The Atlanta History Center offers a variety of lectures throughout the year showcasing award-winning authors who share insight into their latest publication. Books are available for purchase in the Atlanta History Center Museum Shop during lectures and a book signing follows each Aiken, Elson, and Livingston lecture. View lectures presented at the Margaret Mitchell House, our Midtown campus.
Admission for all lectures is $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers, and FREE to AHC Insiders unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required for all lectures. Please call 404.814.4150. All lecture ticket purchases are non-refundable.
If you are an Insiders member ($500 Patron level and above), please email us your reservation request to Insiders@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com or call us at 404.814.4101.
James Carville and Mary Matalin, Love and War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home
Love and War traces the Carville and Matalin story from the end of the 1992 presidential campaign—where James managed Bill Clinton’s electoral triumph while Mary suffered defeat as George H. W. Bush’s key strategist—until now.
The new book is written in two alternating and distinct voices and describes the personal and public histories of the last twenty years. Matalin’s focus is on the interwoven personal and political events of a transformational age; issues and insights from her kitchen table to the White House Cabinet room on family, faith, friends, and foreign enemies.
Carville’s concentration is politics—the triumphant and troubled Clinton-era, George Bush’s complicated presidency, the election of Barack Obama, and the rise of the corrosive partisanship that dominates political life in Washington today. Both of them reflect on raising young girls in the pressure cooker of the nation’s capital and the family’s move to New Orleans, post-Katrina, where their efforts to rebuild and promote the city has become a central part of their lives—and a poignant metaphor for moving America forward.
James Carville is an American political consultant, commentator, educator, actor, attorney, media personality, and prominent liberal pundit. Carville currently teaches political science at Tulane University. Mary Matalin is an American political consultant well-known for her work with the Republican Party, and can be heard weekly co-hosting the nationally-syndicated “Both Sides Now” radio program with Arianna Huffington. Matalin and Carville have two daughthers.
This program is sponsored by McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP.
Aiken Lecture: Erskine Clarke, By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth Century Atlantic Odyssey
In his new book, By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey, award-winning historian and religious scholar Erskine Clarke traces the path of John Leighton Wilson and his wife Jane, a passionate, hopeful missionary couple who left all the privileges and comforts of their Southern home to spread the gospel in West Africa. Educated Protestants who came from well-established, slaveholding families, Leighton and Jane’s story embodies the tensions of pre-Civil War America that eventually led to one of the bloodiest conflicts in our nation’s history. Their journey from Northern and Southern high society to the shores of Cape Palmas is one of deep contradiction, good intentions and bitter consequences.
Erskine Clarke is Professor Emeritus of American Religious History at Columbia Theological Seminary and author of Dwelling Place, Wrestlin’ Jacob, and Our Southern Zion. The recipient of Columbia University’s Bancroft Prize for Dwelling Place, as well as many other awards, he has served as a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall College and University of Cambridge. He lives in Montreat, North Carolina.
Aiken Lecture: William Link, Atlanta, Cradle of the New South: Race and Remembering in the Civil War's Aftermath
After conquering Atlanta in the summer of 1864 and occupying it for two months, Union forces laid waste to the city in November. William T. Sherman's invasion was a pivotal moment in the history of the South, and Atlanta's rebuilding over the following fifty years came to represent the contested meaning of the Civil War itself. The war's aftermath brought a contentious transition from Old South to New for whites and African Americans alike. Historian William Link argues that this struggle defined the broader meaning of the Civil War in the modern South, with no place embodying the region's past and future more clearly than Atlanta.
Link frames the city as both exceptional—because of the incredible impact of the war there and the city's phoenix-like postwar rise—and as a model for other southern cities. He shows how, in spite of the violent reimposition of white supremacy, freedpeople in Atlanta built a cultural, economic, and political center that helped to define black America.
Civil War 150 Program: An Evening with James McPherson
Civil War historians disagree on many issues: Gettysburg or Atlanta? Grant or Sherman? Slavery or States Rights? Lost Cause or Cause Lost? But they do agree on one thing: James McPherson is the dean of Civil War studies and his Battle Cry of Freedom is the best single-volume history of the war.
Moderated by Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era at the University of Georgia, the evening features a free-ranging interview in which McPherson ruminates on the war, its legacy, and its changing place in American memory.
Civil War 150 lectures are presented through the generous support of Vicki and Howard Palefsky.
B.J. Novak, One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
B.J. Novak’s literary debut is an endlessly entertaining, surprisingly sensitive, and startlingly original collection that signals the arrival of a welcome new voice in American fiction.
In One More Thing, a boy wins a $100,000 prize in a box of Frosted Flakes – only to discover that claiming the winnings may unravel his family. A woman sets out to seduce motivational speaker Tony Robbins – turning for help to the famed motivator himself. A school principal unveils a bold plan to permanently abolish arithmetic. An acclaimed ambulance driver seeks the courage to follow his heart and throw it all away to be a singer-songwriter. Author John Grisham contemplates a monumental typo. A new arrival in heaven, overwhelmed by infinite options, procrastinates over his long-ago promise to visit his grandmother. We meet a vengeance-minded hare, obsessed with scoring a rematch against the tortoise who ruined his life; and post-college friends who debate how to stage an intervention in the era of Facebook. We learn why wearing a red t-shirt every day is the key to finding love; how February got its name; and why the stock market is sometimes just…down.
Tickets are $30 members; $40 nonmembers. Each ticket includes a copy of One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.
Livingston Lecture: Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, HRC
HRC is a revealing examination of the strategy behind Hillary’s political revitalization at home and abroad and takes readers inside Hillary's decision to join the Obama Cabinet, her four years in his inner circle as Secretary of State and the mysterious workings of Bill and Hillary's political machine as she makes her decision about the 2016 election
Jonathan Allen is the White House Bureau Chief for POLITICO. An award-winning reporter, he has also written extensively about Congress and national politics, and he appears frequently as a political analyst on national television news programs.
Amie Parnes is the White House correspondent for The Hill newspaper in Washington, where she covers the Obama Administration. A ten-year veteran of political journalism, she traveled with the Clinton, Obama and McCain campaigns while covering the 2008 presidential race for POLITICO. She appears frequently on MSNBC and has also been featured on CNN, Fox News and other networks.
Livingston Lecture Series:
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Elson Lecture Series:
Sidney Isenberg Lecture Series: