Daniel James Brown with Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II

Free Virtual Event: Wednesday, May 12 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Roland Nozomu Kelts, author, journalist, editor, and lecturer
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, the Japan Society of Boston, and GBH Forum Network

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Boys in the Boat, a gripping World War II saga of patriotism.

An unforgettable chronicle of war-time America, Facing the Mountain portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese-American families and their sons. One demonstrated his courage as a resister. The three others volunteered for 442nd Regimental Combat Team and displayed fierce courage on the battlefields of France, Germany, and Italy, where they were asked to do the near impossible in often suicidal missions. Based on deep archival research and extensive family interviews, Brown also tells the story of these soldiers’ parents, immigrants who were forced to shutter the businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to imprisonment on U.S. soil. Here, as in The Boys in the Boat, he explores the questions of what “home” means, what makes a team work, and who gets to be a “real American.” Don’t miss the author’s presentation and discussion with Roland Kelts about this powerful new work.

Daniel James Brown is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, which spent over 135 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list; The Indifferent Stars Above; and Under a Flaming Sky. A multi award-winning writer, he lives in Washington State, near Seattle, and has taught writing at San Jose State University and Stanford University.

Roland Nozomu Kelts is a Japanese-American writer, editor, and lecturer; author of Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US. He writes for publications in the US, Japan, and Europe, and is a commentator for CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio. A contributing editor of MONKEY: New Writing from Japan, he was also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in Tokyo.

Skip Finley with Whaling Captains of Color: America's First Meritocracy

Free Virtual Event: Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library, the State Library of Massachusetts, and Museum of African American History

Hear the stories of whaling's leaders of color in an era when the only other option was slavery.

The history of whaling as an industry has been well-told in books, but none has shared the stories of whaling’s leaders of color in an era when the only other option was slavery. Working with archival records at whaling museums, in libraries, from private archives and interviews with people whose ancestors were whaling masters, Skip Finley now profiles the lives of over 50 black whaling captains. Whaling was one of the first American industries to exhibit diversity. A man became a captain not because he was white or well connected, but because he knew how to kill a whale. Along the way, he could learn navigation and reading and writing. Whaling presented a tantalizing alternative to mainland life. At last, the stories of these captains’ success – of why, how, and their historical impact – are being told.

Skip Finley is a former broadcasting executive who was responsible for over 40 U.S. radio stations and experienced success in all areas of radio. Attempting retirement since age 50, he keeps returning to communications, currently in marketing at the Vineyard Gazette Media Group on Martha's Vineyard, where he summered since 1955, deciding to become a writer. For five years Finley wrote the weekly Oak Bluffs Town Column and is a contributor to several publications in the areas of whaling and history.

Joseph M. Bagley with Boston's Oldest Buildings and Where to Find Them

Free Virtual Event: Thursday, June 3 at 6 p.m. ET

Moderator: Curt DiCamillo, FRSA, Curator of Special Collections at NEHGS
Presented in partnership with State Library of Massachusetts

Gain insight into Boston’s early history and oldest buildings from a city insider and historic preservationist.

The first book to survey Boston’s fifty oldest buildings, this work by the city archaeologist and historic preservationist is a great guide for history lovers, architectural enthusiasts, and tourists. In an approachable narrative which will appeal to non-architects and those new to historic preservation, Joseph M. Bagley tours fifty buildings that pre-date 1800 and illustrate Boston’s early history. Approaching its four-hundredth anniversary, Boston continues to shift with near-constant development; still, it maintains its historic character. Don’t miss hearing from an expert and insider about the city’s unique character, its historic areas and oldest buildings.

Joseph M. Bagley is the City Archaeologist of Boston, a historic preservationist, and staff member of the Boston Landmarks Commission. He has worked previously for the Massachusetts Historical Commission and Maine Historic Preservation Commission. In 2016, Joe published the award-winning A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts.

Curt DiCamillo, FRSA is the Curator of Special Collections at New England Historic Genealogical Society. Before he came to NEHGS he worked for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the National Trust for Scotland. He is a recognized authority on the British country house.

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)

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.

Produced by GBH Forum Network in partnership with Boston Public Library


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