Daniel Boorstin won the Pulitzer Prize in 1974 for “The Americans: The Democratic Experience,” the third in his “The Americans” trilogy; “The Colonial Experience” and “The National Experience,” were the first two. Sweeping, grand stories these were of men and women aiming to animate ideals.
History took on for me a luster that other great writers burnished, writers like David McCullough, Frederick Douglass (three autobiographies), and Louis Gottschalk. Streaming alongside the dates, places, and events, is philosophy; history offers up a plumb line for our own rules of conduct, and how we measure up. At its best history is also great literature. Winston Churchill won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1953; his work provokes out-loud reading.
Janice and I moved to LaGrange, Georgia, in 1984. Curiosity called for an explanation: why in west-central Georgia had a community named itself “LaGrange,” and, of greater moment, planted a magnificent statue of a French officer at Town Square?
I learned why. And, as I came to discover, knowledge of the details was not so widespread as one might imagine. Lafayette’s legacy is something we ought to claim. Liberty, Equality, and Justice are at the heart of his story.
People are busy, and presenting the story in a way that interests, that prompts them to take notice is a challenge. This is the work of the Lafayette Alliance; its mission is Inspire, to Illuminate, and to Unite, all in the Spirit of Lafayette. It is a pleasure to work with gifted people who are interested in telling the story.