Summary of “To Improve Your Storytelling Skills, Use Abraham Lincoln as Inspiration”

Although you know it well, what you might not realize about “Four scores and seven years ago …” is that Lincoln’s oration followed one of the most effective story structures you can use-the structure that storytelling expert Shawn Callahan calls “The clarity story.”
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.
The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.
It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
That’s fine for Abraham Lincoln, but you may wonder: How can you use the clarity story for your own communication?

The orginal article.

Summary of “Forensic Science Put Jimmy Genrich in Prison for 24 Years. What if It Wasn’t Science?”

Did you know you can support The Nation by drinking wine? 1: THE BOMBINGS. The first bomb didn’t kill anyone.
When the van rolled forward, a bomb that had been hidden in the left rear wheel well exploded.
The next day, federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms descended on the town of roughly 30,000 to assist local investigators with what appeared to be a serial bomber.
The police were stymied, people were scared, and the pressure to find a culprit mounted.
“We certainly don’t want to create hysteria or paranoia in the community,” a police lieutenant told the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel after warning people to check around their cars for bombs.
“People use dynamite. People work in the oil patch. People set bombs off for fun,” said Ellen Miller, a former correspondent for The Denver Post who covered the story.
“I mean, seriously. People knew what pipe bombs were.” Then, in early July, police received a nervous call from a woman who worked at the Readmor bookstore on Main Street.
A 28-year-old local man named Jimmy Genrich had asked them to order The Anarchist Cookbook, a manual that contains, among other things, instructions on how to make a pipe bomb.

The orginal article.

Summary of “War once helped build nations, now it destroys them”

Across the Atlantic, in the mid-18th century, the Seven Years’ War helped to galvanise American colonists against the British, setting them on the path to form a nation of their own.
Since the Iran-Iraq War, wars have tended to be mainly destructive forces for nations.
In Iraq, a war initially launched 14 years ago by the United States to save the country has gone on and on, and become a source of the nation’s internal decay.
The widely used terms ‘war-torn nation’ and ‘cycle of violence’ to describe conflict countries express the obvious fact that countries at war are countries in perilous decline.
War seems to be the bleak end, not the beginning, for strong nations.
Part of the reason that war no longer helps to build nations is simply that few new nations are waiting to be built.
The prospect of a country waging a war of conquest and subsuming or incorporating a neighbour violates norms of international politics established in the late 20th century.
The ethnically driven politics and violence that many nations embraced in their early history have fallen into disrepute, and would likely draw accusations of war crimes.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to sell a country: the booming business of nation branding”

In the 21st century, nation branding has grown to be busy business, and its practitioners take great pains to emphasise that what they do is different from the more straightforward marketing and advertising work that came before them.
Their client in Lipetsk, the department of tourism and culture, occupies the fifth floor of a dreary building in the region’s administrative centre, a city also called Lipetsk.
At a seminar, she met Alex, who had been a lawyer for sports federations in Moscow before coming to Britain to do his MBA. “We were always talking about these kinds of things: How do people belong? Why do they belong? How are countries perceived?” she said.
Another afternoon, the team dropped into the Lipetsk State Technical University, where a class of 15 students spoke about their region and how they wanted, by and large, to leave.
His later work focuses very little on communication and branding, and much more on the abstract business of a country’s positive influence upon the world.
Restless preoccupations with national identity or ties to the land have often been prologues to periods of oppression; if a country keeps defining how people belong, it also defines how people do not belong.
The direction in which nation branding work tends to flow is problematic as well.
In Lipetsk, Natasha Grand phoned a tour operator to ask how business was going.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment”

If my kids’ school happened to be east of Woodbine Avenue in Toronto they would hear a slightly different acknowledgment, recognizing the Mississaugas of Scugog, Hiawatha, and Alderville First Nation.
The acknowledgment forces individuals and institutions to ask a basic, nightmarish question: Whose land are we on?
In Sudbury, Laurentian’s acknowledgment reads, “We would like to begin by acknowledging that we are in Robinson Huron Treaty territory and the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg.” Not that complicated.
If Toronto’s acknowledgment captures the complexity of history, Ottawa’s reveals its underlying brutality.
The idea behind the Canadian acknowledgment is that if we repeat the truth often enough, publicly enough, to children who are young enough, it will lead us to reconciliation.
There is a terrible beauty in the acknowledgment, too, a beauty and a terror that transcends Canada, that transcends politics, even.
At bottom of the acknowledgment, unintentionally, are essential human questions of ethics and the ephemerality of all history and what it means to live on the earth.
The more often I hear acknowledgments, the more I hate how they’re written-the passive constructions, the useless adverbs, the Latinate jargon, and, in the case of the acknowledgment at my children’s school, that last sentence, about the continued presence of indigenous peoples on the land, comes as pure afterthought.

The orginal article.