Public Program- Jill Lepore

Lectures and Performances
Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 6:45pm

A is for American
with Jill Lepore at the Library of Congress
(co-sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society)

A is for American book coverThe American Antiquarian Society is co-sponsor of a talk by prize-winning historian Jill Lepore at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m., Tuesday, February 26, in the Mumford Room, sixth floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. in Washington. Members, former fellows, and friends of AAS are cordially invited to attend. An AAS member and former AAS fellow herself, Jill Lepore will discuss her latest book, A Is for American: Letters and Other Characters in the Newly United States (Knopf, 2002). Part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" author series, the program is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The event is hosted by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and co-sponsored also with the library's Manuscript Division. AAS president Ellen Dunlap will attend the event.

A Is for American is a fascinating, well-illustrated account of how language was used in the early American republic to define national character and shape national boundaries. An Alternate Selection of the History Book Club, its official publication date is February 14. Professor Lepore did some of her research for the book at AAS, in the collections of 18th- and 19th-century primers and spellers generally, with special emphasis on the spellers, dictionaries, political writings, and newspapers of Noah Webster. A number of the illustrations are of AAS-held items.

Professor Lepore is associate professor of history at Boston University and the author of The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity (Knopf, 1998), which she researched in part on her AAS fellowship and which won the Bancroft and Ralph Waldo Emerson Prizes and other awards. She is cofounder and coeditor of Common-place, an online history magazine (sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History).

AAS has long had close ties with LOC's Center for the Book, and is a founding partner of the Massachusetts Center for the Book, an affiliate of the LOC center. The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its program and the activities of its affiliated centers in 43 states and the District of Columbia, visit its website at www.loc.gov.

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