government and the Falklands Crisis': Robert Harris, Faber 1983

'The Falklands war: Myth and Counter-myth': David Morgan, Macmillan Press 1998

The Voyages Of The Penelope by Roberto Herrscher, translated by John A. T. Fowler published by SUD POL. ISBN 978-987-24524-7-6 (possibly Merchant Navy but she was requisitioned here by the Argentines) 2011

'The Fight for the Malvinas': Martin Middlebrook, Viking 1989

'The Fight for the Malvinas: the Argentine Forces in the Falklands War': Martin Middlebrook, Viking 1989

'The Argentine Fight for the Falklands': Martin Middlebrook, 2003

'The Land that Lost its Heroes: How Argentina Lost the Falklands': Jimmy Burns, 2002

Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton published by Corgi Books, ISBN 978-0-552-16639-3 2015

Skeletons For Sadness by Ewan Southby-Tailyour, published by Seafarer Books, ISBN 978-1-57409-260-8 2007

Penguins and Seashore Friends by Dolly Penguin, published by The Print Shop, Oban, Argyll 1960

'Falklands War Poetry Anthology: edited by David Roberts, Saxon Books 2012

Stanley Seasons and Other Poems by R.J. Poole published by Arthur H Stockwell Ltd., ISBN 7223 0550-8

South Atlantic Islands

Empire by Jon Tonks, published by David Lewis Printing, ISBN 978-1-907873-49-0 2014

South Georgia

'Operation Paraquat': Roger Perkins, Picton Publishing, Chippenham 1986

'Taxi to the Snow Line': Guy Sheridan, White Peak Publishing 2006

'Down South: A Falklands War Diary': Chris Parry, Penguin 2012

'Survival: South Atlantic': Cindy Buxton & Annie Price, Granada Publishing, London 1983

Falkland Conflict Aftermath

'Picking up the Pieces: the Falklands Aftermath': Edward Fursden, Leo Cooper 1998

Mountbatten Maritime Award

Andrew Adams & Richard Woodman – Light upon the Waters: the History of Trinity House – Celebrating 500 years (The Corporation of Trinity House)

David Barrie – Sextant: a voyage guided by the stars and the men who mapped the world’s oceans (William Collins)
Jessica Berry – South Devon’s Shipwreck Trail (Amberley Publishing)
Rip Bulkeley – Bellingshausen and the Russian Antarctic Expedition, 1819-21 (Palgrave Macmillan)
Horatio Clare – Down to the Sea in Ships (Vintage Books/Random House)
Quintin Colville & James Davey – Nelson, Navy and Nation: The Royal Navy and the British People 1688-1815 (Conway Publishing)
Ian Collard – Modern Mersey Shipping (Coastal Shipping Publications)
Tilly Culme-Seymour – Island Summers (Bloomsbury Publishing)
J D Davies – Britannia’s Dragon: A Naval History of Wales (The History Press)
Alistair Deayton – Directory of Clyde Paddle Steamers (Amberley Publishing)
Steve R Dunn – The Scapegoat: The Life and Tragedy of a Fighting Admiral and Churchill’s Role in His Death (Book Guild Publishing)
Geoff Dyer – Another Great Day at Sea (Visual Editions)
Mike Farquharson-Roberts – A History of the Royal Navy: World War I (I. B. Tauris Publishers)
Roy Fenton – Tramp Ships: An Illustrated History (Pen and Sword Books)
Howard J Fuller – Empire, Technology and Seapower: Royal Navy Crisis in the Age of Palmerston (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group)
Dr John Gould, Gerald Siedler, Stephen Griffies & John Church – Ocean Circulation and Climate – A 21st Century Perspective (The Academic Press/Elsevier Books)
Captain Okkert-Ernst Grapow & Tony Westby-Nunn – A Tug At My Heart (Unknown)
Guy Grieve – Sea Legs (Bloomsbury Publishing)
David Gunn – Sailor in the Desert (Pen and Sword Books)
Simon J Hall – Under a Yellow Sky: A Tale of the Sea and Coming of Age (Whittles Publishing Ltd)
Captain Peter Hore Editor – Through Albert’s Eyes: The British Navy at War and Peace Volume 2 of a Bentley-Buckle Series (Whittles Publishing Ltd)
Nicholas Leach – The Lifeboat Service in Scotland (Amberley Publishing)
Matt Lewis – Last Man Off: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas (Viking Books/Penguin Books)
Jan Martin Lemnitzer – Power, Law and the End of Privateering (Palgrave Macmillan)
Michael Lloyd – Convoy Ship (Witherby Publishing)
Owen Matthews – Glorious Misadventures (Bloomsbury Publishing)
Janette McCutcheon – RMS Queen Elizabeth: the Beautiful Lady (Amberley Publishing)
John McWilliams – The Cornish Fishing Industry (Amberley Publishing)
Nigel Millard – The Lifeboat (Conway/Amberley Publishing)
Graeme Ogden – My Sea Lady – An Epic Memoir of the Arctic Convoys by the late Graeme Ogden (Bene Factum Publishing)
Lincoln Paine – The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (Atlantic Books)
Chris Parry – Super Highway: Sea Power in the 21st Century (Elliott & Thompson)
Adam Rackley – Salt, Sweat, Tears: the Men who Rowed the Oceans (Viking Books/Penguin Books)
Duncan Redford – A History of the Royal Navy: World War II (I. B. Tauris Publishers)
Duncan Redford & Philip D Grove – The Royal Navy: A History since 1900 (I. B. Tauris Publishers)
Peter Reese – The Men Who Gave Us Wings (Pen and Sword Books)
Martin Robson – A History of the Royal Navy: the Napoleonic Wars (I. B. Tauris Publishers)
Professor Helen Sampson – International Seafarers and Transnationalism in the Twenty-first Century (Manchester University Press)
Roz Savage – Stop Drifting, Start Rowing (Hay House UK Ltd)
Bob Shepton – Addicted to Adventure: Between Rocks and Cold Places (Adlard Coles Nautical/Bloomsbury Publishing)
Prof Miles Taylor – The Victorian Empire and Britain’s Maritime World, 1837-1901: the Sea and Global History (Palgrave Macmillan)
Simon Wills – Lifeboatmen (Pen and Sword Books)
Andrew Wiltshire – Tugs in Colour – Worldwide (Coastal Shipping Publications)
Witherby Publishing Group – Ship to Ship Transfer Guide for Petroleum, Chemicals and Liquefied Gases (Witherby Publishing Group)
Witherby Publishing Group – Passage Planning Guidelines: 2nd Edition (Witherby Publishing Group)
Witherby Publishing Group – Marine Fuels and Emissions (Witherby Publishing Group)

Event Audio Recordings

The Filson regularly posts audio recordings of lectures and events for the convenience of our members. Recordings of events from 2019 are linked below, and 2020 events will be added throughout the year. Most of our media requires updated software to work properly. Please ensure that your browser is up to date. If you are interested in hearing the audio from events prior to 2019, please contact gro.l 1624496516 aciro 1624496516 tsihn 1624496516 oslif 1624496516 @ofni 1624496516 . We have posted video of many of our recent events to our YouTube channel here.

December 3, 2019

Better Lucky than Good: Tall Tales and Straight Talk from the Backside of the Track
Joe Manning

As the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs is the epicenter of Kentucky’s equine heritage and the most storied racetrack in the world. More than a thousand people come to work on the backside of the track on any given day during a racing meet. Most of the hot walkers, grooms, exercise riders, jockeys, and other equine workers who dedicate their lives and careers to horse racing will never stand in the winner’s circle, but each of them is a member of a rich community with a long and storied tradition, one that most of us have never known. Better Lucky Than Good: Tall Tales and Straight Talk from the Backside of the Track will change that.

Joe Manning helped establish Louisville Story Program in 2013 and worked as an instructor and editor before he came on board full time as the role of Deputy Director in 2016. Joe was a Jackson Fellow of Creative Writing at Hollins University’s prestigious MFA program where he focused on nonfiction. He’s published award-winning essays, columns, and features for The Louisville Eccentric Observer and The Louisville Paper, has written for Fjords,, and Oxford American. Joe’s first collection of single-topic essays, Certain Relevant Passages, was published in 2017 by Dock Street Press. In 2018 Joe was awarded the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

November 20, 2019

The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series
FIRST: Sandra Day O’Connor
Evan Thomas

Drawing on exclusive interviews and first-time access to Justice O’Connor’s archives, New York Times bestselling biographer Evan Thomas paints an inspiring and authoritative picture of America’s first female Supreme Court justice in FIRST: Sandra Day O’Connor

EVAN THOMAS is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestselling John Paul Jones, Sea of Thunder, and Being Nixon. Thomas was a writer, correspondent, and editor for thirty-three years at Time and Newsweek, including ten years as Washington bureau chief at Newsweek, where, at the time of his retirement in 2010, he was editor at large. He wrote more than one hundred cover stories and in 1999 won a National Magazine Award. He wrote Newsweek’s election specials in 1996, 2000, 2004 (winner of the National Magazine Award), and 2008. He appears on many TV and radio talk shows, including Meet the Press and Morning Joe. Thomas has taught writing and journalism at Harvard and Princeton, where, from 2007-14, he was Ferris Professor of Journalism.

November 15, 2019

Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and American’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation
Steve Luxenberg

A myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences.

Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first.

STEVE LUXENBERG is an associate editor at The Washington Post and an award-winning author. During his forty years as a newspaper editor and reporter, Steve has overseen reporting that has earned many national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes. Steve’s journalistic career began at The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for 11 years. He joined The Post in 1985 as deputy editor of the investigative/special projects staff, headed by assistant managing editor Bob Woodward. In 1991, Steve succeeded Woodward as head of the investigative staff. From 1996 to 2006, Steve was the editor of The Post’s Sunday Outlook section, which publishes original reporting and provocative commentary on a broad spectrum of political, historical and cultural issues. Steve is a graduate of Harvard College.

November 12, 2019

Complicating the Confederate Monument: Enid Yandell’s 1894 Proposal for Louisville, Kentucky
Kelsey Malone

In 1894, Yandell took part in a competition to design a monument to honor Louisville’s Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. Yandell was awarded the commission – an important achievement for the young artist who had just finished working for the Chicago World’s Fair – but her design was never completed. In this lecture, Dr. Kelsey Malone examines how the heated debate that surrounded Yandell’s proposed Confederate Monument was influenced by both the conventions of traditional, Victorian womanhood and the politics of “statue mania” in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century.

Dr. Kelsey Frady Malone teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in the History of Art and Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Malone earned her Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 2018 and her MA in Art History from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012. Her research focuses on American women artists and their collaborative approaches to art production in the nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, with a particular interest in photography, sculpture, and popular illustration.

November 6, 2019

Louisville Modern: An Era in Art

Warren Payne

Louisville Modern: An Era in Art tells the story of the art scene in the Louisville, Kentucky-Southern Indiana area from the 1940s through the 1960s. It is both a personal account and an art-historical overview of a period that many categorize now as Mid-century Modern.

Warren and Julie Payne are private art dealers and consultants in Louisville, Kentucky, specializing in paintings and prints produced in Kentucky, their immediate region and in the Deep South. Their online-gallery inventory includes works on paper from the United States, Britain and France produced in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Paynes have taken part in many exhibitions over the last two decades and curated several have produced eight catalogs and two books, Louisville Modern: an era in art and Clear as Mud: Early 20th Century Kentucky Art Pottery and worked on E.C. Pennington’s seminal Kentucky: The Master Painters from the Frontier Era to the Great Depression.

October 29, 2019
The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius
Bob Batchelor

October 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act, which put the enforcement teeth into Prohibition. But the law didn’t stop George Remus from cornering the boozy, illegal liquor marketplace and amassing a fortune that eclipsed $200 million (the equivalent of $4.75 billion today.) As eminent documentarian Ken Burns proclaimed, “Remus was to bootlegging what Rockefeller was to oil.”

Bob Batchelor, is a critically-acclaimed, bestselling noted cultural historian and biographer. He has published widely on American culture history and literature, including books on Stan Lee, Bob Dylan, The Great Gatsby, Mad Men, and John Updike. Bob earned his doctorate in English Literature from the University of South Florida. He teaches in the Media, Journalism & Film department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

October 21, 2019

An American Story: The Redd Family Portraits

The Redd family portraits tell the story of the marriages, mentorship and geography that entwined the lives of two of Kentucky’s most important artists, Matthew Harris Jouett (1788-1827) and Oliver Frazer (1808-1864), and their descendants. This talk will tell that story and the travels and adventures of these paintings as they moved from the first owners to the present with the backdrop of war, financial crises and cultural revolutions in American history.

Mack Cox is a petroleum geologist and recently retired from a 35 year career in that industry. He and his wife Sharon are Kentucky natives who collect and research early Kentucky arts. Their collection was covered in the July 2011 issue of The Magazine Antiques, “The Kentucky Collection of Sharon and Mack Cox”, and fills a chapter in Collecting Kentucky 1790-1860, “Digging Deep”, pp. 52-77 by Lacer and Howard, which was published in 2013. Their collecting habits were the subject of the May 4, 2016 issue of the Invaluable Blog, The Elite Race for Kentucky Art & Antiques

October 18, 2019

Lewis and Clark
Gary Moulton

In 1813, Nicholas Biddle published the first authorized version of the Lewis and Clark expedition based on original sources. It was the standard reference for the expedition for more than three-quarters of a century. Comparing Biddle’s paraphrase of daily events to his own rendering in a day-by-day narrative of the endeavor, significant differences were noted, including additional information not found in existing sources and omissions of events that are today considered important aspects of the story. In this presentation, Gary Moulton has gathered the additions and omissions under five categories and will discuss these differences and discover patterns in Biddle’s work.

Gary E. Moulton is Thomas C. Sorensen Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and editor of the Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Among his publications are a biography of Chief John Ross of the Cherokees, a two-volume edition of his papers, the thirteen-volume edition of the journals of the Lewis and Clark expedition, a one-volume abridgment of the edition, and a day-by-day narrative of the expedition. Significant research awards include the J. Franklin Jameson Prize for Outstanding Editorial Achievement from the American Historical Association, and the University of Nebraska’s Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, the institution’s highest research award.

October 15, 2019

From Slavery to Equality: The 400 Year Struggle of African-Americans
George C. Wright

The year 2019 represents the 400 th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in Virginia in 1619. This was a global, transatlantic moment, not just a Southern or American one. But what does that history mean for contemporary Kentuckians? The Filson welcomes eminent Kentucky historian Dr. George C. Wright to reflect on a lifetime of study and teaching about slavery and the struggle for emancipation and freedom in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Brazil, and South Africa.

Dr. George C. Wright is a Lexington native with degrees from the University of Kentucky (B.A., M.A.) and Duke University (Ph.D.). He is the author of Life Behind a Veil: Blacks in Louisville, Kentucky, 1865-1930 (LSU, 1985) Racial Violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, Mob Rule, and “Legal Lynchings” (LSU, 1990) and A History of Blacks in Kentucky, Vol. 2: In Pursuit of Equality, 1890-1980 (KHS, 1992) among other publications. A lengthy career in the classroom and higher education administration included fourteen years as President of Prairie View A&M University in Texas. During the 2019-20 academic year, Dr. Wright is a visiting professor of history in honor of the 70 th anniversary of integration at the University of Kentucky.

October 10, 2019

The Long Run Massacre and the Beargrass Stations: Early Louisville History
William Heath

Louisville was founded during the American Revolution, a time when hostilities with the Indian nations north of the Ohio were at their height. Flatboats coming down the river were often attacked, and once settlers arrived in 1779 raids on the Beargrass stations and other outposts around Louisville followed. The worst disaster happened in September of 1781, when Squire Boone abandoned his Painted Stone station near present Shelbyville and the people who had lived there, retreating to the Bear Grass stations, were attacked.

William Heath is a professor emeritus in the English department at Mount Saint Mary’s University. He attended Hiram College, where he majored in history, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University his dissertation was a critical study of American novelist John Hawkes. He taught American literature and creative writing at Kenyon, Transylvania, Vassar, and the University of Seville, where he was a Fulbright professor for two years.

October 3, 2019

Enid Yandell: Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor
Dr. Juilee Decker

In characterizing Enid as Kentucky’s pioneer sculptor, Decker describes and analyzes Enid’s ambition and accomplishment as one of the first women named to the National Sculpture Society among other accolades and her lifelong identification with Daniel Boone, an association that she honored and protected for nearly 40 years.

Dr. Juilee Decker’s research and scholarship are at the intersection of museum studies, public history, and public art. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003 from Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art. She taught from 2004-2014 at Georgetown College prior to joining the museum studies faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2014.

September 5, 2019

The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777
Rick Atkinson

Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about World War II, has long been admired for his deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative histories. Now he turns his attention to a new war, and in the initial volume of the Revolution Trilogy he recounts the first twenty-one months of America’s violent war for independence. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1776-1777, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world’s most formidable fighting force. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes a brilliant battle captain Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves to be the wiliest of diplomats George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. The story is also told from the British perspective, making the mortal conflict between the redcoats and the rebels all the more compelling.

Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of our country’s creation drama.

Rick Atkinson is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the New York Times bestselling author of The Guns at Last Light.

August 27, 2019

The Pioneering Parkways in American Cities of Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux
David Ames

While much attention has been given to the parks of Frederick Law Olmsted, this presentation examines the evolution and significance of the Olmsted parkway. After looking at the design principles for the original Olmsted/Vaux parkway, the presentation tracks how the parkway evolved into a metropolitan transportation planning framework as reflected in his successive plans for Brooklyn and Buffalo, which culminated in his most sophisticated metropolitan park system in Louisville in 1891. It argues that Olmsted’s parkways have had a greater impact on the American landscape than his parks.

David Ames is Professor Emeritus of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Geography, and Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. He received his A.B. in Geography and A.M. in Geography and Regional Science from George Washington University and his Ph.D from Clark University.

August 22, 2019

Walter H. Kiser’s Neighborhood Sketches Revisited
John David Myles

Join award-winning author John David Myles as he retraces the steps of artist Walter H. Kiser on his journey across Kentucky and the river communities of Southern Indiana in the 1930s and early 1940s. Celebrate the survival of many of the 404 landmarks Kiser drew, mourn the passing of others, and learn of their histories over the past three quarters of a century. Above all, revel in the drawings of this largely forgotten artist whose works are in the collections of the Speed Art Museum, the Filson Historical Society, and the Indiana Historical Society.

John David Myles is an attorney, former circuit judge, and preservationist. He has written and lectured on architecture for The Filson Historical Society in his native Kentucky and prepared a number of historical and architectural reports on southern hunting plantations for Plantation Services, Inc., in Charleston, South Carolina. Myles has also consulted on numerous restoration and renovation projects. He is the author of Historic Architecture of Shelby County, Kentucky, 1792-1915 and Beaumont Inn: Two Centuries of Service.

August 13, 2019

Boonesborough Unearthed: Frontier Archaeology at a Revolutionary Fort
Nancy O’Malley

Throughout the Revolutionary War, Fort Boonesborough was one of the most important and defensively crucial sites on the western frontier. It served not only as a stronghold against the British but also as a sanctuary, land office, and a potential seat of government. Originally meant to be the capital of a new American colony, Fort Boonesborough was thrust into a defensive role by the onset of the Revolutionary War. Post-Revolutionary attempts to develop a town failed and the site was abandoned. Yet Fort Boonesborough lived on in local memory.

Boonesborough Unearthed: Frontier Archaeology at a Revolutionary Fort is the result of more than thirty years of research by archaeologist Nancy O’Malley. This groundbreaking book presents new information and fresh insights about Fort Boonesborough and life in frontier Kentucky. O’Malley examines the story of this historical landmark from its founding during a time of war into the nineteenth century. O’Malley also delves into the lives of the settlers who lived there and explores the Transylvania Company’s dashed hopes of forming a fourteenth colony at the fort. This insightful and informative work is a fascinating exploration into Kentucky’s frontier past.

Nancy O’Malley is a professional archaeologist specializing in early settlement and Revolutionary War Kentucky. She is well known for her extensive research on the frontier experience and pioneer residential sites. She is the author of Stockading Up: A Study of Pioneer Stations in the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky and other publications, including a chapter in The Buzzel about Kentuck (edited by Craig Friend).

August 9, 2019

George D. Prentice and Bloody Monday: Scoundrel? Or Scapegoat?
James Prichard

The recent removal of the George D. Prentice statue from public display capped over 163 years of controversy. The influential editor of the Louisville Daily Journal has long been condemned for his anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant editorials that many believe sparked the tragic “Bloody Monday” riot of 1855.

While several historians have absolved Prentice of total blame for the tragedy, he remains one of Louisville’s foremost villains in the public mind. This talk brings a fresh perspective to “Bloody Monday”, as well as a closer look regarding Prentice’s role in the tragedy. At the conclusion the audience will have the opportunity to judge – was Prentice a scoundrel? Or a scapegoat?

James Prichard is a Manuscript Cataloger at The Filson Historical Society. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Wright State University. He is the author of Embattled Capital: Frankfort, Kentucky in the Civil War.

August 2, 2019

History Stitched in Quilts
Maureen Lane

This program will feature the quilts in the Filson’s collection, representing nearly 200 years of history. Each quilt has a story to tell. By looking at the patterns, materials, methods and technologies used to make the quilts, we can uncover personal narratives of the women and men who made them, as well as discover broader social, economic and cultural histories of the Ohio River Valley. Several quilts will be brought out from storage for visitors to examine in person. Maureen and Brooks Vessels, the Museum Collections Assistant, are currently inventorying, cataloging and rehousing the Filson’s textile and clothing collection, which contains several thousand quilts, coverlets, domestic linens, clothing, undergarments and accessories, including shoes. The Filson’s textile collection is a significant research collection available for study. The collection be accessible online in the next several years.

Maureen Lane is the Filson’s Museum Registrar and Exhibits Coordinator. She has an M.A. in American Studies with a focus in Art and Material Culture from Penn State University, as well as an M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

July 26, 2019

Facing History: The Stories Behind Thomas McKenney’s Indian Portraits
Abby Glogower

This past winter, the Filson Historical Society made an exciting new acquisition: a complete three volume set of McKenney and Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America. Created by former United States Superintendent of Indian Affairs Thomas L. McKenney (1785-1859), the work is richly Illustrated with 120 hand-colored folio size portrait prints of Native American politicians and historical figures. It also took nearly two decades to produce: from 1830 to 1847—a brutal period of removal and dispossession for many Native Americans. Filson curator Abby Glogower takes us between the pages to explore the historical and political contexts that shaped McKenney’s History and to meet some of fascinating individuals profiled within.

Dr. Abigail Glogower curates the Jewish Community Archives at the Filson Historical Society and holds a PhD in American art and visual culture.

July 19, 2019

“Down the Ohio and into the Wilderness: The Lewis and Clark Expedition”
Jim Holmberg

Join Jim Holmberg for this illustrated lecture on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This epic journey of 1803 to 1806 across the American West to the Pacific had a very important Eastern Legacy as well as its more famous Western Legacy. The expedition didn’t spring from nothing at the mouth of the Missouri and an important part of that story is the crucial role that the Falls of Ohio and local recruits played in the success of the expedition. It is a story that stretches from sea to shining sea.

Jim Holmberg is the Filson’s curator of collections and a Lewis and Clark historian. He is a native of Louisville and holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Louisville.

July 12, 2019

A New Deal for Medicine: Expanding and Desegregating Louisville Hospitals after World War II
Lynn Pohl

At the end of World War II, Louisville was home to a varied mix of hospitals, many of which were racially segregated, privately funded, and struggling to stay afloat. In the following decades, a bipartisan act of Congress – the 1946 Hill-Burton Act – would dramatically expand and modernize hospitals throughout the United States. Drawing on the Filson’s architectural and manuscript collections, Dr. Lynn Pohl explores how Hill-Burton funds and requirements spurred investment in specialized technologies and set into motion an uneven process of desegregation, transforming hospital care in Louisville during the 1950s and 1960s.

Lynn Pohl, Ph.D., catalogs Jewish and general manuscript collections at the Filson and has published articles about the history of medicine and race.

June 27, 2019

Lost Wax Metal Casting
Mat Weir

Sculptor and Falls Art Foundry co-owner, Matt Weir’s talk will help demystify the ancient “Lost Wax Metal Casting Process”, which Enid Yandell used to create works such as her Hogan’s Fountain and Daniel Boone bronze sculptures, both in Cherokee Park. Though images and detailed discussion, you will learn how a foundry takes an artist’s model from its initial sculpted material through the stages of the casting process to a finished bronze sculpture. In addition to discussing metal casting, Matt will also talk about how his own work in addition to that of Louisville’s unique sculptural legacy is related to Enid and her foundational life.

Matt graduated Cum Laude with a BFA from the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute with minors in Humanities and Art History in 2004. Throughout that time, he was also busy apprenticing with a diverse set of professional artists, studios and at the Bright Foundry an art foundry in Louisville. His time associated with the foundry, established by sculptor Barney Bright, lasted for approximately 15 years. In 2016 the Bright Foundry closed permanently and Matt co-organized a team to succeed it as Falls Art Foundry, which is now located in the historic Portland neighborhood. Matt’s work may be found throughout the region in such landscapes and places as Bernheim Forest, Oldham County Courthouse, St. Xavier high school, as well as the downtown streets of Louisville.

June 18, 2019

The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History
James Higdon

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Author James Higdon—whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration—takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism.

Accompanied by a soundtrack of rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, this work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.

June 11, 2019

Naming Louisville’s Largest Parks: Tribes, Politics, and the Filson President
Richard Hume Werking

Who named Cherokee, Iroquois, and Shawnee Parks? When and how? And why these names?

Louisville’s public parks are among the city’s most important assets. Yet relatively few Louisville residents are acquainted with the early history of our park system, including how our three largest parks got the names they still have today — 128 years later.

Some have speculated that it was Frederick Law Olmsted himself — the prominent landscape architect who contributed so much to the park system’s design and subsequent reputation — who named Cherokee, Iroquois, and Shawnee parks. But the archives tell a different story. As usual, the history surrounding this subject is much richer and more complex than it might initially seem.

Dr. Richard Hume Werking, Library Director and Professor of History Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, grew up in Evansville, Indiana. A graduate of the Universities of Evansville, Wisconsin, and Chicago, he is the author of The Master Architects: Building the United States Foreign Service, 1890-1913. Among his other publications are biographical essays on Admiral Raymond A. Spruance and General Walter Bedell Smith in Indiana’s 200: The People Who Shaped the Hoosier State.

June 4, 2019

Native Southerners: Indigenous History from Origins to Removal
Gregory D. Smithers

Long before the indigenous people of southeastern North America first encountered Europeans and Africans, they established communities with clear social and political hierarchies and rich cultural traditions. Award-winning historian Gregory D. Smithers brings this world to life in Native Southerners, a sweeping narrative of American Indian history in the Southeast from the time before European colonialism to the Trail of Tears and beyond.

In the Native South, as in much of North America, storytelling is key to an understanding of origins and tradition—and the stories of the indigenous people of the Southeast are central to Native Southerners. Spanning territory reaching from modern-day Louisiana and Arkansas to the Atlantic coast, and from present-day Tennessee and Kentucky through Florida, this book gives voice to the lived history of such well-known polities as the Cherokees, Creeks, Seminoles, Chickasaws, and Choctaws, as well as smaller Native communities like the Nottoway, Occaneechi, Haliwa-Saponi, Catawba, Biloxi-Chitimacha, Natchez, Caddo, and many others. From the oral and cultural traditions of these Native peoples, as well as the written archives of European colonists and their Native counterparts, Smithers constructs a vibrant history of the societies, cultures, and people that made and remade the Native South in the centuries before the American Civil War. What emerges is a complex picture of how Native Southerners understood themselves and their world—a portrayal linking community and politics, warfare and kinship, migration, adaptation, and ecological stewardship—and how this worldview shaped and was shaped by their experience both before and after the arrival of Europeans.

As nuanced in detail as it is sweeping in scope, the narrative Smithers constructs is a testament to the storytelling and the living history that have informed the identities of Native Southerners to our day.

Gregory D. Smithers is Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity. His research and writing focuses on the histories of Indigenous people and African Americans from the eighteenth century to the present.

May 22, 2019

The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series
Spying on the South: An Odyssey across the American Divide
Tony Horwitz

In the 1850s, the young Frederick Law Olmsted was adrift, a restless farmer and dreamer in search of a mission. He found it during an extraordinary journey, as an undercover correspondent in the South for the up-and-coming New York Times.

Tony Horwitz rediscovers Yeoman Olmsted amidst the angry discord and polarization of our own time. Is America still one country? In search of answers, and his own adventures, Horwitz follows Olmsted’s tracks and often his mode of transport: through Appalachia, down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, into bayou Louisiana, and across Texas to the contested Mexican borderland.

Tony Horwitz is a native of Washington, D.C., and a graduate of Brown University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. As a foreign correspondent, he covered wars in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, mainly for the Wall Street Journal. Returning to the U.S., he won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and wrote for the New Yorker. He has also been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and president of the Society of American Historians.

May 20, 2019

The History of the American Jewish Hospital and Why it Matters Today

Over one hundred Jewish hospitals were opened in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Now they are almost all gone. Why were they created, what purposes did they serve, and why did they disappear? Insofar as many of these hospitals were created in response to pervasive medical anti-Semitism which reached its zenith at the end of World War II, why did this medical anti-Semitism dissipate within a generation? The speaker will explore these questions and their relevance to current debates over alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans in higher education.

Edward C. Halpern received his BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, MA from Duke University, and MD from Yale University. He was an intern at Stanford University and a resident at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Halperin has served as chairman of the department of radiation oncology at Duke University vice dean of Duke’s School of Medicine Dean of Medicine, Ford Foundation Professor of Medical Education, and Vice Provost at the University of Louisville and is now Chancellor/CEO of New York Medical College and Professor of Radiation Oncology, Pediatrics, and History and Provost for Biomedical Affairs of the Touro College and University System. He is the author of more than 220 articles in the peer reviewed literature and multiple editions of the principal textbooks in pediatric and adult radiation oncology.

For more discussion on this topic, see the audio of our May 31, 2018 event – “Breaking Down Barriers: the importance of Jewish Hospital in Louisville’s History”.

May 14, 2019

Panel Discussion
Opportunities and the Future of the Russell Neighborhood

“Notable Louisville Neighborhoods and the People Who Put Them on the Map” is a new series that focuses on the various neighborhoods within the city of Louisville. For the final installment this year, Kevin Fields will lead a panel discussion on the opportunities and future of West Louisville. Joining him on the panel will be:

  • Jackie Floyd, a native Louisvillian and current resident of the Russell neighborhood. She has broad experience in community engagement, case management and civic involvement. Most recently, Jackie served with New Directions Housing Corporation as a Vision Russell Outreach Worker leading community outreach and input efforts with the Vision Russell Choice Neighborhoods Planning grant.
  • Laura Kinsell-Baer, a Project Manager at McCormack Baron Salazar. She supports the implementation of comprehensive mixed-income and mixed-use projects. She is currently managing redevelopment of the Beecher Terrace Public Housing, site part of the Vision Russell Choice Neighborhood Initiative.
  • Theresa Zawacki, Executive on Loan to Russell: A Place of Promise, an economic justice-based initiative. Zawacki and the initiative are focused on the people and places that enhance the existing, new, and historic assets in Louisville’s historically black Russell neighborhood

Shantyboat Louisville
Mark Wetherington

During the Great Depression, as many as 50,000 people lived on an estimated 30,000 shanty boats in the Ohio and Mississippi River basins. Louisville’s floating shanty boat neighborhood was part of a changing waterfront for more than a century as the city evolved from a river town into an industrial city. This program explores shanty boat Louisville at the beginning of the 1900s. Who were the shanty boaters and why did they choose this alternative form of housing? Why were city officials determined to rid the waterfront of these “squatty little shanties, half house, half boat”? And what factors combined to bring an end to what one newspaperman called “these picturesque river tramps” at Louisville’s “Point” neighborhood?

Dr. Mark Wetherington is the former Director and Senior Research Fellow at The Filson Historical Society. He received his B.A. and Master’s degrees in history at Georgia Southern and earned a Ph.D. in history in1985 from the University of Tennessee. He is the author of The New South Comes to Wiregrass Georgia, 1860 and Plain Folk’s Fight: The Civil War and Reconstruction in Piney Woods, Georgia.

April 25, 2019

People and Places of the Russell Neighborhood
Moderated by Sam Watkins

“Notable Louisville Neighborhoods and the People Who Put Them on the Map” is a new series that seeks to connect people with their hyper-local history in a meaningful way. Focusing on the various neighborhoods within the city of Louisville, the series kicks off with a panel discussion on the history of the Russell Neighborhood. Originally a fashionable suburb with white and black working-class housing, Russell evolved into Louisville’s foremost African American neighborhood by the 1940s, boasting a well-defined business district and an expansive residential area.

Bonnie Lash Freeman will lead a panel discussion on the people and places that put the Russell neighborhood on the map. Joining her on the panel will be:

Lynn E. Johnson, Director of the Chestnut Street YMCA Black Achievers Program serving teens grades 8 th – 12 th . She has expanded the program to youth grades K-7 th . She commits to helping teens succeed, while nurturing adult volunteers who are the backbone of the Program.

Sam Watkins, former Chief Executive Officer of Louisville Central Community Centers. He is noted for his push for excellence among LCCC’s constituency and highly recognized as a national leader among neighborhood organizations.

April 16, 2019

Kentucky’s “Humble” Gunsmiths
Mel Hankla

Mel Hankla will focus on the life and times of the Humble brothers. Michael, (1744-1818) was an armorer with Gen. George Rogers Clark and Conrad, (1739-1790) whose shop was in Bourbon County, about 5 miles west of Paris. By 1779, Michael had a gun shop on the corner of 12th and Main street in downtown Louisville. Rifles made by these brothers will be on display during and after the lecture.

Mel Hankla is a past president of the Contemporary Longrifle Association and editor of American Tradition Magazine. A builder of traditional Longrifles, in 1984 he was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts grant to apprentice with master Kentucky riflesmith Hershel House. In 2016 he was proudly inducted into the prestigious American Society of Arms Collectors. A noted author, he has contributed articles to many publications and is currently working on a book entitled Up the Valley & Through the Gap – Following the Migration of Kentucky’s Rifle Smiths.

April 12, 2019

Struck Out : The Illiterate Hand on the Literate Page
Chris Hager

Digital-age scholars and commentators view handwriting from varying angles—as an old and still-evolving tradition (Anne Trubek), a modern medium for literary revision (Hannah Sullivan), a historical register of ideas about selfhood (Tamara Thornton), and, perhaps most frequently, a romantically expressive act (Kitty Burns Florey and Philip Hensher, among others). But even as wide a range of views as this has at least one common denominator: handwriting is something that formally educated, highly literate people do.

Christopher Hager is Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor at Trinity College, Hartford, where he teaches in English and American Studies and for three years directed the Center for Teaching and Learning. He is the author of Word by Word: Emancipation and the Act of Writing (Harvard Univ. Press, 2013), which won the 2014 Frederick Douglass Prize, and I Remain Yours: Common Lives in Civil War Letters (Harvard Univ. Press,2018), which was supported by a grant from the NEH Public Scholar program. With Cody Marrs, he is co-editor of Timelines of American Literature (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2019). His recent work also appears in Literary Cultures of the Civil War (ed. Timothy Sweet), the Cambridge History of American Working-Class Literature (ed. Nicholas Coles and Paul Lauter), and the forthcoming Visions of Glory: The Civil War in Word and Image (ed. Benjamin Fagan and Kathleen Diffley).

April 2, 2019

Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took On Washington
Patricia Miller

In Bringing Down the Colonel, the journalist Patricia Miller tells the story of Madeline Pollard, an unlikely nineteenth-century women’s rights crusader. After an affair with a prominent politician left her “ruined,” Pollard brought the man—and the hypocrisy of America’s control of women’s sexuality—to trial. And, surprisingly, she won.

Patricia Miller is a journalist and an editor who has written extensively about the intersection of politics, sex, and religion. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, The Huffington Post, RH Reality Check, and Ms. magazine. She is a senior correspondent for Religion Dispatches, where she writes about the politics of sexuality and the Catholic Church. She was formerly the editor of Conscience magazine and the editor in chief of National Journal’s daily health-care briefings, including the Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report and American Healthline. She has a master’s in journalism from New York University and is based in Washington, D.C.

March 28, 2019

The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series
Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John CalHoun and Daniel Webster, The Second Generation of American Giants
H. W. Brands

From New York Times bestselling historian H. W. Brands comes the riveting story of how, in nineteenth-century America, a new set of political giants battled to complete the unfinished work of the Founding Fathers and decide the future of our democracy.

In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, a champion orator known for his eloquence, spoke for the North and its business class. Henry Clay of Kentucky, as dashing as he was ambitious, embodied the hopes of the rising West. South Carolina’s John Calhoun, with piercing eyes and an even more piercing intellect, defended the South and slavery.

Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy. H.W. BRANDS holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and Traitor to His Class.

March 12, 2019

Notable Louisville Neighborhoods

Notable Louisville Neighborhoods and the People Who Put Them on the Map is a new Filson series that seeks to connect people with their hyperlocal history in a meaningful way. Focusing on the various neighborhoods within the city of Louisville, the series kicks off with a panel discussion on the history of the Russell Neighborhood. Originally a fashionable suburb with white and black working-class housing, Russell evolved into Louisville’s foremost African American neighborhood by the 1940s, boasting a well-defined business district and an expansive residential area.

Ken Clay, community leader and co-author of Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History, will lead a panel discussion to bring to life Russell’s important history and influence on our community.

Joining Clay on the panel will be:

Michael L. Jones an award-winning freelance journalist and author whose work regularly appears in Insider Louisville, LEO, Louisville Magazine and Food & Dining. His last book, Louisville Jug Music: From Earl McDonald to the National Jubilee, received the 2014 Samuel Thomas Book Award from the Louisville Historical League. Jones’ article about the black roots of Happy Birthday to You, A Peculiar Composition, appeared in the 2017 Oxford American music issue which focused on Kentucky.

Claudia Geurin is a retired employee of AT&T and Jefferson County Public Schools. She grew up in the Parkland neighborhood, attended Central High School, and is a lifelong member of the Hill Street BC that was located in the Russell area from 1942-2005. Geurin wrote first book, Time and Story in 2016. She has been a member of the Louisville Urban League Guild for 38 years.

Jana Meyer is an Associate Curator of Collections at the Filson Historical Society. She received a degree in History from the University of Louisville, as well as a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Kentucky. Jana specializes in arranging and describing the Filson’s manuscript collections.

February 26, 2019

Utilizing the ‘Worthless’ Animal: The Musseling Industry of the Ohio River
Kristen Fleming

In 1868, fishermen re-discovered fine pearls in Ohio’s Little Miami River, a tributary to the Ohio River. “Pearl mania” swept the nation. By the 1880s, the pearl fever grasped the Ohio River Valley with the “same spirit of the gold seeker of 1849.” Thousands of visitors, many with no familiarity or attachment to the Ohio River environment that housed mussel beds and thus limited understanding of the ecological effect of their harvesting, flocked to creeks and rivers in pursuit of pearls. The fever waned in some areas as mussel beds became exhausted and localities were “cleaned out,” but the mania would simply pick up again in new sections of the river. By the 1900s, interest grew from just the mussels’ pearls to the mussels’ shells as well, substantially expanding the musseling industry. For the Ohio River and its tributaries, the result of this excessive harvesting and ongoing urban pollution was a decrease in riparian health and biodiversity, encouraging the federal government’s attempts to save the industry. In “Utilizing the ‘Worthless’ Animal: The musseling industry of the Ohio River,” Kristen Fleming will discuss this environmental history of the mussel in this region.

Kristen Fleming is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati writing on the ecological transformation of the Ohio River in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has also written and presented on topics such as the Army Corps of Engineers’ projects and the creation of the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission.

February 21, 2019

Genealogy Through Photography: Exploring Family Photographs
Heather Potter

The Filson Historical Society located in Old Louisville has over 75,000 photographic items within its collection. A large portion is comprised of local Louisville and Southern Indiana family photographs. While you may be familiar with the Filson’s library resources, some may not be as aware of our visual resources. The Filson’s Curator of Photographs and Prints, Heather J. Potter, will give an overview of the Filson’s Photographic Collections, a tutorial on how to search the collection, and some tips on how to preserve your own family photographs.

Heather J. Potter is the Curator of Photographs and Prints at the Filson Historical Society. Potter received her BA in History from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, and MLS with an emphasis in Archives from Indiana University – Bloomington. Her research interests include World War I, Mammoth Cave, and Genealogy.

February 12, 2019

Bud Dorsey’s Louisville: African American Life Through the Years
Bud Dorsey

Bud Dorsey has dedicated over 50 years to documenting life Louisville, especially the experiences of African Americans. He spent fifteen years as a freelancer (JET, Ebony, the Courier-Journal, the Louisville Defender, etc.) and 20+ years as the sole full-time staff photographer for the Louisville Defender, and since his retirement in 2002, he has continued to take photographs every day. His photographs show us life in Louisville as many of us have never seen it before. Mr. Dorsey teaches us how to look at our community: with love, curiosity, respect, nuance, concern, playfulness, hope, heartbreak, and pride. Considered collectively, his photographs are a love letter to Louisville, crafted outside of mainstream arts and media worlds over the course of decades by a man who cares and has always there to bear witness. This video is an introduction to Mr. Dorsey and his work.

To this day, Bud is seemingly at every event in West Louisville—cultural showcases, church functions, protests, civic meetings, athletic events, crime scenes, etc.—while also making time to photograph nature and man-made structures. He finds almost everything interesting, and as a result his body of work represents an impressively rich portrait of life in Louisville over the years.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

African American Officers in Liberia
Brian G. Shellum

African American Officers in Liberia tells the story of seventeen African American officers who trained, reorganized, and commanded the Liberian Frontier Force from 1910 to 1942. In this West African country founded by freed black American slaves, African American officers performed their duties as instruments of imperialism for a country that was, at best, ambivalent about having them serve under arms at home and abroad.

The United States extended its newfound imperial reach and policy of “Dollar Diplomacy” to Liberia, a country it considered a U.S. protectorate. Brian G. Shellum explores U.S. foreign policy toward Liberia and the African American diaspora, while detailing the African American military experience in the first half of the twentieth century. Shellum brings to life the story of the African American officers who carried out a dangerous mission in Liberia for an American government that did not treat them as equal citizens in their homeland, and he provides recognition for their critical role in preserving the independence of Liberia.

Brian G. Shellum is a retired army officer and former historian and intelligence officer with the Department of Defense. He is the author of Black Cadet in a White Bastion: Charles Young at West Point and Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young

Local Connections: There are two links Kentucky and Louisville that I will emphasize to local audiences about this book. The main character who led this military mission to Liberia was born in Mays Lick, Kentucky in Mason County. He was born to slaves in 1864 and escaped north to Ohio with his father and mother in 1965. He then went on to be the third black graduate of West Point in 1889, and rose to the rank of Colonel before his death in 1922. One of Young’s most trusted officers during his Liberian mission was a man named Wilson Ballard, who had a dental practice on Walnut Street in Louisville. Ballard died here in Louisville in 1943 and is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery.

January 24, 2019

Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776
Patrick Spero

The untold story of the “Black Boys,” a rebellion on the American frontier in 1765 that sparked the American Revolution.

In 1763, the Seven Years’ War ended in a spectacular victory for the British. The French army agreed to leave North America, but many Native Americans, fearing that the British Empire would expand onto their lands and conquer them, refused to lay down their weapons. Under the leadership of a shrewd Ottawa warrior named Pontiac, they kept fighting for their freedom, capturing several British forts and devastating many of the westernmost colonial settlements. The British, battered from the costly war, needed to stop the violent attacks on their borderlands. Peace with Pontiac was their only option—if they could convince him to negotiate.

Patrick Spero is the Librarian and Director of the American Philosophical Society Library in Philadelphia. As a scholar of early American history, Dr. Spero specializes in the era of the American Revolution. He has published over a dozen essays and reviews on the topic. His is the author of Frontier Rebels: The Fight for Independence in the American West, 1765-1776, Frontier Country: The Politics of War in Early Pennsylvania, and The American Revolution Reborn: New Perspectives for the Twenty-First Century, an edited anthology also from Penn Press.

January 17, 2019

Recording a Vanishing World: Harlan Hubbard and Shantyboat Culture
Jessica Whitehead

The work of Kentucky-based writer, artist, and naturalist Harlan Hubbard remains a vital resource to those interested in understanding Ohio Valley river culture. Along with his wife, Anna, Harlan made the acquaintance of many river folk over the course of his life and left us delightful written and artistic accounts of his encounters, friendships, and observations throughout his many journals and sketchbooks. The Hubbards held tightly to the ethos of the river denizens, and, though the Ohio River shantyboat culture was by then a shadow of its former, bustling self, Harlan managed to carry on its people’s stories in his own life and work. In Recording a Vanishing World, Jessica Whitehead will discuss Hubbard’s uniquely personal perspective on shantyboat culture in the Kentuckiana area and how his legacy helps us reconstruct a world that has largely passed into memory.

Jessica Whitehead is an independent curator and author, specializing in the work of Harlan Hubbard. She has curated several shows of Harlan’s artwork, including: Kentuckiana Sublime: New Perspectives on Nature from 2013 at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and That Wild Life: The Woodcuts of Harlan Hubbard from 2018 at the Louisville Grows Healthy House Gallery. Whitehead’s first book, on Harlan’s watercolors, is expected to be published in 2020 by The University Press of Kentucky.

January 10, 2019

The Gertrude Polk Brown Lecture Series
The Age of Eisenhower: America and the World in the 1950s
William I. Hitchcock

In a 2017 survey, presidential historians ranked Dwight D. Eisenhower fifth on the list of great presidents, behind the perennial top four: Lincoln, Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Teddy Roosevelt. Historian William Hitchcock shows that this high ranking is justified. Eisenhower’s accomplishments were enormous, and loom ever larger from the vantage point of our own tumultuous times.

From 1953 to 1961, no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Age of Eisenhower is the definitive account of this presidency, drawing extensively on declassified material from the Eisenhower Library, the CIA and Defense Department, and troves of unpublished documents. In his masterful account, Hitchcock shows how Ike shaped modern America, and he astutely assesses Eisenhower’s close confidants, from Attorney General Brownell to Secretary of State Dulles. The result is an eye-opening reevaluation that explains why this “do-nothing” president is rightly regarded as one of the best leaders our country has ever had.

William I. Hitchcock is a professor of history at the University of Virginia and the Randolph Compton Professor at the Miller Center for Public Affairs. A graduate of Kenyon College and Yale University, he is the author most recently of The Bitter Road to Freedom: The Human Cost of Allied Victory in World War II Europe, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

December 7, 2017

From the Brown Derby to the Speed: A Panel on African American Arts in Louisville

Ché Rhodes (moderator), Dr. Robert L. Douglas, William Duffy, Ed Hamilton

University of Louisville professor of sculpture Ché Rhodes will lead a panel on Coxe and his milieu, as well as the broader Black arts scene in Louisville over the second half of the twentieth century. In addition to creating groundbreaking works, this group of artists created their own arts organizations when faced with an unwelcoming broader arts community. The panel will feature three artists directly involved in the history being discussed: Dr. Robert L. Douglas, artist and emeritus professor of Pan-African Studies at the University of Louisville, and renowned sculptors Ed Hamilton and William Duffy. This program is presented in collaboration with the UL Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society. Support for this program generously provided by Republic Bank.



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