What We’re Reading: December 15, 2011

Discussions on Newt Gingrich’s history background continued this week with an invitation to join the AHA from former AHA President Barbara Metcalf. Then, learn what it’s like to be an intern at the National Museum of American History, look through 4,000 digitized pages of Isaac Newton’s papers, study curriculum for teaching about the nation’s finances, and read some of the best long-form articles of 2011.

Letters to the Editor

  • Invite to Newt GingrichGingrich the Historian
    Adam Hochschild’s recent New York Times op-ed review of Newt Gingrich’s 1971 Tulane doctoral dissertation concludes, “Mr. Gingrich may succeed in being elected president, but it is hard to imagine him, like Wilson after he left the White House, being elected president of the American Historical Association." In response, former AHA President Barbara D. Metcalf has written a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times, not getting into the AHA presidency, butexpressing that Gingrich is welcome to join the AHA. She explains that, “All of us seriously interested in history, as Mr. Gingrich clearly is, need the kind of ‘continuing education’ that the American Historical Association provides.” Another Letter to the Editor, from Yvette Alt Miller, cringes at the thought of anyone’s dissertation being eviscerated in the press. She concludes, “Personally, when I was a grad student, I was just happy to pass my defense!”

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Contributors: Elisabeth Grant and Vernon Horn

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