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National Book Festival Presents Douglas Brinkley and Jeanne Theoharis

Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 7:00pm
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
10 First Street, SE
Washington, DC 20540

This event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required for entry. Register here and reserve your copy of the book. 

Please join us for an evening featuring celebrated biographers of Rosa Parks, Douglas Brinkley and Jeanne Theoharis.

Following the December opening of the exhibit “Rosa Parks in Her Own Words,” the Library of Congress will celebrate African American History Month with “Rosa Parks: The History and the Heart”—an event that features two of the nation’s top Parks biographers, Douglas Brinkley and Jeanne Theoharis. Theoharis will lecture, and Brinkley will be in discussion with NPR’s Michel Martin. This event is part of the Library’s new National Book Festival Presents series, bringing the celebrated annual festival to the Library’s historic Thomas Jefferson building.

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and CNN’s official historian. His recent books include CronkiteThe Quiet WorldThe Wilderness Warrior and Rightful Heritage. Six of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. In 2005, he published Rosa Parks: A Life. His two-volume, annotated Nixon Tapes won the Arthur S. Link–Warren F. Kuehl Prize. He is a member of the Century Association and the Council on Foreign Relations and an honorary member of the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. His new book is American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.

Jeanne Theoharis is the author or co-author of nine books and numerous articles on the civil rights and black power movements, the politics of race and education, social welfare and civil rights in post-9/11 America. Her biography The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks won a 2014 NAACP Image Award, the Letitia Woods Brown Award from the Association of Black Women Historians, and was named one of the 25 Best Academic Titles of 2013 by Choice. Her book A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History won the 2018 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize for Nonfiction. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Washington Post, MSNBC, The NationThe AtlanticSlateSalonThe Intercept, Boston Review and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

National Public Radio’s Michel Martin is the weekend host of “All Things Considered,” where she draws on her deep reporting and interviewing experience to dig in to the week's news. Outside the studio, she has also hosted “Michel Martin: Going There,” an ambitious live event series in collaboration with member stations. Martin came to NPR in 2006 and launched “Tell Me More,” a one-hour daily NPR news and talk show that aired on NPR stations nationwide from 2007 to 2014.

To join the signing line for this event and meet Douglas Brinkley and Jeanne Theoharis, attendees must purchase a copy of their books Rosa Parks: A Life and The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks when registering for a ticket or onsite at the event. Other books by the authors will be available for purchase at the event. No memorabilia or books from home will be signed.

The event is free and open to the public; however, tickets are required for entry. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. A ticket does not guarantee entry into the event.

Building doors open at 5:30pm. Auditorium doors open at 6:00pm. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management. We recommend arriving when building doors open to secure a seat.

Arrive early! Ticketholders will have exclusive, after-hours access to the Library’s exhibit “Rosa Parks in Her Own Words,” from 5:30pm to 7:00pm on the night of the program.

Please request ADA accommodations at least 5 days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or

Make your gift to support the Library’s free literary programs: DONATE.

East City Bookshop is proud to be the official bookseller for this event.

In the event of inclement weather, publicized events are subject to delay and/or cancelation. Patrons will be notified of any alterations to posted event times in advance of the event.

Rosa Parks: A Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143036005
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - October 25th, 2005

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807076927
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - November 24th, 2015