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Free and Open to the Public
Presented by Coronado Library
Friday, May 4, 2018
Coronado Library Winn Room 640 Orange Avenue Coronado, CA 92118
Join the presentation and discussion led by Blaine Davies: Historical novels are not only fun to read, but in my view a well written and extensively researched U.S. historical novel can help us better understand the lives and motivations of the Americans that preceded us. In 2003 I began assigning historical novels in the U.S. history courses I teach at Boise State University. While the use of historical fiction in a traditional history class is somewhat problematic, my objective in doing so is to enable students to develop a sense of empathy for our ancestors. I encourage them to look at history not in hindsight but from the perspective of the people that often took huge risks not knowing how things would turn out. The Founding Fathers that signed the Declaration of Independence knew they might very well be signing their death warrants as few impartial observers gave the fledgling nation much chance of defeating the mightiest military power on Earth. We know how the Revolutionary War turned out, a luxury they didn’t have. By definition, an historical novel includes some distortion of historical fact, but even traditional non-fiction history books require the author to interpret historical events often relying on sources that may not be completely accurate or unbiased.