Press contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

January 28, 2009

New Civil War Book for Young Readers is Subject of Feb. 9 Discussion

First-Person Accounts from Library of Congress Collections Form Basis of Book

"Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War Through Reconstruction" is the subject of a Books & Beyond event sponsored by the Center for the Book on Monday, Feb. 9, at noon in the sixth-floor West Dining Room of the Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The event is free and open to the public.

The book draws on the Library of Congress collections of former slave interviews to convey the aspirations, sorrows, courage and hopes of ordinary people living through this period.

Linda B. Osborne, a senior writer and editor in the Library’s Publishing Office, is the book’s author. Osborne mined the Federal Writers’ Project slave narratives and materials in the Library’s Manuscript, Prints and Photographs, Rare Book and Special Collections, and Geography and Map divisions for this work that focuses on the experiences of African-American children.

More than 80 archival images complement the text. Major events covered include the rise of the domestic slave trade, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Republican Congress’ Reconstruction policies.

From Charles Cowley, an enslaved child who had no shoes with which to walk through the snow, to Richard Slaughter, who enlisted in the Union Army at 17, this book reveals the personal hardships and courageous endurance of black youth in 19th-century America.

"Traveling the Freedom Road: From Slavery and the Civil War Through Reconstruction" is published by Harry N. Abrams in association with the Library of Congress. This full-color hardback book is available for $24.95 from the Library of Congress Sales Shop (www.loc.gov/shop/) or by calling (888) 682-3557. It is also available in bookstores, nationwide and online.

The Center for the Book has sponsored several Books & Beyond events relating to the Civil War that are now available as Webcasts on the center’s site at www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/cyber-cfb.html:

• "A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters," by Elizabeth Brown Pryor (2007)

• "Speak Right On," in which Mary E. Neighbour discusses her novel about Dred Scott (2007)

• "Lincoln's Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Words," by Douglas Wilson (2007)

• "Manhunt: The Chase for Lincoln’s Killer," by James Swanson (2006)

• "The American Civil War: 365 Days," by Margaret Wagner and Gerry Gallagher (2006)

• "Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington," by Daniel Mark Epstein (2004).

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a new, personalized Web site at myLOC.gov.

The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its programs, publications and national reading-promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook/.

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PR 09-008
01/28/09
ISSN 0731-3527

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