Tuesday, May 26, 2020
David M. Kennedy to Analyze America’s Fragile Promise
Monday, August 19, 2019


A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian will discuss America’s fragile promise in the free lecture “How the West Was Won and What It Has to Lose” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Ketchum’s Community Library.

David M. Kennedy, professor emeritus of history at Stanford University, says we have the mistaken notion that America is a land of unlimited opportunity and that we are all the captains of our own fate. But, he said, the promise of America is fragile—and that’s something he learned from his own family’s financial struggles in Washington State where his father worked as a copper miner.

Kennedy won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in history for “Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War,” which recounted the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the American people during the Great Depression and WWII. His 1970 book, “Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger,” explored the medical, legal, political and religious dimension of the subject, while pioneering the emerging field of women’s history.

He also wrote “Over Here: The First World War and American Society,” which used American involvement in WWI to analyze the America political system, economy and culture during that time.

Kennedy’s talk is part of the library’s Center for Regional History’s “West Where We Are” initiative.


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