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For Immediate Release (01-52)
Date: October 5, 2001
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952
Montgomery College Books and Ideas Series to Present 
Historian Ira Berlin, Poet Myra Sklarew in November

Ira Berlin, a renowned historian, and Myra Sklarew, an award-winning poet, will speak at Montgomery College in November, as part of "Books and Ideas," a series of literary events sponsored by the Paul Peck Humanities Institute. 

"Books and Ideas" is designed to inspire a love of books, learning, and serious discussion with local historians, critics, poets or novelists of influence and stature. 

Historian Ira Berlin is the featured speaker on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Theatre Arts Building, Rockville Campus. A history professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, Berlin 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. The work was praised by the New York Times Book Review as "R026 masterly R026 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, to name a few. 

Poet Myra Sklarew will speak on "Poetry, Memory, and Curiosity: The ‘I Don’t Know’ Factor" on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Rockville Campus Bookstore, Campus Center. 

Sklarew is a poet and faculty member in the creative writing program at American University. She has written numerous articles and poems and has been featured or reviewed in many publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Science/83, Poetry, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. She is the recipient of the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Award, and her poetry has been recorded for the Library of Congress’ Archive of Poetry and Literature. 

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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