Dr. Donald Schwartz
Professor Emeritus of History at California State University Long Beach
“America’s First Superhero: Harry Houdini” an Evening Taus Lecture, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 7:30
Houdini was a ferociously driven Jewish Hungarian-American who escaped poverty by hurling himself from bridges in handcuffs and straitjackets, became an international superstar, turned savagely on his mentor, feuded with siblings, cheated with the widow of Jack London, piloted Australia’s first powered flight, and waged a war of rationalism against Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s psychic army before dying from a ruptured appendix nine days after a student caught the great magician unawares with gut punches.
Dr. Donald Schwartz is a professor emeritus of history at California State University Long Beach where he taught for more than twenty years. His research interests include the experience of Holocaust survivors, the role of Quakers in Holocaust rescue attempts, and the teaching of the Holocaust in grades K-12. He is deeply involved with improving the teaching of American history, working with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and with teaching American history projects as well as serving as executive director of the California Council for History Education. Under the auspices of the Fulbright specialist program, he taught U.S. history at Pannasastra University in Phnom Penh in January 2011.