ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER FALL 2013 AUTHOR PROGRAMS

A distinguished Line-up of Authors Scheduled to Visit Atlanta History Center for Discussions and Book Signings

The Atlanta History Center offers lectures on a wide variety of topics, from presidential history and gardens to social history and non-fiction adventures. Past lecturers have included such world-renowned authors as Walter Isaacson, Richard Russo, and Alice Hoffman. The Atlanta History Center’s summer/fall lecture line-up continues to offer audiences a wide variety of subject matter with current and award-winning authors. 

Each lecture program is designed to join authors and audiences in an intimate setting complete with author presentation, audience discussions, and book signings. Admission to attend a lecture program is $5 for Atlanta History Center members and $10 for nonmembers and free for AHC Insiders, unless otherwise noted.  Lectures are held at either the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead or at the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown. Reservations are required; please call 404.814.4150 or purchase advance tickets online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures.  

August 2013                                                                                                                                                  

Earl Hess, Kennesaw Mountain: Sherman, Johnston, and the Atlanta Campaign

Saturday, August 17, 2013

2:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

While fighting his way toward Atlanta, William T. Sherman encountered his greatest obstacle at Kennesaw Mountain, where Joseph E. Johnston's Army of Tennessee held a heavily fortified position. In Kennesaw Mountain, Earl J. Hess explains how the battle, with its combination of maneuver and combat, severely tried the endurance of the common soldier and why Johnston's strategy might have been the best chance to halt the Federal drive to Atlanta. A final section explores the Confederate earthworks preserved within the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Earl J. Hess is Stewart W. McClelland Chair in History at Lincoln Memorial University and is the author of a number of books, including The Civil War in the West: Victory and Defeat from the Appalachians to the Mississippi.

Aiken Lecture: James McBride, The Good Lord Bird

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

From the bestselling author of The Color of Water and Song Yet Sung comes the story of a young boy born a slave who joins John Brown’s antislavery crusade, and who must pass as a girl to survive. Henry

Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town—with Brown, who believes he’s a girl.

An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride’s meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival.

The Aiken Lecture Series is supported by the Lucy Rucker Aiken Foundation.

September 2013                                                                                                                                           

Elson Lecture: Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Journalist Eric Schlosser uncovers secrets about America’s nuclear arsenal in Command and Control, a groundbreaking account of accidents, near misses, heroism, and technological breakthrough. One central dilemma exists in the nuclear age: How to deploy weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them. Interweaving the story of a missile silo accident in rural Arkansas with fifty years of historical narrative, Schlosser depicts efforts to prevent the detonation of a ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States.

Eric Scholsser is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. His work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Nation.

The Elson Lectures feature scholarly addresses by our nation’s prominent historians and are made possible with generous funding from Ambassador and Mrs. Edward Elson.

 

Nelson DeMille, The Quest

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

From the Vatican archives to overgrown jungles, an unlikely trio undertakes a deadly search for the Holy Grail – Christ's cup from the Last Supper. It begins with the trio lost in a jungle where a dying man tells them an amazing story. He escaped that night from forty years in a prison, held there after finding the Holy Grail. Though his freedom lasts for one short night, it is long enough for him to describe the cup’s location and long enough to make them believe his story. Thus begins their quest – an adventure that pits them against the Vatican, deadly tribesmen, and assassins, monks and the powers of the Grail itself.

Nelson DeMille’s previous works include Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, Plum Island, and The General's Daughter. He has contributed short stories, book reviews, and articles to numerous magazines and newspapers, and wrote the Joe Ryker series under the pen name Jack Cannon. 

 

Livingston Lecture: A. Scott Berg, Wilson

Monday, September 30, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson stands as one of the most influential and enigmatic figures of the twentieth century. After over decade of research and writing, Pulitzer Prize-winning author A. Scott Berg completed Wilson, the most personal and penetrating biography written about the twenty-eighth president. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives, Berg was the first biographer to gain access to two recently discovered caches of papers belonging to those close to Wilson. This is not just Wilson the icon, but Wilson the man.

A. Scott Berg is the author of four best-selling biographies: Max Perkins: Editor of Genius, winner of the National Book Award; Goldwyn; Lindbergh, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; and Kate Remembered.

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

 

October 2013                                                                                                                                                

Cherokee Garden Library Lecture: Mario Nievera, Forever Green: A Landscape Architect’s Innovative Gardens Offer Environments to Love and Delight

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: McElreath Hall at Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center’s Cherokee Garden Library presents an evening with Mario Nievera discussing his book Forever Green: A Landscape Architect’s Innovative Gardens Offer Environments to Love and Delight (published by Pointed Leaf Press). Mario Nievera, ASLA, is principal and partner of Nievera Williams Design, a premiere U.S. landscape architectural firm based in Palm Beach, Florida.

Nievera will lead us on an illustrated tour of his landscapes throughout the United States. He will showcase his extensive range of designs for civic spaces, parks, and residential estates, such as a garden terrace overlooking New York's Central Park to a public garden attached to The Flagler Museum in Palm Beach. All featured in his book Forever Green, his design work gives an extraordinary opportunity for ideas on how to create your own fabulous landscapes. Nievera has a keen eye and talent to combine hardscape materials and lush plantings creating unique landscape compositions, which are admired and published in design magazines and newspapers throughout the world.

The lecture will be followed by a book signing and reception. Admission is $25.00. Reservations are required.

Allan Gurganus, Local Souls: Novellas

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

Allan Gurganus’ first book in a decade, Local Souls, returns to Falls, North Carolina, the mythic site of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All. With three linked novellas, he charts adultery, obsession, and incest in our New South. Gurganus finds new pathos in old tensions between marriage and eros, with gigantic hopes battling small-town conventions. Told with brio and sympathy, Local Souls is a universal work about a village. Its black comedy creates affection for its characters and an aching aftermath of human consequences.

Allan Gurganus, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, has written four other works of fiction, whose adaptations have earned him four Emmys. Gurganus lives in North Carolina.

 

John Ferling, Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

A conflict that truly shaped our republic, the competing visions for America between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton’s is recounted in Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry That Forged a Nation. Both men were visionaries, but their dreams for the young nation were opposites. Jefferson believed passionately in individual liberty, an egalitarian society, and a weak central government with power left to the states. Hamilton sought a powerful national government to ensure the nation’s security and economic greatness. Those competing legacies continue to shape our politics and our nation to this day.

John Ferling has written about the Revolutionary War and the politics of independence, as well as biographies of George Washington and John Adams. He is professor emeritus of history at the University of West Georgia and is the author of the award-winning A Leap in the Dark: The Struggle to Create the American Republic. He and his wife, Carol, live near Atlanta.

 

Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

Thursday, October 17, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Reza Aslan, bestselling author of No god but God, sheds new light on one of history’s most enigmatic men in Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. In this meticulously researched biography,

Aslan examines Jesus through the lens of the era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor. Scores of Jewish prophets, preachers, and would-be messiahs wandered the Holy Land, bearing messages from God. This was an age of zealotry, a fervent nationalism that made resistance to Roman occupation a sacred duty incumbent on all Jews. 

Reza Aslan is an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions. His first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, is translated into thirteen languages. He is also author of

How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror, as well as editor of Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East. Born in Iran, he lives in New York and Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.

This lecture is presented by One Region, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Dave Isay, Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps

Thursday, October 24, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps commemorates the StoryCorps project’s anniversary with a collection that celebrates the relationships that bring us purpose and joy, as well as the people who nourish and strengthen us. Between blood relations, friends, coworkers, and neighbors, in the most trying circumstances and in the unlikeliest of places, enduring connections are formed and lives changed forever. David Isay draws from the revolutionary oral history project’s rich archives, collecting conversations that celebrate the power of the human bond and capture the moment at which individuals become family.

Founded by award-winning documentarian Dave Isay, StoryCorps has collected oral history interviews with everyday Americans nationwide for a decade. As a result, StoryCorps recordings are the single most important collection of American voices ever gathered. A celebration of America’s shared humanity and collective identity, StoryCorps captures and defines the stories that bond us. 

This program is free and open to the public. Reservations are required.

November 2013                                                                                                                                            

Livingston Lecture: Lawrence Wright, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

Thursday, November 7, 2013

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

A deep penetrating look into the world of Scientology, Going Clear is by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on over two hundred interviews and years of research, Lawrence Wright uncovers the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. At the book’s center are brilliant science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and David Miscavige, his successor faced with the unenviable task of preserving the church.

In Going Clear, Wright examines what fundamentally makes a religion a religion and whether Scientology deserves this constitutional protection. Employing his journalistic skills of observation, understanding, and shaping a story into a compelling narrative, Wright delivers an evenhanded yet keenly incisive book that reveals the essence of Scientology.

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

 

Richard Kurin, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

In The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture Richard Kurin and a team of curators and scholars assemble an exhibition of objects from across the Smithsonian’s museums that offer a new perspective on the history of the United States. With objects ranging from the earliest years of the pre-Columbian continent to the digital age, each entry pairs fascinating history with the place it now occupies in our national memory. Kurin sheds light on objects we think we know, including Lincoln’s hat to Dorothy’s ruby slippers and Julia Child’s kitchen. Other objects are new discoveries for many, but no less evocative of the most poignant and important moments of the American experience. In Kurin’s hands, each object comes to life, providing a connection to American history.

 

Elson Lecture: John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Double Down

Friday, November 22, 2014

8:00 pm

Location: Atlanta History Center

John Heilemann and Mark Halperin set the national conversation on fire with their bestselling account of the 2008 presidential election, Game Change. In Double Down, they apply their storytelling to the 2012 election, rendering a compelling narrative about the Republican nomination, the rise and fall of Mitt Romney, and the trials, tribulations, and triumph of Barack Obama. For Obama, the victory passed positive judgment on his first term. For the Republicans, 2012 offers a crushing verdict and an existential challenge: to rethink and reconstitute the party or face irrelevance.

John Heilemann is national affairs editor for New York and a political analyst for MSNBC. An award-winning journalist and author of Pride Before the Fall, he is a former staff writer for New Yorker, Wired, and Economist.

Mark Halperin is editor-at-large and senior political analyst for Time and senior political analyst for MSNBC.  Halperin has covered seven presidential elections and lives in New York City with Karen Avrich.

The Elson Lectures feature scholarly addresses by our nation’s prominent historians and are made possible with generous funding from Ambassador and Mrs. Edward Elson.

 

December 2013                                                                                                                                             

Edwidge Danticat, Claire of the Sea Light

Thursday, December 5, 2013

7:00 pm

Location: Margaret Mitchell House

From the best-selling author of Breath, Eyes, Memory and Krik? Krak!, comes a work of about the intertwined lives of a small town where a little girl, Claire has gone missing. As her father and others look for her, painful secrets and startling truths are unearthed among a host of men and women whose stories connect to Claire, her parents, and the town itself. Told with lyricism and economy, Claire of the Sea Light explores what it means to be a parent, child, neighbor, lover, and friend amid the magic and heartbreak of ordinary life.

Edwidge Danticat is the author of Brother, I'm Dying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection; Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; and The Dew Breaker, winner of the inaugural Story Prize.

 

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.