Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dancing Cheek to Cheek

The link below goes straight into Fred Astaire's song from Top Hat (1935).

Then we have the dancing. Will two people ever do this any better? Hard to believe.

(Thanks to Tim Sullivan for sending me this link.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

BIRTH | Aug. 17–Mae West

Mae West (1893-1980)
This day in 1893 was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.  Mary Jane "Mae" West.

She was an icon of the Roaring Twenties and then with her wit stretched her career into a lifetime of notoriety.

She was the eldest surviving child of boxer and private investigator Irish-Catholic John Patrick West and Matilda "Tillie" Doelger, who in 1886 emigrated with her family from Bavaria  and was for a time a corset model.

Mae West started performing at 14. At 18, the New York Times praised her "snappy way of singing and dancing." She soon became a sex symbol with an unmistakable walk and kept going for 70 more years with her unique talent for thinking up and delivering wry double entendres. Her mother was her biggest fan; but other relatives disapproved.

Having started her career in vaudeville in New York City, she followed the movie business to Hollywood. (Thomas Edison's use of strong-arm teams to collect royalties helped drive movie-makers out of New York.) Diamond Lil (1928), her play about a lady of leisure in the 1890s, became a Broadway hit and then a movie. In Night after Night (1932) she has this exchange:
Hat Check Girl: “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.” Mae West (playing the part of Maudie Triplett): “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”
She then starred with Cary Grant in I'm No Angel (1933). She played opposite W. C. Fields in My Little Chickadee (1940). The American Film Institute ranks Mae West as #15 among female stars of all time.

When her long cinematic career ended, she continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, and to record rock and roll albums.

Some of Her Famous Quotes

A man in the house is worth two in the street.
A man's kiss is his signature.
An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.
I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.
I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.
Love conquers all things except poverty and toothache.
Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Save a boyfriend for a rainy day–and another, in case it doesn't rain.
Say what you want about long dresses, but they cover a multitude of shins.
The best way to hold a man is in your arms.
Those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often.
Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
There are no good girls gone wrong–just bad girls found out.
When I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Monday, August 10, 2015

NYC Comptroller's Ofc 1994-2001 - Regina Calcaterra

NOW - Regina Calcaterra, Author of Etched in Sand. 
Photo taken August 9, 2015 by JT Marlin.
THEN: Regina Calcaterra was one of the lawyers in the front office of the NYC Comptroller's Office during the eight years that Alan Hevesi was Comptroller, 1994-2001. (I served as Chief Economist during that administration and the ones before and after.)

NOW: After running for the State Senate from eastern Long Island, she was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as Executive Director of a Moreland Commission to look at corruption in Albany.

Most recently, she has written her life story, Etched in SandHere is a video trailer about the book.

I met her on Saturday evening, August 9, at the Authors Night in East Hampton.

The subject of her book reminds me of the new book by my sister Brigid Marlin, The Box House, also about a girl who takes charge of her siblings.

Another "Then and Now" post on what happened to people who worked at the NYC Comptroller's Office in the 1990s is here.

JOHN LENNON | Susan Wood's Lennon-Ono Photos

Susan Wood poses with friends at her exhibit of photos of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and other contemporaries such as
Ralph Lauren, Ted Kennedy, Susan Sontag, Diane von Furstenberg, and Christie Brinkley. It was at the Mulford Farm
in East Hampton, N.Y. and is open until October 18, 2015. Photo by JT Marlin.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

WOODIN | Charlie Miner Interview, July 31, 2015 (Updated Nov. 21, 2015)

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y., July 14, 1939. Wedding of Anne Woodin Miner and William Hamilton Phipps [original photo with handwriting]. An edited photo has been added to Appendix B of the Woodin biography.

I am writing about the life of Will Woodin, FDR's first Treasury Secretary. I have spoken so far with three of the four living Woodin grandchildren - Charlie Miner, Jr., Anne Gerli, and Woody Rowe. I am hoping soon to talk with the fourth, William H. Woodin III, who is 90 years old. 

Yesterday (July 30) I again interviewed his grandson Charlie Miner, Jr. With us were Charlie's daughter Charmaine, his niece Suzanne, his granddaughter Ashley, and my wife Alice. I am grateful to them for their patience. Some questions were prompted by Marlene O'Brien, a former co-worker at the NYC Comptroller's Office, who has kindly read the draft bio. I am impressed with how much Charlie's grandma was involved with her grandchildren relative to her husband, which I take to be a reflection of the life of someone like Will Woodin who was one of most important business and government leaders of his day.

As the comments are transferred to the respective chapters, this post will shrink.

Chapters 5-7. [Comments moved to the chapters]

Chapter 8. New York City

[Charlie and his sister Anne and his mother Mary Woodin Miner lived with Will Woodin in New York City during the school year and near him in East Hampton during the summer.]

My mother Perky lived with grandpa and grandma at 2 East 67th Street. I had a bedroom up in the penthouse on the 13th floor where grandpa's office was. My parents divorced so she lived with grandpa and grandma along with her two children. There was lots of room. I remember the lavish dinners they would have, when grandpa entertained. I remember some of the famous people who visited - J. P. Morgan, William Vanderbilt, Al Smith - that's how grandpa got to know FDR - the Astors. They would come to dinner. There was a big living room at 2 East 67th Street, with deep blue drapes.  My mother and grandma would always say that grandpa was sleeping and was not to be disturbed. I saw a lot of grandma, but grandpa was always very busy. Once, I remember, I sneaked into the beautiful big bedroom one evening, when he was relaxing after work. I was about seven years old. He was in his bathrobe and he was asleep.

Q. There is a report of two adjoining townhouses on East 64th Street between Lexington and Park that your grandfather bought in New York in 1902 and then sold a few months later. What was that about?
A. That was probably grandma Woodin... she would have been the one who bought them. She liked to buy houses. She probably wanted to have a place for grandpa's parents in New York, after grandpa's father lost a lot of money speculating in gold mining stocks. There was a crash in 1893, and then in 1896 a gold rush in Arizona. Clement invested in Diamondfield Daisy and Humbug gold mines. We got "Gold Bug" pins to wear. Then the stock price fell. [One of the stocks was issued at $1 par and fell to 4 cents. There was gold in the mines they bought, but not much.]

Q.  Did you interact much with the staff in New York?
A. Oh, yes. Delia and Mary, and the cook, I forget her name. Lawrence, who drove the company Rolls Royce, and James and his son George, who drove the family Cadillac, mostly for grandma. Lawrence used to take Anne and me to school in the morning. When we got near the school, I asked Anne to keep her head down so the other boys wouldn't see I was riding with a Girl.

Chapter 9. Woodin as Musician and Collector

Q. Did you ever see your grandpa's world-famous coin collection?
Will and Nan Woodin, 1933.
A. I saw the box he kept it in. It was in his office in the New York City penthouse, where my bedroom was. He would look over his collection on the weekends.

Chapter 12. Washington

Q. Did you visit your grandpa in Washington when he became Treasury Secretary?
A. We went to the Inauguration in 1933, the one for which grandpa composed a march. I remember that it was cold and it was raining. It was in March.

50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

LBJ signs Voting Rights Act of 1965 as MLK looks on.
MLK was assassinated in 1968.
On this day in 1965, LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act, guarantees the rights of all American citizens to vote.

The law makes it illegal to impose restrictions on federal, state and local elections designed to deny the vote to some citizens, notably blacks.

Johnson was elected Vice President under JFK. He President in November 1963 upon the JFK's assassination. In the presidential race of 1964, Johnson was elected in a lopsided victory and used the mandate to push for legislation he believed in, including stronger voting-rights laws.

LBJ would have taken cautious steps toward greater voter participation, but in March 1965, television viewers watched as state troopers in Selma, Alabama, attacked a group of peaceful protestors who were marching to the capitol. A week later, President Johnson gave a televised speech before Congress, in which he said:
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote ... [A]ll of us ... must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.
Robert Caro, in an eloquent introduction to his bestselling book, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Means of Ascent, volume 2 of his biography of LBJ, explains to future generations of students of history the significance of the last sentence of this quote.

Martin Luther King Jr. was watching the address at the home of a family in Selma, Ala., on television that night with some aides. None of these aides "during all the years of struggle ... had ever seen Dr. King cry." When LBJ got to "we shall overcome", "they were looking when Martin Luther King began to cry" (Caro, 1991, p. xx.)

When the president signed the legislation a few months later, MLK and other civil rights leaders were present. The law was designed to enforce the 15th Amendment of the Constitution ratified in 1870, entitling all male citizens to vote. The 1870 law was extended by the 19th Amendment 50 years later - in August 1920, when the last required state (Tennessee) ratified it - to include all women as well as men.

In his speech to Congress on March 15, 1965, Johnson outlined the ways in which election officials denied African-American citizens the vote:
  • On the day of election, officials told blacks they gotten the date, time or polling place wrong, that the officials were late or absent, or that the prospective voters hadn't filled out an application.
  • Election officials required literacy skills.  Voting officials, primarily in southern states, had been known to force black voters to “recite the entire constitution or explain the most complex provisions of state laws”.
  • Even blacks with college degrees were turned away from the polls. 
Caro in Master of the Senate, volume 3 of his LBJ biography, gives many vivid examples of how blacks were disenfranchised. An African-American woman who had studied hard to pass the literacy test failed her test because someone else the same day could not answer a question.

Even after the Voting Rights Act passed, state and local enforcement of the law was weak and even  ignored, but African-American voters now had a basis for challenging voting restrictions in Federal courts. Problems with voter suppression did not end, but they diminished. The new law was followed by a huge increase in voter turnout - in Mississippi, voter turnout among blacks rose to 59 percent in 1969, from 6 percent just five years earlier.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon extended the provisions of the Voting Rights Act and lowered the eligible voting age for all voters to 18.

Jerry Goldfeder of Stroock Stroock & Lavan offers a free update on voting rights in the USA in August 2015.

Some are deeply concerned that new moves for voter suppression threaten the achievements to date.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ashley Kim on Woodin Bio (Updated Mar 11, 2017)

That's Ashley Kim, intern, front and center, one of 12
students from Mahwah (N.J.) High School commended
 for performance on the National Merit Exams. Now a
student at GWU, she read and commented on my
bio of Will Woodin as a student intern in August 2015.
Outline of Bio
w Links to Chapters

1 2 3 4 5. 
 6 7 8 9 10 
 11 12 13 14 15 
A B Acknowledgments

The following comments on a draft of the biography were sent to me by Ashley Kim, an undergraduate majoring in international affairs at George Washington University. She read and commented on the book draft as a student intern in August 2015. A graduate of Mahwah (N.J.) High School, Kim was on an honors/advanced placement track all four years. She served as the Model U.N. Treasurer and participated in Congressman Garrett's Model Congress.

Her comments are what I needed to steer the book to my target audience, the college history student. She says she enjoyed the assignment.  I have since had other another student, a senior at Bard College, work on the book. I am grateful for the help that both provided. Recently I have been working on the book with feedback from two writing groups that meet weekly in the libraries in Amagansett, NY (led by Kara Western) and Vero Beach, Fla. (led by Janet Sierzant), and one that meets monthly at the Harvard Club of NYC (led by Paula Brancato).

Kim's comments, lightly edited for continuity, are organized as follows:
  1. Summary of overall comments on chapter length. 
  2. Comments suggesting changes, added to from my own notes and a few comments of other readers like Dick Roberts (thank you, Dick). I have deleted corrections that have been addressed, especially for Chapters 1-4, 6, 9, 14.  Corrections are mostly still to be made for Chapters 5, 7-8, 10-13, and 15.
  3. Positive reactions.
1. Summary of Comments on Chapter Length

TRIM Chapters 5, 7, 12, 15. Chapter 5 may be too long, especially after adding to the section "Woodin Runs For Congress", but not if it is split into three separate chapters. Chapter 15 can be trimmed by reducing or summarizing repeat information from earlier chapters.
EXPAND Chapter 13 on Woodin's last year.

2. Ideas for Improvement

Changes once made have been deleted; but a few comments are added by the author to remind himself what he needs to work on. The early chapters on Woodin's ancestors and the Appendix on his  descendants are being prepared for a separate book to be privately published. We start right in with our hero, as in the Iliad and the Aeneid.

Chapters 1-4 moved to a private blog in anticipation of publication.

Chapter 1. The Woodin Family.
Chapter 2. Berwick.  Chapter 3. Jackson & WoodinChapter 4. Will Woodin's Parents.  
Chapter 5. Will Woodin's education, marriage, politics
Too long.  [Might cut the first four existing chapters and split this chapter into three parts.] Can we get a photo of Nan Woodin as a younger woman? Add more on Woodin's Congressional campaign. Need more about Woodin's character, his personality traits. Was he a family man? What kind of father was he? Did he have a temper? Was he calm, collected, and cool? I think adding this would allow the reader to paint a picture of W.H. Woodin and proceed to read the rest of the book more personally and with a perspective. [He was charming, a salesman. Recent generations of the family were risk-takers, but they didn't do so well. Will is described as "impish" - he was also eager to show himself ready to "muck in" on the family business. Use grandchildren's comments, contemporary descriptions - Moley.] Campaign - how did Woodin go from vice president of Jackson & Woodin to being nominated as the Republican candidate for his congressional district? How did Woodin earn the Republican nomination for his congressional district? [Use Berwick sources.]

Chapter 6. Merger Mania Puts Woodin Atop ACF [Watch out for style consistency in this chapter.]
Chapter 7. East Hampton too long. Would Like to See: Besides the signs of prosperity, what else is significant about the East Hampton scene? [One answer: It is where many matrimonial introductions were made.] Could the chapter have more theme, such as Will as a family man? Or behind-the-scenes activist? Someone who inspired other people like Mrs. Woodhouse in East Hampton to do great things for the community? [Woodin was the man people turned to, e.g., at the two East Hampton clubs, when they needed decisive action?].

Chapter 8. Woodin in NYC [Updated August 26, 2015. Went to FDR Library in Hyde Park, NY on Sept. 9 to look at correspondence of FDR and Woodin between 1922 and 1934. What specific activities did Woodin and FDR engage in together that brought them so close to the point where Woodin continued to call FDR Governor? [Warm Springs is one; another is regular evening events/meals in New York.] The section is titled "Woodin and FDR," but I don't quite see Woodin and FDR yet as a team. I see them as two separate units and then a lot of FDR.  "In this way Woodin got to know FDR well." - In what way, specifically? Woodin was put on the Board of Trustees of the Warm Springs Foundation, but I feel like there has to be a more personal aspect to Woodin's relationship with FDR. For example, Woodin having raised money to pay off FDR's debt, saving him from his candidacy for president shows a more personal touch, but it would be nice to see something even more personal between them, if possible. [Woodin always called him Governor...]
Chapter 9.  Woodin as Collector, Musician [new material being inserted here]

Chapter 10. NY Elections of 1928 and 1930, and the Crash of 1929 
[This and the next chapter were the focus of my trip to the FDR Library in Hyde Park Sept. 9.] It may be nice to have a separate section on FDR's 1928 campaign for NY State Governor. This is a great chapter, especially the section on the 1929 Crash. However, I need more help putting the pieces together. Can we have more connections between the 1929 presidential election, FDR's campaign for NY State Governor, the Crash, and FDR's 1930 re-election campaign for NY State Governor? I like it when you summarize the important things with bullet points at the end of a section. Can you do that here? As a student and a lover of American history, I would really appreciate learning more about this, in depth. I genuinely got excited reading this chapter because I learned so much "between the lines" information that I never learned in school or in the textbooks we used.

Chapter 11. FDR's Election, Cabinet Selection, Transition  Why did Raskob urge Woodin to help raise money for FDR? [Raskob was head of the Democratic National Committee until 1932. He was looking for a Democrat to oppose Hoover. However, he didn't fundamentally disagree with Hoover. He did not support FDR's New Deal. Woodin was much more loyal to FDR.] Did he know FDR had a high chance of winning [He knew that Hoover was the butt of bitter jokes because of the Depression and bank panics]? What did Raskob get out of it? [As a Democrat working with Smith, he won the confidence of Smith and the two of them put up the Empire State Building, no mean achievement. But he didn't get much out of FDR because FDR split with Smith and Raskob because they didn't like the New Deal.]  I still see a lot of FDR and Hoover in this chapter and not enough Woodin. Could Woodin be a made a more central and dynamic part of this chapter?  I lose track of Woodin's footsteps.  [I will have to talk more about the Warm Springs Foundation. Woodin went down there quite often and this must have contributed greatly to his friendship with FDR.]

Chapter 12. Woodin Calms the Storm [Trim back length]
  • Fix/explain apparent overlap in problems 2 and 3 in the "Insolvency, Illiquidity, Gold" section
  • Why did President Hoover refuse to meet with Treasury Secretary Mills and Governor Meyer, as in the section "March 1 - The New York Fed Sounds Alarm."
  • Early sections are chronologically titled (e.g., FDR declaring a National Bank Holiday and Woodin deciding to print more money). Later in the chapter, however, we rewind to FDR winning the election and appointing Woodin as Treasury Secretary. Recommend making the whole chapter chronological.
Chapter 13. Will Woodin's Tragic Last Year [Expand - replace clips with text.]
Chapter 14. Woodin's Physical Legacies. [Chapter okay.]

Chapter 15. Woodin's Intangible Legacies [Need to trim the chapter, esp. any repetition.] There's some repetition in the section "Will Woodin, the Treasury Secretary from Main Street", specifically the last paragraph. Also in "Company President and Avocation," "Treasury Secretary," When you address Woodin and his life, actions, and accomplishments, there is a lot of overlapping information from other chapters. [I'm fixing that - rewriting it as a summary and a flashback.]

Appendix A
  • It would be nice if the update on the Fifth Wave could include a more personal connection to the reader, since we have lived this wave (or are still living it).
Appendix B. Moved to private blog.

3. Appreciation for the Book as it Was, August 2015

I really like the bulleted list of what Woodin did under FDR, how Woodin literally worked to his death and risked his reputation amongst family and friends to accomplish the things he did, the last paragraph before "Who Was Will Woodin?", and, of course, the section on who Woodin was as a person. It's all wonderful.
I. EARLY LIFE (Chapters 1-5)
1. The Woodin Family
I like knowing more about Will Woodin - who hardly is mentioned in the AP U.S. History exam or the SAT II U.S. History exam. I never thought about how Woodin was really the one who calmed the financial storms of 1933 under FDR. 
This puts me on edge, wanting to read your book: "It is unfair because he had a fascinating life that ended because Woodin poured everything into being FDR's point man on the financial markets. Woodin really did give his life in the service of his country." 
A Treasury Secretary dying because of his job? That's a cliffhanger. 
Your explanation for why you call him Will Woodin gives this name a clear identification and adds a personal flair that makes the reader feel closer to him.
2. Berwick
I really like all the background information you give. Separating time and place into two different sections is well organized - and I am a lover of all things organized and easy to maneuver. 
Even within the section on time, you break the time periods down into the different waves, allowing the reader to clearly visualize the progression of the dominance of railways. I love this: "Watt shrunk the world." It is succinct and powerful. 
"The fifth wave since 1990, information technology, is the one we are in," makes me feel... like I am part of something grand and important, like we are part of history (which we are). It gives a light yet effective personal touch to the reader. I love to feel connected to what I am reading, so this is a huge plus. 
"Labor relations were famously difficult in many parts of Pennsylvania, but Berwick's plant paid 'fair wages' and was run with a benevolent spirit." This is a great testimony to Woodin's character: fair and benevolent, despite the different labor relations in the coal and iron mines near Berwick. 
This sentence -- "But Owen was an unassuming Quaker and said 'Thee must be kidding,' or something to that effect," -- made me laugh out loud. I am actually still laughing, reading it over. A subtle playful touch braided into certain areas is very effective in engaging the reader, and that is exactly what "'Thee must be kidding,'" did. 
At the end of the chapter, you bulleted a list of characters for a movie about Berwick. This is absolutely brilliant, really. I couldn't help but smile as I was reading the description of the characters, especially those of M.A. Markie and Klinetob Bros. John Fox's little blurb is fun too.
Leave this chapter as is. 
3. Jackson & Woodin 
I like the bulleted list of what Jackson & Woodin manufactured in chronological order clearly shows the reader the gradual expansion and advancement of the business.
It's nice to show that Jackson and Woodin were kind and fair employers, even during World War II when there was a lot of unrest between workers and employers.
The section on Col. Jackson was very informative, but it also painted a picture of the man Jackson was -- diligent, intelligent, dedicated, prestigious, and sentimental, a family man. Your writing shows  these characteristics of Jackson.  
I like the description of the Jackson mansion. Not only does it provide a beautiful, specific image, it even allows the reader to understand what kind of people the Jacksons were -- generous and sentimental.
4. Clement and Mary Woodin and The Heights
I like the first paragraph under the section "The Heights." It shows how close Clement Woodin felt to Berwick. It reminds me of the moms and dads in my hometown, who have lived here their entire lives. 
I love the description of "The Heights." It opens up my senses and gives me beautiful visuals. 
The timeline is excellent! I especially love how it stretches all the way to today and your voice is in that last paragraph. It's nice to see that history still stands. 
I liked reading about your personal visit to the mansion and the possible message of the glass. It's inspirational yet humorous. 
The last paragraph under "Furnishings"  - your inquiry of what the 1942 catalogue of the furnishings at the auction have to say about the glass - is interesting. It adds a tiny cliffhanger, mystery, and significance to the glasses. It's also a fun way to end the chapter. 
5. Will Woodin's Education, Marriage, Politics
I like the personal touch that you bring to the second paragraph, especially "But in my search for a unique identifier..." 
Adding "It was good advice," right after explaining that Will Woodin wanted to be a doctor but his father insisted otherwise adds a light humorous touch. Of course as the reader, we know it turned Will Woodin into a man of history. Playful.  
I like the character of romanticism you add to Judge Jessup and his wife and how you add Charlie Miner's voice to tell it. 
Noting several famous Jessups is clever. It adds a lot more prominence to the Jessup family, showing the reader the depth of the family Will Woodin married into.
I love the section "Will's Courtship." A reader loves drama and romance in a biography since they are real.especially love the quote you used from Annie's interview. It actually made me smile in awe. It's nice to see the Secretary of Treasury as an artistic man, a man of music and romance, not just a man of politics and economics. It's a beautiful side of a powerful man to see.  
But nothing tops the poem Will wrote to Annie. That's hard evidence of the romance. I like the section "European Trip": Of course when duty called, he didn't fail to serve, but I like that Will is a man of passion and a dreamer.
I like the section "Nan Woodin as Homemaker". The physical description of Mrs. Woodin, the activities she and Will used to do, her humility shown through the fact that she doesn't enjoy formal entertainment and is "noted for her poise, serenity, and sympathetic interest in other people's problems." I also really like her husband saying she never got angry.
I love the way you described the evidence of Mrs. Woodin preferring home life over a public life - all around their home.
This is the best chapter I have read so far. I love everything about it. It shows the facts, character, emotion, and certainly Mr. and Mrs. Woodin as human beings.  
6. Merger Mania Puts Woodin Atop Giant ACF, 1899-1915
I like the beginning, the hypothetical scenario of how Will Woodin's life might have been lived. All the literary devices you throw in there -- personification, the cake metaphor, alliteration, diction -- really add a lot of spice to the reading. This part is well written. 
The hypophora is great, especially your answer to a question: "It was a fashion." Such a large decision by a corporate head funnels down to one simple reason - fashion.  
I like "but I am again getting ahead of my story." Shows your eagerness to share the great burdens and responsibilities of Woodin as FDR's Secretary of Treasury.  
Like: "Merger mania," Merger frenzy" :-) "Gobbled up companies like Pac-Man" 
Repetition of "Not until 19... would..." is a great finish for paragraph 7 - adds a bit of suspense. 
The organization of the last three paragraphs of the section "Weakness: Merger Mania" is brilliant. I like how you first provide a reason that would be gratifying if it were actually the reason for why the merger frenzy came about, then evidence for a very credible reason for the merger frenzy, and finally your voice telling how you buy the theory that the merger wave was a response to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 (which I learned about for years in U.S. History).  
I like the contrast between the third generation of the Woodin family and the average third generation of the other families in the first two paragraphs of the "Strength: The Family Firm" section. 
Like: "The ACF merger might have been spurred by a fear of competition from cars as well as the temptations of monopoly." I like the fear and temptation woven into this sentence. 
It's nice to see the family aspect of the Woodin family firm's success and fallings."...Berwick could have been become a ghost town after 1899. That did not happen." Succinct and powerful. Also, the bulleted explanation is informative. 
7. Woodins Take on East Hampton, 1911-1928
I like: "Will Woodin had also become a leading coin collector and cashed out much of his valuable pattern-coin collection in 1911, perhaps because he was more interested in the hunt for the coins than in their possession." - I like the character I see in this statement, adventurous and active, a go-getter.  "He may also have been anticipating the need for liquid assets prior to buying land in East Hampton." - I like how the more realistic reason follows the above sentence. It's funny. :) 
"However, he couldn't stop collecting and soon enough he began rebuilding it." - And this... This shows passion. A small passion, but passion is still passion and Will Woodin could not let go of it. Good paragraph. 
The second paragraph in the "Woodin Builds 'The Dunes'" section. I like how you tell about the two possible architects of the home, but draw a conclusion on who you think the architect really was. It really emphasizes your introduction when you say how little information there is on the Will Woodin. I also just like whenever you directly put your voice into the writing. "Woodin seems to have had a knack for good timing." - This is good. 
The quotes and descriptions Woody Rowe gives on his Grandma Woodin and athlete Will Woodin. It's nice to see that "The Dunes" was a place of socializing. 
That Will's experience as a the hero of rescuing the club from its financial troubles is noted almost as a preface to Will's role as the hero of the 1932 panic under FDR. 
Ahhh, the last paragraph of the dialogue exchanged between Will and his grandson is so cute.
8. Woodin in NYC - Business and Politics 1902-1928
  • The first paragraph in "The Woodins' Manhattan Residence" section - that it has  your voice is in it. I also laughed at what Will said to his wife. So casual... "'Now don't go and buy another house!'" 
  • Seeing the relationship between FDR and Will subtly form through the fact that they lived so close to each other. 
  • "As they approached his school, he would ask Anne to keep her head down so none of the other boys would see he was traveling with a girl." - I like these bits of information weaved in. No, this sentence is not oh, so super necessary, but it lifts a lot of weight off the reading, and it's funny. Adorable, actually :)
  • Seeing Will save the day. First with his family company, then the near-financial tumble in East Hampton, and now with the fuel shortage. 
  • "After FDR was elected, Woodin continued to call him Governor." - Without context, Woodin calling his president "Governor" could be seen as disrespectful, but we all know that Woodin calling FDR Governor is only a sign of how close they were and the affinity they grew for each other.  
  • I love the descriptions of FDR, what his early life was like, how he progressed to be part of politics, his hobbies and interests. It's always nice to see an iconic person as a normal human being, for once. 
9. Woodin as Musician, Composer, Collector
I like: "He played the guitar and piano all his life, although he refused to take piano lessons after several of them." - This reminds me of myself. I still play the piano at home even though I hated piano lessons and stopped taking them after a year or two. It's funny to see that even the Secretary of Treasury didn't like piano lessons. 
I like paragraph 5 proving that Woodin's songs are still somewhat relevant. "Take that, Barbie!" Hahaha. "My older sisters Olga and Brigid grew up in the late 1930s and 1940s and they remember the Raggedy Ann dolls." - Nice personal touch. 
I like how Woody is basically telling the story of music in his family. It flows very well and it feels a lot more personal hearing it in the first person. 
I like how you ended the chapter with a dialogue between Woodin and his grandson Charlie. 
10. The NY Elections of 1928 and 30, and the Crash of 1929
  • I like how you challenge Hoover's reputation as a champion of laissez-faire advocate with a quote from him,  and then you immediately challenge the idea that the 1929 stock market crash is the cause of the Great Depression. This paragraph nails down your point:  "So... the stock market crash occurred two months after the Depression started. Since the Depression started before the crash, something else was at work. The crash of the New York Stock Exchange is not a cause of anything. It is an indicator of the valuations of investors." - This is a great paragraph. When I learned about the Great Depression and its causes in school, the stock market crash was indicated as the main cause.
  • "The problem in making bank failures the cause of the Depression is  the timing. For A to cause B, A must precede B. The Depression is dated 1929-1933. There were no bank failures between 1926 and 1929 (see chart)." - I really, really like your flow of logic. You truly use the tricks of the human mind to account for the way people have attributed bank failures as the cause of the Depression. The best part is, you use the works of the human mind to prove these people wrong.
  • I love the three bullet points you write to summarize why bank failures were not a cause of the Depression! The Warren Buffet quote is a great plus.
  • "They worried about the economy and wanted a program of public investment in infrastructure. That became FDR's National Recovery Act." I like you make connections between the topics of the 1928 presidential election and the action FDR took as president years later.
  • It's good that you make clear that the Crash of 1929 made a big difference for the 1930 election. 
  • "The picture changed completely within a year, and Al Smith's successor as Governor of New York would be a more formidable challenger to Hoover than Smith." - I like how this leads way to the Crash and foreshadows FDR's big 1930 win. 
  • This book is really great, Dr. Marlin. I'm not only getting an internship experience out of it, but I'm learning more about American History, especially the interesting things that I probably would not be taught. 
11. FDR's Election, Cabinet and Transition
  • I like how simply you put that FDR not having been a Catholic was a big advantage for him. 
  • That you state Al Smith's losings tumbled over to FDR. It seems similar to the fact that some people automatically do not support Jeb Bush because of George W. Bush's failures. You bear the burdens of your predecessor. 
  • How you introduce Will Woodin to all of this in the last sentence of the introduction ("Will Woodin was to play a big role in..."). It has the effect that the star of the event finally being introduced at his big event would have, an anticipated excitement. 
  • As always, the way you organize the chapter - it makes everything easy to follow along.
  • The parallel I see in one of the reasons why FDR had such a big deficit and one of the reasons why the years 2007-2009 were a financial fiasco. FDR accepted patients regardless of their ability to pay. Lenders offered more and more loans to higher-risk borrowers. 
  • "They succeeded in finding the right person." - I like all the short sentences you use. They're always effective.
  • I love the chant against Mellon you put in the chapter. It's funny. It's also funny that the Democrats and Republicans joined together in tearing down Hoover and Mellon.
  • I laughed reading the "joke" (more of an insult) Mills made against Hoover. "'Here's a dime. Treat all of them.'" Hahaha, that's a good laugh. 
  • The character of Hoover I see in the quotes and excerpts you include. It's always helpful and enjoyable to see primary sources. 
  • The personality traits of FDR I see through your writing. By stating the FDR refused to take on his responsibilities prematurely I see that he is an honest man. Many politicians promise to do these big fancy things even though they do not have full faith that they'll be able to deliver - the obvious explanation being it wins them the votes.
  • "A wooden frame for the swimming pool is preferred to a glass one." - It's impressive how you find these witty quotes said years and years ago.
  • How you end the chapter with how great a choice Woodin was as FDR's Treasury Secretary. 
12. Woodin Calms the Storm - March-May 1933 
  • I like the immediate connection to the 2008 economic crisis, a great start. 
  • The chapter's chronological organization, which helps the reader appreciate the sense of gradual worsening of the financial panic.
  • The primary source articles you use in the "March 6 - FDR Declare Bank Holiday" section. It's helpful to see from a direct view what people at that time were going through.
  • The quotes by Woodin when he came up with the idea to print money makes everything seem more real. It doesn't seem las though we're reading a biography; it seems more like we are reading a novel and Woodin is a character declaring his plan.
  • "When FDR brought it up, Woodin would say, 'Oh no, not that again...'" There's even room for humor in the midst of a Depression.
  • "Deposit Insurance and a Ring Around Banks" - Great section! I love how you incorporate your personal visit to the Carter Glass Collection, and I really like the quote you used. I also like how you extended Woodin's work beyond the financial market to the reform of financial practices.
  • The bullet points on actions Woodin took to calm the panic.
  • "In the same month that Time ran its flattering cover story about Treasury Secretary Woodin there was a minor scandal that surely contributed to his subsequent illness and death, although the long hours he put in would have been enough to make him sick." - I finally get to know what heavily contributed to Woodin's death, how he literally worked to his death... 
  • "Woodin offered his resignation but FDR refused to accept it." Wow, this really shows the value FDR saw in Woodin, despite the scandal and the image Woodin would have on FDR for refusing to accept the resignation. 
  • The rhetorical questions you ask in the last paragraph under the section "The Pecora Committee."
  • The final section dedicated to Woodin's achievements, a great ending to the chapter.
  •  I feel I learned a lot about the behind-the-scenes events of the calming of the panic. 
13. Will Woodin's Tragic Last Year
I like the photo of you and Mr. Selden and how you add your encounter into the chapter. Article clippings are always useful, and the one on Woodin's tragic scandal is helpful.
14. Woodin's Physical Legacies 
This is a valuable, easy-read chapter. It is interesting to see what Woodin left behind and what happened to his belongings. The photograph of Woodin's great-granddaughter [Charmaine] with her granddaughter [Kayla] is a great touch, showing that the Woodin legacy still lives. I also like how you take the time to explain the details of the Woodin mausoleum. 
15. His Intangible Legacies - 2008 vs. 1929
  • I like the connections you draw between 1929 and 2008 and FDR and Obama. 
  • The section on Will's sense of humor is funny and depicts a nice personal side to him.
  • It's informative that you explain the motive and desire behind collecting coins (especially since I never understood why people did it).
  • I like "I was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board and the FDIC during the William McChesney Martin era at the Fed, and I vividly remember a long-time staff member of the FDIC, a southerner with an amazingly large-brimmed floppy hat, telling me more than once that if you hadn't lived through the Depression you couldn't know how much damage is caused when bank credit dries up and how important it was to keep commercial bank assets from being used for speculation." - Great personal input. Gives you even more credibility than you already have.
  • I also really like how you address today's financial problem and propose a solution ("If we really want to modernize the American financial system...").
  • Overall, the best part of this chapter is how you draw the connections between the past, present, and the future.
     This is a great biography! I learned so much from reading this.

A. Kondratiev Waves 
  • I like how you keep using some version of "Watts shrunk the world" as you tell the story of the Waves. 
  • I like how the descriptions from the First, Second, and Third Waves have a domino effect on each other. For example: "The steam engine was used to generate power and supply electricity to the public through electric utilities that wired every home." 
  • The photos are a nice touch.
  • I really like the way you write and talk about the Sixth Wave. I personally like it because it relates to the first chapter of my microeconomics textbook I am reading (health care).
  • I like how you note that you list the global trends in a different order. It shows your expertise and personal input into the book.
  • I also enjoy that you propose possibilities of the future.
B. Woodin's Descendants
  • I like that you include a sample of Perky's poetry.
  • I really enjoy all the photos. 
  • The family "tree" (outline?) of Anne Woodin's five children is informative.
  • I really enjoy the section on Charlie Miner Jr. - his time as a pilot in the war, the fact that he likes Vero Beach (and why), his breakfast recommendation and life advice. It's nice because Charlie exists in the present. 
  • The photo of Charlie, you, and his niece is a good one! :)
  • "...Charlie Miner says that Willy was sometimes called "CUL" (pronounced Kool) because he frequently used these letters to sign off ("See You Later")." - Funny and casual. 
  • Willy's story is interesting. His accomplishments are impressive, and his personal misfortune (wife asking for a divorce on grounds of mental cruelty) is interestingly odd.
  • I like the things Woody Rowe says. It's more enjoyable when the stories can be told from a closer, more personal position to the subject, Will Woodin.