April 4, 2 pm: Sen. George Mitchell, “A Path to Peace”

“A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East”

THIS LECTURE TO BE HELD AT ST. BARNABAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 81 MAIN STREET, FALMOUTH

george-mitchellGeorge Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011—working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—diplomacy did not prevail. Now, for the first time, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace. This unflinching look at why the peace process has failed, and what must happen for it to succeed, is an important, essential, and valuable insight as to how the process works.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 6, 7 pm: Michele McPhee: “Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI and the Road to the Marathon Bombing”

michele-mcpheeVeteran investigative journalist Michele R. McPhee unravels the complex story behind the public facts of the Boston Marathon bombing. She examines the bombers’ roots in Dagestan and Chechnya, their struggle to assimilate in America, and their growing hatred of the United States—a deepening antagonism that would prompt federal prosecutors to dub Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “America’s worst nightmare.” The difficulties faced by the Tsarnaev family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are part of the public record. Circumstances less widely known are the FBI’s recruitment of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as a “mosque crawler” to inform on radical separatists here and in Chechnya; the tracking down and killing of radical Islamic separatists during the six months he spent in Russia—travel that raised eyebrows, since he was on several terrorist watchlists; the FBI’s botched deals and broken promises with regard to his immigration; and the disenchantment, rage, and growing radicalization of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, along with their mother, sisters, and Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine.

Maximum Harm is also a compelling examination of the Tsarnaev brothers’ movements in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, the subsequent investigation, the Tsarnaevs’ murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the high-speed chase and shootout that killed Tamerlan, and the manhunt in which the authorities finally captured Dzhokhar, hiding in a Watertown backyard. McPhee untangles the many threads of circumstance, coincidence, collusion, motive, and opportunity that resulted in the deadliest attack on the city of Boston to date.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 11, 7 pm: Nina Sankovitch, “The Lowell’s of Massachusetts”


PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON mass-humanities-logoWOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIES

 

The Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s. For the first time, Nina Sankovitch tells the story of this fascinating and powerful dynasty in The Lowells of Massachusetts.

lowells-of-massachusettsThough not without scoundrels and certainly no strangers to controversy , the family boasted some of the most astonishing individuals in America’s history: Percival Lowle, the patriarch who arrived in America in the seventeenth to plant the roots of the family tree; Reverend John Lowell, the preacher; Judge John Lowell, a member of the Continental Congress; Francis Cabot Lowell, manufacturer and, some say, founder of the Industrial Revolution in the US; James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet; Lawrence Lowell, one of Harvard’s longest-serving and most controversial presidents; and Amy Lowell, the twentieth century poet who lived openly in a Boston Marriage with the actress Ada Dwyer Russell.

The Lowells realized the promise of America as the land of opportunity by uniting Puritan values of hard work, community service, and individual responsibility with a deep-seated optimism that became a well-known family trait. Long before the Kennedys put their stamp on Massachusetts, the Lowells claimed the bedrock.

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April 19, 6:30 pm: Roseann Sdoia, “Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength and Recovery after Boston’s Worst Day”

Roseann SdoiaAs Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.
In the chaos of the minutes that followed, three people would enter Roseann’s life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who, when the bomb went off, instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carefully lifted her into the fetid paddy wagon. He climbed in and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn’t left her side, and today they are planning their life together.Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it’s about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston’s worst day.

April 21, 3 pm: Chandra Manning, “Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War”

PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON WOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIESmass-humanities-logo

Even before shots were fired at Fort Sumter, slaves recognized that their bondage was at the root of the war they knew was coming, and they began running to the Union army. By the war’s end, nearly half a million had taken refuge behind Union lines in improvised “contraband camps.” These were crowded and dangerous places, with conditions approaching those of a humanitarian crisis. Yet families and individuals—some 12 to 15 percent of the Confederacy’s slave population—took unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places where many Northerners would come to know former slaves en masse, with reverberating consequences for emancipation, its progress, and troubled-refugethe Reconstruction that followed.

Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Chandra Manning allows us to accompany the black men, women, and children who sought out the Union army in hopes of achieving autonomy for themselves and their communities. Ranging from the stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to debates in the halls of Congress, Troubled Refuge probes the particular and deeply significant reality of the contraband camps: what they were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there, forging a dramatically new but highly imperfect alliance between the government and African Americans. That alliance, which would outlast the war, helped destroy slavery and warded off the very acute and surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. It also raised, for the first time, humanitarian questions about refugees in wartime and legal questions about civil and military authority with which we still wrestle, as well as redefined American citizenship, to the benefit but also to the lasting cost of African Americans.

Mass Cultural Logo 2This lecture made possible in part by a grant from the Falmouth Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council

April 25, 7 pm: J. L Bell, “The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War”

road-to-concordIn the early spring of 1775, on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, British army spies located four brass cannon belonging to Boston’s colonial militia that had gone missing months before. British general Thomas Gage had been searching for them, both to stymie New England’s growing rebellion and to erase the embarrassment of having let cannon disappear from armories under redcoat guard. Anxious to regain those weapons, he drew up plans for his troops to march nineteen miles into unfriendly territory. The Massachusetts Patriots, meanwhile, prepared to thwart the general’s mission. There was one goal Gage and his enemies shared: for different reasons, they all wanted to keep the stolen cannon as secret as possible. Both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now.
The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War by historian J. L. Bell reveals a new dimension to the start of America’s War for Independence by tracing the spark of its first battle back to little-known events beginning in September 1774. The author relates how radical Patriots secured those four cannon and smuggled them out of Boston, and how Gage sent out spies and search parties to track them down. Drawing on archives in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, the book creates a lively, original, and deeply documented picture of a society perched on the brink of war.
RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 27, 7 pm: Larrie Ferriero, “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France & Spain Who Saved It”

brothers-at-armsIn this groundbreaking, revisionist history, Larrie Ferreiro shows that at the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord the colonists had little chance, if any, of militarily defeating the British. The nascent American nation had no navy, little in the way of artillery, and a militia bereft even of gunpowder. In his detailed accounts Ferreiro shows that without the extensive military and financial support of the French and Spanish, the American cause would never have succeeded. France and Spain provided close to the equivalent of $30 billion and 90 percent of all guns used by the Americans, and they sent soldiers and sailors by the thousands to fight and die alongside the Americans, as well as around the world.

Ferreiro adds to the historical records the names of French and Spanish diplomats, merchants, soldiers, and sailors whose contribution is at last given recognition. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust