Magazine article America in WWII

Read like My Dad

Magazine article America in WWII

Read like My Dad

Article excerpt

I WAS TALKING WITH A FRIEND RECENTLY after she looked over our February 2013 issue. She mentioned that she thought my writing was good, but that I shouldn't expect her to read it because she didn't care much for the subject matter. After applying a tourniquet to stop my pride from spilling from the wound and ruining the carpet, I thought about why people might not be especially interested in the story of the four years that our parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents spent changing the world.

I recalled years ago reading a column the late political commentator Jeane Kirkpatrick wrote about interest in politics. She explained that she couldn't understand how some people would not closely monitor events that affected their lives and required an informed vote from them on Election Day. There they sat at the breakfast table, flipping past the newspaper's meatiest pages, merely glancing at the headlines on the way to the comics and sports sections. One day it dawned on her that she didn't deserve special commendation for reading every jot and little of political news and analysis that came within arm's reach. She did so because she had an insatiable interest in the material.

She invested her time and effort the way someone else might with tying intricate flies for trout fishing or following the twists and turns of Taylor Swift's love life.

The same goes for history. We can make ourselves feel a little more important by speaking about how we learn lessons for the present and future by inquiring into the past. …

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