Living in Louisville, we’re pretty lucky when it comes to history events. Here are three author speaking events you might want to check out. If you can’t, you might want to order the books because they all look really interesting!
- Tomorrow: Stephen Kinzer, author of The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire will speak at 6:30 tomorrow (June 6) at the Temple, 5101 U.S. Highway 42.
Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led the Washington Post to place him “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.”
Book description: “How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat—until the cycle begins again. No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country. Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation. The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before—in the period when the United States was founded—have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity. All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.”
Tickets are free for members, $10 for non-members. Order tickets here.
Competing with this cool event is the Louisville Free Public Library’s Craig Buthold Author Series: Sidney Blumenthal, 7 p.m. tomorrow (June 6) at the Main Library, 301 York Street, 40201.
Blumenthal was an aide to President Bill Clinton and is the author of Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. II, 1849-1856. He’s also been mired in some ridiculous controversy lately, and I wonder if he’ll address that in his lecture.
This is the second in the Lincoln series by Blumenthal. The first was A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln Vol. I, 1809 – 1849.
Book description: “Contentious campaigning has always been a facet of US politics, and no one knows that better than Sidney Blumenthal. Journalist, author, and former political aide to President Bill Clinton, Blumenthal has seen it all up close. But his latest book, Wrestling With His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, takes a long look back through history in order to highlight the savvy decisions that catapulted Lincoln into the nation’s spotlight.”
Tickets are free, but must be ordered in advance at LFPLorg.
Sharon Ann Murphy
Another Filson event next week is Sharon Ann Murphy: Other People’s Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic (How Things Worked).
Murphy is a professor of history at Providence College. She is the author of Investing in Life: Insurance in Antebellum America (Studies in Early American Economy and Society from the Library Company of Philadelphia)
Book description: “Pieces of paper that claimed to be good for two dollars upon redemption at a distant bank. Foreign coins that fluctuated in value from town to town. Stock certificates issued by turnpike or canal companies—worth something… or perhaps nothing. IOUs from farmers or tradesmen, passed around by people who could not know the person who first issued them. Money and banking in antebellum America offered a glaring example of free-market capitalism run amok—unregulated, exuberant, and heading pell-mell toward the next “panic” of burst bubbles and hard times.
“In Other People’s Money, Sharon Ann Murphy explains how banking and money worked before the federal government, spurred by the chaos of the Civil War, created the national system of US paper currency. Murphy traces the evolution of banking in America from the founding of the nation, when politicians debated the constitutionality of chartering a national bank, to Andrew Jackson’s role in the Bank War of the early 1830s, to the problems of financing a large-scale war. She reveals how, ultimately, the monetary and banking structures that emerged from the Civil War also provided the basis for our modern financial system, from its formation under the Federal Reserve in 1913 to the present.
“Touching on the significant role that numerous historical figures played in shaping American banking—including Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Louis Brandeis— Other People’s Money is an engaging guide to the heated political fights that surrounded banking in early America as well as to the economic causes and consequences of the financial system that emerged from the turmoil. By helping readers understand the financial history of this period and the way banking shaped the society in which ordinary Americans lived and worked, this book broadens and deepens our knowledge of the Early American Republic.”
The event is 6-7 p.m. June 12 at the Filson Historical Society, 1310 S. Third Street, 40208.
Free for members, $10 for non-members. Order tickets here.