Public Program- William S. McFeely

Lectures and Performances
Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 7:30pm

U.S. GrantTaking a Look at Grant Twenty-five Years Later
by William S. McFeely

In 1982, William S. McFeely won the Pulitzer and Francis Parkman prizes for his book Grant: A Biography (W.W. Norton, 1981). This seminal biography of one of America's towering and enigmatic figures traced Grant's entire life from his birth in 1822 through his boyhood in Ohio to the battlefields of the Civil War and his presidency during the crucial years of Reconstruction and finally his heroic battle with cancer and death in 1885. McFeely's work is a penetrating examination of Grant's successes and failures and his extraordinary ordinariness. During his presentation at AAS, McFeely will recount some of his experiences writing the book, its reception, as well as some thoughts on the craft of biography.

William S. McFeely taught for many years at Mount Holyoke College and is currently the Abraham Baldwin Professor of the Humanities emeritus at the University of Georgia. His many works of biography and history include: Grant: A Biography (1981); Frederick Douglass (1991), which won the Lincoln Prize; Proximity to Death (1999); Sapelo's People: A Long Walk into Freedom (1994); Yankee Stepfather: General O. O. Howard and the Freedmen (1983); and Portrait: The Life of Thomas Eakins (2006).

Named in honor of Robert C. Baron, past AAS chairman and president of Fulcrum Publishing, the annual Baron Lecture asks distinguished AAS members who have written seminal works of history to reflect on one book and its impact on scholarship and society in the years since its first appearance.

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