Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

David McCullough: Pittsburgh to Pulitzer

Question: Who are you?

David McCullough: I am David McCullough and I am an author. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the city with great view to see and to learn from, lot of history. My family had settled there before the revolutionary war which is tried for most many people who imagine. It must have been and was virtually the frontier then and I have always loved books and I have always loved hearing people tell stories, like to tell them myself and I think that the opportunities of Pittsburgh in that day in public school particularly to explore the arts and to take advantage of the wonderful Art Gallery and Natural History Museum and Public Library that were combined into the Carnegie library complex, had a great effect on my interest in lot of things. I was fortunate that I went to good schools, fortunate that I went to a very great university, Yale University, where I was an English major and I came out of Yale knowing that I had to face the decisions of what to do with my life, tough problem for every body at that stage and I had about seven things I wanted to do and I couldn’t make up my mind, so I thought I will just go to New York and some thing will happen and I was very eager to get to New York and some thing did happen. I warmed up getting a job as a very junior, very low employee in the training program, in the new magazine called Sports Illustrated and it was working there at time and life publications for the next six years. Because I learned about being edited and learned not only to take editing and take the advice of good editors. But learned how to edit my self and that is the hardest thing for any writer to learn, how to edit yourself and I then went on to answer the call of President Kennedy, what one can do for one’s country rather than what one’s country can do for you. I took it very much to heart and quit my job and went to Washington and wound up working for the US Information Agency, had a very exciting time, because the agency was being run by the great Edward. R. Murrow and that in many ways was the turning point in my life, because it was then in Washington. Quite by chance that I discovered some material about the terrible Jonstown Flood of 1889 when the dam broken mountains of western Pennsylvania and destroyed an entire city. Taking the lives of some 2500 people that I decided to try and write a book about it. I did not have any experience in writing a book. I had never done historical research but I found that I not only could do it but I loved doing it. I found what I wanted to do with my life and I have tried to, I tried then to write the kind of book about the subject that I wanted to read that I would like to read and in a way that has been what I have been doing ever since.

 

Recorded on: 3/3/08

New York made things happen.

The “new normal” paradox: What COVID-19 has revealed about higher education

Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?

Photo: Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
  • It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
  • COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
Keep reading Show less

How Hemingway felt about fatherhood

Parenting could be a distraction from what mattered most to him: his writing.

Ernest Hemingway Holding His Son 1927 (Wikimedia Commons)
Culture & Religion

Ernest Hemingway was affectionately called “Papa," but what kind of dad was he?

Keep reading Show less

The biology of aliens: How much do we know?

Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.

Videos
  • Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
  • "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
  • In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Quantcast