In the late 1960s, Barry Commoner and the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems became involved in an ambitious, federally funded effort to understand the ecology of the sewer rat, and then kill it. That project’s failure at a moment of heightened political radicalism reveals how the rat-human relationship can highlight histories of economic injustice. With a major reprocessing of the Barry Commoner Papers now complete, those stories, and more, emerge with far greater clarity.
Join us for a conversation between Kluge Staff Fellow and historian Julie Miller and historian Bruce Ragsdale, whose recent book on George Washington explores the first president's relationship with farming and slavery and draws on the George Washington Papers held by the Manuscript Division.
Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1825-1908) was one of the longest-serving Librarians of Congress. But in 1861 he was uncertain about living in Washington, and busily covering the Civil War as a journalist. His letters home tell the tale.