Two Pulitzer Prize Winners to Be Featured at Event on Teaching World War II in Schools

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UPDATE! Below are some video clips from this event:

“Never Give In – Never, Never, Never” to be taped for broadcast on C-SPAN

BOSTON – Two Pulitzer Prize winners will be featured at “Never Give In – Never, Never, Never,” a Pioneer Institute forum on teaching World War II in schools to be held Monday, May 4th from 8:00 to 10:45 a.m. at the Omni Parker House hotel in Boston. Next week marks the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. The event will be taped for national broadcast on C-SPAN. To attend, guests may register online


Co-keynote remarks will be delivered by Rick Atkinson and David Kennedy. Atkinson is a best-selling author and historian, and the winner of Pulitzer Prizes in history and journalism. He is the author of the Liberation Trilogy, a narrative account of the American role in Europe and North Africa during World War II. The three volumes include An Army at Dawn, The Day of Battle, and The Guns at Last Light.  


Kennedy is the Donald McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University, where he received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1988. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history in 2000 for Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War. Professor Kennedy is also the author of Over Here: The First World War and American Society.


The keynotes will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ken Rendell, founder and director of the Museum of World War II – Boston. Rendell has also authored several books. His latest is Politics, War and Personality: Fifty Iconic World War II Documents That Changed the World.


The panel will include Paul Reid, who is the co-author, with William Manchester, of the Winston Churchill biography The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. Manchester requested that his friend Reid complete the third volume of his Churchill trilogy, which was a New York Times bestseller and named one of the best books of 2012 by The Wall Street Journal. The following year Reid was made a Churchill Fellow at Westminster College, where Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain speech.


Also on the panel will be Israel “Izzy” Arbeiter, founder and president of the American Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors of Greater Boston; Kerry Dunne, director of history and social studies for the Boston Public Schools; and Newton Public Schools history and social sciences teacher Susan Wilkins.


There will be question and answer periods after both the keynotes and the panel discussion.


Pioneer Institute Distinguished Senior Fellow in Education Tom Birmingham will begin the event by awarding the winners of Pioneer’s Frederick Douglass U.S. History Essay Contest for Massachusetts high school students. The contest encouraged students to choose from dozens of historic sites across Massachusetts, and develop a clearly organized and well-researched essay drawing on primary and secondary sources, that explains the historical impact and significance.


Pioneer Institute received nearly 70 submissions from public, vocational-technical, charter, parochial, and private school students, as well as students schooled at home. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, including current and former high school history teachers. The 1st place prize is $5,000; 2nd place is $2,000; 3rd place is $1,000; and Honorable Mentions are $500 each. In addition, the 1st place winner’s school will receive $1,000. Judges selected three top prize winners and four honorable mentions.


The first place prize winner is Julia Ruderman of Minuteman Career and Technical High School in Lexington, Massachusetts, for her essay on the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington. The second place winner is Matthew Tormey of Pembroke High School, for his essay on “Boston’s Goudey Gum Company and the Silver Age of Baseball Cards.” And the third place winner is Abigail Long from Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, for her essay on the Maria Mitchell House in Nantucket. 


The four honorable mentions are: Sibgha Javaid of the University Park Campus School in Worcester; Courtney Cassidy of St. Mary’s High School in Lynn; Mary Erickson of Norwood High School; Yusuf Sezer of Grafton High School.


“Never Give In – Never, Never, Never” is co-sponsored by the Program on Education Policy & Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Museum of World War II – Boston, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, The Concord Review, We the People, the American Principles Project, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the National Association of Scholars and New England Churchillians.


The authors in attendance will participate in a book signing following the event. There is no charge to attend. Please register online or RSVP to Brian Patterson at (617) 723-2277, x217, or This forum will be accessible online


Pioneer Institute is an independent, non-partisan, privately funded research organization that seeks to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts through civic discourse and intellectually rigorous, data-driven public policy solutions based on free market principles, individual liberty and responsibility, and the ideal of effective, limited and accountable government.