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NYT: Shift at (NY) Hist. Society Raises Concerns (to Rep. conservatives)

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:25 AM
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NYT: Shift at (NY) Hist. Society Raises Concerns (to Rep. conservatives)
Shift at Historical Society Raises Concerns
By ROBIN POGREBIN and GLENN COLLINS

Published: July 19, 2004


....A year ago Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, two wealthy businessmen, joined the (New York Historical Society's) board, lent the institution their renowned collection of historical documents and created a $1 million vault in the basement of the society's building on Central Park West to house the archive at their own expense.

Already the benefits are evident. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has moved its operations to the society, including a reading room for scholars and students. Board members are giving more money. And the society can draw on the collection and its staff for exhibitions, as it has for a forthcoming Alexander Hamilton show, the first to be presented by the society's new president, Louise Mirrer, whom Mr. Gilder helped recruit....

***

....Mr. Gilder and Mr. Lehrman, both conservative Republicans, are leading the society's shift toward a broader view of its mandate, emphasizing American rather than local history....(This) suggests to some historians and society staff members that Mr. Gilder and Mr. Lehrman are dangling the prize of their collection on the condition that the society go along with their interests, and that they have chosen the society because its history of financial weakness has left it malleable....

***

A coming exhibition about slavery...has been recast to reflect Mr. Lehrman's viewpoint, as expressed in an interview in the society's journal. "This was an institution supported throughout the world, but Americans took the initiative in destroying it," Mr. Lehrman said in that interview, adding that he deplored the view that "American history consists of one failure after another to deal with the issue of slavery."....The curator of the Hamilton exhibition is Richard Brookhiser, a senior editor at the conservative National Review, who said in an interview that "the show is my inspiration, reflecting my vision of Hamilton."... Several society staff members, who said they were afraid of being fired if their names were printed, said their role in the Hamilton show had been to endorse decisions already made. Although exhibitions were once planned collaboratively, creative control of future exhibitions, they said, is in the hands of the board, outside consultants and the Gilder Lehrman Institute....


http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/19/arts/design/19HIST.ht...
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:31 AM
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1. Republicans don't take input.
They just take over.

New York obviously needs a new Historical Society.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 02:44 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The NYHS has a long history, and its own large bldg and collection --
which these people have apparently, as you say, just taken over.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:56 AM
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3. Shameless kick for New Yorkers -- and because takeover of institutions...
by the Right is one of my deepest concerns.
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. taking over institutions. . .
is frightening enough but when they rewrite history with the stamp of approval from an outfit like this, it will be felt for a long time.

When it gets corrected it leaves in doubt everything else the NY Historical Society ever did. History, and organizations that write about it, works that way.

How true is this: Slavery "was an institution supported throughout the world, but Americans took the initiative in destroying it,"

Wasn't slavery gone in the so called civilized world by the 19th C?
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Frances Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. England (and Canada)
abolished slavery before the U.S. did.
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truthspeaker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. took the initiative? We were almost the LAST country to abolish it!
What a dumbass.
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