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One curiosity after another

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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Archives and Expectations

Posted in Anxiety, Gender, History, Native America, Native American, Parenting, Western History | Comments Off on Archives and Expectations

When my oldest was nearly four, and I was getting used to having his brother around too, I used to worry. I know Big Guy so well, thought I. He’s so much like me. It’s like I understand everything about him. But this Boo-child…he’s different. He’s not so much like me. I don’t know how I’m going to understand him. He’s opaque to me. What do I do? Now Boo is four, and Big Guy is eight, and Big Guy is opaque to me. He won’t tell me about his day; he won’t tell me what he’s thinking. Not until he bursts into angry tears at some parental or fraternal injustice do I know what he’s feeling. And I’m 100% sure there are lots of other feelings in there I’m not allowed to know about. I haven’t a clue...

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