I received a BA from the University of Chicago and a PhD in the history of education (NYU, 2002). Since teaching at Emory and Henry College in Virginia (2003-2006), I have published on such topics as intercollegiate debate and the culture of the PTA. My blog,, explores American culture and history.

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William Edward Sanford Fales (1851-1906), Brooklyn attorney, social observer, political reformer, bon vivant and more -- most especially a frequent visitor to New York City's Chinatown starting in the early 1880s, which circuitously led to his appointment as Vice Consul in Amoy by President Benjamin Harrison. He published widely in journals and newspapers: poetry, essays, non-fiction.  
Henry Collins Brown (1862-1961), founder of the Museum of the City of New York, who was an early popularizer of the city's history and lore. Soon after establishing the museum, he was bumped from the position of director and suffered a nervous breakdown.
Frank Andrew Munsey (1854-1925), millionaire publisher who owned the New York Sun as well as newspapers in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC; also founder of Munsey's Magazine and The Argosy, detested by employees and many of his colleagues and peers, left a legatee bequest of $40 million to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Munsey had never previously expressed interest in art. Why did he he do it? Is the answer mundane or complex?

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