Today I read an article in Time about author Ron Chernow. The hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, was based on his book, Alexander Hamilton. I just put a copy of it on hold at my local library.
After I finish this 832-page book (no promises on when I’ll finish – I’m a middle grade author, remember, and I enjoy short books), I hope to read Chernow’s latest tome, Grant. This 1,104-page book comes out today. Reading it, Chernow promises, “is going to affect how you respond to a lot of different contemporary issues” (Time, Vol. 190, No. 15, 2017, p. 50).
How can this prize-winning author make such a claim? Because he doesn’t see his job as political, but rather as one that offers facts on which people can build informed opinions. That seems to be a novel concept these days in a world of “fake news”, sound bytes and emotional rhetoric.
“Politics boils down to the stories we tell ourselves,” Chernow says. “And unfortunately we tell ourselves different stories. Unless we know where we’ve been as a country, we don’t know where we are or where we are going” (Time, pg 51).
Do you know where you’re going? I hope to scrutinize my path a bit more carefully and to not take my current knowledge of history for granted.