UPCOMING EVENTS

Gabrielle Glaser with American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, June 15 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Peter O’Dowd, Senior Editor, Here & Now (WBUR)
Presented in partnership with WBUR (Boston) and its CitySpace


The shocking truth about postwar adoption in America, told through the bittersweet story of one teenager, the son she was forced to relinquish, and their search to find each other.

As closed records of adoption are being legally challenged in states nationwide and open adoption is the rule today, journalist Gabrielle Glaser takes us back to a dark time in America’s history. Her acclaimed book reveals the lucrative and exploitative adoption industry during the 1960s Baby Boom, when agencies removed children from their birth mothers, placed them with hopeful families, and then firmly closed the door between them. Acting “in the best interests of all,” they separated families, including Margaret Erle’s. Don’t miss hearing her story of love, loss, and the search for identity – a tale that she and her son born in 1961 share with millions of Americans, their “powerful” family history “illuminating a universal truth” (The New York Times Book Review).

Gabrielle Glaser is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist whose work on mental health, medicine, and culture has been published in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She has appeared on many national radio and television programs, including NPR’s Fresh Air, All Things Considered, NBC’s Nightly News, and ABC’s World News Tonight.

Peter O'Dowd is the senior editor for Here & Now, produced by WBUR (Boston) public radio. He was previously news director for KJZZ in Phoenix, AZ, where he was also an editor and reporter. He got his start in broadcasting at Wyoming Public Radio.

Stephen Bown with The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson's Bay Empire

Free Virtual Event: Monday, June 28 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Jeff Breithaupt, Canadian-New Yorker songwriter, author, and podcaster
Presented in partnership with GBH Forum Network


One of Canada’s best-loved historians tells the story of his country’s origin and the shaping of North America by one trading company.

Just before Canada Day, join us for a spirited evening featuring scholar Stephen Bown and his compelling narrative history of Canada’s famous Hudson's Bay Company. Through the masterful control of a handful of English aristocrats, The Company rose from a small 1670 trading business – practical manufactured goods exchanged for furs with the Indigenous inhabitants of inland subarctic Canada – to the single biggest political and economic force in North America, ruling the lives of people from Hudson’s Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Don’t miss Bown’s illustrated presentation and insights on this rich and peopled history; and his discussion of Canada, then and now, with fellow countryman Jeff Breithaupt.

Stephen R. Bown has written ten books on the history of exploration, science, and ideas – including books on the medical mystery of scurvy, the Treaty of Tordesillas, the lives of Captain George Vancouver and of Roald Amundsen and a doomed Russian sea voyage. His works have been translated into nine languages won many awards including the BC Book Prize, the Alberta Book Award, the William Mills Prize for Polar Books. His previous book, The Island of Blue Foxes, about Vitus Bering's voyage to Alaska, was shortlisted for the RBC Taylor Prize. Born in Ottawa, he now lives near Banff in the Canadian Rockies.

Jeff Breithaupt is a writer, songwriter, podcaster, and is Vice President at Manhattan School of Music. He co-authored two books about pop music in the 1970s for St. Martin's Press, and is the lyricist half of the Breithaupt Brothers, an award-winning songwriting team whose work has been interpreted by such Broadway and jazz stars as Kelli O’Hara, Catherine Russell, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Jeff is an expert advocate for Canada's arts and cultural scene and has promoted Canadian talent on the New York and international stage. He lives in New York City, where he is launching the podcast Cansplaining with Jeff Breithaupt.

Peter S. Canellos with The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America's Judicial Hero

Free Virtual Event: Thursday, July 8 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Carlo Rotella, Professor of English, American Studies and journalism, Boston College
Presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library and GBH Forum Network


The definitive, sweeping biography of an American hero who fought for civil rights and economic freedom during America’s Gilded Age.

They say that history is written by the victors. But not in the case of the most famous dissenter on the Supreme Court, Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911). The circumstance of his upbringing in Kentucky, alongside an enslaved man his father raised as his own son, and his persistent vision of American equality propelled Harlan to be one of our nation’s greatest defender of civil rights. His dissents were widely read and a source of hope for decades. Thurgood Marshall regarded Harlan’s 1896 dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson as his “Bible” and legal roadmap to overturning segregation. As a celebration of our country—home of the free, home of the brave—don’t miss learning about Harlan’s life and times, and his work that began the legal revolutions of the New Deal and Civil Rights era.

Peter S. Canellos is Managing Editor of Politico, former Editorial Page Editor of The Boston Globe and an award-winning writer. He is the editor of the New York Times bestseller, Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy.

Carlo Rotella is Professor of English, American Studies, and journalism at Boston College. He is the author of several books, and his writing appears regularly in the New York Times Magazine and the Washington Post Magazine.

Menachem Kaiser with Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, July 20 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Dr. Bernice Lerner, author and senior scholar at Boston University's Center for Character and Social Responsibility
A special book talk hosted and presented by our colleagues at the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center


A Brooklyn man’s quest to reclaim his family’s apartment building in Poland led to a new understanding of his relatives, and a frightening entanglement with Nazi treasure hunters.

On a Fulbright Fellowship in Lithuania in 2010, Toronto native Menachem Kaiser traveled to Poland and there, in the village of Sosnowiec, he was inspired to take up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building. His encounters with long-time residents of the building and with a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer” are intwined with a surprise discovery of a cousin’s secret memoir revered by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who believe it is an indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Don’t miss hearing about Kaiser’s extraordinary journey and exploration of the many issues surrounding inheritance, legacy, and family history. Hosted by the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

Menachem Kaiser holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright Fellow to Lithuania. His writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, New York, and elsewhere.

Dr. Bernice Lerner is author of All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen, and a senior scholar at Boston University's Center for Character and Social Responsibility.

Produced by GBH Forum Network in partnership with Boston Public Library

PAST EVENTS

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