January 20, 1 pm: Paula Reed Ward, “Death by Cyanide: The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein

death-by-cyanideAt just forty-one years old, Dr. Autumn Klein, a neurologist specializing in seizure disorders in pregnant women, had already been named chief of women’s neurology at Pittsburgh’s largest health system. More than just successful in her field, Dr. Klein was beloved—by her patients, colleagues, family, and friends. She collapsed suddenly on April 17, 2013, writhing in agony on her kitchen floor, and died three days later. The police said her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, twenty-three years Klein’s senior, killed her through cyanide poisoning. Though Ferrante left a clear trail of circumstantial evidence, Klein’s death from cyanide might have been overlooked if not for the investigators who were able to use Ferrante’s computer, statements from the staff at his lab, and his own seemingly odd actions at the hospital during his wife’s treatment to piece together what appeared to be a long-term plan to end his wife’s life.

In Death by Cyanide, Paula Reed Ward, reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, describes the murder investigation and the trial in this sensational case, taking us from the poisoning and the medical staff’s heroic measures to save Klein’s life to the investigation of Ferrante and the emotion and drama inside the courtroom.

February 17, 3 pm: Kevin Gutzman, “Thomas Jefferson: Revolutionary”

thomasjefferson_revolutionaryThough remembered chiefly as author of the Declaration of Independence and the president under whom the Louisiana Purchase was effected, Thomas Jefferson was a true revolutionary in the way he thought about the size and reach of government, which Americans who were full citizens and the role of education in the new country. In his new book, Kevin Gutzman gives readers a new view of Jefferson―a revolutionary who effected radical change in a growing country.

Jefferson’s philosophy about the size and power of the federal system almost completely undergirded the Jeffersonian Republican Party. His forceful advocacy of religious freedom was not far behind, as were attempts to incorporate Native Americans into American society. His establishment of the University of Virginia might be one of the most important markers of the man’s abilities and character.

He was not without flaws. While he argued for the assimilation of Native Americans into society, he did not assume the same for Africans being held in slavery while―at the same time―insisting that slavery should cease to exist. Many still accuse Jefferson of hypocrisy on the ground that he both held that “all men are created equal” and held men as slaves. Jefferson’s true character, though, is more complex than that as Kevin Gutzman shows in his new book about Jefferson, a revolutionary whose accomplishments went far beyond the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.

Special Performance: Feb. 24, 2 pm: “My Wife Abigail Adams, the First Modern American Woman”

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

 

 

 

The historical figure of John Adams,george-baker portrayed by George Baker, will present his views of the nation, history and family life in a humorous and inspiring speech. He will be dressed in the clothes he would have worn as the Second President of the United States 1797-1801.

John Adams talks with admiration, humor and affection about his wife, Abigail Adams, the First Modern American Woman and describes how Abigail defied the sexist conventions of her time, that married women could not own property, and with her amazing financial skills and insights made the Adams family prosperous.  She helped found the new nation and raised their son, John Quincy Adams, to become President.  This program is full of details of Abigail’s life which most people don’t know.  It is told from the perspective of a husband talking about his wife, and contains the story of their romance, challenges, trials and accomplishments which makes them sound like ordinary people living in extraordinary times.
To purchase tickets, click below:


Special Performance: “My Wife Abigail Adams”



 

March 9, 3 pm: Vasco Pires, “Cape Verdean History”

 

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

 

 

 

How the Cape Verdean Community helped to shape Falmouth and Cape Cod

Vasco Pires lecture

On September 18, 2010 Vasco Pires was invited to an international Conference in the city
of Noli, Italy to present a paper on the “550 Year History of Cabo Verde and its
impact on the United States.” He shares with you a presentation based on that paper
presented at the Antoni DiNoli Conference in Noli, Italy and published in The
Conference Book.
“ 550 years seems like a long time, however this period, a mere five and half centuries
when condensed into a series of experiences and accounts, a history that has affected
our world, like no other period.
If history has any value at all, it should teach us how we have allowed, our greed,
stupidity and foolishness to rule our actions in creating misery and destruction to our
fellow human beings and environment, all in the name of religion or the quest for power
and dominion over others.”

cape-verdeans

 

 

 

 

 

 

First CitizensOur March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit Union

March 16, 7 pm: Stephen Puleo, “American Treasures” (to be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 81 Main Street, Falmouth)

american-treasures

On December 26, 1941, Secret Service Agent Harry E. Neal stood on a platform at Washington’s Union Station, watching a train chug off into the dark and feeling at once relieved and inexorably anxious. These were dire times: as Hitler’s armies plowed across Europe, seizing or destroying the Continent’s historic artifacts at will, Japan bristled to the East. The Axis was rapidly closing in.

So FDR set about hiding the country’s valuables. On the train speeding away from Neal sat four plain-wrapped cases containing the documentary history of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and more, guarded by a battery of agents and bound for safekeeping in the nation’s most impenetrable hiding place.

American Treasures charts the little-known journeys of these American crown jewels. From the risky and audacious adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to our modern Fourth of July celebrations, American Treasures shows how the ideas captured in these documents underscore the nation’s strengths and hopes, and embody its fundamental values of liberty and equality. Stephen Puleo weaves in exciting stories of freedom under fire – from the Declaration and Constitution smuggled out of Washington days before the British burned the capital in 1814, to their covert relocation during WWII – crafting a sweeping history of a nation united to preserve its definition of democracy.

The lecture made possible in part by a grant from First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

March 22, 7 pm: Larry Tye: “Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon” (To be Held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 81 Main Street, Falmouth)

bobby-kennedyHistory remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.

To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates—including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

Bobby Kennedy’s transformation from cold warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly moving personal story that also offers a lens onto two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of twentieth-century American history. The first half of RFK’s career underlines what the country was like in the era of Eisenhower, while his last years as a champion of the underclass reflect the seismic shifts wrought by the 1960s. Nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy began his public life as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble campaign to unite working-class whites with poor blacks and Latinos in an electoral coalition that seemed poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. Along the way, he turned up at the center of every event that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis to race riots and Vietnam.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

Saturday, March 25, 2 pm: Tom Farmer and Marty Foley, “A Murder in Wellesley”

greiniderOn Halloween morning in 1999, Mabel Greineder was savagely murdered along a wooded trail in the well-heeled community of Wellesley, Massachusetts. As the shock following the brutal killing slowly subsided, the community was further shaken when the focus of the investigation turned to her husband, Dirk Greineder, a prominent physician and family man who was soon revealed to be leading a secret double life involving prostitutes, pornography, and trysts solicited through the Internet.

A Murder in Wellesley takes the reader far beyond the headlines and national news coverage spawned by “May” Greineder’s killing and tells the untold story of the meticulous investigation led by Marty Foley, the lead State Police detective on the case, from the morning of the murder through Dirk Greineder’s ultimate conviction. Exhaustive interviews with key figures in the case, including many who have not talked publicly until now, contribute to an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of how investigators methodically built their case against Greineder and how the sides taken by Dirk and May’s relatives aided the investigation but bitterly divided their families.

A fascinating true-crime procedural that is also a deeply unsettling tale of the psychopath you thought you knew, of deceptions and double lives, and of families torn apart by an unthinkable crime. Culminating in one of the most dramatic courtroom spectacles in recent memory (aired nationally on Court TV), A Murder in Wellesley reveals the truth behind the murder that gripped a nation.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens