Angus King/Jennifer Finney Boylan interview: complete text

I interviewed Maine Independent Senatorial candidate Angus King on June 8, 2012.  An op/ed column based on this interview ran in the New York Times on June 12.  Below is the opening of the interview.  The full conversation can be read here.

Gov. Angus King: Okay.  Let’s go.

Jenny Boylan: Let’s talk about Chamberlain.  The last time I saw you, which I think was the summer of ’09 or it might’ve been ’10.

Gov. Angus King: And I read his speech.

Jenny Boylan: Passing of the Armies. Well, you have this thing for him.  For the record, what qualities about Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain do you admire?

Gov. Angus King: Well, I’ll start with the last item on my list of leadership qualities, because I think it’s the most important, and it’s the hardest to define.  He was a man of immense character.  It’s a hard term to define but it involves honesty and integrity, adherence to principle, courage, willingness to take risks, and the more you read about him and study him, the more you realize that was what defined him.

I teach my students, however, that quite often people’s best qualities can also be their worst qualities, and adherence to principle and passionate commitment to ideals can lap over into rigidity, and Chamberlain had some problems when he was president of Bowdoin, for example, because he got into a conflict.  The entire student body was expelled at one point.

Jenny Boylan: Actually, not that that’s necessarily a bad idea, speaking as a professor.  It does make the grading easier.

Gov. Angus King: But he was a man of such integrity, and everybody in Maine knows the story of Little Round Top, but there are other stories about him that are equally important and I think revealing.  One is the gubernatorial election of 1880, which is a fascinating chapter, where the election results were so close – and he wasn’t running.  He had been governor 13 years before.  But the results were so close that nobody knew who had won.  It was like Florida in 2000.

And there were actually armed mobs in the state, in Augusta, in Bangor, on behalf of the two candidates, and it was almost a civil war within the state.  Nobody knew what to do, and so they called Chamberlain to come and… (read rest of the interview here.)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • The Boylan Family, summer 2010

    DSC_0063 "You hang around our family, you learn all kinds of stuff."
  • Will Forte as Jennifer Finney Boylan on “Saturday Night Live”

    WiFo-Jennifer Finney Boylan-1
  • Jenny with Barbara Walters, December, 2008

    wawa
  • Jenny atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin

    2036947979_34bfbec240 August, 2002.
  • Surrounded

    boylanWith President Clinton and Maine's Governor John Baldacci, fall 2006.
  • JFB and Edward Albee

    edward_albee_by_fred_j_field-150x150

    Edward had been my teacher at Johns Hopkins in the winter of 1986. He visited Colby in fall, 2007. As we took our leave of each other, he kissed me on both cheeks and said, "We have done well. You and I."

  • Jenny and her teacher, the great John Barth

    Boylan_Barth

    Jack was my professor at JHU when I did my thesis, back in the day. After many years, I can now confidently say I finally understand his definition of plot. Which is, of course, "the perturbation of an unstable homeostatic system and its catastrophic restoration to a new and complexified equilibrium."