Living History #299

Philosopher George Santayana is remembered for having said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” During times of turmoil, we do well to recall how we got to be where we are. Today we speak with career journalist Douglas Rooks about his book Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possibleand with Dr. Christopher Petrella, whose academic career has explored questions at the intersection of race, criminality, and citizenship.


Douglas Rooks

Douglas Rooks is a career journalist who worked at weekly and daily newspapers for 25 years. He was the editor of the Granite State News in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, editorial page editor for the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, and editor and publisher of Maine Times. Since the turn of the century, he has been a freelance editor, writer, and author, covering Maine state government, and specializing in environmental issues, public education, municipal affairs, and tax policy. His biweekly political column runs in four daily newspapers in Maine and New Hampshire. He is a graduate magna cum laude of Colby College, and former board president of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Augusta. He lives with his wife in a 210-year-old farmhouse in West Gardiner. Statesman is his first book.

Christopher Petrella

Christopher Petrella teaches at Bates College and explores questions at the intersection of race, criminality, and citizenship. He also serves as associate director of programs for the college’s Office of Equity and Diversity. Christopher’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Boston Review, and The New Yorker. His research has appeared on ESPN and NPR and has been debated in the U.S. House of Representatives. He blogs regularly for the African American Intellectual Historical Society and is completing his first book on the history of white supremacy in 20th-century New England. In addition, Christopher volunteers as a program coordinator for Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp for youth. He holds degrees from Bates College, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Christopher and his partner, Martha, live in Portland.