Happy Birthday, John Adams!

Like many who watched the excellent 2008 miniseries John Adams with Paul Giamatti in the title role and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, my interest in the United States’ second president increased quite a bit after watching it. And when I subsequently read John Ellis’ Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, I […]

Happy Birthday, John Adams!

Like many who watched the excellent 2008 miniseries John Adams with Paul Giamatti in the title role and Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, my interest in the United States’ second president increased quite a bit after watching it. And when I read John Ellis’ Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams last year, I […]

Happy Birthday, Abigail Adams!

Abigail Adams, born on November 22, 1744 in Weymouth, Massachusetts, was wife and chief advisor to John Adams, American founding father and second president; early advocate for women’s rights and opponent of slavery; self-taught intellectual; mother to many children including another American president; and something I just learned today, a savvy and successful financial speculator. […]

East Bay Hike with Plutarch, June 11th, 2017

Sunday, June 11th, 2017 I’ve been planning to read the whole of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans for some time. I’ve also been longing for a really good stretch of the legs, especially after this last week of office work and a Saturday selling off more of my belongings in preparation for […]

Lovely But Sterile?

W.E.B. DuBois once wrote that academic philosophy is the ‘lovely but sterile land of philosophical speculation.’ He decides to turn his attention to history and the social sciences so he can offer more concrete answers and practical help to his beleaguered fellow black citizens. I’ve been inclined to agree with DuBois now and again, out of […]

Frederick Douglass Lynn Sites, Part 2: Historical Society & Hutchinson Scrapbook

Seventh Day, Saturday March 26th As I mention in the first part of my account of today’s journey, Lynn proves to be a Douglass treasure trove for me, especially the Lynn Museum & Historical Society. While I’m waiting to meet with a representative of the museum to look at some materials from the archives, I visit the […]

Frederick Douglass Boston Sites

Sixth Day, Friday March 25th As I’m quick to discover, parking is at a premium in central Boston and its environs. I’ve decided not to pay the high garage rates and stick with metered parking (reasonably priced but harder to find). It’s to be expected in an awesome, busy, historically important city, of course, just […]

A Moral and Political Critique of the Republican Primary Debates of 2015, Part 1

As have many Americans, no doubt, I put on the Presidential primary debates of both parties mostly as background entertainment while I was doing chores, at least at first listen. Yet it occurred to me that it might be fruitful to sit down and take some time to really consider the arguments. Yes, we’re all […]

Sixth Day in Paris Following Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 20th, 2015 It’s a rainy morning, wet enough to drive away the otherwise intrepid kids at the little alleyway skate park across the street, though not quite enough to drive away the hardworking construction crew renovating the building next to it. I take advantage of the inclement weather by catching up on my […]

Fourth Day in Paris Following Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015 I wake up, get some fresh pastries and baguettes, eat breakfast, and make the day’s sandwiches. It’s another beautiful clear morning, and I’m eager to get out there. If anyone tells you that traveling in Paris is necessarily expensive, don’t believe ’em. You can make delicious sandwiches with charcuterie and cheese that […]