Pulitzer Prize-Winning Prof. David Hackett Fischer on Paul Revere, George Washington, & American Independence

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with David Hackett Fischer, University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History Emeritus at Brandeis University, and the author of numerous books, including Paul Revere’s Ride and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington’s Crossing. As America prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July, they review key figures who helped secure independence from Great Britain, including Paul Revere, immortalized in Longfellow’s classic poem, and Founding Father George Washington, known among his contemporaries as the “indispensable man” of the revolutionary cause. Fischer sets the scene for the famous midnight ride, describing what students should know about colonial Boston, and why the British Empire posed such an existential threat to the colonists’ understanding of their rights and liberties as Englishmen. The conversation turns to the lessons teachers and young people today should learn about George Washington’s character, weaknesses, and military leadership during the colonists’ improbable victory against the most powerful empire in the world at that time. He also offers a preview of his forthcoming book, African Founders.

Stories of the Week: In New Jersey, the state’s Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision allowing expansion of seven Newark charter schools approved by the education commissioner, clearing the path for charters to serve thousands more students. In Massachusetts, the education commissioner is under fire from the state’s congressional delegation for proposing to temporarily freeze $400 million in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding earmarked for Boston Public Schools, due to concerns related to the Boston School Committee, which has experienced a string of resignations in the past year.

Guest:

David Hackett Fischer is University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History Emeritus at Brandeis University. His works focus not only on great individuals, but also on the societies and people behind the wider movements that informed those individuals’ accomplishments. Fischer has authored several books, including Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (1989); the groundbreaking Paul Revere’s Ride (1994); and Washington’s Crossing (2004), a study of the American Revolution with special focus on George Washington’s 1776 crossing of the Delaware River. It became a popular best seller and won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for history. He also wrote a well-regarded work on French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Champlain’s Dream (2008). In 1990, Professor Fischer was awarded the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching and was named Massachusetts Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1995. In 2015, he won the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. Fischer earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins University.

The next episode will air on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 at 12 pm ET with guest, Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks.

Tweet of the Week:

News Links:

WSJ e-board: Surprise: Education Wins in Newark – The New Jersey Supreme Court upholds charter expansions.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/surprise-education-wins-in-newark-11624486775

 Massachusetts delegation goes after Jeff Riley on funding for Boston Schools

https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/06/25/massachusetts-delegation-goes-after-jeff-riley-on-esser-funding-for-boston-schools/

Get new episodes of The Learning Curve in your inbox!

Pioneer’s U.S. History & Civics Book with Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola discusses Pioneer's new book "Restoring the City on a Hill: U.S. History & Civics in America's Schools" based on U.S. K-12 history and civics education, highlighting declining standards, leadership importance, crisis, primary sources, and state profiles, underscoring academic content's value.

New Book Calls on States to Improve U.S. History and Civics Education

Pioneer Institute is today releasing Restoring the City on a Hill: U.S. History and Civics in America's Schools, which details the decline of history and civics knowledge among students and offers a plan for how states and local school districts can foster understanding of and curiosity about our nation's history.

Identity Politics Ideology: Woke’s Orthodoxy and Opposition to Liberal Values

Joe Selvaggi hosts a conversation with Johns Hopkins University Professor Yasha Mounk regarding "The Identity Trap," Mounk's latest book that delves into the origins of woke identity politics, its potential impact on classical liberal values, and strategies for its informed opponents to effectively counter its influence.

Prof. Jeff Broadwater on George Mason, Federalism, & the Bill of Rights

Prof. Broadwater delves into Mason's views on constitutionalism, federalism, leadership among Anti-Federalists, and concerns regarding emerging commercial interests. He emphasizes Mason's belief in civic virtue as the bedrock of American self-governance and even provides a reading from his biography on George Mason.

Federal Firearm Forfeiture: SCOTUS Considers Gun Rights and Due Process

Joe Selvaggi hosts a conversation with constitutional legal expert Clark Neily, who delves into the facts and legal complexities surrounding USA v. Rahimi, currently before the Supreme Court. This case questions the forfeiture of Second Amendment rights for individuals accused of domestic abuse.

Rising Dough: The Blue Frog Bakery Journey, Immigration, and Community Impact

Entrepreneur Brad Brown, an immigrant, shares his journey and success with Blue Frog Bakery in Jamaica Plain, highlighting community engagement and immigration's broader impact.

Pioneer Study: Study Finds Patent Protections Fuel Biopharma Innovation that Helps Patients

Patent protections on new drugs have unleashed an unprecedented wave of innovation that has benefited patients and should be fiercely guarded, according to a new study published by Pioneer Institute. New research indicates that price controls contained in the Inflation Reduction Act will result in 230 fewer drugs coming to market over the next decade and job losses of between 730,000 and 1.1 million.

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty on School Reform

Former D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty discusses his education reforms with Michelle Rhee, addressing DCPS challenges, politics, leadership transitions, and teacher unions in urban education reform.

Diversity’s Dubious Definition: Harvard Case Spells End to Racial Classifications

Joe Selvaggi discusses the implications of the Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard case for race and ethnicity-based programs with David Bernstein, a Distinguished Law Professor at George Mason University and an Adjunct Fellow at the CATO Institute.

UCLA’s Prof. James Stigler on Teaching & Learning Math

Professor Stigler discusses the enduring teaching and learning challenges in U.S. STEM education, international student achievement, math pedagogy debates, and international standardized tests. He explains possible strategies for mitigating COVID-19-related learning loss.