On November 3, Utica College and the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) co-sponsored an appearance by author and screenwriter Bill Kauffman at the Eugene Nassar Center on the Utica College campus for a special event “Celebrating Utica.” In Mr. Kauffman’s widely praised speech, he stated that, “Each of us needs a home; a place where we feel connected, feel a part of something bigger than just ourselves. Seldom does this home look like paradise; ofttimes, as with my Batavia, perhaps with your Utica, home has been bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated almost out of existence. Self-mutilated, even. Home can seem, to outsiders, an unlovable place. But it is our task to love the unlovable, to find the sacred in the everyday.”
Mr. Kauffman is the author of nine books, including Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-Imperialism (2008); Forgotten Founder, Drunken Prophet: The Life of Luther Martin (2008); Look Homeward, America: In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists (2006), which received the Andrew Eiseman Award from the University of Rochester; and Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette: A Mostly Affectionate Account of a Small Town’s Fight to Survive (2003), which won the national “Sense of Place” award from Writers & Books. His screenplay adaptation of Utica native Harold Frederic’s novel The Copperhead (1893) has been filmed by director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg) and will be in theaters in 2013.
Mr. Kauffman lives in his native Genesee County with his wife and daughter. The AHI thanks him for permission to publish his address.