“The thing which we are all up against is propaganda. Sometimes I think this age is going to be called the age of propaganda, an unprecedented rise of propaganda, propaganda as a weapon, propaganda as a technique, propaganda as a fine art, and propaganda as a form of government.”
Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States, 1 edition (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2018), 491.
I was happy to finish with December as the second best month — 149.5 miles. I went for 367 walks this year and walked for a total of 376 hours and 50 minutes. My goal for next year is 30 miles per week for a total of 1,560 miles.
This is a page I tore out of a notebook, put in a pile of papers, and then forgot about. I wrote this down at some point in 1996-1997 while student teaching. I am doubtful I was reading Foucault directly; I’m betting this quote was in another book (Ira Shor? bell hooks? Peter McLauren? ) How long before I started doodling?
I don’t believe that the question of ‘who exercises power’ can be resolved unless that other question ‘how does it happen’ is resolved at the same time.
My third quarter project in history asks students to do something like this extraordinary mural. Here you have two panels: one in Iraq, the other from a nearby park. How do you reconcile the two? How do these lives intersect? How do they connect? Can one exist without the other? Can we deny one and not the other?
I finished Meghan Daum’s book The Problem with Everything yesterday. One of her major points was that we stop trying to deal with complicated issues via social media. To stop, to think, to reflect, to talk, to deliberate instead of trying to capture things in 140 characters.
I think this response to the 1619 Project represents what should happen. There’s heat and pushback to any major project. So write about it. Then wait and read a thoughtful response.
Here’s another overview from The Atlantic.
We read These Truths and I’m glad we did. I’m wondering if next year I might start the year with the 1619 project. And I’m wondering how I might use this debate as an endpoint for my These Truths project.