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The Confederacy in History, Myth, & Memory

The Confederacy in history, myth, and memory continues to be a topic that fascinates a global audience. Waite Rawls, President and CEO of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, demonstrates how this history is relevant in the 21st century, especially its complications and nuances.

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Cotton & Race in the Making of Massachusetts & America

Gene Dattel, author of Cotton and Race in the Making of America, brings the relationship of cotton and race out of the regional shadows into the forefront of American history. The powerful dynamic of cotton, the first truly global business, produced catastrophic racial consequences and performed a critical nation-building economic impact. Dattel casts light upon today’s economic and racial issues and financial policies and explains why the antebellum North provides the key to the tragedy of African American history from Reconstruction to the present.

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Insuring the City: The Prudential Center & the Postwar Urban Landscape

One of the most significant urban developments of the 1950s and 60s, the Prudential Center anchors the Boston skyline with its tall gray tower. It is also a beacon of a mid-century moment when insurance companies like Prudential deployed buildings in cities to symbolize and advertise their intangible product: financial security. Yale architectural historian Elihu Rubin tells the full story of "The Pru," placing it in its political, economic, and architectural contexts and providing new insights into urban renewal in postwar America. Listen to the lecture.

The Curious Creation of the Electoral College: What the Founders Didn't Want and Didn't See Coming

Hoping to sidestep popular elections and transcend politics, the framers concocted a bizarre, untried method of selecting the president. Little did they suspect how their system would be gamed, from 1789 through 2012. Ray Raphael’s latest book is Mr. President: How and Why the Founders Created a Chief Executive (Alfred A. Knopf, 2012). Listen to the talk with an introduction by MHS Trustee and William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of American History at MIT Pauline Maier.

Dr. Kimball's Time Machine: The Man Who Rediscovered Thomas Jefferson, Architect

Hugh Howard, author of Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of American Architecture, discusses Fiske Kimball, the pioneering writer, scholar, and museum director who recovered Thomas Jefferson's architectural genius from historical memory. Listen to this lecture.

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