CAMDEN — On Tuesday, July 6, at 6 p.m., the Camden Public Library welcomes author Colin Woodard to the Camden Amphitheatre for a talk about his latest book, Union. The book tells the story of how the myth of U.S. national identity was created and fought over in the nineteenth century — “a conflict that continues to affect our country today,” said the Library, in a news release.
Woodard will be discussing the book and offering signed copies for sale. The audience is encouraged to bring a lawn chair for comfortable seating.
In Union, Woodard describes the struggle to create a national myth for the United States, one that could hold its rival regional cultures together and forge an American nationhood. On one hand, a small group of individuals— historians, political leaders, and novelists — fashioned and promoted the idea of America as a nation that had a God-given mission to lead humanity toward freedom, equality, and self-government. But this emerging narrative was swiftly contested by another set of intellectuals and firebrands who argued that the United States was instead the homeland of the allegedly superior “Anglo-Saxon” race, upon whom divine and Darwinian favor shined.
Woodard tells the story of the genesis and epic confrontations between these visions of our nation’s path and purpose through the lives of the key figures who created them, a cast of characters whose personal quirks and virtues, gifts and demons shaped the destiny of millions.
Maine native Colin Woodard is an award-winning journalist and the author of six books that have been translated into a dozen foreign languages and inspired an NBC television drama. He is currently State and National Affairs Writer at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, where he won a 2012 George Polk Award and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2016. He is a contributing editor at POLITICO, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Smithsonian and dozens of other major publications.
He is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Chicago. He is past Pew Fellow in International Journalism at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a recipient of the Jane Bagley Lehman Award for Excellence in Public Advocacy.
For more information on this and other programs from the Camden Public Library, visit librarycamden.org.