The Whites of Their Eyes

Jill Lepore is a Harvard historian who gets out of the library. In researching her latest book, The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party’s Revolution and the Battle over American History, she spent time in bars and at vigils, interviewing regular people who are fed up with the federal government. Lepore treats her subjects with respect while cautioning that the tea party’s ideas about revolutionary America are built largely on a fable. In any case, the fife-and-drum imagery is nothing new: Liberal historian Howard Zinn said he was acting in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party when he blocked a road to an Army base during the Vietnam war.

Wed., Jan. 26, 6:30 p.m., 2011