Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Goodheart to Read from Best-Selling History, Tuesday, May 3 at Hynson Lounge

CHESTERTOWN, MD—On Tuesday, May 3, at 4:30 p.m., Washington College’s Adam Goodheart will give a reading from his new book, 1861: The Civil War Awakening, which was published three weeks ago by Alfred A. Knopf and is already a New York Times Best Seller garnering wide critical acclaim. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Hynson Lounge, Hodson Hall, on the College campus, 300 Washington Avenue. A book signing will follow. Goodheart's reading is sponsored by the Sophie Kerr Committee, the Rose O'Neill Literary House, and the Washington College Department of History.

In a publishing year in which the 150th anniversary of the Civil War has sparked a flood of new books about the conflict, none has received more positive press and critical praise than 1861. In a front-page review in the April 24 issue of the New York Times Book Review, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Debby Applegate described Goodheart's account of the secession crisis as "exhilarating" and "inspiring," praising the author for his ability to combine the journalist's eye for telling detail with the historian's rigorous research and the novelist's ability to make readers care about his characters. "1861 creates the uncanny illusion that the reader has stepped into a time machine," Applegate wrote.

The new work of history, which Knopf describes as "a sweeping portrait of America on the brink of its defining national drama," was also excerpted in the New York Times Magazine on April 3. Goodheart has recently appeared on panels with filmmaker Ken Burns and noted historians James McPherson of Princeton and David Blight of Yale, and will be giving talks and readings at universities and cultural institutions across the country in the months ahead. (For a listing, visit http://www.adamgoodheart.com/events.) He has been a guest this month on CNN, Fox News, and the nationally broadcast public radio shows "Fresh Air," "Here and Now," and "Studio 360," among many other venues. (Click here to listen to the Fresh Air interview with Terry Gross.)

Praise for the book has been effusive from the start. Kirkus Reviews called it "beautifully written and thoroughly original—quite unlike any other Civil War book out there," and Pulitzer-winning historian McPherson wrote that "Adam Goodheart is a Monet with a pen instead of a paintbrush." The Boston Globe's reviewer wrote, "Hardly a page of this book lacks an important insight or a fact that beguiles the readers. ... Goodheart shows us that even at 150 years' distance there are new voices, and new stories, to be heard about the Civil War."

Goodheart is the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Based at the circa-1746 Custom House along Chestertown's colonial waterfront, the Starr Center supports the art of written history and explores the nation's past—particularly the legacy of its Founding era—in innovative ways through educational programs, scholarship and public outreach. For more information, visit http://starrcenter.washcoll.edu