Events in October 2018
- American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era
American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era
Born in the aftermath of the American Revolution, the Society of the Cincinnati was created to preserve the fraternal connections forged by the officers of the Continental and French armies on the battlefields of the new United States. Framed on the Revolution's ethical ideal of honor, the members of the Cincinnati pledged, to promote and cherish between the respective states, that Union and national honor so essentially necessary to their happiness, and the future dignity of the American Empire. Led by Henry Knox, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington, the Cincinnati aimed to continue the pledge of sacred honor made in the Declaration of Independence. However, in a time of post-war uncertainty, the hereditary nature of the group elicited cries of aristocracy from the likes of John and Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. The debate over the true nature of the Cincinnati reflected a broader battle over the ideals of the new nation and the understanding of democracy. What exactly was in the interests of national honor? Drawn from his new book, American Honor: The Creation of the Nation's Ideals during the Revolutionary Era, Dr. Craig Bruce Smith explores how the ethics of the Revolution were incorporated into the new republic, and how new understandings of honor were created in reaction to the Society of the Cincinnati.
The talk will last about 45 minutes, followed by a book signing and refreshments.
- Leah Garrett - Young Lions
Leah Garrett - Young LionsNational Museum of American Jewish Military History1811 R Street, NWWashington, DC 200092022656280
Professor Leah Garrett joins us to discuss her book Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel for the inaugural talk in our Alan S. Brown scholar series.
Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel shows how Jews, traditionally castigated as weak and cowardly, for the first time became the popular literary representatives of what it meant to be a soldier and what it meant to be an American. Revisiting best-selling works ranging from Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead to Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, and uncovering a range of unknown archival material, Leah Garrett shows how Jewish writers used the theme of World War II to reshape the American public’s ideas about war, the Holocaust, and the role of Jews in postwar life. In contrast to most previous war fiction these new “Jewish” war novels were often ironic, funny, and irreverent and sought to teach the reading public broader lessons about liberalism, masculinity, and pluralism.
Leah Garrett is the Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Hunter College, CUNY. She has published four books and numerous articles in Jewish cultural history. Her book Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel, about which she is lecturing, was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award, and won the prestigious Jordan Schnitzer book award in Modern Jewish History.
- Skull, Severed Heads and Skeletons: Battlefield Clean-up during the American War of Independence
Skull, Severed Heads and Skeletons: Battlefield Clean-up during the American War of Independence
Battlefield clean-up is a topic rarely covered by modern historians. However, following almost any military engagement, corpses need to be buried. Who disposes of these corpses and how can we tell who buried whom? Were officers and other ranks buried together or separate? Dr. Bob Selig, historian, will try to answer these and related questions about burying the dead during the American War of Independence.
The lecture will last 45 minutes with time afterwards for questions.