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ThinkForum: Jill Lepore (2018): Discussion Questions

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Discussion Questions

1. Dr. Lepore's works are known both for their academic rigor, as well as for an engaging writing style that has made them such a success outside of purely academic readers. What kinds of considerations do you think a researcher has to think about in order to write serious academic works that have such a broad public readership?  

2. How do Dr. Lepore's choice of historical subjects in her books relate to issues and themes in contemporary American culture? 

3. In writing about history, historians must decide what time period to cover - when to begin and when to end. In "Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin" Lepore chose to begin the story centuries before Jane Franklin was born. In "The Secret History of Wonder Woman" Lepore ended in the 1970s even though she could have gone up to the present day.  Why do you think Dr. Lepore might have made those decisions about time periods, and how do you think that when to begin or end changes the narrative?