History and the Heirs of the Republic

“Unfortunately, teaching well doesn’t mean that most kids will enjoy it, certainly not most of the time…. I describe the agony of Valley Forge. I show kids the simple genius of the Constitution. I let them test the principles in the Bill of Rights. I tell them about the Trail of Tears and Dred Scott. I read them Lincoln’s words, ‘charity for all and malice toward none.’ I try to explain how our nation metamorphosed from an international joke to the world’s preeminent power in just slightly more than one hundred years…. | I tell my students I won’t live forever. I tell them to look around the room, that the nation is filled with classrooms just like theirs and students who care just as much or as little as they do. Then I ask how many of them will be ready to inherit the republic.” Peter Berger wages a lonely war against teaching as entertainment. —History and the Heirs of the RepublicIrascible Professor)