Bestselling author and Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin H.W. Brands will be the 2016 LAKE TRAVIS READS visiting author. The “One Book, One Community” program is now in its ninth year. Co-sponsored by Bee Cave Public Library, Lake Travis Community Library, and Spicewood Community Library, LAKE TRAVIS READS encourages the community to read from the acclaimed author’s body of work and then meet the author at a special evening event in April.
H.W. Brands is the author of numerous books on American history and politics including Lone Star Nation, The Man Who Saved the Union, Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, American Colossus, The First American, and Reagan: The Life. Several of his books have been bestsellers and two, Traitor to His Class and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.
An animated and captivating lecturer, Brands presents history through stories. "It is more important to me that my students come out of my class believing 'This story is interesting and I might want to know more about it' than to fill them up with information," said the author.
Brands holds that whatever information students may learn in a classroom will slip away with time, but creating an interest in history can result in learning that will continue throughout a student's life.
Brands sees his writings as an extension of the classroom, where history is best taught by creating a compelling narrative. His biographical works contextualize historical information in a 'life and times' storyline with the emphasis on the times. When researching a historical period he looks for central characters by which to tell the story of the era, creating through them a voice that resonates with the reader. Personal notes and writings, letters, and diary entries are integral to Brands’ writing as they allow the period to come alive. "History is a story... in fact, it is the best story I can think of,” he said.
“One Book, One Community” is a national program created by the Center for the Book in Washington, D.C., and adopted by communities around the nation. As part of LAKE TRAVIS READS H.W. BRANDS, copies of his books will be available at the libraries for checkout in a variety of formats including print, audio, and digital. “An Evening with H.W. Brands” will conclude the 2016 LAKE TRAVIS READS program with an appearance by the author at Bee Cave Public Library on Thursday, April 14th at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.laketravisreads.org, or any of the participating libraries.
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