Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Making of Alan Caron, independent candidate for Maine governor

There's a four-way race to replace Maine Governor Paul LePage, and I've been writing in-depth profiles of each of the contenders for the Maine Sunday Telegram -- pieces that ask who they are, where they came from, and what shaped their world view.

The latest is on one of the two independents in the race, Alan Caron, whose life has included an eight-month prison term, brushes with militant radicals, successful community organizing, a career as a leading campaign strategist and proselytizer for an innovation-led "new Maine economy."

It follows last week's story on Democratic nominee Janet Mills and a one on Republican nominee Shawn Moody the week before that. The series concludes with independent Terry Hayes on Sept. 30.

Hope you enjoy.

I last wrote detailed profiles of Maine statewide candidates for the Press Herald during the 2012 US Senate race, which was won by Angus King (I), currently Maine's junior senator.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Big in Japan, Part III: the tour

Iwanami Shoten, the Tokyo based publisher, released a beautifully-executed two-volume Japanese language edition of American Nations a year ago, resulting in an enjoyable in-person interview here in Maine with the New York bureau chief of the daily Asahi Shimbun a few months later.

Now I'm headed to Japan to go on tour, so to speak. Like Wham!, but without George Michaels. Or music. Or the stadium-sized crowds of adoring fans. Ok, not much like that, but still fun.

On September 25, I'll be on a keynote panel at the Asahi Forum 2018 in Tokyo, discussing the populist threat to liberal democracies with fellow presenters Pascal Perrineau (foremost researcher on France's National Front), Masaru Sato (a former intelligence analyst at the Japanese Foreign Ministry) and Princeton's Jan-Werner Muller (author of What is Populism?).

If you are missing the Forum -- registration is now closed -- I will also be presenting on American Nations in two university colloquia that are open to the public.

The first is September 26 at 5 pm at the University of Tokyo's Center for Pacific and American Studies, at their Kombaba campus. Details can be found here.

The following day, September 27 at 4:40 pm, I'll be giving the same talk in Kyoto at Doshisha University's International Institute for American Studies on their Karasuma campus. Details in the attached image:



Hope to see you there.





Monday, September 17, 2018

The Making of Janet Mills, Democratic nominee for Maine governor

With Paul LePage term limited, there's a competitive race for Maine Governor this fall. Over the late summer, I've been at work on a series of in-depth profiles of the four general election candidates seeking to replace him -- pieces that ask who they are, where they came from, and what shaped their world view.

The latest is on Democratic nominee Janet Mills and appears in this week's Maine Sunday Telegram. It traces her origins in a western Maine political family closely allied to the late US Senator Margaret Chase Smith through a half-century career in public service as a criminal prosecutor, district attorney, legislator, women's rights advocate, and attorney general.

It follows last week's story on Republican nominee Shawn Moody. The series continues with independent Alan Caron (on Sept. 23); and independent Terry Hayes (on Sept. 30.)

Hope you enjoy.

I last wrote detailed profiles of Maine statewide candidates for the Press Herald during the 2012 US Senate race, which was won by Angus King (I), currently Maine's junior senator.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Speaking on Maine's identity, history, future in Blue Hill, Sept. 16

I'll be speaking on coastal Maine's cultural and economic background in Blue Hill, Maine next Sunday, September 16 at the Esther Wood Room of George Stevens Academy.

The talk -- entitled "Four Centuries of Coastal Maine Lives and Livelihoods" is sponsored by Colloquy Downeast in collaboration with six local partners, including the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries the Ellsworth American, Brooklin Keeping Society, the Wilson Museum, and the Sedgwick-Brooklin Historical Society. These are themes I explore in the second of my books, The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier.

It kicks off at 3pm. Tickets are $5 at the door and include a light reception following the talk. There's a write-up in the American this week.

My next public talk thereafter is on the other side of the world: on American Nations at the 2018 Asahi World Forum in Tokyo September 25. Free book and a sake for anyone who makes both of these events in person.



Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Making of Shawn Moody, GOP nominee for Maine governor


Maine's bombastic governor, Paul LePage, is term limited and leaves office early next year. Over the past six weeks I've been at work on a series of in-depth profiles of the four general election candidates seeking to replace him -- pieces that ask who they are, where they came from, and what shaped their world view.

The first is on Republican nominee Shawn Moody and appears in today's Maine Sunday Telegram, tracing his ascent from the 12-year old kid left alone for a month after his mother was sent to the state mental institution to a self-made millionaire who vanquished three more experienced Republican figures to put the keys to the Blaine House within reach.

The remainder of the series rolls out like this: Democratic nominee Janet Mills (on Sept. 16); independent Alan Caron (on Sept. 23); and independent Terry Hayes (on Sept. 30.) [Updated this with links as available.]

Hope you enjoy.

I last wrote detailed profiles of Maine statewide candidates for the Press Herald during the 2012 US Senate race, which was won by Angus King (I), currently Maine's junior senator.




Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Talking American Nations with Maine Public radio's Maine Calling


I was the guest for yesterday's edition of "Maine Calling," the hour-long interview and call-in program of Maine Public radio, talking about the American Nations, their implications for US politics, and the ways in which the transcend the country's rural-vs-urban divide. (The latter the subject of this New York Times Opinion piece two weeks ago.)

The segment -- with some excellent questions from fellow Mainers calling in -- is now also available for online listening at this link.

Thanks again to Maine Public for having me on.

My next public talk in Maine is at the Colloquy Downeast in Blue Hill September 16 (on Lobster Coast themes).


Monday, August 13, 2018

Speaking on the Scots-Irish legacy in Maine and the nation, Aug. 14, Brunswick, Maine

This is the 300th anniversary of the coming of the Scots-Irish to New England and to mark the occasion, there's a multi-day conference taking place this week at Bowdoin College sponsored by the Maine Ulster Scots Project.

The 2018 Diaspora Conference and Reunion opens tomorrow morning, August 14 at Bowdoin's Kresge Hall and continues through Thursday, with presentations from scholars on both sides of the Atlantic.

I'm pleased to be giving the opening keynote Tuesday night on the impact of the Scots-Irish migration on both Maine and North America, issues I wrote about in some detail in The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier and American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America respectively. I'm preceded by Norman Houston, director of the Northern Ireland Bureau, the diplomatic mission of that part of the UK to the US and Canada.

Conference information can be found here.

At 1 pm tomorrow I'm also speaking about the political ramifications of American Nations in Maine Public radio's live interview and call-in program, "Maine Calling." Tune in if you can.