Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Civil War speakers this week

Craig Symonds, Professor Emeritus at the U.S. Naval Academy and the author of ten previous books, including Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History, yesterday examined Lincoln’s presidency through the lens of the naval side of the Civil War, and his relationship with his Admirals. Today’s lecture we learned about a new kind of warship with iron sides and revolving gun turrets used in the Union blockade of Southern ports and the Battle of Mobile Bay. Symonds is an outstanding, lively, well-informed speaker, and he never misses a step when asked questions from the audience. If he had notes, I didn't see them. If you ever have an opportunity to hear him, don't miss it, even to just enjoy a well-prepared, articulate speaker.

Two annoyances: first, so many people don't turn off their cell phones. How many calls can grandma get? So irritating. Then there's the "other" expert in the audience--this one about 2 row behind me with an extremely deep voice, that rattled and rumbled as he pointed things out in an audible whisper to the guys he was sitting with. If he's so smart, why isn't he on the speakers' circuit, or sitting in archives researching?

Reminds me of comments at my blog.

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