Published in the March 27, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — The 2017 Sweetser Lecture Series gets underway on Wednesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., with Larry Tye speaking on “Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal.”
The program will be at The Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield Memorial High School, 60 Farm St., Wakefield.
The venue is handicapped accessible. Admission is $10 at the door; $25 for a ticket good for all three Lectures in this year’s Series. Students are admitted for $5.
This program is dedicated as the Serena Murley Memorial Lecture. The late Mrs. Murley revived the Sweetser Lecture Series about 30 years ago after about 40 years of neglect. The series was begun in the 1880s through a bequest in the will of Cornelius Sweetser, a wealthy shoe manufacturer in Wakefield. Sweetser’s will provided a fund to educate and uplift the citizens of Wakefield.
The current series is aided by a generous grant from The Savings Bank of Wakefield. Net proceeds from the lectures are donated every year to local Wakefield charities, such as the Interfaith Food Pantry and Wakefield beneficiaries of the Salvation Army.
Tye is a New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book is a biography of Robert F. Kennedy, the former attorney general, U.S. Senator, and Presidential candidate. His book explores RFK’s extraordinary transformation from cold warrior to fiery leftist. Tye’s first book, “The Father of Spin,” is a biography of public relations pioneer Edward L. Bernays. His “Home Lands” looks at the Jewish renewal underway from Boston to Buenos Aires.
“Rising from the Rails” explores how the black men who worked on George Pullman’s railroad sleeping cars helped kick-start the Civil Rights movement and gave birth to today’s African-American middle class.
“Shock,” a collaboration with Kitty Dukakis, is a journalist’s first-person account of electro-convulsive therapy.
“Satchel” is the biography of two American icons, Satchel Paige and Jim Crow.
In addition to his writing, Tye runs the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship, which helps the media do a better job of reporting on critical issues like public health, mental health, and high-tech medicine. The organization trains dozens of medical journalists a year from many media outlets.
From 1986 to 2001 Tye was an award-winning reporter at The Boston Globe, where his primary beat was medicine. He also served as the Globe’s environmental reporter, investigative reporter, roving national writer and sports writer.
Tye, who graduated from Brown University, was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and taught journalism at Boston University, Northeastern, and Tufts.
This year’s series continues on April 12 with Stephanie Schorow offering “Trial by Fire: The Cocoanut Grove and Other Boston Fire Tragedies.” Then on May 3, Steve Puleo will speak about the subject of his latest book, “American Treasures: The Secret Efforts to Save the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address.”
Both lectures will be at the same time in the same place.