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Writing the History of Early America for Children with David Bruce Smith

Historians spend a lot of time thinking about audience. Whether speaking at academic meetings, talking with the general public, or teaching students, we consider how we can best communicate our ideas to different groups. 

So how do we write the history of Early America for a much younger crowd? In a world full of hungry caterpillars and pigeons eager to drive city buses, how do we communicate the complexity of the past to children?

Author David Bruce Smith sits down with Jim Ambuske to discuss his new book, Abigail & John, a portrait of the famous Adams couple from Massachusetts. The inaugural volume in "The Grateful American Book Series," Abigail and John features illustrations by Clarice Smith, David's mother, to tell the story of one of the most important partnerships in American history. 

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About our Guest:

David Bruce Smith is the author of 12 books, and founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation, which is restoring enthusiasm about American history–for kids and adults–through videos, podcasts, and interactive activities.

The Grateful American™ Book Prize promotes excellence in adolescent historical fiction and non-fiction that is focused on the United States since the country’s founding.

In 2019 he launched The Grateful American Book Series; a series of children’s books about historical couples that were–in actuality–partnerships.

About our Host:

Jim Ambuske leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. He received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a focus on Scotland and America in an Age of War and Revolution. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  Ambuske is currently at work on a book entitled Emigration and Empire: America and Scotland in the Revolutionary Era, as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.