The Washington Post, Feb. 5, 2021:  “It’s difficult to imagine a more timely book than “Robert E. Lee and Me.” At this pivotal moment, when we are debating some of the most painful aspects of our history, Seidule’s unsparing assessment of the Lost Cause provides an indispensable contribution to the discussion.”

The New York Times, Feb. 9, 2021: “a powerful and introspective look into white Americans’ continuing romance with the Confederacy, and the lasting damage that has done.”

The Civil War Monitor, Feb. 24, 2021: “An effective antidote to the Lost Cause, Seidule’s book deserves both a wide readership and a place on undergraduate syllabi.”

The Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 24, 2021: “Despite its very personal pathos, the book does not simply knock his boyhood idol off the pedestal; rather, it gives an uncompromising, searing, and full-throated indictment of a historically misrepresented man and myth, along with the many institutions that have given currency to all of it through the years.”

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As Confederate monuments come down in U.S. cities, America is once again grappling with its racist past. For TY SEIDULE, a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army and Professor Emeritus of History at West Point, this issue is personal. Brought up to revere Robert E. Lee, SEIDULE once believed that the Confederates were romantic underdogs who lost the Civil War with honor. In his new book, ROBERT E. LEE AND ME: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause, SEIDULE describes how he confronted the racist legacy at the core of his identity and challenges the persistent myths of the Lost Cause. Part memoir and part history, ROBERT E. LEE AND ME is a vital contribution to the literature on race in America.

TY SEIDULE is Professor Emeritus of History at West Point where he taught for two decades. He is the Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College as well as a New America Fellow. He has published numerous books, articles, and videos on military history including the award-winning West Point History of the Civil War. TY graduated from Washington and Lee University and holds a PhD from the Ohio State University.

CRYSTAL N. FEIMSTER, a native of North Carolina, is an associate professor in the departments of African American Studies and History and the programs of American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, where she teaches a range of courses in 19th and 20th century African American history, women’s history, and southern history. FEIMSTER is the author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, a history of how black and white women in the US South were affected by and responded to the problems of rape and lynching in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

We are proud to present the Edmund and Sylvia Morris Lecture Series here at Kent Memorial Library. Edmund and Sylvia Morris were renowned biographers and accomplished writers. Edmund won a Pulitzer Prize for his first biography of Theodore Roosevelt, and followed it with books on Reagan, Beethoven, and Edison. Sylvia was also an acclaimed biographer, penning works on Edith Roosevelt and Claire Booth Luce. She was a sought after lecturer, too, and gave talks at The Library of Congress, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the University of Delaware, among others. Both were deep thinking scholars and Library lovers, and when they passed our friends Donna and Ben Rosen reached out with an opportunity – to design and present a speaker series honoring the legacy of these two esteemed members of the literary community, and our community in Kent. Our goal with the Morris Lecture Series is to tackle big issues and start important conversations, and we hope you will be inspired by these events to think about the challenges we all face, as a Town and as a nation.

Coming September 9 – Bill McKibben American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming.