Category Archives: memoir

some notes on receiving tenure

Facebook455 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 456This week, the Tufts Trustees voted to grant me tenure and make me a full professor. I am very grateful to them, the Political Science Department (which is my tenure home), the Tisch College of Civic Life … Continue reading

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on hedgehogs and foxes

Facebook26 Twitter1 Google+0Total: 27 “A fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one important thing” — Archilochus This proverb is in the news lately because Philip Tetlock has shown that foxes (flexible and curious generalists) are much better at predicting … Continue reading

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Mike Kelley, Jim Shaw, and memories of Rust Belt adolescence

Facebook7 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 7Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw (pictured below) were born in urban Michigan during the 1950s. By the time they were art students in the early 1970s, they’d seen all the stuff you don’t study in a University of … Continue reading

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twenty-five years of it

Facebook47 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 47Now 50, I can see that my scholarly or intellectual life has turned out differently from what I had imagined at age 25. Then I had a 9-5 job in politics–for the “citizens’ lobby,” Common Cause. I … Continue reading

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my father’s books are going to James Madison’s desk at Montpelier

Facebook131 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 131(Syracuse, NY) My father, Joseph M. Levine, collected more than 20,000 books as a working library of a professional historian. Many were published before 1800. I am a sort of trustee for this collection, happily responsible for … Continue reading

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having one conversation for 26 years

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(Salem, MA) I am here for a retreat of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, where I work. In the summer of 1987, I came here for a retreat of the Charles M. … Continue reading

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nostalgia

Facebook5 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 5(Washington, DC) All this typing about politics, ideas, policy, the American people–2,077 posts on this site, plus articles, emails, graphs–and what I really care about, of course, is me: my own passage through time. For instance, how … Continue reading

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Syracuse is taking over

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0I am a native of Syracuse, NY, born and raised. I think my accent is “downstate” thanks to my parents. Our family was part of the Great Brooklyn Diaspora. But I grew up extremely familiar with what … Continue reading

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my past from the air

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(In DC for the Everyday Democracy board meeting): We landed through clouds that ripped open just as we passed above the Kennedy Center, revealing Northwest DC spread out over the airplane wing. It was my seventh landing … Continue reading

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in-flight nostalgia

Facebook0 Twitter0 Google+0Total: 0(On a plane from Boston to San Francisco) I spent every childhood summer in England–in a different home almost each year–and have returned there repeatedly in adulthood. Whenever a long time passes without a visit, I feel … Continue reading

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