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  • A young man from a small mill town goes to war. He has already had his eyes opened to the injustices of class, discrimination and poverty during his college and graduate school years. He has experienced what people do to each other.

    A young man intentionally "fails" his bomber pilot test---his own way of conscientiously objecting, something his son will do formally in a future war.

    A young man is transferred from the Navy to Army Intelligence where his education, his ideas, his abilities will be put to use.

    A young man writes these bold words, these beautiful sentences in his diary.

    A young man returns from war haunted by oppression, greed and violence.

    A young man returns from war determined to live his ideals and to change the world, not through cultivating power or fame or fortune, but by opening one young mind at a time. To scores of teenagers over scores of years he will teach critical thinking and historical literacy in a radical way: through primary sources--the diaries and letters and first-hand accounts of people who lived through the events of human time--placed against the schooled writings of historians. He will insist that they think for themselves and argue for what they believe is right.

    This young man is my father. It is January 4, 1944 when he writes these words.

    Only after he dies--six years ago tonight--does the file he put away over sixty years ago, a file filled with letters, sergeant stripes, diary pages, discharge papers and photographs from the war rise from deep inside his desk and live again.



    *In the photo that follows, the young man is second from the left, gazing from the window of a B-17.
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