The Amos Fortune Forum
The 57th Year
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The Amos Fortune Forum lectures are held in the Meetinghouse located in
Historic Jaffrey Center, 2 miles west of downtown Jaffrey, NH.
(directions from MSN)

Fridays Promptly At 8:00 P.M.
There is no charge for admission.


Why Historic Preservation?


Maximilian L. Ferro will speak on the many reasons that our past still has meaning for our future. He will examine past architectural craftsmanship from the standpoints of quality, cultural meaning, socio-economic significance, technology, personal expression, comfort and just plain fun. While an hour is woefully insufficient to tackle such a topic, Max will endeavor to entertain us while stimulating our curiosity about a rather new sensibility that is making headway not only here, but throughout the world, and yet is still smoldering with hot debates. China, for instance, has not only meticulously restored every corner of the Forbidden City, perhaps the ultimate symbol of Imperialism, but has just finished building an equally meticulous French Wine Country Town. This is not a Disneyland, but the very serious attempted importation of someone else’s culture, to be grafted onto Chinese soil in the pursuit on viniculture.

Max Ferro is a practicing architect, historical architect and architectural historian based in Brandon, Vermont. He heads The Preservation Partnership, a small but very active practice set up in 1977 as New England’s first architectural office to provide multi-disciplinary services in the Historic Preservation field. This practice is still active in the same field, and has unparalleled experience in the restoration and conservation of historic buildings, and in the faithful recreation of historic interiors. Max Ferro established the building conservation components of the graduate Historic Preservation programs at Boston University and the University of Vermont, and was adjunct professor at each university for about 15 years. He has been a frequent visiting lecturer at Harvard, Yale, MIT, and universities throughout the US and Canada. In 1987, together with the Chief Architect of the US Department of the Interior, he shared the honor of becoming one of the first two architects that the American Institute of Architects raised to Fellowship specifically for their contribution to Historic Preservation. Fellowship is the Institute’s highest lifetime career award.

Max Ferro has been the author of many books and learned articles, and his biography has appeared in Who’s Who in America. He relaxes by cooking, studying military history, and traveling with his wife, Janie Young.

    Indiana Jones? Classical Archeologist Spies against the Nazis in World War II Greece

Was there truth behind the cinema blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? Susan Heuck Allen’s latest book, Classical Spies, is the first insider account of an archaeologist-led secret American intelligence service in World War II Greece. This network drew on scholars’ personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain and involved such unacademic pursuits as burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep school connections to establish spies code-named Vulture and Chickadee, and organizing parachute drops. Based in Egypt, Cyprus, Turkey and Italy, the diggers fought to rid Greece of its Nazi occupiers. Dr. Allen conducted extensive in-person interviews, shadowed spies, and sleuthed in archives on three continents to piece together this true account of intrigue and espionage, the “extracurricular” activities of her professors’ generation during and after the Second World War.

Susan Heuck Allen earned an AB in History from Smith and an MA and PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Cincinnati and Brown University respectively. She has swum the Hellespont and excavated in Cyprus, Israel, Turkey, and Greece. In 1999 she addressed the forum on her first book, Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik. A visiting scholar in the Department of Classics at Brown University, Allen has taught at Yale University and Smith College and currently teaches in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Science at the Rhode Island School of Design. She and her family summer in Harrisville on Silver Lake.


The Business of Baseball – An Inside Look at Running the Red Sox


When Fenway Sports Group acquired the Boston Red Sox in December of 2001 the current ownership group made five fundamental commitments to its fans: 1) to field a team worthy of the fans’ support, 2) to preserve all that’s good about Fenway Park and to take that experience to a higher level, 3) to market aggressively to a new, broad region, 4) to be active participants in the community, and 5) to end the “Curse of the Bambino” and bring home World Championships for Boston, New England, and Red Sox Nation.

Sam Kennedy, currently EVP/Chief Operating Officer of the Red Sox, was one of the first executives enlisted by ownership to fulfill those goals. Beyond the club’s two World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, Kennedy has been an instrumental part of the revitalization of the Red Sox brand, the financial stability of the franchise, and the preservation and protection of Fenway Park. Perhaps most importantly, the Red Sox Foundation has grown into the largest charitable foundation in Major League Baseball, having donated more than $50 million to the New England community since 2002.

Kennedy will discuss the excitement, passion and complexity of the business of baseball. Moreover, he will offer insights into how the business extends beyond the Red Sox. Kennedy and his staff have transformed Fenway into one of the biggest tourist destinations in New England, while also establishing it as a premier venue for non-baseball events such as concerts, outdoor hockey games, soccer matches and corporate functions. He also helped to create Fenway Sports Management, an international sports sales representation agency, and was a key member of the Fenway Sports Group team that acquired 100% of Liverpool Football Club in 2010.

Kennedy, a native of Brookline, MA, is a three-time recipient of Sports Business Journal’s Forty under 40 Award, placing him in the company of the most influential and creative young professionals in the business of sports. He serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Governor’s Committee for Physical Fitness and Sports, the Wellesley Youth Hockey Association, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Sam and his wife of thirteen years, Amanda, reside in Wellesley, MA with their nine-year-old son, Jimmy, and eight-year-old daughter, Ally.

    What is it Like to Grow Up as the Daughter of a Spy?

Sara Mansfield Taber will talk about her memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name: The Memoir of a Cold War Spy’s Daughter, which portrays the thrilling and confusing life of a girl growing up abroad in a world of secrecy and diplomacy—and the heavy toll it takes on her and her father. Sara struggles for normalcy as the family is relocated to cities in North America, Europe, and Asia, and the constant upheaval eventually exacts its price. Only after a psychiatric hospitalization at age sixteen in a U.S. Air Force hospital with shell-shocked Vietnam War veterans does she come to a clear sense of who she is. Meanwhile, Sara’s sweet-natured, philosophical covert operative father becomes increasingly disillusioned with his work, his agency, and his country. Sara Mansfield Taber will read from her memoir and offer a rare personal perspective on the world of intelligence, its moral perplexities, and the effects of espionage on a spy and his family.

Sara Mansfield Taber holds degrees from Carleton College, the University of Washington, and Harvard. In addition to her memoir, she has published Dusk on the Campo: A Journey in Patagonia and Bread of Three Rivers: The Story of a French Loaf. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post and been produced for public radio. A past William Sloane Fellow in Nonfiction for the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, she has taught at several universities across the country. She currently teaches at the Bethesda Writer’s Center, and offers free-lance editing, coaching, and workshops in the U.S. and abroad.

    The Opportunity Gap: Reviving the American Dream

The American Dream of equal opportunity is threatened by a growing gap between kids from the upper third of the social hierarchy and their peers from the lower third. Over the last several decades young people from college-educated homes and those from high-school educated homes have diverged on many factors predicting life success: Two-parent homes, parental investments of time and money, test scores, physical health, participation in extracurricular and religious activities, school quality, college entrance and completion. Kids from low-income homes of all races are increasingly adrift from family, school, church, and community institutions, in a perfect storm with multiple causes: economic insecurity and stress, the collapse of the working class family, and the unraveling fabric in low-income neighborhoods. This problem poses serious economic, social, political and moral challenges.

Jaffrey resident Robert Putnam is Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association.  He has written fourteen books, translated into more than twenty languages, including Bowling Alone and Making Democracy Work, among the most cited publications in the social sciences in the last half century. His latest book (with David Campbell), American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, won the 2011 Woodrow Wilson award for best book in political science. He has consulted with the last three American presidents, the last three British prime ministers, the last French president, and hundreds of grassroots leaders here and abroad.

  August 16 JOSEPH S. NYE
    20th Century American Presidents and Foreign Policy

With China emerging as a new world power and with India and Brazil waiting in the wings, what role will the United States play in the 21st century and what factors will shape that role? Would America have become the dominant country in the 20th century regardless of who was president? To what extent did leaders matter, and if so, what kind of leader? Were “transformational” leaders like Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan more important than ”transactional” leaders like Dwight Eisenhower and the first Bush? What lessons can be drawn for presidents and foreign policy in the future by examining the record of the 20th century?

Joseph Nye is a uniquely qualified person to answer these questions, based on research for a book on these topics and rich experience in public service and a lifetime of outstanding academic achievements. After graduating in Political Science at Princeton University, he studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard University where he became a professor and served in numerous academic functions, most recently as Dean of the Kennedy School. He has written numerous groundbreaking works that have had a deep impact on political science and political thinking, for example his book on soft power. He is now one of the most influential and quoted scholars in the USA. He has also been actively involved in policy making serving in the Carter and Clinton administrations as Undersecretary of State, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Assistant Secretary of Defense.

Joseph Nye is currently a Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor. His summer residence is in Sandwich, NH.

  August 23 JAMES J. McCARTHY

What the Oceans are Telling Us about Climate Change


What is happening to our climate? Well-established science based upon measurements of temperature for the surface of Earth, the lower atmosphere and the surface ocean all point to unusual warming over the past half century. Opportunities for confusion have arisen, however, when attention has focused on short-term trends, such as year-to-year variations, or brief cool periods. Is Earth really warming in predictable ways? James J. McCarthy will share new information from deep-sea temperature data, multi-year climate cycles, and rapid changes in Arctic ice, providing additional perspective on the seriousness of climate change.

Dr. McCarthy is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography at Harvard University. His work has focused on the regulation of plankton productivity in the sea particularly in regions that are strongly affected by seasonal and inter-annual variation in climate. He is also committed to engaging scientists in developing countries to address the critical intersections of science and policy, and to make science more accessible to nonscientists. He chaired the inaugural committee that launched the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, and he was the founding editor of the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, which has been a successful venue for publishing results of research that span broad areas of the Earth sciences relating to global change. He has been an author for regional, national, and global climate change assessments, was vice chair of the Northeast Climate Impacts Assessment, and headed the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II assessment of impacts and vulnerabilities relating to climate change.

Dr. McCarthy’s honors include election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has received the New England Aquarium’s David B. Stone award for distinguished service to the environment and the community and the Museum of Science Walker Prize for meritorious published scientific investigation and discovery. He is past president and chair of the Board of Directors of the AAAS. He is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists. He has a home in Francestown.


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