Here’s an interview with Richard Brookhiser on his new book James Madison, conducted by NR’s DC intern Betsy Woodruff and published in the current issue of The Collegian, the student newspaper at Hillsdale College. An excerpt:
Do you have any advice for young people who want to be historians or biographers?
Well, I came at it in two odd ways. I was an English major, and my background is journalism. But I think those were good preparation. English major, because you learn how to write, you learn how to read, and that helps you figure out when something else is going on in the head of the person who’s writing something. Maybe there’s second thoughts there and that shows in how the prose changes character, and that’s always something to watch. And the journalism, you know, all these guys are politicians. They were great men, but they were also doing the stuff that Romney and Perry and Cain and Obama and Biden are all doing to each other, stabs in the back and favors and this that and the other thing, and that all goes on. So it’s good to know that. You’re not shocked when you figure it out.