History Lesson 

Since the abject veneration of the rich white men who wrote this nation's first paperwork came into vogue in the late '90s, historian Joseph J. Ellis has been there to provide us with big bestsellers American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation and, more recently, His Excellency: George Washington. Ellis' big misstep came in 2001 (after Founding Brothers won the Pulitzer Prize), when it was discovered he told his students (and The Boston Globe) that he was a platoon leader in Vietnam when he was really teaching at West Point; old news, sure, but so is George Washington. And why call the general of the anti-royal revolution "His Excellency?" Ellis must be onto something — fake war stories aside, he's always been lauded for his scholarship. Ask him anything when he visits the St. Louis County Library Headquarters branch (1640 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Ladue) at 7 p.m. The event is free; call 314-994-3300 for more information.
Wed., Jan. 25

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