Adapted from What So Proudly We Hail provides background materials and discussion questions to enhance your understanding and stimulate conversation about “To Build A Fire.” After learning about the author, Jack London, read his story. After discussing or thinking about the questions, click on the videos to hear editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass converse with guest host William Schambra (Hudson Institute) about the story.
Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) was a former slave who became the greatest abolitionist orator of the antebellum period. During the Civil War he worked tirelessly for the emancipation of the four million enslaved African Americans. In the decades after the war, he was the most influential African American leader in the nation.
On April 11, 1898, two months after the battleship U.S.S. Maine was destroyed by an explosion in Havana harbor, President McKinley sent a message to Congress requesting authority to use the U.S. armed forces to end a brutal civil war in the Spanish colony of Cuba.
Perhaps the best-known pilgrim in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is Alisoun, the Wife of Bath. The Wife's fame derives from Chaucer's deft characterization of her as a brassy, bawdy woman—the very antithesis of virtuous womanhood—who challenges the prevailing gender inequality of the times.