European Union in International Politics: Baptism by Fireby Roy H. Ginsberg, Stuart E. Eizenstat
As the world looks to Europe to take on more responsibility in international politics and security in the devastating aftermath of Bosnia and Kosovo, this pathbreaking book provides the first systematic evaluation of the impact of the European Union (EU) on a global scale. Little is known of the EU's international influence, yet if the EU is to develop a viable Common Foreign and Security Policy, other actors will have to perceive the Union as an important player. Roy Ginsberg fills this vital gap by first linking the contexts and sources of EU foreign policy actions with the processes and outputs of decisionmaking and then examining how outsiders view the EU. Combining a masterly synthesis of the literature with invaluable primary interviews and case studies that document the reach of and limits to the EU's influence, Ginsberg's analysis takes the study of EU foreign policy to a new level. By defining, describing, and explaining the different levels and degrees of external impact, the book serves as a model for the advancement of conceptual knowledge, rigorous political science research, and state-of-the-art survey techniques and methodology. Scholars and students alike will find this rounded and nuanced work indespensable for understanding EU involvement in international politics seen from the perspective of non-EU players, particularly after the war in Kosovo, the enactment of the Treaty of Amsterdam, and the Cologne Summit.
Author Biography: Roy H. Ginsberg is professor of government at Skidmore College.
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Ancestors in the Attic
Making Family Memorabilia into History
By Karen Foy
The History PressCopyright © 2012 Karen Foy
All rights reserved.
PUTTING PEN TO PAPER
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
Rifling through the personal possessions of deceased family members can often seem like prying, but it is surprising how many long-forgotten secrets you can discover, or which unanswered questions you can solve. Any number of items could have been handed down within a family or bequeathed as a lasting legacy, it is just that some pieces of memorabilia, ephemera and what are now today's collectables, tell greater stories than others.
If you're lucky enough to unearth a personal diary or journal then you really have struck gold. Used to record a person's innermost thoughts and feelings, as well as to chart the year's events and daily activities, this is one of the few opportunities that you'll have to really get inside your ancestor's mind.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
From great historical writers such as Samuel Pepys and Dr Johnson to the wild and imaginative jottings of the fictional Adrian Mole, keeping a diary has been a popular pastime for thousands of people throughout the centuries. Samuel Pepys, Britain's most famous diarist, was born in 1633 and went on to become an MP and naval administrator while keeping a detailed private journal from 1660 to 1669. His jottings provide witness accounts of fascinating events during this decade, such as the Great Fire of London and the effects of the plague, but also offer personal details that we could never hope to find in a history book.
Diary keeping became increasingly popular from the seventeenth century onwards with many factors contributing to an interest in this pursuit of recording memories. Advances in the education system saw a growth in literacy among the population, and those with religious beliefs began questioning their faith. Others chronicled the births, marriages and deaths of family members, describing these events in detail for future generations. This was an era when paper production became cheaper and more affordable for personal use, allowing the diary to become a sanctuary for the author's thoughts and observations.
There is nothing quite like the excitement of discovering a diary, or any form of personal correspondence that has been lovingly stored away for decades in an old chocolate or cigar box that obviously meant so much to the original owner that they felt compelled to keep it. Regularly disposed of as just the personal trappings of the deceased, any such writing that avoids being tossed out with the rubbish or lies hidden for years only to be discovered by an enthusiastic benefactor can form part of a fascinating collection – priceless to a descendant – but can also provide an intriguing glimpse into a particular period of time, which can aid your own investigations.
THE ORGANISED APPROACH
The following tips can be applied to your study of any type of correspondence, not only diaries:
* Always read the document through once to get a general idea of what it contains and then, with a critical approach, take a closer look at what you've got.
* Note down all the facts, dates and addresses, along with any assumptions that you may have made.
* Add descriptive information about the interior of the writer's home, the car they drove or even the clothing they were wearing at the time.
* Log any questions that need answering and future avenues of research that you can pursue.
* Keep all your notes, even when you've found the answers, as they are always helpful to refer to at a later date and may inspire another train of thought for you to follow.
From the rich to the poor, the agricultural labourer to the lord of the manor, a diary and personal reminiscence can transport you back in time.
* Is the diary themed, for example, an occupational aid used to jot down the notes of a lawyer or doctor. Is it a war diary recollecting the feelings of someone involved in a conflict, or the recorded travel exploits of the family adventurer (see Chapter 2)?
* Was the diary created solely to record a specific event or period? Why was this important to the writer?
* What does it tell you about everyday life at the time?
* What kind of relationship did the writer have with their family? Did they have a happy marriage, or was their diary keeping a means of escape from a trapped or unhappy relationship?
* What was happening in the world at the time? Did the writer mention world events and, if so, what was their reaction to them?
* Did the writer have aspirations, ambitions or hopes for the future and were they ever fulfilled?
* Look for additions and inclusions: memorable items that the user thought important enough to paste between the pages. These could include sketches, verses, sentiments, tickets, postcards and other paper ephemera. Take a closer look, what can they tell you?
PRESERVING THE PAST
Where possible make a copy of the document: this will save on wear and tear during your research. Use a photocopier with an adjustable panel that allows the copying of larger diaries to ensure that the spine is not bent, broken or creased. Store copies away from the originals so that if one becomes lost or damaged you will always have the other.
Keep items in as near perfect condition as possible by storing in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Wrap in archival paper, which is acid and lignum free to help with long-term preservation, and if the item is extremely delicate consider wearing cotton gloves while handling.
Paper ephemera can rip easily and after years of being folded in a certain way, may become fragile along fold lines. Contemplate transcribing entries that are difficult to read onto your computer, to help make future reference easier.
Never write notes – even in pencil – on your original copy and don't cut or remove any loose pieces, always keep everything original together.
Find Out More
A diary does not have to have belonged to a member of your ancestry to add background information or understanding of a particular period to your family tree. There are literally thousands of manuscripts, letters and documents up for sale on websites like www.ebay.co.uk It is just a matter of searching for items and subjects that interest you. Whittling down your search with phrases such as 'travel', 'military', 'WW2' or 'naval' can help you pinpoint the gems out there.
If you're inspired by military memorabilia, look out for war diaries, regimental descriptions, letters from remote outposts or descriptive love notes written from the trenches.
Is it a topographical area that interests you? Do you want to find out more about the town or village where your ancestors grew up? Target your searches to that region.
Is there a specific occupation that you would like to find out more about? Unusual trades with illustrated letterheads can shed light on business dealings and prices charged for services offered. From the simple transactions of a rural grocer to the commerce of traders in exotic locations, documents still exist with vivid explanations of everyday life in another era.
Are you drawn towards social history, with a fascination for life in a particular century, the clothes worn and the daily routines carried out? Observations have been penned on every subject, it is just a matter of seeking them out.
Book fairs, attic sales and antique fairs are great places to begin your quest. Don't forget to rummage through boxes of junk at car-boot sales for those long-forgotten treasures and search the sites of specialist ephemera dealers to see what kind of items are on offer. Remember that each example is unique, so consider that factor when setting yourself a budget.
Some of the most absorbing diaries have been transcribed and are now readable online.
Step back in time and follow the everyday exploits of Samuel Pepys at www.pepysdiary.com Awash with famous names of the day, it also gives us a window into life in seventeeth-century London.
If your ancestor emigrated to America, it may be worth visiting www.aisling.net/journaling/old-diaries-online.htm. Here you will find details of the exploits of an American midwife, the poignant memories of a Virginian slave, tales of Nebraskan pioneers and the journal of a woman who spent six weeks with the Sioux Indians. Hopes, dreams, fears and excitement from the pens of ordinary men and women who have led extraordinary lives, help to give us a completely different perspective on the times when our own ancestors lived.
For those with forebears living in rural Wales in the mid-eighteenth century, some of the pages of William Bulkeley's diary are relevant and are gradually going online: visit Gathering the Jewels at www.gtj.org.uk/en/articles/diaries-of-william-bulkeley-llanfechell -anglesey-1734-60. Awarded a £6,500 grant, the University of Wales plans to make 1,000 handwritten pages available on the web. Bulkeley's journals consist of three volumes and cover everything from vivid accounts of farm life in Anglesey to the marriage of his daughter to a pirate.
Eyewitness accounts may take on any form, from the recollections of those aboard an 1850s whaling ship to those experiencing the effects of the Irish potato famine. Use the website http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com as a basis for your own investigations.
Where documents and diaries mention specific events it is always worth trying to track down these details in local newspapers. You may be lucky and discover even more information if the incident was interesting enough to be reported.
Study not only the diaries and correspondence penned by your ancestor, but also the writing implement used, the quality of the paper and even their writing style, punctuation and grammar. This will not only give you clues as to the equipment they could afford, but also to their educational abilities.
Step Back in Time
The term 'pen' comes from the Latin word penna, meaning feather, but the origins of these writing devices date back much further.Early man chose to convey messages, make drawings and portray thoughts by using his finger as a writing device, dipped in plant juices as a primitive substitute for ink. As we developed and became civilised, more-effective tools had to be found.
Bone and bronze implements were fashioned to scratch naive images and icons onto stone, but it was the Greeks that created a writing stylus that most resembled the pen we use today. Made of metal, bone or ivory, the stylus enabled the user to make marks on hinged, wax-coated tablets that could be closed to protect the scribe's work. By 300 BC, the Chinese, as an alternative, chose to paint their messages using brushes made from rat or camel hair.
Overcoming language barriers and the opening of trade between nations required us to achieve precision and greater detail when communicating. Although the Egyptians had previously used bamboo reeds as writing tools and vessels to carry ink, it was not until after the fall of the Roman Empire that it was discovered that feather quills had greater potential. Goose feathers were most prevalent, while swan feathers, of a premium quality, were scarcer and more expensive. Crow feathers were ideal for making fine lines and doing intricate work. The hollow shaft of a feather quill acted as a reservoir to hold the ink, which flowed by capillary action to the end of the shaft, split to create a nib for writing. Popular during medieval times to write on parchment and paper to achieve a neat, controlled script, a skilled scribe could achieve numerous calligraphic effects with a well-shaped quill. But there was one drawback: each short quill would regularly need re-trimming in order to produce a sharp nib, so a constant supply of new feathers was always needed.
To overcome this problem, a tool was called for that could carry its own ink supply, was reliable and didn't require reshaping. The first steps were taken in the nineteenth century when steel nibs were produced by stamping, shaping and slitting a piece of sheet metal. These were then fitted into a holder and dipped into an inkwell to replenish the ink on the nib after every line of writing. Dickens, Austen, the Brontë sisters and their contemporaries would have all used this method to pen their novels. The holders were made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, tortoiseshell and wood, teamed with equally elaborately decorated inkwells produced for home use, to be displayed on a desk, or as part of a travelling writing set.
Gradually, these advances inspired inventors to come up with a method that eliminated the constant need for dipping the nib into an inkwell.
The Fountain Pen
One of the most notable developments of late nineteenth-century writing equipment was the patenting of the reservoir fountain pen. A 'silver pen to carry ink in' was mentioned in the seventeenth century in the diaries of Samuel Pepys, but it was not until 200 years later when pens had their own reservoirs of ink that they became popular and manufacturers such as Parker, Sheaffer and Moseley brought these stylish items to the masses. They were known as 'fountain' pens in recognition of the way the ink flowed through the pen and onto the paper; a system of narrow tubes called the 'feed' carried the ink from the pen's reservoir to a gold or steel nib. Perfecting this smooth flow, without the addition of blots or irregularities, initially proved a difficult task.
By 1883 a breakthrough was made. Lewis E. Waterman, an insurance salesman, created a pen that was capable of delivering ink efficiently with his innovative 'three-channel feed' device, which allowed air to balance the pressure inside and outside the ink reservoir and stabilise the flow. The Waterman Ideal was filled using an eyedropper mechanism that sucked the ink into the pen to provide the supply. Despite leakages and teething problems with poorly fitting caps and wear to the barrel section, the pens became greatly admired by the general public.
Walter Sheaffer introduced a lever filling method where the lever fitted flush with the barrel of the pen when not in use. The Parker Pen Company patented the button-filler method as an alternative to the eyedropper system in 1913. By pressing an external button connected to the internal pressure plate, the ink sac was flattened to allow the pen to be refilled.
Did You Know?
In 1980, the Writing Equipment Society was formed by a group of enthusiasts who all patronised 'His Nibs', a fascinating shop belonging to Philip Poole in Drury Lane, London. Devoting its interests to anything 'writerly' and its associated materials, the society has an international membership of over 500 followers.
Among the inkwells and seals, pen nibs and paper knives, you are guaranteed to find a like-minded member with a passion for, and considerable knowledge of, the history of these items. Members receive a journal covering the latest news, articles and advertisements as well as dates of forthcoming meetings and swap sessions. If this is an area of memorabilia that interests you, why not consider joining to find out more? Visit the website at www.wesonline.org.uk/index.html and take advantage of the help, guidance and links to related societies and shows.
From quill cutters to propelling pencils, along with their writing styles, the tools used by our ancestors for their correspondence can help to whittle down the time frame of those dateless examples that you may come across, possibly even helping you to match a letter with a particular individual.
These clues have literally been left in black and white. Use your imagination and logical thinking to follow them wherever they may take you.
Walk into any bookshop today and you're guaranteed to find a myriad of guides, self-help books, handbooks and manuals on just about any subject, but step back in time and the almanac was the publication you turned to, to find out important information of the day. The early Victorian era saw farming as one of the greatest employers and for those involved in this occupation, an almanac was often at hand on their bookshelves. Almanacs are published annually and contain a calendar for a given year.
Excerpted from Ancestors in the Attic by Karen Foy. Copyright © 2012 Karen Foy. Excerpted by permission of The History Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Roy H. Ginsberg is Jean Monnet Chair in European Integration Studies and Joseph C. Palamountain, Jr. Chair in Government at Skidmore College.
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