On Burr, Mirrors and Portraits

On Burr, Mirrors and Portraits[1]

I’ve just finished rereading Gore Vidal’s Burr.

Like so many biographies and good historical novels of the “Founding Fathers”, it paints a portrait very different than that taught to our American citizens, so much more accurate and realistic; one that might help us really know and understand who we are and why we’re the way we are.

Recently, when talking to a class I teach on United States Studies, I expressed to my political science students how important it is to be realists if we’re to solve real problems, and a metaphor came to mind which I used:

“We need to look into mirrors, not beautiful portraits designed to hide all our faults.”

[1] © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2011; all rights reserved