I do not know how many of the learned people who follow this forum know that 40 years ago today the United States government—and to point political fingers at political figures: President Richard Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and CIA Director Richard Helms—actively and illegally supported a bloody military coup that overthrew the democratically elected government in Chile. A lot, I suppose and hope. But I feel compelled to write not only in order to gently remind History@Work’s audiences of the historical importance of this, but also to draw attention to the public history work that has happened to make it worthy of the international attention that it so rightly deserves—and receives. Continue reading
I recently watched a documentary on, of all things, happiness. The film, “Happy,” focused on the study of happiness (positive psychology) and what makes people happy and when, along with the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute or detract from happiness. One assertion is that being connected to a community or collective, being engaged in social interaction, with something to give and care about makes people happy. The documentary’s happy doctors (Ph.Ds. in psychology) demonstrate that social bonding inhibits self-interest and cooperation (and even competition) induces the better-than-drugs release of dopamine—a natural agent that makes us all smile with weak knees and big hearts.
I suspect that the readers of these words have also questioned happiness or being happy–specifically, being happy with the solitary process that constitutes the core of historians’ identity. Continue reading