The Best Thing I Read Today

From a New Yorker article (“Our Town” by Jill Lepore, April 2, 2007) on the Jamestown colony and the questionable veracity of the legendary Captain John Smith (who wrote an impossibly boastful memoir called True Travels):

“Philip Barbour, a linguist and former intelligence officer, scoured archives across Eastern Europe, where he was able to corroborate an astonishing number of details in Smith’s True Travels. All manner of additional research – including a successful re-creation, by the Boy Scouts of Graz, Austria, of a mountaintop torch-message system that Smith had described but which had never before been tested – further supported the Captain’s credibility.”

My opinion of the Boy Scouts, which is still scarred by their homophobic policies, is buoyed by the idea that somewhere in the world, troops are wholeheartedly verifying 400-year-old memoirs.

One Response so far.

  1. kookie says:

    I also am leery of the Boy Scouts (not only because of their stance on homosexuality but also atheism), but what you describe is kinda cool.

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