Alan Brinkley, Gloria Vanderbilt, and Lesbian Cruises
Past Present Episode 185
In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the recent passing of two major figures: political historian Alan Brinkley and socialite fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, and the historical significance of a viral Buzzfeed essay about attending a lesbian cruise.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- Columbia political historian Alan Brinkley — a Ph.D. advisor to Neil and Niki and favorite undergraduate professor of Natalia – has died. Niki recommended Alan Brinkley: A Life in History, a collection of essays by some of his students, including Niki. Neil discussed Brinkley’s influential 1994 article in the American Historical Review, “The Problem of American Conservatism.” Natalia recommended David Greenberg’s reflection in TIME on Brinkley’s legacy.
- Heiress and fashion trailblazer Gloria Vanderbilt has died. Niki referred to this Washington Post article about the custody trial that defined Vanderbilt as a “poor little rich girl.” Natalia noted how trailblazing the commercials for her jeans were.
- Shannon Keating’s Buzzfeed essay about her experience on a lesbian cruise operated by Olivia Travel has gone viral. Natalia cited David K. Johnson’s book Buying Gay.
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia recommended a new documentary, The Lavender Scare.
- Neil discussed the Orlando Sentinel’s editorial, “Our Orlando Sentinel Endorsement for 2020: Not Donald Trump.”
- Niki shared P.R. Lockhart’s Vox article, “Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates Gives Mitch McConnell a Thorough History Lesson on Reparations.”