Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

October 15, 1997

Michael Kammen To Discuss Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America at the Library of Congress

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and educator Michael Kammen will analyze one of the most cited books in the American corpus, Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America, at the opening program of this season's Bradley Lecture series on "Books that Matter to Our Citizenship, Statecraft, and Public Policy." The lecture will be presented at 5:30 p.m. October 30, in the Montpelier Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. Tickets are not required for the free lecture.

As the Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University, Mr. Kammen brings an outstanding level of expertise to the discussion of this cardinal work of American cultural history. The author of numerous works on American life and thought, Mr. Kammen is perhaps best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, People of Paradox (1972). Among his other works are A Rope of Sand (1968), Deputyes & Libertyes(1969), Empire and Interest(1970), A Season of Youth (1978), A Machine That Would Go of Its Self (1986), Meadows of Memory (1992), The Lively Arts (1996), and In the Past Lane (1997).

In addition to being a prolific author, Mr. Kammen has held a number of prestigious fellowships and close associations with Johns Hopkins University, the Smithsonian Institution, Stanford University, the American Antiquarian Society and the Huntington Library. He has served as president of the Organization of American Historians and maintained active leadership roles in such professional groups as the American Historical Association and the Society of American Historians.

The Bradley Lecture series is made possible by a grant, from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, to have eminent scholars explain classic texts.

Last year the series featured discussions on Plato's Republic by Professor Martha Nussbaum, The Federalist Papers by Professor Bernard Bailyn, and Karl von Clausewitz's On War by Sir Michael Howard. Each lecturer analyzed the text, explained the circumstances of its creation, dealt with its ambiguities in treatment and historical understanding, drew out its central theses and addressed the degree to which its basic arguments remain essential today.

Library of Congress Director of Scholarly Programs Prosser Gifford said the lecture series "has demonstrated persuasively the value of a close reading and re-reading of texts, the interpretation and significance of which has shifted over time, so that even texts we thought we knew well gain immeasurably from a fresh explication. What could be better for a library than a demonstration of the intellectual vitality of some of its most treasured holdings?"

Expanded versions of the lectures will soon be presented as separate pamphlets in the Bradley series, so that audiences unable to hear the original presentation may still benefit from the insight of the lecturers.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations please contact the Disability Employment Program office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 97-169
10/15/97
ISSN 0731-3527

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