Past and Present with Jill Lepore: Parrot Fever Panic of 1930

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Jill Lepore, professor of American history at Harvard, staff writer at The New Yorker and author of The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle Over American History, continues her stint as our weekly guest for the month of May. She will discuss how four past historical moments have influenced the present political and social climate in the United States.

Today's historical moment: The Parrot Fever Panic of 1930


Jill Lepore
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Comments [4]


I worked in lower Manhattan in October 2011. At that time some people were wearing masks while walking outside. At that time, the air was declared to be safe, so they looked rather bizarre. I guess, they knew something the rest did not....

May. 19 2011 11:41 AM

"swine" = dark skin and racist? oh please.

May. 19 2011 11:38 AM

I never bought into that Swine flu epidemic. I thought it was completely overblown.

May. 19 2011 11:38 AM

I guess the main proposition of Ms. Lepore argument is that people are stupid or, at the very least, easily influenced into illogical decisions.

Actually, I am in agreement.

Consider Brian Lehrer show. Just one example.

Last Monday Mr. Lehrer was interviewing Angela Davis, who correctly argued that lack of job opportunities drives underclass into petty crime.

Ms. Davis was followed by Bharati Mukherjee with discussion of outsourcing call centers' jobs to India. These are the types of jobs that anybody with a command of English language could qualify.

Quite incredibly and illogically, Mr. Lehrer was sympathetic to the views of both interviewees.

Of course, the real morons in this story are the middle-class listeners of this show who pay for incarceration of the lower class and who will soon join this class when their jobs are outsourced out of this country.

The rest is history....

May. 19 2011 11:30 AM

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