Founding Feathers

The best July 4th collab

I’ll be in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Kai Bird about his new book, The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter at the New York Public Library’s Live at Bryant Park series on Wednesday, July 7th, 5-6pm. Becca Andrews interviewed me for a feature on You Never Forget Your First in Mother Jones and Caity Weaver for a New York Times article on meetings. 

Many of the founders look like birds. That’s the sort of thing you think about when you spend too much time with them, but the past year—dominated by Covid-19, The Big Lie, and the Capitol Insurrection—hasn’t left much space for me to add to this list or indulge weirder ideas. This 4th of July, when the media asks me to make historical connections to the present, will be no different, so let’s have a bit of fun here.

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I’ve covered the big ticket founders, but there are plenty who still need a fowl friend, including John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee, John Dickinson, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Rush, George Mason, John Marshall and Thomas Paine. Birders, I want to hear from you but I want obviously wrong, terrible answers, too! Please leave suggestions below in the comments, open to all.

This post was updated to include Thomas Paine because he complained about being ignored on Twitter. (If I was Washington, I’d let him rot in there.)

See you next week! Until then, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram, and SMK titles on Bookshop and Amazon.