Bertrand Russell Writes an Artful Letter, Stating His Refusal to Debate British Fascist Leader Oswald Mosley (1962)

≡ Category: History, Letters |5 Comments

Image by National Portrait Gallery, via Wikimedia Commons
Changing the minds of others has never counted among humanity’s easiest tasks, and it seems only to have become an ever-stiffer challenge as history has ground along.


Listen to Presidential, The Washington Post’s Podcast Exploring Each & Every U.S. President

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A quick heads up on President’s Day: The Washington Post presents Presidential, a podcast that explores how “each American president reached office, made decisions, handled crises and redefined the role of commander-in-chief.” Naturally, it starts with George Washington. Hear that episode below.


How Machiavelli Really Thought We Should Use Power: Two Animated Videos Provide an Introduction

≡ Category: History, Philosophy, Politics |Leave a Comment”>”Machiavelli’s

Nice guys, so they say, finish last. Many of us might instinctively label such a worldview “Machiavellian,” partially for good reason and partially not.


This 392-Year-Old Bonsai Tree Survived the Hiroshima Atomic Blast & Still Flourishes Today: The Power of Resilience

≡ Category: History, Life |Leave a Comment

Image by Sage Ross, via Wikimedia Commons
If four years seems like a long time, let me help put things in perspective.
The beautiful bonsai tree pictured above–let’s call it the Yamaki Pine Bonsai–began its journey through the world back in 1625.


Listen to a Marathon Reading of Elie Wiesel’s Night

≡ Category: Audio Books, History, K-12, Letters, Life, Literature |Leave a Comment

A couple of weeks ago on January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a diverse group gathered for a marathon reading of Night, Nobel Prize winner, Elie Wiesel’s memoir of his youthful experiences as a prisoner in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.


Albert Einstein Gives a Speech Praising Diversity & Immigrants’ Contributions to America (1939)

≡ Category: History |4 Comments

There have been many times in American history when celebrations of the country’s multi-ethnic, ever-changing demography served as powerful counterweights to narrow, exclusionary, nationalisms.


Albert Camus, Editor of the French Resistance Newspaper Combat, Writes Movingly About Life, Politics & War (1944-47)

≡ Category: History, Literature, Philosophy, Politics |1 Comment

Image by United Press International, via Wikimedia Commons
When totalitarian regimes around the world are in power, writing that tells the truth—whether literary, journalistic, scientific, or legal—effectively serves as counter-propaganda. To write honestly is to expose: to uncover what is hidden, stand apart from it, and observe.


Henry David Thoreau on When Civil Disobedience Against Bad Governments Is Justified: An Animated Introduction

≡ Category: History, Politics |7 Comments″>animated

“In March 1845, the United States acquired a new president – James K. Polk – a forceful, aggressive political outsider intent on strengthening his country and asserting its pre-eminence in front of other world powers, especially Mexico and Great Britain,” says The Book of Life.


Hannah Arendt on “Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship:” Better to Suffer Than Collaborate

≡ Category: History, Philosophy, Politics |5 Comments

Image by Bernd Schwabe, via Wikimedia Commons
When Eichmann in Jerusalem—Hannah Arendt’s book about Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann’s trial—came out in 1963, it contributed one of the most famous of post-war ideas to the discourse, the “banality of evil.” And the concept at first caused a critical furor.


The Harlem Jazz Singer Who Inspired Betty Boop: Meet the Original Boop-Oop-a-Doop, “Baby Esther”

≡ Category: Animation, Comics/Cartoons, History, Jazz, Music |Leave a Comment”>actress

Jazz Age cartoon flapper, Betty Boop, inhabits that rare pantheon of stars whose fame has not dimmed with time.
While she was never alive per se, her ten year span of active film work places her somewhere between James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. The market for Boop-collectibles is so vast, a definitive guide was published in 2003.


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