2018 Keynote: Blanche Wiesen Cook
History Book Festival 2018 Keynote
7 pm, Friday, September 28, 2018
Bethel United Methodist Church, 129 West Fourth Street, Lewes
Featuring Blanche Wiesen Cook, author of
the third and final volume of her acclaimed biography
Interviewed by Paul Sparrow, Director of the FDR Library & Museum
Musical accompaniment by David Cieri, composer for the Burns documentary
Blanche Wiesen Cook, our keynote speaker, is a distinguished professor of history and women’s studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A long-time print and media journalist, her columns were syndicated by the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. She also hosted and produced weekly programs for Radio Pacifica. Her biography of Eleanor Roosevelt received much acclaim, including the Los Angeles Times Biography Prize and the Lambda Literary Prize. In 2014, she was featured on air in Ken Burns’ seven-part, fourteen-hour PBS series The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
The long-awaited third and final volume of the biography takes us through the arc of World War II, the evolution of a personal and political marriage, FDR’s death, the founding of the UN, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s death in 1962.
Cook’s portrait of a powerful individual who towered over the twentieth century explores how, as First Lady, Eleanor realized the cost of maintaining her principles even as the country and her husband were not prepared to adopt them. She struggled for economic security, New Deal reforms, and racial equality. The war years made her the leader, visionary, and guiding light that she became. Her passion and commitment inspired generations of Americans to fight for a decent future for all people.
Ms. Cook will be interviewed by Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist Paul Sparrow, Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York.
Music will be provided by pianist and composer David Cieri, whose original compositions and arrangements of early 20th Century music brought Theodore, Franklin Delano, and Eleanor Roosevelt to life in Ken Burns’ PBS documentary.