Humanities Commentaries on VPR

Peter A. Gilbert's Look at Life through the Humanities

VPR Commentaries

Peter AGilbert

Former Executive Director Peter Gilbert presented commentaries on Vermont Public Radio that examined current and past events from a humanities perspective.

Peter’s commentaries from 2018 and 2017 are listed below. Find older VPR commentaries.

Commentaries from 2018 and 2017

Charlton Heston’s NRA

On Nine-Eleven, 1997, the late actor Charlton Heston, best known for his role as Moses in The Ten Commandments, spoke at the National Press Club on behalf of the NRA. Yes, the NRA had opposed the Brady Bill, but with Heston as its spokesperson, the gloves, or the silencer, came off.

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Looking for Meaning

After the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas that left 26 dead and many wounded, many of us had the same thought: of all places for this to happen – a church, and in the middle of a worship service. One might think a church would provide some shelter from such things.

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What Princeton Needed

These days the needs and priorities of colleges and universities are not always in sync with what some wealthy alumni want to fund. But as Peter Gilbert explains, it’s a trend that’s not exactly new.

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Celestial Visions

The viewing of the solar eclipse reminded Peter Gilbert of his experience viewing Halley’s Comet in January 1986, and the finite nature of life.

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Questions and Answers

When “Enquiring minds want to know” curious things can happen. Peter Gilbert reflects on what it’s like to be on the front line when people go in search of knowledge.

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Reading Frederick Douglass

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass, former slave, eminent abolitionist, and perhaps America’s greatest orator, spoke near his home in Rochester, New York at an event commemorating the Declaration of Independence.

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The Oldest Book in the Americas

Superlatives are rare. The biggest, the best, the oldest – they are unique: there’s only one “biggest.” Superlatives are particularly noteworthy when they relate to something important, something people value, and perhaps collect, like books.

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Love And Need

The frequent news stories these days about the countless hungry and homeless strangers seeking shelter and security, both in Europe and the US, raise the same issues that are raised in Robert Frost’s famous poem “Two Tramps in Mud Time.”

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Information And Intelligence

Two prominent science journals both recently published articles on the same subject, the importance of science and expertise in charting public policy. One of them was written by one of Vermont’s most brilliant and eminent neighbors.

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Investing In Cultural Wealth

The arts and humanities are a large part of our nation’s cultural wealth, part of what makes us a great country. Our nation cannot afford to dispense with the humanities and the arts, especially to save a tiny fraction of the federal budget.

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Eddie Would Go

Every year, between December 1st and the end of February, if winter storms in the North Pacific send really big waves on to the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, then an invitational big wave surfing competition may happen.

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I Was Thinking...

This collection of more than sixty lively essays adapted from Peter’s commentaries on Vermont Public Radio is a perfect book for anyone who enjoys ideas and loves learning.