David Blight: An “educated and civil society” is “open to each other’s stories” and “open to the essential pluralism of the human drama”

Yale historian David Blight talks about the differences between history and the past on the “Live the Best Version of You” podcast. It is a nice introduction to how historians work and how the work historians do must contribute to our democratic life. Listen: //percolate.blogtalkradio.com/offsiteplayer?hostId=41108&episodeId=11784708 A few great lines: Historians always work with their “umbilical … Continue reading David Blight: An “educated and civil society” is “open to each other’s stories” and “open to the essential pluralism of the human drama”

David Blight gives Joe Biden some advice about monuments

David Blight has been a voice of reason on this whole monument debate. In a piecepublished yesterday at The New York Times, he offers Joe Biden some historical advice. He suggests that Biden should establish a task force devoted to “our roiling national confrontations over monuments, memorialization, and the learning and uses of history.” A taste: … Continue reading David Blight gives Joe Biden some advice about monuments

Historian David Blight Offers Some Context for Troubled Times

Here is Blight at The Atlantic: At the heart of the protests over the recent police killings that have swept the nation is Donald Trump’s presidency. Trump’s depraved rhetoric, his vile racism, his willful ignorance, his vicious contempt for the free press, his extraordinary mishandling of the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic, and his preening … Continue reading Historian David Blight Offers Some Context for Troubled Times

David Blight: The GOP is No Longer the Party of Lincoln

David Blight teaches history at Yale University and is the prize-winning biographer of Frederick Douglass.  In a recent op-ed at The New York Times he argues that today’s Republican Party would be unrecognizable to Abraham Lincoln, the party’s first president.  Here is a taste of his scathing piece: In 2012, I took part in the … Continue reading David Blight: The GOP is No Longer the Party of Lincoln

What Do Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, David Blight, and 25 Cent Wings Have in Common?

This: Former President Barack Obama was meeting with Steven Spielberg on Monday night, sources exclusively told Page Six, months after Obama’s production company with wife, Michelle, unveiled a slate of films with Netflix. Obama and the Oscar-winner were at upscale seafood eatery Marea, spies said. “Spielberg walked through the front and no one noticed,” said the source, while Obama arrived through … Continue reading What Do Steven Spielberg, Kate Capshaw Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Scialfa, David Blight, and 25 Cent Wings Have in Common?

David Blight on Reinhold Niebuhr, Theology, and a Bunch of Other Things

Over at Zocalo Public Square, Gregory Rodriguez talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David Blight about history, memory, Reinhold Niebuhr and history as theology.  Here is a taste: You quote Reinhold Niebuhr early on [in Race and Reunion], “The processes of historical justice are not exact enough to warrant the simple confidence of the moral character … Continue reading David Blight on Reinhold Niebuhr, Theology, and a Bunch of Other Things

David Blight and Lisa Brooks Win the Bancroft Prize

Blights wins for Frederick Douglass, Prophet of Freedom. Brooks wins for Our Beloved Kin: A New History of King Philip’s War. Congratulations! Here is a taste of an article on the winners at The New York Times: A mammoth biography of Frederick Douglass and a new study of the 17th-century colonial American conflict known as King Philip’s War have won … Continue reading David Blight and Lisa Brooks Win the Bancroft Prize

David Blight: “If we do this some willy-nilly way, we will regret it.”

The debate over Confederate monuments continues.  Associated Press reporter Colleen Long recently interviewed a few historians on the matter, including Yale historian David Blight.  Here is a taste of her article: The national soul-searching over whether to take down monuments to the Confederacy’s demigods has extended to other historical figures accused of wrongdoing, including Christopher … Continue reading David Blight: “If we do this some willy-nilly way, we will regret it.”

David Blight Talks About His Forthcoming Biography of Frederick Douglass

Here is David Blight discussing his forthcoming biography of Frederick Douglass.   The discussion takes place at Harvard Law School on the day after Election Day 2016 and Blight is clearly rattled.  He also tells some great stories about his research and offers insight into the practice of writing of biography: HT: Kevin Levin at … Continue reading David Blight Talks About His Forthcoming Biography of Frederick Douglass

David Blight on the 14th Amendment

The Atlantic.com is running a digital symposium on the 150th anniversary of Reconstruction with particular focus on the history and legacy of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.  Here is a taste of Yale historian David’s Blight’s contribution on the 14th: Among all the enactments of Reconstruction, none embody the lasting significance, or the heart of the … Continue reading David Blight on the 14th Amendment

Blight: Historians Should Petition Trump to Take an “Educational Sabbatical” So He Can Learn More U.S. History

History News Network has published a David Blight piece which original appeared at the website of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  Of all the things Trump has done, Blight is most worried about his “essential ignorance” of American history. Here is a taste of his piece, originally titled “Trump and History: Ignorance and Denial“: Trump’s “learning” … Continue reading Blight: Historians Should Petition Trump to Take an “Educational Sabbatical” So He Can Learn More U.S. History