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Land(es) of the Free Posts

Artifact: French Napoleon Commemorative Medal

This artfully crafted bronze medal was awarded in 1857 to surviving members of soldier Napoleon Bonaparte’s “Grande Armee” who served between the years of 1792 and 1815. The inscription on the front face of the medal surrounds a profile bust of Bonaparte and reads “Napoleon I Emperour.” Designer Albert Désiré Barre elected to place…

Turner’s Frontier Thesis Compared to River of Shadows and Train Dreams

A fundamental aspect of Turner’s Frontier thesis focuses on the relationship between “savagery and civilization” (1134). In Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams, protagonist Grainier constantly retreats to an area of isolation in the woods, one where “the forests that [fill] his life [are] so thickly populous” that “they [block] him from seeing how far away the…

An American Morality Tale: Train Dreams & River of Shadows

Never before seen on such a grand scale, the Great Strike, as mentioned in River of Shadows, caused significant countrywide unrest. While highlighting a division between railroad workers and common civilians, the movement conveyed an incredible power only achievable with such a vast number of participants. Solnit wrote, “Half the nation’s…