Rutgers University professor of history (retired). Author of The Way of the Human Being (Yale), In the Spirit of the Earth (Johns Hopkins), Keepers of the Game (California), The Great Forgetting (K-Selected), Eve’s Breast (K-Selected), Successful College Teaching begins with Throwing Away Your Lecture Notes (K-Selected), editor of The American Indian and the Problem of History (Oxford). Winner of the American Historical Association’s Albert J Beveridge Award (1979) for the “best book of the year in American history.” Winner of the Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award (Westchester County Library). Guggenheim fellowship, Senior National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, Newberry Library fellowship, Henry E Huntington Library fellowship, Canadian Embassy fellowship.
That’s basically all I’ve got to show for my life. A dull paragraph about a man who picked the “was” of “shall” and finding only “why” smashed it into “because.” Because this is what academics do.
when God decided to invent
everything he took one
breath bigger than a circustent
and everything began
when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because
— e.e. cummings
I didn’t set out to destroy myself. It just happened.
Like I said, this is what academics do.
I’m no longer an academic.