J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Gordon S. Wood Speaks in Worcester, 5 Apr.

Tomorrow evening, Thursday, 5 April, starting at 7:30 P.M., Gordon S. Wood will speak at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester on the topic “Does History Teach Lessons?”

The society’s announcement asks, “Was George Santayana correct when he said that ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’?” Or might there be other things to learn from the past? For myself, I’ve concluded that the past, like the present, is too complex for clear lessons, and the most important thing to learn from it is the need to recognize that complexity.

Wood has spoken on this topic before at the Rhode Island Historical Society’s annual meeting last autumn. His talk will probably reflect ideas in his book The Purpose of the Past: Reflections on the Uses of History, a collection of reviews. And it will surely draw on his deep knowledge of early American history; his The Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787 received the Bancroft and John H. Dunning prizes, and his The Radicalism of the American Revolution won the Pulitzer Prize and the Emerson Prize.


Anonymous said...

You may want to read this - http://hnn.us/blogs/editors_desk/145377.html

J. L. Bell said...

Indeed an interesting essay. Thanks for the pointer.