Jackie Robinson: Thursday, Feb 16

  April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the 20th century. … [Read more...]

Columbus: The Four Voyages, Thursday, Feb 9

  Columbus, said a New York Times reviewer of Laurence Bergreen’s biography, Columbus: The Four Voyages ($35, Viking, 2011) was a “terribly interesting man — brilliant, audacious, volatile, paranoid, narcissistic, ruthless and (in the end) deeply … [Read more...]

The Loving Story: Oscar-Nominated, Tuesday, Feb 14

  On February 14, the same night that it premiers on HBO, the Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series will show clips from The Loving Story, with guests attorney Bernard Cohen, who was part of the ACLU team that represented the Lovings before the … [Read more...]

Lafayette: Lessons in Leadership, Tuesday, Jan 31

  The Arab Spring puts us in mind of the early days of our Republic. And just as exiles, ex-patriots, and lovers of liberty have rushed to the North African coast and the Middle East to lend a hand in overthrowing oppressive governments, the … [Read more...]

Aaron Burr: Tuesday, Feb 7

  Vice-president of the United States, brilliant attorney, duelist, and renegade leader of Western adventurers— Aaron Burr cut a path through American history that is bold, at times erratic, and highly controversial. In his fast-paced book, … [Read more...]

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, Jan 24

  In 2006, Charles J. Shields reached out to Kurt Vonnegut in a letter, asking for his endorsement for a planned biography. The first response was no ("A most respectful demurring by me for the excellent writer Charles J. Shields, who offered … [Read more...]

Noah Webster: Forgotten Founding Father, Thursday, Feb 2

  Noah Webster was as prickly and hard as a horse chestnut. The 18th-century compiler of the first American spelling book and dictionary was opinionated, quick to anger, self-righteous, and drove himself to exhaustion. Friends and family … [Read more...]