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I've been thinking today about our President-Elect, the recent campaign, and the challenges we all face. I've just finished reading Walter Isaacson's biography of Ben Franklin, which I highly recommend. It seemed appropriate to return to colonial history in this present (historic) moment. The issue of slavery is handled deftly in this biography. Have we finally come to the end of that sad, brutal road? I hope so. The book is also very well written and will be added to my suggested reading list next term.

I've never blogged before. It's interesting, a bit strange, but interesting. It's not exactly private, of course, as it will be broadcast on my site. There's an article in the current Atlantic Monthly I'll read this afternoon about blogging to get some more ideas. It certainly provides more opportunity to write, which is fine with me. I look forward to some comments from bloggers, if they are so inclined. So far the "be the first to comment" has not been clicked so I might be talking to myself or into cyberspace. Nonetheless, there's a sense of freedom and possibility I'm enjoying. I suppose that is partially the point: we are FREE to write. How privileged we are in this regard, truly. And with this freedom--responsibility-- to speak with bold voices. According to Ha Jin, writing in the Autumn, 2008 issue of American Scholar, rigid censorship in China has weakened the Chinese people and "forced them to be less imaginative and less inventive." We don't have this excuse, so let's go, and write with gusto.
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