‘Quite the jewel’ – honoring David Blight and his new Douglass biography

‘Quite the jewel’ – honoring David Blight and his new Douglass biography
December 12, 2018

Ta-Nehisi Coates — bestselling author and distinguished writer in residence at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute — confessed to a packed Yale Art Gallery auditorium that he first became aware of Yale historian David Blight around 2008 while seeking educationally enriching background audio for his steady videogaming habit.

Coates had an intense interest in Civil War history and began looking for the best recorded university lecture courses on the subject. He soon stumbled upon the then newly published Yale Open Courses audio for Blight’s renowned Yale class, “The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877.” Listening to Blight’s lectures “altered my path as a journalist and as a writer,” said Coates. He added that he even credits this audited course with inspiring three out of the eight essays collected in his own most recently published book, “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” (2017).

Full article can be found at Yale News here: https://news.yale.edu/2018/12/12/quite-jewel-honoring-david-blight-and-his-new-douglass-biography

Written by Kendall Teare, Assistant Communications Officer, Yale University