Allright, Frema was good enough to provide me with some good questions. Let's hope I get 'em right...
1. What is the bravest thing you've ever done?
While I cannot say that I have ever done anything "brave" like in combat or life-or-death situations, I think that have participated in some personal bravery. I think it took considerable courage to completely change careers (Financial Services back to Academia), spend three years and too much money to get an M.A., and then uproot my entire life and move to a place where I know absolutely no-one. I guess you could say, in this sense, I am living my personal bravery moment as we speak.
In a broader sense, I have never been afraid to take unpopular positions or make unpopular decisions if I felt that they were the right thing to do. I also do not mind defending things that I believe in deeply even if it is dangerous or unpopular. It's what I think, deal with it.
2. What do you think is the most embarassing black mark on American history?
As a historian, I have many different feelings and opinions about this subject, but here is the overarching theme. The greatest injustice that American society does (and keeps on doing) is oppression and exclusion in the face of a "civil religion" that is based on individual liberty. Wether it be women, racial or ethnic minorities, gays, lesbians, the tune is all the same. The promise of America is denied in the face of such bright promise. The examples could (and do) fill the pages of our national consciousness. Often, we try to define America as who we are not. That is wrong and betrays the true goodness at the heart of the idea of America.
3. Which TV or movie character--past or present--best embodies your "perfect match"?
This, for me, was the toughest question. Let's see...character, not actor. I always liked Suzanne Pleshette's character on "The Bob Newhart Show." She was smart, sarcastic, an equal match for her mate, sexy but not in-your-face, an unconventional sense of humor. Seems that would suit me just fine. Ahh, that lucky bastard Tom Poston.
Hope these insights are somewhat fruitful! Keep 'em coming!
Year in review
2 weeks ago