By Anastasia Czarnecki
Dr. Joseph J. Ellis joined us on Monday to celebrate the fourth of July. He is one of the nation’s foremost scholars of early United States history and has been teaching at Mount Holyoke College. He has a long history of speaking at Great Books Summer Program and every year the campers and PAs alike look forward to hearing his discussions of the founding of our nation.
In his talk on Monday, Joe Ellis gave us the startling statistic that 40% of middle school and high school students don’t know the difference between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, the campers were shocked. He then went on to discuss the common misconceptions circulating about why we celebrate Independence Day on the fourth of July. Many students’ minds were changed by his enlightening talk as they were held in rapt fascination by his jokes and his segment on Jefferson’s religion.
Dr. Joe Ellis has written seven books, including Founding Brothers, which are widely read. His website is: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/facultyprofiles/joseph_ellis.html. The campers at Great Books all really enjoyed the presence of Joe Ellis.