Reading American history is so weird. When you get interested in a question like, "Why was there such a surge of interest in Thomas Aquinas and social justice among Austrian Catholics in the 1890s?" -- which is the other thing sparked by yesterday's reading -- the question is whether you can conveniently find that information at all, not whether you can skim through forty volumes of dumbed-down nonsense to get there. I mean, for Thermionic Night and Copper Mountain, the sifting of research materials went like this: Is it about Finland? Is it in English? Sold. And I was enough older when I started obsessing about the settlement of Iceland that I really did remember the names of historians when I wanted to go back to it. When you're 13, 14, 15, you have some misty notion of historiography. At 9, not so much. (I know these ages need adjusting upwards for people who were not raised by my mother. But I was.) The Great Depression project was how I learned about comparing sources and the advantages and disadvantages of perspectives at the time vs. many years after the fact -- which means that I wasn't really there yet when I was doing it. Which means that it'll take awhile for me to dredge up who was good and who was crap.
Well. Nothing ever wasted. And no tasty buried bone left forever, apparently.