Slaughter *83 Detangles the American Revolution

THOMAS  SLAUGHTER PROFESSOR HISTORY

Thomas P. Slaughter *83

Independence: The Tangled Roots of the American Revolution, by Thomas P. Slaughter *83 (Hill and Wang)

The Author: Slaughter *83 is a professor of history at the University of Rochester and the editor of Reviews in American History. His books, which include Exploring Lewis and Clark and The Beautiful Soul of John Woolman, Apostle of Abolition, have won the National Historical Society Book Prize and the American Revolution Round Table Award.

The Book: Independence goes back to the founding of the colonies to tell the 150-year story of a transformation in American attitudes that culminated in the revolutionary events of the 1770s. Slaughter begins with an examination of the many conflicts and tensions that permeated colonial American life. In particular, he explores the contradiction between the mindset of the American colonists, who saw themselves as independent, self-sufficient subjects, and the British, who viewed the colonists as rebellious troublemakers. As it detangles a web of sectional tension, religious difference, and economic dispute, Independence shows how these two contrary characterizations grew to mean the same thing – in Slaughter’s words, “how independence became revolutionary.”
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#ThrowbackThursday: Freshmen in Service, 1992

(PAW Archives, Oct. 14, 1992)

(PAW Archives, Oct. 14, 1992)

Tricia Cortez ’96, left, and Leonard Marquez ’96 were among the Princeton freshmen who worked to rehabilitate homes in Trenton during the week before orientation in 1992. They were part of the University’s Urban Action initiative, now known as Community Action. Last year, the program drew 202 participants from the Class of 2017, and this fall, it expects an additional boost, thanks to the University’s increasing support for civic-engagement, highlighted in the July 9 issue of PAW.

 

Tiger of the Week: John Sawin ’07, Amateur Golf Standout

John Sawin ’07, at the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Elverson, Pa., July 16. (Courtesy the Golf Association of Philadelphia)

John Sawin ’07, at the U.S. Amateur qualifier in Elverson, Pa., July 16. (Courtesy the Golf Association of Philadelphia)

Last year, John Sawin ’07 was working 80 to 90 hours a week in an investment banking job in California, using whatever free time he had to play golf, a sport he’s loved since childhood and excelled in at Princeton. He managed to play well enough to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship — his first USGA qualification after a dozen years of trying — and later won the Stocker Cup Invitational, a top amateur tournament in Northern California.

With his game reaching a new peak, Sawin made the bold decision to leave his job as a vice president at Barclays Capital and spend a year competing in amateur golf events around the country.

“I wanted to see how good I could get,” Sawin told PAW. “What would happen if I spent all my time playing, and preparing to play, competitive golf?”

What has been a rewarding experience got even better last week as Sawin qualified for two national championships in the span of six days: He shared medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur qualifier at Stonewall in Elverson, Pa., July 16, and gained entry to the U.S. Mid-Amateur, for players age 25 and older, in a July 21 qualifier at Huntingdon Valley (Pa.) Country Club. (Michael Davis, an incoming Princeton freshman, caddied for Sawin in the latter event.) Continue reading

#ThrowbackThursday: Bill Clarke and the Nassau Nine

(PAW Archives, June 11, 1937)

(PAW Archives, June 11, 1937)

As major league baseball completes its annual All-Star break, PAW takes a brief look at Princeton’s rich baseball history, which dates back to the team’s first game in 1860. The Nassau Nine traveled to Orange, N.J., to play the local baseball club, and the game ended in a tie — 42-42 — after darkness made it impossible to continue playing.

The photo above shows Bill Clarke, left, the longtime Tiger coach and namesake of Clarke Field, in 1937 with assistant coach Amos Eno ’32, center, and captain Dean Hill Jr. ’37. Clarke coached nearly 900 games at the University and won 564 of them — a record that still stands. He also sent 15 former players to the major leagues.

In June, two graduating Tigers were drafted by major-league teams — pitcher Michael Fagan ’14 and outfielder Alec Keller ’14 — and three alumni have played in the big leagues this season. Chris Young ’02 has been a valuable starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. Will Venable ’05 is an everyday outfielder for the San Diego Padres. David Hale ’11, who made his big-league debut last September, is vying to return to the Atlanta Braves’ starting rotation. (A fourth major-leaguer, Ross Ohlendorf ’05, suffered an injury in spring training and has been working to rejoin the Washington Nationals.)

In all, 26 Princetonians have played in the majors, but only one has appeared in the All-Star Game: Young, who pitched an inning in relief for the National League in 2007.

Tiger of the Week: Danielle Allen ’93, Up Close and Personal With the Declaration of Independence

Danielle Allen ’93 (Laura Rose)

Danielle Allen ’93 (Laura Rose)

Can a single period change the way we think about one of the United States’ founding documents? Danielle Allen ’93 thinks so. Allen, a professor and political theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study, notes in her new book, Our Declaration, that there is a discrepancy between the parchment version of the Declaration of Independence and the official transcript in the National Archives: In the latter, a period appears after the phrase “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” reshaping the meaning of a section that discusses both individual rights and the government’s role in protecting those rights.

“The logic of the sentence moves from the value of individual rights to the importance of government as a tool for protecting those rights,” Allen explained in The New York Times. “You lose that connection when the period gets added.”

The historical detail was big news on the eve of Independence Day, receiving coverage from the Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, PBS NewsHour, and dozens of other media outlets. But it was just one example extracted from a remarkably detailed examination of the Declaration of Independence. As Washington Post reviewer Thane Rosenbaum noted, relatively few Americans have read the full 1,337-word document or can recall much about the group of five men who drafted it — no, it was not Thomas Jefferson’s work alone. But Allen, applying a “geek’s gaze” and her experiences as a teacher and scholar, brings the full story to life, Rosenbaum wrote, with a book that is “not just an invaluable civics lesson but also a poignant personal memoir.”

Allen, a classics major at Princeton, completed Ph.D. studies in classics and government at Cambridge and Harvard, respectively, before joining the faculty at the University of Chicago. She joined the Institute for Advanced Study in 2007, and in a PAW feature published the following year, she talked about her book about the Declaration of Independence, then it its early stages: “People have a very clear narrative about liberty, and they’re very confused about equality. You need both to have a successful democracy. It seems to me it’s time to go to work on rebuilding our understanding of what the concept of equality means, why it’s important, and what it takes in order to secure its value through democratic politics.”

Bock GS Curates Flash Photography Exhibition

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Amanda Bock GS


The Showing: “Artificial Light: Flash Photography in the Twentieth Century,” an exhibit curated by Amanda Bock GS.
Dates and Location: May 24 – Aug. 3, 2014, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Main Building, the Lynne and Harold Honickman Gallery. The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and until 8:45 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Curator: Bock was a Goldsmiths Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for three years and today is project assistant curator in the department of prints, drawings, and photographs. She also is a Ph.D. student at Princeton working on her dissertation in art history. Continue reading