Wednesday, October 5, 7 pm: Alice Dreger, “Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists and the Search for Justice in Science”

alice_dregerAn impassioned defense of intellectual freedom and a clarion call to intellectual responsibility, Galileo’s Middle Finger is one American’s eye-opening story of life in the trenches of scientific controversy. For two decades, historian Alice Dreger has led a life of extraordinary engagement, combining activist service to victims of unethical medical research with defense of scientists whose work has outraged identity politics activists. With spirit and wit, Dreger offers in Galileo’s Middle Finger an unforgettable vision of the importance of rigorous truth seeking in today’s America, where both the free press and free scholarly inquiry struggle under dire economic and political threats.

Saturday, October 8, 3 pm: Sean McMeekin, “The Ottoman Endgame: War, Revolution and the Making of the Modern Middle East”

Ottoman EndgameBetween 1911 and 1922, a series of wars would engulf the Ottoman Empire and its successor states, in which the central conflict, of course, is World War I—a story we think we know well. As Sean McMeekin shows us in this revelatory new history of what he calls the “wars of the Ottoman succession,” we know far less than we think. The Ottoman Endgame brings to light the entire strategic narrative that led to an unstable new order in postwar Middle East—much of which is still felt today.

McMeekin also brilliantly reconceives our inherited Anglo-French understanding of the war’s outcome and the collapse of the empire that followed. He chronicles the emergence of modern Turkey and the carve-up of the rest of the Ottoman Empire offering a new perspective on such issues as the ethno-religious bloodletting and forced population transfers which attended the breakup of empire, the Balfour Declaration, the toppling of the caliphate, and the partition of Iraq and Syria—bringing the contemporary consequences into clear focus.

Sunday, October 9: Historic House Tour of Falmouth


museums-on-the-greenThe Inaugural Falmouth Historic Homes Tour is October 9!

Falmouth Museums on the Green, home of the Falmouth Historical Society, is proud to partner with Cape Cod Life to present the Inaugural Falmouth Historic Homes Tour on Sunday, October 9 from noon to 4 PM. This walking tour of Falmouth Village will showcase nine diverse locations, including private homes, inns, and the historic First Congregational Church of Falmouth. Tickets will include a fabulous swag bag full of goodies from local retailers.

TOUR STARTS AT HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S CULTURAL CENTER, 55 PALMER AVENUE. COME THERE TO PICK UP YOUR TICKET AND YOUR SWAG BAG!

Ticket prices are $ 25 in advance of the House Tour and $ 35 on the day of the event. 

Parking for the House Tour will be available in our parking lot off Katharine Lee Bates Road and at the 1st Congregational Church, 68 Main Street, Falmouth. 

To purchase tickets on day of event, come to Museums on the Green’s Cultural Center, 55 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth

Friday, Oct. 14, 5 pm: Heather Hendershot, “Open to Debate: How William F. Buckley Put Liberal America on the Firing Line”

Open to DebateWhen Firing Line premiered on American television in 1966, just two years after Barry Goldwater’s devastating defeat, liberalism was ascendant. Though the left seemed to have decisively won the hearts and minds of the electorate, the show’s creator and host, William F. Buckley—relishing his role as a public contrarian—made the case for conservative ideas, believing that his side would ultimately win because its arguments were better. As the founder of the right’s flagship journal, National Review, Buckley spoke to likeminded readers. With Firing Line, he reached beyond conservative enclaves, engaging millions of Americans across the political spectrum.

Each week on Firing Line, Buckley and his guests—the cream of America’s intellectual class, such as Tom Wolfe, Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer, Henry Kissinger, and Milton Friedman—debated the urgent issues of the day, bringing politics, culture, and economics into American living rooms as never before. Buckley himself was an exemplary host; he never appealed to emotion and prejudice; he engaged his guests with a unique and entertaining combination of principle, wit, fact, a truly fearsome vocabulary, and genuine affection for his adversaries.

Drawing on archival material, interviews, and transcripts, Open to Debate provides a richly detailed portrait of this widely respected ideological warrior, showing him in action as never before. Much more than just the story of a television show, Hendershot’s book provides a history of American public intellectual life from the 1960s through the 1980s—one of the most contentious eras in our history—and shows how Buckley led the way in drawing America to conservatism during those years.

Wednesday, October 19, 7 pm: Danny Orbach, “The Plots Against Hitler”

Plots Against HitlerIn 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was but a memory, and Hitler’s dominance seemed complete. Yet over the next few years, an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged – soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter – who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer’s genocidal reign. This dramatic and deeply researched book tells the full story of those noble, ingenious, and doomed efforts. This is history at its most suspenseful, as we witness secret midnight meetings, crises of conscience, fierce debates among old friends about whether and how to dismantle Nazism, and the various plots themselves being devised and executed.

Orbach’s fresh research takes advantage of his singular skills as linguist and historian to offer profound insight into the conspirators’ methods, motivations, fears, and hopes. Though we know how this story ends, we’ve had no idea until now how close it came – several times – to ending very differently. The Plots Against Hitler fundamentally alters our view of World War II and sheds bright – even redemptive – light on its darkest days.

Friday, October 28, 2 pm: Craig Nelson, “Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness”

pearl-harborThe America we live in today was born, not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and midget submarines suddenly and savagely attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men—and forced America’s entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness follows, moment by moment, the sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, emperor, and president as they engineer, fight, and react to this stunningly dramatic moment in world history.

Beginning in 1914, bestselling author Craig Nelson maps the road to war, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (and not yet afflicted with polio), attending the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Writing with vivid intimacy, Nelson traces Japan’s leaders as they lurch into ultranationalist fascism, which culminates in their insanely daring yet militarily brilliant scheme to terrify America with one of the boldest attacks ever waged. Within seconds, the country would never be the same.pearl-harbor-poster

In addition to learning the little understood history of how and why Japan attacked Hawaii, we hear an abandoned record player endlessly repeating “Sunrise Serenade” as bombs shatter the decks of the California; we feel cold terror as lanky young American sailors must anxiously choose between staying aboard their sinking ships or diving overboard into harbor waters aflame with burning ship fuel; we watch as Navy wives tearfully hide with their children in caves from a rumored invasion, and we understand the frustration and triumph of a lone American teenager as he shoots down a Japanese bomber, even as the attack destroys hundreds of US airplanes and dozens of ships.

Backed by a research team’s five years of work, which produced nearly a million pages of documents, as well as Nelson’s thorough re-examination of the original evidence assembled by federal investigators, this page-turning and definitive work provides a thrilling blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives, and is historical drama on the grandest scale. Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy, and heroism of the attack in stunning detail, and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy’s unforeseen and resonant consequences that linger even today.