Winning the Third World examines afresh the intense and enduring rivalry between the United States and China during the Cold War. Gregg A. Brazinsky shows how both nations fought vigorously to establish their influence in newly independent African and Asian countries. Presenting a detailed narrative of the diplomatic, economic, and cultural competition between Beijing and Washington, Brazinsky offers an important new window for understanding the impact of the Cold War on the Third World. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.
Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it, named a finalist for the Pulitzer prize, Larrie Ferreiro refocuses the discussion of the American Revolution to include the untold history of Spain and France’s integral help in securing victory. Called “Impressive” by The Wall Street Journal, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.
Historian Jennifer Ritterhouse discusses Discovering the South: One Man’s Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s, a travelogue that follows Jonathan Daniels, editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, through the post-Civil War south. Ritterhouse brings together Daniels’ unpublished notes and archival evidence to show how a young, white, and liberal-minded man came to know the South in a changing political and social landscape. This event is part of the University Libraries’ Mason Author Series. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.
Spencer Crew, a distinguished Robinson Professor will discuss the historical context of slavery in America as a preview to Colson Whitehead’s discussion of his award-winning novel The Underground Railroad. Crew spent six years as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and twenty years working at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Let Crew orient you in this crucial point of American history.
Michael Sims and Stefan Bechtel discuss the spiritual and authorial journey of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is the English-speaking world’s most popular fictional detective, and the life of his creator is equally intriguing. In Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Sims traces Conan Doyle’s journey to becoming the father of modern mystery. The Washington Post calls this book “Enlightening.” Bechtel’s Through a Glass, Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All takes on the question of whether Doyle’s spiritualism could be substantiated. Could the mind behind Sherlock contact the dead? Sponsored by Friends of the Pohick Regional Library.
Kristalyn Shefveland’s Anglo-Native Virginia closely examines indigenous and colonial trade in Virginia between 1646-1722, and how this shaped our state as we know it. This UGA Press publication “examines Anglo-Indian interactions through the conception of Native tributaries to the Virginia colony, with particular emphasis on the colonial and tributary and foreign Native settlements of the Piedmont and southwestern Coastal Plain.” Shefveland explains how the effects of these interactions are still evidenced in the current nature of our state and region.
Author Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki and editor Terry Irving discuss the story of Tony’s harrowing career as a TV cameraman in Vietnam detailed in On the Frontlines of the Television War. Hirashiki was an ABC News cameraman from 1966 to 2006, and was considered one of the best cameraman in the history of the company. “Once we had experienced Vietnam, one way or another, we’d always come back,” he said of what became known as the “Television War.”
There have been several revolutions in European history since the 17th century, but the French and Russian revolutions have been the most consequential. Despite much scholarly work, historians seldom compare these twin upheavals in Europe. Two specialists– Jack Censer, co-author of The French Revolution and Napoleon in Global Perspective, and Rex Wade, author of The Russian Revolution, 1917 — will consider why these revolutions eventually led to bloody civil wars. Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
In Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs, Dr. Jerry Prout chronicles the march from Ohio to Capitol Hill led by Jacob Coxey, a successful Gilded Age businessman. Coxey used the march to draw attention to his plan to put millions of American’s back to work in an age of vast unemployment and disparagement of unemployed “tramps”. Prout delves into the history of the march through the eyes of embedded journalists, whose stories dominated national headlines over the month-long trek. H-Net Reviews recommends the book “for those interested in Coxey’s Army, the history of unemployment, and the longer legacies of American protests.” Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Journalist Andrea Pitzer reveals the harrowing and dehumanizing history of concentration camps across the span of six continents in One Long Night. In the unflinching narrative, Pitzer tells the reader, “Old camps reopen, new ones are born.” Drawing on testimony, research, and fieldwork, Pitzer renders a poignant look at the terrifying reality of human imprisonment. Sponsored by Friends of the Richard Byrd Library.
Paula Tarnapol Whitacre’s A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose takes us back 150 years to illustrate the all-too-human tale of a woman’s fight for justice during the Civil War. Julia Wilbur spent many years in Alexandria, VA aiding escaped slaves and Union soldiers, as well as being heavily involved with the women’s suffrage movement. Tarnapol’s depiction has been called “rich” and “beautifully written.”
Catherine Fleming Bruce discusses The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements, which won the 2017 Historic Preservation Book Prize. The full-color, pictorial book educates and inspires a new wave of activists through its in-depth look at the preservation of already-hallowed spaces of justice. “The Sustainers took an authentic, grassroots approach to beginning a conversation about the tangible preservation and intangible meanings of African American sites,” said Michael Spencer, associate professor of historic preservation and director of the Center for Historic Preservation. “Such a conversation has long been a goal of preservationists in an effort to better represent the underserved African American community.”
Former CIA officer and historian at the CIA Museum Nicholas Reynolds unveils the untold story of novelist Ernest Hemingway’s secret life undercover as a U.S. and Soviet spy in Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy. The book chronicles Hemingway’s recruitment by Soviet spies to his sympathies for Castro’s politics. Reynolds’ work examines how the novelist’s undercover work influenced his writing in books such as The Old Man and the Sea, as well as how the covert operations affected Hemingway’s declining mental health.
Jim Hall held a 36 year career in news reporting and editing for The Caroline Progress and The Free Lance-Star. In The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia: Seeking Truth at Rattlesnake Mountain, which focuses on a complex and disturbing chapter in Virginia history, Hall explores the case of the controversial hanging of a black man in 1932, which some called a suicide while others claimed it was a lynching. Sponsored by Friends of the Kings Park Library.
In Forever Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory, David Kieran analyzes the contested memory of the Vietnam War to show how it shapes American foreign policy today. Kieran focuses on how Americans remember six key events, ranging from the siege of the Alamo in 1836 to September 11, 2001. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.
Jeffrey Stewart and MaryLouise Patterson examine two key figures of the Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes and Alain Locke. In The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, Stewart chronicles the education and career of Locke, the queer philosopher and architect of the Black Arts Movement. Patterson is the editor of Letters from Langston, which contains the writer’s correspondence throughout the Jazz Age and beyond. Sponsored by African and African American Studies.
The Honorable Hugh Fairfax— a descendant of Thomas 6th Lord Fairfax, the Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia and brother of Nicholas, 14th Lord Fairfax– will give a brief introduction to his new book, Fairfax of Virginia: The Forgotten Story of America’s Only Peerage. He will describe how the family came to America and why, what they did there over the 150 years they lived there, and why they finally returned to England. The talk will be accompanied by a visual presentation. A limited supply of books, signed by the author, will be available for purchase after the talk. Sponsored by the City of Fairfax.
Teens grapple with issues and institutions in these YA books rooted in political history. New York Times best-selling author L.M. Elliott’s novel Suspect Red takes on McCarthyism in America when a 1950’s teen named Richard establishes a controversial friendship after Czechoslovakian neighbors move in down the street. As the nation’s paranoia is at an all-time-high, Richard is torn between proving his patriotism, and continuing a friendship with someone who understands his love of art and literature. Former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team, Dick Lehr investigated the case that would later become the basis for his novel Trell about a young African-American man convicted of a murder that he didn’t commit. Set in 1980s Boston, the novel follows an innocent young man’s search for justice.