Lincoln, Believer in Freedom and the Written Word
If Mark Twain was the Abraham Lincoln of American literature, then Lincoln was the Twain of American politics. So says Fred Kaplan, distinguished professor emeritus of English at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center, who has written biographies on both men. His new book, “Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer,” has been generating attention, in this bicentennial year of Lincoln’s birth. Just months before his inauguration, President Obama was photographed by the Associated Press holding a copy of the book. Prof. Kaplan discusses how he seized an unprecedented opportunity to “look into the origin and development of Lincoln’s genius with language, especially since I saw that no one else had done that before.”
The Making of Italy at Home and Abroad
Between 1880 and 1915, more than 13 million people left Italy for the Americas, North and South, in search of a better life. It was the largest exodus ever recorded from any country in history. Mark Choate, professor of history at Brigham Young University, discussed this mass emigration and its importance to the development of the newly created Italian state. The author of “Emigrant Nation: The Making of Italy Abroad,” Prof. Choate spoke at the Philip V. Cannistraro Seminar Series in Italian American Studies at the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, about how Italy struggled to adapt as immigrants formed “Little Italies,” abroad. “What we see, with this vast emigration and the Italian states initiatives, is a ‘global nation’ in the making.