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One curiosity after another


Posted in Government | Comments Off on Shutdown

When I think government shutdown, I don’t think of closing useless expensive government offices.  I think of how last time around my family couldn’t attend the trial of the man who killed my brother, because the government shutdown prevented them from getting passports.  The Army didn’t give us much advance notice, the trial was happening in Germany instead of the U.S., and I was the only one in the family with a passport.  I didn’t want to go because I never wanted a face to put with the name I’ve tried hard to forget.  But for my parents or siblings to go, they needed rush passports.  And what happened but the newly Republican Congress decided the best way to govern was to shut the whole thing down.  I tried calling Senators’ offices for help.  I did manage to get...

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New Yorker pieces written by a professional historian

Posted in Children's Literature, Creative Nonfiction, Government, History, Parenting, Research, Sex ed, Writing | Comments Off on New Yorker pieces written by a professional historian

These are written by Jill Lepore, who has written academically about King Philip’s War and slavery in 18th-century Manhattan, among other topics.  She started an English major, went into American studies, and is now the chair of History and Literature at Harvard.  So she’s as academic as you can get – but also is a great example of how historical research training can allow you to comment well on a host of other topics in the non-academic world.   Note how these pieces aren’t precisely history – they use history to illuminate a interesting topic. on Tea Parties, Boston and otherwise On writing about George Washington On the invention of parenthood On sex education On children’s...

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