General Question

JimTurner's avatar

Is there a time in History that fascinates you?

Asked by JimTurner (1370points) January 16th, 2014

Would it be the colonization of the New World? Greek or Roman perhaps? Maybe it’s War History or Art History maybe even something more modern like Automotive.

What supject has turned you into a history buff?

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56 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I really like the history of the new world, right from the battles between the French and British right through to modern day. I have tons of books on the early settlers, the Revolution, the Civil War, WW1 and WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. And I like historical novels.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Anything about the Holocaust fascinates me. I don’t give a hoot about any other part of WW2, though, just the dark, gory, awful stuff.

I’ve actually hated every history class I’ve ever taken. It bores me.

Seek's avatar

I’m a total history dork. My favourite time periods are pre-Roman Europe (the Celts especially) through the early Renaissance, and Middle Eastern prehistory through the Bronze age.

jca's avatar

I am interested in the medieval era and the Victorian era.

I also think the post WWII era is fascinating.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I would like to know what happened to bottleneck DNA, and what the other human races, now extinct, were like.

Coloma's avatar

I love ancient Roman history, the Civil War era, and medieval times.
I am also fascinated by ancient medical practices.
Great book called ” Bring out your dead” about the Yellow Fever plague in Philadelphia in 1793. It was all about “vapors” and rotting coffee beans on the beach from a cargo ship, little did they know to make the connection to seasonal weather that brought out the mosquitos which carried the disease.

Blood letting, purging, more blood letting, more purging….haha

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I am into 1000–1600 England, mostly because King Henry I, II and III are my 25th, 23rd and 21st great grandfathers. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were 1st cousin to my 12th great grandfather, William Howard. In fact, Queen Elizabeth is queen because her direct-line ancestor was King Edward I. I am a direct-line ancestor to Edward’s next-in-line brother, Edmund Crouchback of Leicester.

I just eat up anything about the Tudor reign, and especially King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I would like to go visit England to see the graves of these people and their castles. It amazes me that so much is still in existence. A lot of my ancestors are buried in the same church as Henry VIII’s illegitimate son who died, Henry Fitzroy. My family castle is Framlingham. When my cousin went to visit, she told them, and they still made her pay admission. Ha-ha!

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have always been fascinated by revolutions – things that upset the established order. Most of my interests, therefore, are comparatively recent:

US revolution – 1776
French Revolution 1789
Dissolution of Soviet Union – 1968, then 1989
Arab Spring (2011+)

My fascination is with the concept of popular movements that cause major social change.

alphabetpony92's avatar

The 80’s, for the extravagant hair and clothing, and also the cheesy yet surprisingly good music.

OK, I’m quite shallow but I can’t stand History in general.

JimTurner's avatar

All great responses. Thank you everyone.

poofandmook's avatar

I’m a bit of a Holocaust nut as well. It sounds way more morbid than it really is when I tell people that.

Seek's avatar

^ Same as when I go on and on about the Plague.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ Have you read Hilary Mantel’s wonderful novels about Henry VIII, Sir. Thomas Cromwell and the usual cast of thousands? “Wolf Hall” and “Bring up the Bodies”

Mantel won the Mann Booker Prize for each novel, an unparalleled achievement, won by only two other novelists.

“Her resuscitation of Thomas Cromwell – and with him the historical novel – is one of the great achievements of modern literature.”

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m trying to think if there’s a period in history that does not fascinate me. I haven’t come up with any, but I’m still thinking.

poofandmook's avatar

I don’t know if this counts but I’m pretty fascinated by 1950s Americana. Specifically the family dynamic in the typical American suburb during that time.

gorillapaws's avatar

Big fan of the Age of Enlightenment. It would be nice if we could get back to an age when reason was king. Perhaps one day Fox News’ self-contradictions will finally cause a rift in space-time and it will vanish forever.

ragingloli's avatar

The age of the Dinosaurs.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Thanks, @gailcalled . I’m going to check it out. No, I haven’t read either one.

downtide's avatar

All of history fascinates me. I am very fond of the pre-Roman Iron Age era in Europe (often and somewhat incorrectly called the Celtic Age). Not sure I’d want to live in that time though, it’s a little too primitive. If I was to pick a time to live in, I think I’d pick the Victorian era.

tedibear's avatar

I am interested in WWI through the mid-to-late 1950’s in Europe and the United States.

Pachy's avatar

The ‘40s. The war, the music and bands and singers, the movies and movie stars, the bomb, FDR—I’ve always found all of it fascinating.

JLeslie's avatar

I am more and more interested in the time in the US when the south was segregated. Most specifically stories of individuals who left the south for a better life and their experience. Their impression of leaving the world they new and entering a different world in a different part of the US. Also, places in the south where black people were treated well and as equals during a time when that was rare. Businesses that hired them and gave them good positions and good salaries. Or, things like Pepsi specifically having the first black sales force in the 40’s and marketing to the black community. Another example is the Tuskegee airmen and their experience.

I guess I like the happy stories during that time, the glimmers of light. I am not interested really in hearing the unfairness and abuse; I already know it happened, I don’t really want to hear more detail about that part. I feel the same about the Holocaust. I’ve heard since a young age the horrific things they did to us.

JimTurner's avatar

Thank you for sharing everyone.

Good stuff!!

antimatter's avatar

Always wondered what happened to our cousins the Neanderthals and if we were in competition with them for resources. After all we did survive the Ice Age and they did not.

tups's avatar

I think all History is very interesting, and also very important knowledge. One thing that I find extra interesting is the empires in Latin America before the colonization, for example the Incas and the Aztecs.

Coloma's avatar

Oh, I love the dinosaur days too, one of my fantasies, to go back in time and see dinosaurs!
Vegetarian dinosaurs. lol

antimatter's avatar

The dark ages is interesting.

rojo's avatar

Most of the times that fascinate me are pre-history. I would particularly like to know about the peopling of the Americas and Australia.

Rarebear's avatar

Subotai and the Khan.

Blondesjon's avatar

The twenties, thirties, and forties.

I was born in the wrong era.

ibstubro's avatar

The twenties, thirties, and forties. (In that order.)
When I was younger, I felt like I had been displaced from the 1920’s America.
I was born in the wrong era.

I also used to have a huge fascination with Egypt in the time of the Pyramids.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I’ve been on a big Celtic/early Europe Kick here recently. I also like the Civil war era. I should have been born ~then.

shrubbery's avatar

I love history, especially the horrible, dirty or gorey bits. I used to collect all the Horrible Histories books and magazines. Probably my especial favourites are ancient Egypt, Aztecs and Incas, the French Revolution, and the English royals over the ages. And the crusades. And dinosaurs. Just everything.

Pandora's avatar

The 1920’s to 40’s. It is and isn’t because of WWll. What happened during that time was horrific but at the same time it was a time when passion was ignited in everyone. And even though there was great evil, there was a hero born every minute. People who put their lives at risk to save strangers just because they couldn’t live with the idea of letting a tyrant exist and get away with mass murder and squashing the rights of so many people.
It seems to be the only time in history that I find that the human spirit was at it’s best and worst.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Am I the only one here who like the 1930s and 1950s?

Staalesen's avatar

For me it is more specific elements of an era..

The weapon designs and leaders of WW 2
The politics of the cold war
The Colinization of the New world

and probably more :p

Seek's avatar

@Mimishu1995 – I like them for their music. I get enough of recession depression and Ward Cleaver morals shoved down my throat in the modern-day. No need to study further.

JimTurner's avatar

I also enjoy music history from a wide varity of genres such as Blues, Oldies, Country, Jazz Vocals and Classical.

I am also enthralled with Ancient Civilizations. I believe in some areas they were more advance than we are today.

shrubbery's avatar

omg you guys there’s a Horrible Histories Awful Egyptians live stage show on in my city right now. it’s $50 but I don’t even care. I’ll probably be the oldest person there not counting parents taking their kids. hells yes.

lifeflame's avatar

Interesting that the collective responses are largely Eurocentric. There are whole continents that have not been mentioned. Is it because they really are boring? Or been omitted / skimmed over in our education? Or that the collective is quite a specific demographic?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

At this point in my life I’m interested in learning about my roots as are many so Europe and European history is appealing. Also, those who made the trek across the pond and what they found when they got here is very interesting. The time of Lewis and Clark especially to me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lifeflame Well I guess you didn’t notice I mentioned Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, or Iraq. And yes, I’m familiar with the 1000 mile march, the 1000 year war, the two sisters, the rape of Nanking. etc.

Seek's avatar

Well, I’m of Irish heritage, and I’m sure that plays into my areas of interest, but I did mention Middle Eastern early history. I particularly enjoy reading about the first civilisations, the invention of religion, and the beginnings of architecture.

hey_now's avatar

US History, early to mid 1800s. I’m specifically interested in Lewis and Clark, the development of railroads and the California gold rush.

gorillapaws's avatar

@lifeflame Every continent except Australia has been mentioned.

Seek's avatar

^ And actually, I’d love to learn more about the Aboriginal Australians, as well as the Maori of New Zealand.

Writing that down on my library list.

gorillapaws's avatar

Oh, and Antarctica, but let’s be real…

Coloma's avatar

Oh, I also love Pompei and Vesuvius and all ancient volcanos/ volcanic eruptions around the world.

shrubbery's avatar

@lifeflame @gorillapaws actually Australia was already mentioned by @rojo.

Also the first 3 I mentioned are in Africa and South America. I think this is actually quite a diverse list. I mean there is a point I’m sure you’re trying to make that is a valid one (history often focuses on white eurocentric stories, at least at school) but that Fluther fosters an environment for people who love to learn who I’m sure have gone out of their way to investigate their favourite historical periods means that there is diversity in a thread like this and you’re making a straw man here. It might be worth asking a separate question about that though, cause for sure if I hadn’t had the Horrible Histories at my disposal as a child I would have pretty much only learnt about ANZACS and American communism witch hunts at school (and the latter was in an English class). I did a project on Ancient Egypt, and one on Ancient China by choice. I’m Australian and I didn’t even learn about Australia’s own history at school except for WWI. Nothing about the stolen generation, for example.

gorillapaws's avatar

@shrubbery I stand corrected.

…but I’m fucking right about Antartica!

lifeflame's avatar

I stand corrected about the continents. But I still think there’s something a bit skewed about the fact that Africa is largely represented by Egypt.
(I want to say solely represented but am afraid of missing someone).

Which begs the question: why does that period of history fascinate you? Is it because it is connected to your own heritage/community? Or because it is exotic? Romantic? Cool? There seems to be a whole spread of answers here in this thread.

shrubbery's avatar

@lifeflame Personally as I said it was all the gorey stuff like mummification. I’m also interested in the role women played in ancient Egyptian society. But alright I’ll bite. I’d wager there’s a gap in education on African history. Egypt might have such a presence in white, western society because of the explorers/discoverers/archeologists who assumed and probably actually went out of their way to whitewash and de-africanise history and artefacts. Ever notice that the nose is often the only thing missing on Egyptian statues? A nose that might identify the model as being a black african?

antimatter's avatar

African history is very interesting, in South Africa the Anglo Boer war history was very interesting, the Civil war in Mozambique during the 70’s and 80’s was bad, the bush wars between South Africa and the MK the military wing of now ruling ANC party was the South African equivalent of the Vietnam war. Than there’s that Apartheid History in South Africa. Than the rest of African history is riddled with bloodshed because of colonization, dictatorships, genocides, slavery and tribalism. And that is an ongoing thing.

gorillapaws's avatar

@lifeflame When we studied Sub-Saharan African history in high school, it mostly revolved around the theme of how colonization destroyed the African people’s lives and how that translated into the modern conflicts we have today. It’s a pretty stomach-churning story about abuse, slavery, violence, exploitation. It’s important to learn, but not something i’d pick as a “favorite.” Know what I mean?

HTG's avatar

I’ve taken an interest in the battle of Agincourt 1415 and the events that led up to it. The fact that the English were heavily out-numbered instils the view that triumph is possible in the face of adversity. I feel that the story as told by Professor Richard Holmes is well worth sharing.

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