Two of my writing "heroes", the historian Bernard Bailyn and the harder to classify Jacques Barzun, both received National Humanities Medals last week. Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution was an eye-opener for me and changed the way I view history by turning me onto the role that ideas play (instead of just "players"). My first introduction to Barzun was his work on writing and researching (The Modern Researcher) that was required reading for my history courses at Providence College. I then ran across a collection of his essays and another book on writing, which I keep handy. A well-deserved honor for both men.