(this is cross-posted on my book blog)
I love it when Jon Stewart hosts authors and historians as his guests. I get all geeked out about it, and the discussions are always interesting.
Like on Wednesday (May 18)—Jon had historian and author Richard Beeman on the show. His most recent book, Plain Honest Men: The Making of the American Constitution, just came out in paperback. Besides my weakness for bow ties, I was really taken by the discussion of Constitutional history that took place. Maybe it’s because I’m grading essays on the nullification crisis right now (which centers on constitutional issues), but that conversation on The Daily Show totally made my night. I loved that he pulled out his little pocket Constitution at one point so he could read the exact wording of the 14th amendment. When Jon went to commercial, I turned to my husband and said, “That man is absolutely adorable.”
He looked at me like I was insane, but historians like Richard Beeman are like rock stars to me. Don’t even get me started on the fact that I actually met Patricia Nelson Limerick at a conference once…
Goodness, that whole essay was wonderfully worth reading. Do go check it out!
“Orson Scott Card felt the need to go public online about his views on gay rights…but should I stop reading him? I bought Pathfinder in ebook and audio form, I was super excited to get to it, and I mentioned that on the Twittersphere and immediately was told not to waste my money on a homophobe.
I agree that his views are outdated, that they are clouded by his age, the way he was raised and his religious beliefs and he did so publicly but does that mean I should boycott him and his art?”
Interesting debate over at bookalicio.us. Would you stop reading an author if you found out he/she had opposing, offensive beliefs? What about musicians or actors? Does it depend (for example, on their age or what those beliefs are)?