Richard Henry Dana Jr. (1815-1882) was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts. A descendant of an eminent colonial family, Dana gained renown as the author of Two Years before the Mast, a memoir which became an American classic. Both as a writer and a lawyer, Dana was a champion of the downtrodden, from seamen to fugitive slaves. Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.