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Owen Lattimore and Integrity: A Very Interesting and Satisfying Life

45 min

Walk-In-The-Shoes Questions
As you read, imagine you are the protagonist.

  • What challenges are you facing?
  • What fears or concerns might you have?
  • What may prevent you from acting in the way you ought?

Observation Questions

  • Integrity may be defined as the power and capacity that we use to adhere to the truth of things, to what is right and good. In what ways did Owen Lattimore demonstrate integrity to enhance life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for himself and others?
  • Having lived and traveled in China for about 25 years, Owen Lattimore knew that he had a clearer understanding of Chinese culture and government than was possible for most people who were crafting U.S. foreign policy. What did he understand his identity to be and how did that affect his contribution to post-war America?
  • What did Owen Lattimore understand his purpose to be in the events of the 1940s and 1950s?

Discussion Questions
Discuss the following questions with your students.

  • What is the historical context of the narrative?
  • What historical circumstances presented a challenge to the protagonist?
  • How and why did the individual exhibit a moral and/or civic virtue in facing and overcoming the challenge?
  • How did the exercise of the virtue benefit civil society?
  • How might exercise of the virtue benefit the protagonist?
  • What might the exercise of the virtue cost the protagonist?
  • Would you react the same under similar circumstances? Why or why not?
  • How can you act similarly in your own life? What obstacles must you overcome in order to do so?
  • Students will analyze Owen Lattimore’s character as a scholar and independent thinker and his bold actions in challenging Joseph McCarthy at the height of a red scare.
  • Students will examine Lattimore’s demonstration of integrity and commitment to truth.
  • Students will understand why integrity is an essential virtue in their own lives.
  • Students will act with integrity to protect freedom, even when their beliefs are unpopular.

Student Handouts