Fred's Blog


DR. FRANZ BOAS, 1858-1942. In the talk about race since the death of George Floyd, and since Charlottesville, I have not seen any media mention of Dr. Franz Boas. His is a name that should be mentioned whenever "race" comes up as an issue. He was the anthropologist who did the respectable scientific research that shot down the popular belief in "White Superiority." This was around 1910 to 1920. About the time of World War I. Boas was from Germany, but he spent most of his life teaching anthropology at Columbia University. He trained the whole next generation of American anthropologists, including the famous Margaret Mead. In the decades before 1910, White people took it for granted that they were superior to non-Whites in every way. On top of that, White Superiority was considered a respectable scientific theory. Boas did the rigorous research that disproved that theory. He found that there is no connection between race and intelligence. "Racism" means the theory that intelligence is determined by skin color. By the 1990s, scientists went a step further than Boas: They found that there is more genetic variety within a race than between races, and so just threw out the whole concept of race altogether. Boas, in his last years, actively spoke out against the Nazis and eugenics. So let's spread the fame and credit for a scientist who helped liberate mankind from an error that has caused much suffering.



ON MONDAY, MAY 23, OXFORD FILMS WILL FILM ME GIVING MY "AYN RAND'S PARK AVENUE" TOUR, FOR A DOCUMENTARY ON POSTWAR IDEA SYSTEMS FOR THE BBC. ALL ARE WELCOME FOR THIS FREE TOUR. 11 A.M., EAST 42ND STREET AND VANDERBILT AVENUE, IN FRONT OF THE SOUTHWEST ENTRANCE OF GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL.



I have just finished my latest book, ATLAS SHRUGGED: COMMENTARY AND STUDY GUIDE TO THE NOVEL THAT HAS INSPIRED MILLIONS. It includes: Commentary on almost every page of the novel. Cross-referencing, so you can find previous mentions of some word, character, or event. A "Recurring Themes Index," so you can find all the mentions of Rand's favorite themes. A timeline of the events of the novel. An index of subchapters. A bibliography and General Index. My cross-referencing points you to related words and themes not only in Atlas, but also in The Fountainhead and Rand's other fiction and non-fiction. My book is 538 pages long. Just email me at fcookinham@juno.com and I will send you a copy as an attachment.



ATLAS SHRUGGED, LINE BY LINE: COMMENTARY AND STUDY GUIDE TO THE NOVEL THAT HAS INSPIRED MILLIONS



My book THE COOKINHAMS OF UTICA is available as an attachment to anyone who sends me an email requesting it. My 1994 science fiction novel THE CAPSTONE will be available soon. My book ATLAS SHRUGGED, LINE BY LINE, will be available in a few months. In this book, I analyze the novel line by line, all 1,168 pages of it. I offer cross-referencing, to help the reader track themes that Rand sprinkles around the book. I offer an index to chapters and sub-chapters, and an index to those sprinkled themes. So my book will act as a study guide to the reader who has just read the novel for the first time and now wants to scrutinize it more closely. I include a bibliography.



TOURS AND BOOKS FOR 2021!



To my everlasting shame, I participated in the 1994 Howard Stern gag campaign for Governor of New York. I was not surprised recently to learn that Trump and Stern are buddies. It figures. The Trump campaigns were much like the Stern campaign, only on a bigger scale: President instead of Governor, and a billionaire instead of a millionaire. Higher stakes and a closer semblance to a serious campaign, and of course Trump actually won. But just a gag nonetheless. In the movie that Stern made about himself (starring himself) a radio demographics analyst explains that his research has shown that more people who say they hate Stern listen to his show than people who identify themselves as Stern fans. And they listen to Stern for the same reason: they want to know what the heck he is going to pull next.



I have just completed a book called "The Cookinhams of Utica." Just email me and i will send it to you as an attachment. I have gathered together in one book a bunch of documents on my family history. My great-grandfather, Henry J. Cookinham, a big lawyer in Utica, NY, wrote a life sketch, as did my grandfather and my uncle Walt. I have letters from my brother, father, aunts, uncles, mother, ancestors farther back. I have transcripts of interviews with my mother, talking about her life. I have a bio of my great-great-great grandfather, who captained a steamboat on Lake Champlain that was highly praised by Charles Dickens. I have a funny story about an 1873 fishing trip in the Adirondacks by my great-great grandfather, a New York State militia general and newspaper publisher. I have some information about my immigrant ancestor, who came over from Germany in 1737, his son, a Dutchess County militiaman in the War for Independence, and his grandson, a militiaman in the War of 1812. I have a log that Henry J. kept of his trip to the Holy Land in 1922, when he was 79. And so on. Fun stuff, for anyone related to the Cookinhams, and to students of American History and Upstate New York in particular. Free!



HALFWAY THROUGH ATLAS SHRUGGED COMMENTARY! Yesterday I reached Page 584: halfway to Page 1,168. I have now written 175 pages of commentary on 584 pages of Atlas. I should finish by the end of the year. I am also revising a science fiction novel I finished in 1994. It is in the hands of an actual professional copy editor now. Coming soon to an attachment near you! I am also writing a book about the history of the Cookinham family.



HAMILTON PANEL ON GO TO On Thursday, July 2, I was one of four speakers on a panel discussing Hamilton the man and "Hamilton" the musical. This was on Go To, and was watched by about a hundred members of the Guides Association of New York and the Tour Guides Guild of Washington DC.


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