Atlanta History Center's Summer Author Program Schedule Heats Up with Notable Authors

Ongoing Program Series Brings Authors and Audiences Together in an Intimate Setting for Enlightening Insights, Discussions, and Book Signings

ATLANTA, Georgia– Join the Atlanta History Center for an ongoing series of literary programs designed to deliver the most varied and distinguished lineup of current, award-winning, and bestselling authors of fiction and nonfiction.

Each Author Program joins authors and audiences in an intimate setting complete with enlightening insights, audience discussions, on-site book discounts, and book signings with the author. Past guest lecturers have included such acclaimed authors as James McPherson, Garrison Keilor, Sara Gruen, Edwidge Danticat, Sally Mann, Jodi Picoult, and David Baldacci.

The Atlanta History Center’s summer lineup continues to offer audiences a wide variety of subject matter from current bestselling fiction, to thought provoking social and political topics, and delectable insights from local and nationally celebrated culinary experts.

The summer series kicks off with a motivational look at teamwork by bestselling author and award-winning educator Ron Clark, and continues throughout the summer into early fall featuring social and political nonfiction themes by Atlanta renowned journalist Jim Auchmutey, international director and curator Christian Delage, and leading historian David Sehat; a gastronomic chat with Chef Steven Satterfield of the award-winning Atlanta restaurant Miller Union; and New York Times bestselling authors Paula McLain and Karen Abbott.

Lectures are held at either the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead or at the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown. At each lecture, guests receive a 25% discount on the featured author’s book. Admission to all lectures is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders, unless noted otherwise. Reservations are required; please call 404.814.4150 or purchase advance tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

June 2015

Livingston Lecture Series: Elizabeth Varon, Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

On April 9, 1865, after exchanging pleasantries about their service in the Mexican War, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee negotiated the terms of Lee’s surrender at McLean House in Appomattox, Virginia, bringing the Civil War to an official end. Fictional and accurate accounts pervade the surrender, painting it as a well-known myth in American history. 

In Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War, historian Elizabeth R. Varon presents a new, more accurate interpretation of Appomattox’s meaning. She offers an alternative vision to the dominant view that Lee's surrender affected the reunion of the South and North, and thus “saved America.” Varon reexamines the narrative of the surrender at Appomattox, and finds that neither Northerners nor Southerners were united in their reactions to the surrender. 

Elizabeth R. Varon is Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia. A noted Civil War historian, she is the author of Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859, We Mean to be Counted: White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia, and Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy, which was named one of the "Five Best" books on the "Civil War away from the battlefield" by the Wall Street Journal.  

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

Support: The Livingston Lectures are made possible with generous funding from the Livingston Foundation of Atlanta.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Leigh Massey, Director of Marketing Communications at Atlanta History Center. Phone: 404.814.4033 Email: Lmassey@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com

Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity

Thursday, June 25, 2015

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Long known for the friendly company of its "warm brothers" (German slang for men who love other men), Berlin, even before the turn of the twentieth century, was a place where educators, activists, and medical professionals could explore and begin to educate both themselves and Europe about new and emerging sexual identities. From Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a German activist described by some as the world's first openly gay man, to the world of

Berlin's vast homosexual subcultures – tolerated and monitored by the police commissioner through the "Department of Homosexuals and Blackmailers" – to a major sex scandal that enraptured the daily newspapers and

shook the court of Emperor William II, and on through some of the world's first sex reassignment surgeries, Beachy deftly guides the reader through past events and developments that continue to shape and influence the way we think of sexuality to this day.

Robert Beachy was trained as a German historian at the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in 1998. He is presently associate professor of history at the Underwood International College of Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.

This program is held in conjunction with the Filming the Camps – John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg exhibition.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Kathryn Zuckerman, Random House Publicity at Penguin Random House. Email: Kzuckerman@penguinrandomhouse.com

July 2015

Ron Clark, Move Your Bus

Monday, July 6, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

New York Times bestselling author and award-winning educator Ron Clark applies his successful leadership principles to the business world in this effective and accessible guidebook, perfect for any manager looking to inspire and motivate his or her team.

Teamwork is crucial to the success of any business, and as acclaimed author and speaker Ron Clark illustrates, the members of any team are the key to unlocking success. Imagine a company as a bus filled with people who either help or hinder a team’s ability to move it forward: drivers (who steer the organization), runners (who consistently go above and beyond for the good of the organization), joggers (who do their jobs without pushing themselves), walkers (who are just getting pulled along), and riders (who hinder success and drag the team down). It’s the team leader’s job to recognize how members fall into these categories, encourage them to keep the “bus” moving by working together.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Jessica Roth, Publicity Manager at Touchstone Books/Simon Schuster, Inc. Phone: 212.698.4665 Email: Jessica.roth@simonandschuster.com

Martin Clark, The Jezebel Remedy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

Lisa and Joe Stone, married for twenty years and partners in their small law firm in Henry County, Virginia, handle less than glamorous cases, whether domestic disputes, personal injury settlements, or never-ending complaints from their cantankerous client Lettie VanSandt. When Lettie dies in a freakish fire, the Stones think it’s certainly possible that she was cooking meth at her trailer. But details soon emerge that lead them to question how accidental her demise actually was, and settling her peculiar estate becomes endlessly complicated.

Before long, the Stones find themselves entangled in a corporate conspiracy that will require all their legal skills, not to mention some difficult ethical choices for them to survive. In The Jezebel Remedy, Clark gives us a stunning portrait of a marriage, an intricate tour of the legal system, and a relentlessly entertaining story that is full of inventions, shocks, and understanding.

Martin Clark is a Virginia circuit court judge. His past novels have been chosen as a New York Times Notable Book, a Bookmarks Magazine Best Book of the Year, a finalist for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. His last novel, The Legal Limit, was the winner of the Library of Virginia’s People’s Choice. He lives in Patrick County, Virginia, with his wife, Deana.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at MargaretMitchellHouse.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Gabrielle Brooks, Random House Publicity at Penguin Random House. Email: Gbrooks@penguinrandomhouse.com

Jim Auchmutey, The Class of ’65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

The Class of '65 is an untold story of race, religion, and reconciliation that grew out of the turmoil of the civil rights era in Georgia. It revolves around a student from Koinonia Farm, the Christian commune that gave birth to Habitat for Humanity, and the persecution he suffered when he attended the local high school during its turbulent desegregation. Many years later, classmates who had once scorned him tracked him down in a distant state and asked for his forgiveness. The book is as much about how people change as about the ugly things that happened in the South half a century ago.

Jim Auchmutey spent almost thirty years as a writer and editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in stories about the South and its history and culture. He was twice named the Cox Newspapers chain's Writer of the Year and was honored by the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, the Associated Press, and the Sigma Delta Chi journalism society. The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness is his first nonfiction narrative book. Jim lives in Atlanta with his wife, Pam, an editor at Emory University.

This is a free event in partnership with The Bitter Southerner. Reservations are recommended. Please call 404.814.4150 or reserve seats online at MargaretMitchellHouse.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Jaime Leifer, media contact. Email: jaime.leifer@publicaffairsbooks.com  

Paula McLain, Circling the Sun

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed novel The Paris Wife, returns with her highly anticipated historical novel, Circling the Sun. The world is 1920s Kenya, where a glamorous and decadent circle of British expats have carved out a toe-hold of civilization at the edge of the boundless frontier.

Abandoned by her mother and inspired by the dangerous beauty around her, Beryl Markham grows into a fierce young woman driven to prove her courage and win independence at any cost. She becomes the first woman to earn her license as a professional racehorse trainer, one of the very first people in Africa, and the world, to have a commercial pilot’s license, and the first bush pilot to successfully scout game from the air for safari hunters under impossibly dangerous circumstances.

But the terrain Beryl can’t seem to conquer is her own heart. When she meets safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton (immortalized in Out of Africa), and the Danish author Karen Blixen, she’s catapulted into a passionate love triangle that will change the course of her life. Though neither Blixen or Markham publically acknowledged the relationship in their lifetime, it seared and altered them both, and set Beryl on a course to tackle her greatest adventure yet, flying the Atlantic east to west in 1936, two-thousand feet above the icy waves, without radio contact, alone in the dark for twenty-four hours, trusting her instruments and her instincts.

Paula McLain is the author of the novels The Paris Wife and A Ticket to Ride, the memoir Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses, and two collections of poetry. She has received fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Cleveland with her family.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at MargaretMitchellHouse.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Jennifer Garza, Assistant Director of Publicity at Random House Publishing Group. Phone: 212.9407873 Email: Jgarza@randomhouse.com

Film Screening and Conversation with Christian Delage, Director and Curator of Filming the Camps – John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg

Monday, August 24, 2015

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Hollywood directors John Ford, George Stevens, and Samuel Fuller entertained audiences with cinema classics like The Grapes of WrathShane and The Big Red One. But their most important contribution to history may have been their work in the U.S. Armed Forces and Secret Services, filming the realities of war and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps. Their documentation provides an essential visual record of WWII. Combining a wealth of rare material, including private letters and footage from their own personal archives, From Hollywood to Nuremberg explores these filmmakers’ experiences during and after WWII, their confrontation with Nazi atrocities, and the mark that left on them as artists.

Director Christian Delage is a historian, curator, and filmmaker whose earlier credits include the documentary Nuremberg, The Nazis Facing Their Crimes.

This program is held in conjunction with the Filming the Camps – John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg exhibition.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Leigh Massey, Director of Marketing Communications at Atlanta History Center. Phone: 404.814.4033 Email: Lmassey@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com

Elson Lecture: David Sehat, The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Father’s Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

In today’s political discourse, consideration of complex issues is often reduced to asking: What would the Founders do? In The Jefferson Rule, David Sehat examines how we came to view this bitterly divided generation as a cohesive group of visionaries – and how both the Left and the Right cite these argumentative Founders as though they would unanimously support widely divergent present-day policies.

As Sehat reveals, it is a pattern of long standing. Beginning with the early national debate between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, continuing through the Civil War, the fight over the New Deal, the Reagan Revolution, up to and including the disputes between Barack Obama and the Tea Party, the so-called Jefferson Rule – the unspoken conviction that any proposal or policy must be associated with and justified by the Founding Fathers – has obscured the real issues and damaged American politics.

David Sehat is Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University. His first book, The Myth of American Religious Freedom, won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Larry Hughes at Simon and Schuster. Phone: 212.632.4992 Email: larry.hughes@simonandschuster.com

Steven Satterfield, Root to Leaf

Thursday, September 3, 2015

6:00 pm Reception; 7:00 pm Program

Location: Atlanta History Center

Chef of the award-winning Atlanta restaurant Miller Union, Steven Satterfield – dubbed the “Vegetable Shaman” by the New York Times’s Sam Sifton – has enchanted diners with his vegetable dishes, capturing the essence of fresh produce through a simple, elegant cooking style. Like his contemporaries April Bloomfield and Fergus Henderson, who use the whole animal from nose to tail in their dishes, Satterfield believes in making the most out of the edible parts of the plant, from root to leaf. Satterfield embodies an authentic approach to farmstead-inspired cooking, incorporating seasonal fresh produce into everyday cuisine. His trademark is simple food, and in his creative hands he continually updates the region’s legendary dishes – easy yet sublime fare that can be made in the home kitchen.



Root to Leaf is not a vegetarian cookbook, it’s a cookbook that celebrates the world of fresh produce. Everyone will find something here from the omnivore to the vegan. Organized by seasons, and with a decidedly Southern flair, Satterfield's mouthwatering recipes make the most of available produce from local markets, foraging, and the home garden.

This is an outdoor event held at Smith Family Farm at Atlanta History Center. Admission is $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, and includes small seasonal bites and libations. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Lacey Outten, Account Supervisor at The Reynolds Group. Phone: 843.722.5908. Email: lacey@thereynoldsgroupinc.com

Karen Abbott, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

Thursday, September 17, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

Karen Abbott illuminates one of the most fascinating yet little known aspects of the Civil War: the stories of four courageous women – a socialite, a farm girl, an abolitionist, and a widow – who were spies.

After shooting a Union soldier in her front hall with a pocket pistol, Belle Boyd became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds cut off her hair and assumed the identity of a man to enlist as a Union private, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. The beautiful widow, Rose O’Neale Greenhow, engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians to gather intelligence for the Confederacy, and used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring, right under the noses of suspicious rebel detectives.

Using a wealth of primary source material and interviews with the spies’ descendants, Abbott seamlessly weaves the adventures of these four heroines throughout the tumultuous years of the war. With a cast of real-life characters, including Walt Whitman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoleon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy draws you into the war as these daring women lived it.

Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and American Rose. She is a regular contributor to Smithsonian.com, and also writes for Disunion, the New York Times series about the Civil War. A native of Philadelphia, where she worked as a journalist, she now lives with her husband and two African Grey parrots in New York City.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at MargaretMitchellHouse.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Jane Beirn, Senior Director of Publicity at HarperCollins Publishers. Phone: 212.207.7256.  

Eric Lichtblau, The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler’s Men

Thursday, October 1, 2015

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Thousands of Nazis – from concentration camp guards to high-level officers in the Third Reich – came to the United States after World War II and quietly settled into new lives. They had little trouble getting in. With scant scrutiny, many gained entry on their own as self-styled war "refugees," their pasts easily disguised and their war crimes soon forgotten. But some had help and protection from the U.S. government. The CIA, the FBI, and the military all put Hitler's minions to work as spies, intelligence assets, and leading scientists and engineers, whitewashing their histories.For the first time, once-secret government records and interviews tell the full story not only of the Nazi scientists brought to America, but also of the German spies and con men who followed them and lived for decades as ordinary citizens. Only years after their arrival did private sleuths and government prosecutors begin trying to identify the hidden Nazis. But even then, American intelligence agencies secretly worked to protect a number of their prized spies from exposure. Today, a few Nazis still remain on our soil.

Eric Lichtblau is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter in the Washington bureau of the New York Times and has written about legal, political, and national security issues in the capital since 1999. He was the co-recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his stories in the New York Times disclosing the existence of a secret wiretapping program approved by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. He was a reporter for the Los Angeles Times for fifteen years before joining the New York Times in 2002. A graduate of Cornell University, he is the author of Bushs Law: The Remaking of American Justice, which one reviewer called “All the President’s Men for an Age of Terror.” In the course of research for The Nazis Next Door, he was a visiting fellow at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. He lives outside Washington with his wife and children.

This program is held in conjunction with the Filming the Camps – John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens: From Hollywood to Nuremberg exhibition.

Admission for all lectures is $5 members, $10 nonmembers, and free to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Leigh Massey, Director of Marketing Communications at Atlanta History Center. Phone: 404.814.4033 Email: Lmassey@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com

Cherokee Garden Library 40th Anniversary: Ken Druse, Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

7:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

To celebrate the Cherokee Garden Library's 40th anniversary, the Garden Library hosts gardening superstar, Ken Druse.

Called “the guru of natural gardening” by The New York Times, Ken Druse is a celebrated lecturer, photographer, and author. He has a dynamic weekly radio show and podcast called “Ken Druse – The Real Dirt” and he writes frequently for the The New York TimesMartha Stewart LivingHouse Beautiful, and many others publications.

Ken Druse’s newest hit is Natural Companions: The Garden Lover’s Guide to Plant Combinations. In Natural Companions, Druse presents recipes for perfect plant pairings using diverse species that look great together and bloom at the same time. Natural Companions features more than one hundred special botanical images of amazing depth and color. This is a book all garden lovers must have.

Communicating the pleasures and importance of the natural world is always Druse’s main emphasis. Through his books, lectures, and weekly radio show and podcasts, Druse calls attention to the world of plants that surround us, sustain us, and lift our spirits. In The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden, he shares a sentiment of all true dirt gardeners, “The only way to avoid the pangs of withdrawal from an addiction like gardening is to garden more. This is one habit I have no intention of breaking.”

Admission for this lecture is $25. Reservations are required, please call 404.814.4150 or reserve tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures. All lecture ticket purchases are nonrefundable.

For book review or interview with the author, please contact: Staci Catron, Cherokee Garden Library Director at Atlanta History Center. Phone: 404.814.4046 Email: SCatron@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com

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About Us

The Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum; two historic houses, 1928 Swan House and 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; Kenan Research Center; Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and the Goizueta Gardens, featuring 22 acres of gardens, walkways, paths and trails. In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta.