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October 30, 2003

New Book on George Washington and Slavery To Be Featured on Nov. 5

Historian Henry Wiencek will discuss his new book, "An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at the Library of Congress in the Montpelier Room, sixth floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., in Washington, D.C.

The presentation is part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book, which highlights new books of particular relevance to the collections or programs of the Library of Congress. The program is co-sponsored by the Library's Manuscript Division, home of the George Washington Papers, a collection used extensively by Wiencek in his research. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are needed. A book signing will follow the program.

"An Imperfect God" focuses on the life of Washington and explores early slavery in America. Publishers Weekly called it a "work of stylish scholarship and genealogical investigation [that] makes Washington an even greater and more human figure than he seemed before."

Nathan Ward in Library Journal recommended it as a "must-read" for the fall, calling it "a totally original consideration of race and our elusive first president." In the review, Wiencek said, "It was a great challenge to write about Washington and slavery because I tried not to whitewash the past, but I also had to guard against setting myself up as a prosecutor. The other part of the challenge is that the more you study Washington the more you admire him; you have to struggle to keep your objectivity."

Wiencek is a renowned historian and author of several books. His book "The Hairstons: An American Family in Black and White" (St. Martin's, 1999) won the 1999 National Book Critics' Circle Award.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. For information about its projects and publications and the activities of its affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, visit its Web site at www.loc.gov/cfbook/.

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PR 03-187
10/30/03
ISSN 0731-3527

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