Hi B & D --
Please mourn with me the sad farewell to my heroic, helpful and ridiculous pickup truck -- though it may Keep On Truckin' as a donation to Smith Vocational High School. When next you see me wheeling around, it will be in a far more realistic and sensible pre-owned Honda CR-V, from Pleasant Journey, whose All-Wheel Drive will still give me the illusion that no Adventure or helpful chore is beyond my reach in any season. Cynthia took a test drive and has pronounced it acceptable, and even Lots Of Fun.
Last April, I was lazily trying to filch a Web version of [John Kenneth] Galbraith's "The Great Crash," and found some snippets on the website of an Australian crystallographer who also admires this funny and spooky history.
Our correspondence turned to Herbert Hoover, and I had the fun of introducing the crystallographer to Herbert and Lou Hoover's 1912 translation, still the only English version, of Agricola's 1556 sourcebook of the mining sciences, De Re Metallica. He rushed out and bought the Dover edition -- and so did I, it's a beautiful window into the past, and a magnificent scholarly achievement, which the Hoovers did as geology students at Stanford. In the mining communities of Renaissance Europe, De Re Metallica was often chained to the church altar, so the priest could read and translate it for the miners. The Hoovers did lots of lab experiments to clarify obscure technical points in Agricola.
On-line version at
or borrow my gorgeous Dover.
Galbraith is not very kind to Hoover; few Americans are, or are ever likely to be. But yesterday a book I didn't even realize I owned popped out and open, and gave me the niftiest treat.
Thought I'd pass this along, thought you might be interested. The book, of course, is yours for the asking.
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Galbraith was a New Deal (Franklin D. Roosevelt) liberal and prominent Democrat. President Kennedy appointed him U.S. Ambassador to India. (He bragged that he was the first ambassador to insist on examining the cobra-catcher's sack before the cobra catcher entered the embassy grounds, rather than upon leaving, when he would be paid by the snake.)