What’s New

Sunday, October 10, 1:30 pm, Writers Group via Zoom. Jim Gasperini will present.

Sunday, October 12,  7:00 pm, Monthly Program, via Zoom.
Jonathan Marshall will present

Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy

Bay Area author Jonathan Marshall offers an original take on an old subject, political corruption, and challenges the myth of a past golden age of American democracy. Drawing on law-enforcement files and other original sources, he brings to light the neglected history of how well-protected criminals and their business allies organized the corruption of national politics after World War II. Jonathan will discuss new findings dating from the Truman administration and the hidden origins of the McCarthy era, up through the Watergate period — and the light they shed on Donald Trump’s Mafia-connected career and presidency.

Guest speaker Jonathan Marshall earned an M.A. in American History at Cornell University. His journalism career included positions as the Oakland Tribune’s editorial page editor and the San Francisco Chronicle’s economics editor. His six books and other scholarly publications cover topics including 18th-to-20th-century U.S. history as well as the history of China, Japan, France, Mexico, Central America, and the Middle East. The University of California’s Daniel Wick called his book To Have and Have Not “the most thought-provoking book in decades on the origins of the Pacific War.” Stanford historian David Kennedy called Jonathan’s latest book, Dark Quadrant: Organized Crime, Big Business, and the Corruption of American Democracy, from Truman to Trump, “a unique blend of magma-deep research, dramatic revelations, and judicious conclusions.”

We are always looking for speakers for Monthly Programs; please consider sharing your interests, research and writing with your colleagues, promoting discussion and, perhaps, getting their feedback on your work. Also, consider hosting a meeting; contact: Louis Trager.

Member News

Members' Recent Activities:

Leslie Friedman’s play, “The Exhibitionist,” received three Zoom presentations. Play by Play, the organization founded and led by Institute member Judith Offer, presented it on a program that included Judith’s play, “Not Too Kosher,” on January 31. That reading/ performance led to two more, on February 3 and 11. “The Exhibitionist” is a satirical, one-act play with two characters re-meeting on what might be a date. Jonathan Clark (Leslie’s husband) played Danny and Leslie played Lily. Leslie has also been invited to give a talk about her recent book, The Story of Our Butterflies: Mourning Cloaks in Mountain View, for Stanford’s program, Company of Authors.

John Graham’s second book, The Reeducation Of A Turd Peddler, is available for purchase (www.thebookpatch.com). He describes it as “historic, meta-fiction, and satire” which follows Junipero Serra’s heart “stuck in a jar for two hundred years and reveals who stole it and why.”

As of March 2021, Bert Gordon is Associate Editor of the Journal of Tourism History, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor and Francis in England. He may be contacted with questions about the journal at: bmgordon@ mills.edu.

Susan Nuernberg reports that she is moving back to Wisconsin, where she will continue her work on Charmian Kittrege London, transcribing and annotating her handwritten diaries (1904-1916) for publication by the University of Nebraska Press. She expects to complete her project in a year.

Welcome to our newest members, both currently residing in London, England. Laure Latham describes herself as “a blogger, storyteller and lawyer,” holding a B.A. in religious anthropology from Paris Jussieu University and a B.A. in law from La Sorbonne. She has practiced law at the Paris Bar and has taught international tax at La Sorbonne. Her writings include articles on the environment as well as children and the outdoors. Laure coauthored George-Daniel de Monfreid: Ami et confident de Gauguin and is currently working on a fictional account of Russian America and Ohlone people taking place in 1839 California.

Esther Shallan is a philosopher (PhD in Philosophy from Oxford Brookes University and Mphil in the philosophy of psychology from Kings College London) with interests and research on the problem of evil, the nature of suffering, and personality traits. She is also a psychotherapist working in North London who specializes in bereavement, depression, and anxiety disorders. Esther is currently working on a book entitled "God, Good and Evil: The Problem of Moral Evil Re-evaluated.”

Congratulations to Our 2020 Mini-Grant Recipients:

Steven Levi for expenses of a visual presentation of his poem, “The Contract," about women's suffrage.
Pam Peirce for editing of her biography of Katherine Gibson Wicks.

Members:  Please submit news of your history-related publications, lectures, awards, research finds, etc. to info@instituteforhistoricalstudy.org.