David McCullough: Historian to Speak at Bates College May 28 Commencement

Historians in the News

LEWISTON, Maine, March 28 (AScribe Newswire) -- Four honorary degree recipients will speak at the 140th commencement at Bates on May 28. They are Shakespearean scholar and cultural critic Marjorie Garber, AIDS researcher David Ho, historian David McCullough and choreographer Mark Morris. The 10 a.m. commencement ceremony takes place on the historic quad in front of Coram Library.

A writer of acclaimed, best-selling histories and distinctive narrator for television and film, David McCullough is a two-time winner of both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize who has been called a "master of the art of narrative history." His books, including his latest, "1776" (Simon & Schuster, 2005) are praised for their rigorous scholarship, insight into American life, and literary merit. McCullough's ability to infuse accounts of the American past with a writer's enthusiasm for storytelling has made him "the people's historian," according to The New York Times. He once told a reporter about "the accelerative quality of curiosity" and he writes: "[T]he more you find out, the more you want to find out and that's a great time ... boy, it's wonderful!"

The citation for his 1998 honorary degree from Yale, where he earned his B.A. in 1955, notes that McCullough "paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe and, above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement and moral character." His seven other books, none of which has ever been out of print, are "The Johnstown Flood," "The Great Bridge," "The Path between the Seas," "Mornings on Horseback," "Brave Companions," "Truman" and "John Adams," the latter two receiving a Pulitzer Prize, in 1993 and 2002, respectively. McCullough is twice winner of the prestigious Francis Parkman Prize. He has been honored with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal and the New York Public Library's Literary Lion Award. He is past president of the Society of American Historians, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is an avid landscape painter. As host of "The American Experience" and as narrator of numerous documentaries, such as "The Civil War," and of the movie "Seabiscuit," he employs a voice The New York Times calls "three parts honey, two parts gravitas .... It is the voice of God, only friendlier." McCullough will receive the hononary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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