Happy Birthday, George!

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. His birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States along with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on “Washington’s Birthday” — the Monday before Washington’s birthday and after Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th.

george_washington George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, had wooden teeth, and wore a wig.  He was the first President of the United States, his face is on the dollar bill, and he fought the English during the Revolutionary War. At least, these are the facts we are taught about Washington, the mythology that has grown around his name for the past three centuries. But what’s behind all of these legends?

George Washington: Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Leader, by Robert F. Jones, seeks to present all of the facets of Washington’s life in a concise, comprehensive biography. Jones portrays the American icon not as a saintly hero, but as a rather common man who achieved greatness by translating his practical skills into revolutionary and history-changing leadership. The book pays special attention to Washington’s political views and his struggles to lead a brand-new country, giving us insight into the roots of our democracy.

Books on Abraham Lincoln:

The Lincoln Assassination: Crime & Punishment, Myth & Memory
A Lincoln Forum Book
Edited by Harold Holzer, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams


Coming out in paperback this March!
Lincoln Revisited
New Insights from the Lincoln Forum
Edited by John Y. Simon, Harold Holzer, and Dawn Vogel

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. His birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States along with Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on “Washington’s Birthday” — the Monday before Washington’s birthday and after Lincoln’s birthday on February … Full Story

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Celebrating Black History Month

Civil Rights in New York City provides a sample of the rich historical record of the fight for racial justice in the city that was home to the nation’s largest population of African-Americans in mid-twentieth century America.

Weaving together African American history with a unique history of New York City, this is not only a painstaking study of a previously unsung institution of black history but a unique window onto complex racial dynamics during a period when many failed to recognize equality among all citizens as a worthy purpose

Civil Rights in New York City provides a sample of the rich historical record of the fight for racial justice in the city that was home to the nation’s largest population of African-Americans in mid-twentieth century America. Weaving together African … Full Story

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St. Patrick's Cathedral and 'Fifth Avenue Famous'

Salvatore Basile, the author of Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was recently interviewed by Christopher Purdy on Ohio’s WOSU Public Media station, Classical 101 FM.

Basile, a cantor and historian at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, talks about his book, as well as, the Pontiff’s visit to St. Patrick’s in 2008 and Cathedral life in the days immediately after 9/11.

Here is the podcast.

Salvatore Basile, the author of Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, was recently interviewed by Christopher Purdy on Ohio’s WOSU Public Media station, Classical 101 FM. Basile, a cantor and historian at St. Patrick’s … Full Story

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Charles Dickens: The Master of the Serial Novel

Make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry, make ‘em wait.”—Wilkie Collins, friend of Charles Dickens

Yesterday marked the one-year countdown to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens was the best-known novelist of his time and considered by many to be the greatest writer from the Victorian Era.

In nineteenth century literature, many novels were published as serials, and readers purchased the latest installment of the developing work. Charles Dickens is most often remembered for writing his novels in this serial format. He was paid not by the word, but rather by the serial installment. These affordable installments were made available every month or week in popular periodicals such as Bentley’s Miscellany. His serial fiction shaped not only the popular practice of reading for pleasure and instruction associated with the growth of periodical publication in the nineteenth century but also the school subject we now know as “English.”

In Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens, Sarah Winter reveals how Dickens installed his works, his memories, his authorial presence, and perhaps most influentially, his method of publication—seriality itself—at the center of our collective modern consciousness.

Read more

Make ‘em laugh, make ‘em cry, make ‘em wait.”—Wilkie Collins, friend of Charles Dickens Yesterday marked the one-year countdown to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. Dickens was the best-known novelist of his time and considered by many to … Full Story

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Sudan at the Brink

Protests in Khartoum over the past few days echo the recent unrest in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests came on the heels of the news that, after decades of conflict between the north and south, more than 95% of South Sudanese voted for independence.

Sudan at the Brink: Self-Determination and National Unity by Sudanese academic and politician, Francis Mading Deng, sheds important light on the complexities of the region and the challenges new leadership will face to maintain peace and promote unity.

Hear more from Dr. Francis Mading Deng and the lead–up to this landmark referendum.

Protests in Khartoum over the past few days echo the recent unrest in Egypt and Tunisia. Protests came on the heels of the news that, after decades of conflict between the north and south, more than 95% of South Sudanese … Full Story

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