By Nancy Spannaus

April 15, 2024—I would like to cordially invite you to attend one, or several, of four upcoming Book events in which I am participating. As you can see in the picture, I just got a large shipment of my latest, Defeating Slavery: Hamilton’s American System Showed the Way. I also have copies of its predecessor, Hamilton Versus Wall Street, available for sale.

My latest shipment of books, ready for sale.

Here’s the run-down:

April 20 — 1-4 pm — Book signing for Defeating Slavery at Barnes & Noble, 20427 Exchange Street, Ashburn, Virginia.

April 21, 11 to 4 — Kensington Day of the Book Festival, Howard Avenue, Kensington, Maryland (For more information, see www.dayofthebook.com)

April 27, 12 to 3 – Independent Bookstore Day Author Showcase, Birch Tree Bookstore, 11 West Market Street, Leesburg, Va. For more, click here

April 28, 12 to 4, America250! History Fair, Carroll Creek Park, Frederick, Maryland. For more, click here.

Of course, if all of these locations are out of your reach, you can efficiently buy Defeating Slavery by clicking the QR code below. But if you can make it, it would be a great opportunity to discuss some crucial history. I’d love to see and talk with you.

An American Tradition We Need Today

During my recent book events, I have noticed that many of our fellow citizens are hungry for an informed discussion of our nation’s history, including the difficult issues of slavery. “Popular wisdom” may say that Americans today are so hooked on short attention-span items that they can get on their phones, that reading a book is passé, but that is fortunately not universally the case. Perhaps the current sense of political paralysis and intractable global conflict is finally spurring people to face their responsibility to think through issues for themselves, instead of simply react emotionally.

During my study for a recent class series on the American Revolution, I was struck by the intensity of the literary debate that went into our nation’s founding. Historian Bernard Bailyn, in his influential study entitled The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, identified more than 400 pamphlets devoted to the conflict with Britain between 1775 and 1776, and a staggering 1500 by 1783. Unlike any known revolution up to that time, the participants were reading and debating on the issues that were affecting their lives. Thinking before acting.

Many of these pamphlets were written by those whom one might consider the elite, but many were not. A minister would put his sermon in writing and circulate it in the local paper, or as a pamphlet. Nor would these offerings be short and sloganeering. You’d be amazed at how lengthy and well-reasoned they were.

Early printing foundry in the colonies

Our forefathers had the advantage of the fact that many of the early colonists were literate, and valued literacy.  Indeed, our rate of literacy in the 18th century is widely considered to have been greater than virtually any other nation on earth, despite the abominable denial of this right to most of the enslaved, and many women.

There seems to be a proliferation of book fairs these days – and that’s a hopeful sign that our citizens are turning to reading again.  In my view, a nation that has abandoned reading has abandoned its posterity.

So, please spread the word about these book events, which will feature a wide variety of genres. And please consider joining me for a discussion, and a copy of Defeating Slavery.

 

image_pdfimage_print
 

Tags: , , ,