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For Immediate Release (01-47)
Date:  August 1, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Montgomery College)

Montgomery College to Host Six Free Literary Events
‘Books and Ideas’ Series Kicks Off Sept. 12 with Noted Historian Ira Berlin

The Paul Peck Humanities Institute of Montgomery College is sponsoring "Books and Ideas"— a series of six free literary events led by respected local writers. The inaugural lecture, set for Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. in the Theatre Arts Building, Rockville Campus, features award-winning historian Ira Berlin.

Berlin, a professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park, is an acknowledged expert on American history in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly southern and African-American life. His talk, "Slavery in History and Memory," is based on his critically acclaimed book, Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America, which was praised by the New York Times Book Review as "… masterly … illuminates the first 200 years of African-American history more effectively than any previous study."

His first book, Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (1975), was awarded the Best First Book Prize from the National Historical Society.

Berlin is the founder of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which he directed until 1991. The project’s multi-volume Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867 was twice awarded the Thomas Jefferson Prize from the Society for History in the Federal Government for outstanding editorial achievement, and the Abraham Lincoln Prize for Excellence in Civil War Studies from the Lincoln and Soldiers Institute of Gettysburg College.

Berlin’s articles and reviews have appeared in many national newspapers and publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Nation, and the American Historical Review.

The remaining five lectures in the Books and Ideas Series will feature:

  • E. Ethelbert Miller, Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m., Bliss Room, Montgomery College-Takoma Park Campus;
  • Myra Sklarew, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Montgomery College-Rockville Campus Bookstore;
  • Larry Moffi, February 13, 2001, 7 p.m, Montgomery College-Germantown Campus;
  • Percy North, March 6, 2001, noon, Rockville Campus Bookstore; and
  • Marita Golden, April 10, 2001, 7 p.m., Montgomery College-Rockville Campus Bookstore.

All lectures in the Books and Ideas series are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Paul Peck Humanities Institute at 240-567-7417.

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