Forum program panelists author/historian Douglas Brinkley and author/journalist Malcolm Gladwell did some quick touring of Hartford before the “Big Thinkers” show at the Bushnell, stopping first at the Hartford Marriott Downtown to meet with the CT Forum’s Youth Forum organization and then to the atheneum for dinner that included duck breast with plum sauce and English sweet pea puree.
“I don’t really consider myself a big thinker,” said Brinkley, referring to the night’s theme. “I’m a historian with a big curiosity about the past.”
When Brinkley walked into the Main Street museum he immediately noticed the Robert Rauschenberg silkscreen, a contemporary collage of imagery of the late President John F. Kennedy. Thursday was the eve of the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas.
“Now that is a big thinker,” he said as he stopped to admire the art and the subject of the piece.
Gladwell, a bestselling author with a new book “David & Goliath,” said people need three things to be big thinkers — curiosity, a sense of humor and the ability to correct themselves when they find out they are wrong.
The night also served as a kind of family reunion for CT Forum founder and executive director Richard Sugarman.
He and his wife, forum manager Doris Sugarman, hosted 11 Sugarman relatives for the evening.