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Today's word on journalism

September 18, 2008

Partisan politics:

"Say 'conservative' and they wag their tails. Say 'liberal' and they bare their fangs. More to the point, say either and all thinking ceases. . . . [P]eople hear this doublespeak and cheer. Why not? They have been taught that words mean what you need them to in a given moment. Turns out, all it requires is a limitless supply of gall and the inherent belief that people are dumber than a bag of hammers."

--Leonard Pitts Jr., Pulitzer-winning columnist. The Miami Herald, 2008 (Thanks to alert WORDster Jerry Vonderbrink)

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Feedback and suggestions --printable and otherwise --always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Scholar for Arrington Lecture to look at future study of the Utah War

August 27, 2008 | The 2008 Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture at Utah State University will feature a noted independent historian, William P. MacKinnon, who will take a look at future study of the Utah War.

The lecture, held each fall, is presented by Special Collections and Archives in the Merrill-Cazier Library at USU in conjunction with the Leonard J. Arrington Foundation. MacKinnon's lecture, "Predicting the Past: The Utah War's 21st-Century Future," will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Logan LDS Tabernacle, 50 N. Main St.

The lecture is free and open to all. Utah is approaching the conclusion of the sesquicentennial commemoration of the Utah War of 1857-1858, and the question arises about whether there is anything more to be said on the subject, MacKinnon said.

"There has been such an outpouring of books, articles, conference papers, films, novels, plays, television documentaries, cemetery ceremonies, debates, re-enactments and even commemorative posters designed by elementary school students about the war and its greatest atrocity -- the Mountain Meadows massacre -- that some historians and other aficionados are showing signs of battle fatigue," he said.

MacKinnon said the purpose of his lecture is to probe the future direction of Utah War studies.

"What more needs to be done and what reasonably is likely to unfold?" MacKinnon rhetorically asked.

MacKinnon is a management consultant, independent historian and community volunteer. He is an alumnus of the Mount Hermon (Massachusetts) School and earned a bachelor's degree magna cum laude from Yale University.

He is a past chairman of the Yale Library Associates and an associate fellow of Yale's Davenport College. In 1962, he earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He is a resident of Montecita, Calif.

USU's Merrill-Cazier Library, host of the lecture, houses the personal and historical collection of the late Leonard J. Arrington, a renowned scholar of the American West. As part of that gift to the university, Arrington requested that the historical collection also become the focus for an annual lecture on an aspect of Mormon history. Honoring that request, the Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Series was established in 1995.

During a long and distinguished career, Arrington was a professor of economics at USU, church historian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History. He was the author of many books and articles.

For information about the Arrington Lecture, contact Brad Cole at Utah State University, (435) 797-8268.


Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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