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New England News
12:20 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Magna Carta And Its 'Grandchildren' Take Over The Clark

One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta, sealed in 1215, is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass., surrounded by influential documents in American history.
Credit Jim Levulis / WAMC

One of four remaining copies of the original Magna Carta is on display at The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, surrounded by influential documents in American history.

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The Roundtable
11:35 am
Wed September 3, 2014

'When Paris Went Dark: The City Of Light Under German Occupation' By Ronald Rosbottom

    On June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and nearly deserted Paris. Eight days later, France accepted a humiliating defeat and foreign occupation. Subsequently, an eerie sense of normalcy settled over the City of Light. Many Parisians keenly adapted themselves to the situation-even allied themselves with their Nazi overlords. At the same time, amidst this darkening gloom of German ruthlessness, shortages, and curfews, a resistance arose. Parisians of all stripes-Jews, immigrants, adolescents, communists, rightists, cultural icons such as Colette, de Beauvoir, Camus and Sartre, as well as police officers, teachers, students, and store owners-rallied around a little known French military officer, Charles de Gaulle.

Ronald C. Rosbottom writes about this time in his new book, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944.

The Roundtable
11:35 am
Tue September 2, 2014

'Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions And America's Death Penalty' By Austin Sarat

  Renewed and vigorous debate over the death penalty has erupted as DNA testing has proven that many on death row are in fact innocent. In this debate, however, the guilty have been forgotten. In his new book, Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America's Death Penalty, legal scholar Austin Sarat describes just how unquiet death by execution can be. If we assume a death row prisoner is guilty, how can we be sure that we are fulfilling the Supreme Court's mandate to ensure that his execution is "the mere extinguishment of life" and not a cruel and unusual punishment?

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The Roundtable
10:45 am
Mon August 25, 2014

'Michelangelo: A Life In Six Masterpieces' By Miles J. Unger

    Among the immortals—Leonardo, Rembrandt, Picasso—Michelangelo stands alone as a master of painting, sculpture, and architecture.

He was not only one of the greatest artists in an age of giants, but a man who reinvented the practice of art itself. Throughout his long career he clashed with patrons by insisting that he had no master but his own demanding muse and promoting the novel idea that it was the artist, rather than the lord who paid for it, who was creative force behind the work.

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The Roundtable
10:35 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Ideas Matter - Our World Remade: WWI New Reading & Discussion Series

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on the RT, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter. This morning we welcome the folks from NY Humanities to discuss the importance of remembering World War One through literature.

Wendy Galgan, Assistant Professor of English at St. Francis College joins us to discuss the New York Council for the Humanities' Our World Remade: WWI New Reading & Discussion Series.

The Roundtable
10:35 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Ideas Matter - 50th Anniversary Of Freedom Summer

  

  We are very happy to continue our weekly feature on The Roundtable, entitled – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities. It is our chance to check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

Today we check in with the New York Council for the Humanities and learn about about the history of Freedom Summer - 50 years ago - and its importance today. We are joined by Dr. Emilye Crosby is a history professor at SUNY Geneseo and the coordinator of the Africana/Black Studies program. She has written A Little Taste of Freedom: The Black Freedom Struggle in Claiborne County, Mississippi and edited Civil Rights History from the Ground Up: Local Struggles, a National Movement.

The Roundtable
10:35 am
Mon July 21, 2014

"American Crucifixion: The Murder Of Joseph Smith And The Fate Of The Mormon Church" By Alex Beam

    On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail in the dusty frontier town of Carthage, Illinois. Clamorous and angry, they were hunting down a man they saw as a grave threat to their otherwise quiet lives: the founding prophet of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. They wanted blood.

At thirty-nine years old, Smith had already lived an outsized life. In addition to starting his own religion and creating his own “Golden Bible”—the Book of Mormon—he had worked as a water-dowser and treasure hunter. He’d led his people to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where he founded a city larger than fledgling Chicago. He was running for president. And, secretly, he had married more than thirty women.

In American Crucifixion, Alex Beam tells how Smith went from charismatic leader to public enemy: How his most seismic revelation—the doctrine of polygamy—created a rift among his people; how that schism turned to violence; and how, ultimately, Smith could not escape the consequences of his ambition and pride.

The Roundtable
11:12 am
Tue July 1, 2014

"Capital of the World" by Charlene Mires

    From 1944 to 1946, as the world pivoted from the Second World War to an unsteady peace, Americans in more than two hundred cities and towns mobilized to chase an implausible dream. The newly-created United Nations needed a meeting place, a central place for global diplomacy—a Capital of the World.

But what would it look like, and where would it be? Author Charlene Mires share the history with us.

The Roundtable
10:10 am
Mon June 30, 2014

"Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure To Build The Statue Of Liberty" By Elizabeth Mitchell

    

  The Statue of Liberty has become one of the most recognizable monuments in the world: a symbol of freedom and the American Dream. In her new book, Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty, journalist Elizabeth Mitchell tells the story of the envisioning, funding and building of the Statue of Liberty - dispelling long-standing myths around its creation.

We all know the legend that the statue was a gift from France, but that implies that the government of France gave it to the government of America. In reality, it was the inspiration of the French sculptor, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, hungry for fame and adoration.

The Roundtable
11:12 am
Fri June 27, 2014

"Canals And Railroads: Collaboration To Competition" At The Schenectady County Historical Society

  The Schenectady County Historical Society was founded in 1905 to preserve the history of the area. The Society’s museum and local history and genealogy research library have been located at 32 Washington Avenue in the Stockade neighborhood in Schenectady since 1958.

They are opening a new exhibition this weekend entitled "Canals and Railroads: Collaboration to Competition." The exhibit explores the beginnings of the Canal Era and New York State’s early railroads which were built to enhance and complement–rather than compete with– the waterway system.

It is a traveling exhibit, put together by Alco Historical and Technical Society historian, Dave Gould and Alco Historical and Technical Society designer, John Kolwaite. They join us now along with Mary Zawacki, Curator for the Schenectady County Historical Society.

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