Morality and History
Apr 25, 2004
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Mr. Winchester was interviewed and responded to viewer telephone calls about his writing process and his history books. Then the panel he was on titled “Does History Have a Moral?” was shown. The panel .. Read More
Mr. Winchester was interviewed and responded to viewer telephone calls about his writing process and his history books. Then the panel he was on titled “Does History Have a Moral?” was shown. The panel was taped the previous day, Saturday, April 24, 2004.
The panelists discussed the moral lessons of history and the duties of historians. Mr. Wiencek discussed President Washington’s stance on slavery and speculated that he might have prevented the Civil War if he had acted in accordance with his true beliefs. Mr. Tackett discussed the effect that Louis XVI’s attempt to flee Paris had on the French Revolution. Mr. Winchester spoke about the character of some of the historical figures about which he has written and the effect the explosion of Krakatoa had on militant Islam. Ms. Applebaum spoke about the unrealized moral intentions of historians using the example of how the Soviet revolution was perceived. The panelists responded to questions from members of the audience. Mr. Karabell moderated the event.
After the tape was shown, Mr. Wiencek was interviewed and responded to telephone calls from viewers. He talked about the panel and about his book which was awarded the 2003 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History the previous night.
Henry Wiencek is the author of An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America, published by Farrar Straus and Giroux. Simon Winchester is the author of The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, published by Oxford University Press; Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded; August 27, 1883, The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, and The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, published by HarperCollins. Zachary Karabell is the author of Chester Alan Arthur, published by Times Books. Timothy Tackett is the author of When the King Took Flight, published by Harvard University Press. Anne Applebaum is the author of Gulag: A History, published by Anchor.