Noon Programs

IMPORTANT: As with so many things that have had to be adjusted, the Noon Programs that have been presented at the main branch in the McChesney room will now be presented as Zoom meetings for the foreseeable future due to Covid-19.

At the end of each program description there is a link to sign on via Zoom. Each program begins at noon on the date noted.

****For the Q&A section of this program, we will be utilizing Zoom’s RAISE HAND feature. Before you join this program, please make sure that you have read through the web article linked below on how to use RAISE HAND for the device you will be using to participate in this ZOOM program. Please click here to learn the procedure. ****

Geri Mulligan, Coordinator

History Series
November 2020

November 2   Schenectady and the 1920 Election: Women Cast Their Vote for President.”  County historian Bill Buell will discuss the 1920 presidential election in Schenectady County, when for the first time women in New York had the opportunity to vote for president. Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 854 0511 1922

November 9   “How the War Was Won: Schenectady During WWII.” City historian Chris Leonard looks at Schenectady’s contribution to the war effort, including the manufacturing prowess demonstrated by General Electric and the American Locomotive Company. Click here for Zoom link  Meeting ID: 860 2492 8200

November 16  ”Kurt Vonnegut in Alplaus”. Jessica Polmateer, historian of the hamlet of Alplaus, looks at the life and career of writer Kurt Vonnegut, who lived in Alplaus in from 1947-1951 while  working for GE. Click here for Zoom link. Meeting ID 340 506 1738

November 23   “Confronting Contagion in Schenectady, New York: From Smallpox to Covid.” Brothers Martin and James Strosberg discuss their soon to be published book documenting Schenectady’s long medical history, including the work of physician and former mayor Charles Duryea in the early 20th century.  Click here for Zoom link
Meeting ID 340 506 1738

December 7.   “Schenectady Genesis, Volume II: the Creation of an American City from an Anglo-Dutch Colonial Town, ca.,1760-1800″ Local attorney and  historian John Gearing will discuss his new book, which looks at Schenectady during the tumultuous final four decades of the 18th century, including two wars and it’s incorporation as a city in 1798.  Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID 340 506 1738

Books Sandwiched In, Winter 2021
Coordinated by Cathy Lewis

January 4: Financial Exclusion: How Competition Can Fix a Broken System, by Robert E. Wright, presented by Brad Lewis. Wright’s synopsis on p. 1 reveals his well-supported but unorthodox view: “This book is about financial exclusion, discrimination, and predation . . . Its main goal is to persuade readers, via an historical narrative informed by economic theory, that the best way to combat financial discrimination is through the encouragement of new entrants, not top-down regulation.” After describing the evolution of the complex U.S. financial system, he focuses on four groups discriminated against: African-Americans, our “First Peoples,” “White Trash,” and women. Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738

January 11: Piglet’s Process: Process Theology for All God’s Children, by Bruce G. Epperly, presented by Bill Levering. This critique by Dr. Levering will look at the content of this charming short book and the problems of the use of myth to explain things. This will be a good review for folks unfamiliar with Process Theology and a cautionary tale about the interplay of mythos and logos.Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738

January18 – no program, Martin Luther King holiday

January 25: Colors of the Mountain, by Da Chen, presented by Rosaline Horowitz. In writing this memoir, Mr. Chen shares the intimate details of his struggles to succeed while growing up in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  His words have inspired readers to continue on their own journeys, no matter how difficult the road might be.  The review will be presented as a tribute to this beloved Chinese American author.Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738

February 1: The Deficit Myth, by Stephanie Kelton, presented by George Wise. The Deficit Myth is a non-technical presentation of a version of economics called Modern Monetary Theory.  That theory makes some very unconventional assertions: for example that “in almost all instances deficits are good for the economy,” that “the idea that taxes pay for what the government spends is pure fantasy,” and that, counter to what you may have heard, deficits do not crowd out private investment, do not put the U.S. at the mercy of China, and do not endanger the future of Social Security. The author, Stephanie Kelton, is one of the creators of Modern Monetary Theory, a Professor of Economics at SUNY-Stony Brook, and an economic advisor to the Biden campaign team.Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738

February 8: The Reconstruction Presidents, by Brooks D. Simpson, presented by Rob Dickson.In this work, author Brooks Simpson, a very well published author on the subject, looks at Reconstruction from the perspectives of Presidents Lincoln, Johnson, Grant, and Hayes. It deals with the nearly intractable, hopelessly thorny national problem of just how should America become one country again after a terrible Civil War without carrying the scars forever. Simpson looks closely into the manner in which these four presidents handled the re-knitting of the political and social national fabric and finds that their own personal styles had a great deal to do with their successes and failures. Simpson shines light on a poorly understood, but critical era of American history whose echoes can be heard today.Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738

February 15: no program, Presidents Day

February 22:  The Searcher, by Tana French, presented by Paul O’Brien. In this novel, Cal Hooper, after serving twenty-five years on the Chicago police force, begins a new life in Ireland, one he hopes is [will be?] marked by peace and ordinary routines.  It is not long, however, before he is caught in a mystery that will test his best detective skills. Click here for Zoom link Meeting ID: 340 506 1738