I am reading the first set of Seward page proofs.  I am also re-reading, as I often do, P.G. Wodehouse. I recall once reading that, when he had a set of page proofs, Wodehouse would tack them to the wall around his room.  He would tack those which were great higher than those which were…

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Last Saturday, in the break after the final mock trial of the NH state championships, while we were waiting for the judges’ decision, one of the coaches from the other team told me that she believed the Exeter kids had cheated.  They had cheated, she said, by taping her team’s Friday evening trial and then…

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In 1972, I was fortunate enough to enter what I believe was and is the best high school in the world:  the Phillips Exeter Academy.  I was graduated in 1975, and went on to other things and other places. Four years ago, Exeter hired my wife Masami to teach mathematics.  We moved here to Exeter…

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The Phillips Exeter mock trial team, for which I serve as adviser, won the New Hampshire state championship this past weekend.  It was an amazing experience, for the kids and for me, and I wanted to write a bit about it. Mock trial, as the name suggests, is a form of debate in which kids…

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As I have edited and edited my Seward book, trying to compress it to a reasonable length, I have edited down many quotes from his speeches.  I worry somewhat that the reader may not get the proper sense of Seward’s speaking style, his long sentences and learned references.  So I intend to post here some…

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One of the difficulties of writing about Seward is that so much of the story is provided by the “diary” of his colleague Navy Secretary Gideon Welles.  Seward and Welles served for exactly the same eight-year period in the cabinet, from March 1861 through March 1869.  They never liked one another:  Welles viewed Seward as…

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I spent two pleasant days this week at the Sanford Museum in Sanford, Florida, doing research in the papers of Henry Shelton Sanford.  Sanford was originally from Connecticut, but after the Civil War bought extensive land in Florida, founding his own town and growing oranges.  During and just after the Civil War, Sanford served as…

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I spent the past two days doing research at Yale for the Seward book.  Why, you might wonder, am I doing research when the book is in page proofs?  The short answer is to convert two “secondary cites” into “primary cites.” In one place in the draft, I had cited to a book about Millard…

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I am not quite sure how to post a link, so I will just tell my readers, if there are any, that I have a review of the new biography of Romney that is now available on the website of the Washington Independent Review of Books.  It is, by the by, a great little book…

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