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.”
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
Richard Neill ’71
The Exhibition: Richard Neill ’71 has created five films for the National Building Museum’s exhibition Designing for Disaster, which examines how we assess risks from natural hazards and how we can create policies and designs yielding safer, more disaster-resilient communities.
Dates and Location: Open through Aug. 2, 2015, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sundays. Continue reading
Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter by Randall Balmer *85 (Basic Books)
The Author: Balmer, a religious historian and Episcopal priest, is the chair of the religion department at Dartmouth and the author of more than a dozen books, including Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, which was adapted into an Emmy-nominated PBS documentary.
The Book: Today, evangelical Christianity and conservative politics seem inextricably aligned. But in 1976, the presidential campaign of Democrat Jimmy Carter succeeded in part by gaining the support of evangelical voters who had long avoided politics. In the ensuing years, these newly engaged evangelical voters were co-opted by conservative leaders from the extreme religious right. By the time of the 1980 presidential election, support for Carter from evangelicals had all but dried up. Redeemer examines the life and faith of Carter, exploring how the rise and fall of his political fortunes mirrored the transformation of American religious politics. Balmer casts Carter as the last great standard-bearer for an important strand of American Christianity. Continue reading
Ralph Nader ’55 (Beverly Orr)
Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State, by Ralph Nader ’55 (Nation Books)
The Author: An attorney and political activist, Nader is particularly concerned with consumer and worker protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, democratic government, and dismantling the corporate state. Nader came to prominence in 1965 with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, and has since published many bestsellers, including The Good Fight and Seventeen Traditions. He is a four-time candidate for president of the United States, and has been named by Time and Life magazines as one of the most influential Americans of the 20th century.
The Book: In Unstoppable, Nader demonstrates that there is an emerging alliance between the Left and the Right on Capital Hill, as well as in state and local governments, that he believes has the power to dismantle the corporate-government tyranny. Nader argues that it is time to use this budding alliance to expand the power of American citizens and demand a more accountable government. He provides a blueprint for this fight, with 25 potential reforms that can be accomplished through a Left-Right alliance. The book also includes a historical record of Left-Right convergence that demonstrates that this strategy can be successful. Continue reading
Bob Bradley ’80 (Courtesy PBS)
Two Princeton alumni will be featured in documentary films released this month: W.S. Merwin ’48, a former poet laureate of the United States and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, is profiled in Even Though the Whole World Is Burning, which premieres June 8 at the Maui Film Festival; and Bob Bradley ’80, a former coach of the U.S. men’s soccer team, is the central figure of American Pharaoh, a film about Egypt’s national team that will air on PBS stations beginning June 16. Continue reading