Don Lankiewicz is an educational publishing consultant and affiliated faculty member at Emerson College in Boston. He lives in Needham, Massachusetts, and has been a member since 1980.
Alma mater/s: BA (history), Saint Fidelis College, 1975; MA (history research), Saint Louis University, 1980
Fields of interest: publishing, baseball, biography, Civil War, aviation
Describe your career path. What led you to where you are today? My first job was as a high school history teacher, but I spent most of my career as a history editor/writer and educational publishing executive developing learning resources for history and the social sciences.
What do you like the most about where you live and work? New England is an almost perfect location for any historian with its regional history, universities, archives, and libraries.
What projects are you currently working on? I am currently juggling several projects: a book on the Big Bang Era of major league baseball; collected quotations about history, historians, and the past; and a college course on the history of the publishing industry in the United States.
Have your interests evolved since graduation? If so, how? My interests have become more eclectic. I research and write about what I find interesting and obscure.
What’s the most fascinating thing you’ve ever found at the archives or while doing research?While researching the publication history of Hitler’s Mein Kampf in the United States, I was surprised to find that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt continues to publish the book and collect royalties. Houghton Mifflin first published Mein Kampf in 1933 but only began quietly donating proceeds from the book in 2000.
What do you value most about the history discipline? History has always been important to me. As far back as I can remember, I wanted to hear stories about the past. History was my favorite subject in high school, and I majored in history at college. My first published article was in Cobblestone, a history magazine for young readers. Since then I have published books and many articles on all kinds of different history topics. For me, Cicero’s expression holds true—historia magistra vitae est, “history is life’s teacher.”
Why is membership in the AHA important to you? Membership in the AHA connects me with people who share my own passion for the discipline.
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