Author & Speaker

Archive for March 2011

The Fascination of Aaron Burr

Scores of novelists and playwrights have explored the stories of Aaron Burr.  I was amazed to discover that his achievements and failures had appealed to such diverse writers as Eudora Welty and James Thurber, both of whom wrote short stories about him.    Yesterday, brought two more examples of Burr’s appeal to the literary imagination.  An obituary for…

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Andrew Johnson Dollar Coins!

It is a bit hard to believe, but the U.S. Mint is issuing — right now — dollar coins featuring the likeness of the 17th president, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee.  When they rolled it out in Greeneville, Tennessee (his hometown), they passed the dollars out for free to kids!  A measure of Johnson’s greatness?  Arguably.  This…

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The Shores of Tripoli, Again

The riveting news of rebellion in Libya, and possible American involvement against Tripoli, brings to mind the first time American forces attacked the North African shore, in the early 1800s.  The episode, unsurprisingly, intersected sharply with the path of Aaron Burr.  (So much did!) The events are enshrined in the Marine Hymn, of course (“From the Halls…

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