These Truths: A History of the United States
The question is central to Jill Lepore’s ambitious new book These Truths: A History of the United States, which delivers a wide-angle examination of the origins and evolution of our country from Columbus to Trump. Americans, she points out, are descended from slaves and slave owners, from conquerors and the conquered, from immigrants and opponents of immigration. "A nation born in contradiction will fight forever over the meaning of its history," she writes.
Lepore, the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard and a writer for The New Yorker, discusses the book and the challenges of writing a new history of America in these fraught times. She last spoke at the Library in October 2013 on her Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin.