Exams are over, but work continues. We've got to get the spring issue of the Review
to press by the end of the week, and the staff has been working overtime. I don't mind the work, but I haven't been able to relax yet. I think I'll spend next week visiting folks around the state before getting back to work in June.
It is nice, however, to have evenings free again. There's a great new reality show on PBS called Colonial House
. It puts a bunch of 21st century Americans and Brits in a scenario reminiscent of the first Puritans at Plymouth. The folks have to live off of supplies like those the colonists would have had while trying to make the colony profitable for its investors by producing a crop of maize (blue indian corn, I think). It's really a terrific show. You can see the last episodes next Monday and Tuesday night, check local listings.
Yesterday evening I celebrated the end of finals by making a visit to my favorite book store. I usually only come away with a book or a magazine (I buy most of my books online), but I love to browse the shelves of the history, biography, and fiction sections. Last night was an exceptionally good night for new finds.
- Joining in on the recent flood of biographies on the Founders, Ron Chernow has a new one out on Alexander Hamilton, faithfully styled, Alexander Hamilton.
- David Hackett Fischer of Albion's Seed fame has a new one on Washington's Crossing the Delaware.
- Martin Gilbert has added D-Day to his list of WWII works.
- Another Colonial tale in Russell Shorto's Island at the Center of the World, on Dutch Manhattan.
Plenty of good summer reading.
Presently, I'm working on Joseph Ellis's American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson
, with Freedom and Virtue
, an ISI anthology of the 19th century's libertarian/conservative debate, on deck. Patrick O'Brien's Master and Commander
is in the hole. Needless to say, I am very pleased that summer is here!