Free Book Talks

books

April 15
1:30 p.m.; Free

Join us for a free book talk with Liza Mundy on her book "Code Girls."

Reviews:  "Irresistible.... We owe Mundy gratitude for rescuing these hidden figures from obscurity. Even more valuable is her challenge to the myth of the eccentric, inspired, solitary male genius, like Alan Turing."―Elaine Showalter, The Washington Post

"Code Girls...finally gives due to the courageous women who worked in the wartime intelligence community."―Smithsonian.com

"Liza Mundy’s Code Girls reveals one of World War II’s last remaining secrets: the true tale of the young American women who helped shorten the war and saved thousands of lives by breaking the codes of the German and Japanese armed forces. But it’s also a superbly researched and stirringly written social history of a pivotal chapter in the struggle for women’s rights, told through the powerful and poignant stories of the individuals involved. In exploring the vast, obscure, and makeshift offices of wartime Washington where these women performed seemingly impossible deeds, Mundy has discovered a birthplace of modern America."―Glenn Frankel, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of High Noon

 "Code Girls is a riveting account of the thousands of young coeds who flooded into Washington to help America win World War II. Liza Mundy has written a thrilling page-turner that illuminates the patriotism, rivalry, and sexism of the code-breakers’ world."―Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt

April 22, 2018
1:30 p.m.; Free

Join us for a free book talk with Rebecca Boggs Roberts on her book "Suffragists in Washington, DC: The 1913 Parade and the Fight for the Vote." 

About the Book: The Great Suffrage Parade was the first civil rights march to use the nation’s capital as a backdrop. Despite sixty years of relentless campaigning by suffrage organizations, by 1913 only six states allowed women to vote. Then Alice Paul came to Washington, D.C. She planned a grand spectacle on Pennsylvania Avenue on the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration—marking the beginning of a more aggressive strategy on the part of the women’s suffrage movement. Groups of women protested and picketed outside the White House, and some were thrown into jail. Newspapers across the nation covered their activities. These tactics finally led to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Author Rebecca Boggs Roberts narrates the heroic struggle of Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party as they worked to earn the vote. 

Rebecca Boggs Roberts has been many things including, but not limited to, journalist, producer, tour guide, forensic anthropologist, event planner, political consultant, jazz singer and radio talk show host. Currently, she is a program coordinator for Smithsonian Associates, where she has made it a personal mission to highlight the history of our capital city. Roberts lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, three sons and a big fat dog. Suffragists in Washington D.C.: The 1913 Parade and the Fight for the Vote is her second book. 

May 20, 2018
1:30 p.m; Free

Book Talk with Richard E. Quest on his book "I Held Lincoln: A Union Sailor's Journey Home.
Review
“Gleaned from the actual documents of Lt. Benjamin Loring, I Held Lincoln tells the story of a Union sailor’s remarkable odyssey as he twice escapes from a Confederate prison, only to later find himself a player at Ford’s Theater at one of the most crucial events in American history. Richard Quest brings to life this extraordinary, fast-paced, and recently discovered story. I Held Lincoln could be The Conspirator’s prequel.”—Webster Stone, producer of The Conspirator (Webster Stone 2017-09-16)

“A compelling account of capture, imprisonment, escape, ordeal, and survival, I Held Lincoln reads like quality fiction. The reader follows with intense interest the efforts of Union Navy lieutenant Benjamin W. Loring to gain freedom from a Texas prison camp despite an array of daunting obstacles. Richard Quest’s ability to maintain the inherent drama and suspense of the story makes this book hard to put down.”—Edward G. Longacre, author of The Sharpshooters: A History of the Ninth New Jersey Volunteer Infantry in the Civil War (Edward G. Longacre 2017-09-16)

About the Author
Richard E. Quest is the founding president and executive director of the charitable nonprofit organization Books in Homes USA, Inc. He is a former history teacher, has held administrative positions in public education, and was a dean and associate vice president of several colleges. Quest is a member of the Loudoun County Civil War Round Table and is a guide at the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park in Virginia. He recently relocated to northern Virginia.

June 3, 2018
1:30 p.m; Free

Free Book Talk with Garrett Peck on his book Capital Beer.
About the Book

Imagine the jubilation of thirsty citizens in 1796 when the Washington Brewery--the city’s first brewery--opened. Yet the English-style ales produced by the early breweries in the capital and in nearby Arlington and Alexandria sat heavy on the tongue in the oppressive Potomac summers. By the 1850s, an influx of German immigrants gave a frosty reprieve to their new home in the form of light but flavorful lagers. Brewer barons like Christian Heurich and Albert Carry dominated the taps of city saloons until production ground to a halt with the dry days of Prohibition. Only Heurich survived, and when the venerable institution closed in 1956, Washington, D.C., was without a brewery for fifty-five years. Author and beer scholar Garrett Peck taps this high-gravity history while introducing readers to the bold new brewers leading the capital’s recent craft beer revival.

About the Author

Garrett Peck is a literary journalist and craft beer, drinking, wine-collecting, gin-loving, bourbon-sipping, Simpsons-quoting, early morning, rising history dork. He is the author of The Prohibition Hangover: Alcohol in America from Demon Rum to Cult Cabernet and leads the Temperance Tour of Prohibition-related sites in Washington, D.C. Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t is his second book. A native Californian and Virginia Military Institute graduate, he lives in lovely Arlington, Virginia. His website can be found at www.garrettpeck.com.

June 17, 2018
1:30 p.m; Free

Free Book Talk with Author Mark Elliott Benbow on his book The Nation's Capital Brewmaster: Christian Heurich and His Brewery, 1842-1956

About the Book
Christian Heurich (1842–1945) was not only Washington D.C.’s most successful brewer, he was the world’s oldest, with 90 years’ experience. He walked across central Europe learning his craft, survived a shipboard cholera epidemic, recovered from malaria and worked as a roustabout on a Caribbean banana boat—all by age 30. Heurich lived most of his life in Washington, becoming its largest private landowner and opening the city’s largest brewery. He won a “beer war” against his rivals and his beers won medals at World’s Fairs.

 He was trapped in Europe while on vacation at the start of both World Wars, once sleeping through an air raid, and was accused of being a German spy plotting to assassinate Woodrow Wilson. A notably odd episode: when they began to tear down his old brewery to build the Kennedy Center, the wrecking ball bounced off the walls.

 Drawing on family papers and photos, the author chronicles Heurich’s life and the evolving beer industry before and after Prohibition.

About the Author
Mark Elliott Benbow is an assistant professor of American History at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.