A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Book Fair: History and politics book selections offer rich choices at Saturday’s event,

History and politics are always popular genres at the Kentucky Book Fair, and this year’s selection of books will give Kentucky history buffs plenty to read about.

Prolific biographer, renowned historian, and New York Times bestselling author H.W. Brands begins the day on the University of Kentucky Main Stage in conversation with Dr. Michael Benson about his newest book, Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants. Brands and Benson will be introduced by Henry Clay, as portrayed by Kentucky Chautauqua performer George McGee.

H.W. Brands

Of the book, historian and author Jon Meacham says, “H.W. Brands tells the story of Clay, Calhoun, and Webster with verve and clarity, reminding us of a bygone age when giants truly walked the floor of the United States Senate.” Author Michael Beschloss says, “Heirs of the Founders should remind those of our own time how important Clay, Calhoun, and Webster are to the nation we live in today.” Brands will sign books until 12 noon.

Kentucky State Historian Dr. James Klotter contributes his own Clay scholarship in a new biography from Oxford University Press, Henry Clay: The Man Who Would Be President.

“As ‘the Great Compromiser,’ as party leader, as a man above party, Clay has earned the accolades of history,” Klotter says. “His words still ring out to us: ‘I would rather be right than be president.’ In studying Clay’s career, it showed me, more than ever, that we need another Henry Clay.”

Dr. Klotter is also the author of the second edition of A New History of Kentucky, revised from the revered 1997 edition to include updated material on gender politics, African American history, and cultural history. This wide-ranging volume includes a full overview of the state and its economic, educational, environmental, racial, and religious histories. Dr. Melissa McEuen, professor of history at Transylvania University, calls it “an exciting, rich narrative for the twenty-first century.”

Other history and politics authors scheduled to appear include:

Bryan Bush, civil war historian and author of Favorite Sons of Civil War Kentucky

Berry Craig, professor emeritus of history at West Kentucky Community and Technical College and author of Kentucky’s Rebel Press: Pro-Confederate Media and the Secession Crisis

Jonathan Cullick, professor of English at Northern Kentucky University and author of Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men: A Reader’s Companion

Elizabeth Rouse Fielder, author of Kentucky’s Joseph C.S. Blackburn: Soldier, Statesman, and a Friend of All

James Gifford, director of the Jesse Stuart Foundation and author of Sergeant Sandlin: Kentucky’s Forgotten Hero

Wayne Onkst, former Kentucky State Librarian and author of Presidential Visits to Kentucky, 1819-2017

Randolph Paul Runyon, professor emeritus at Miami University and author of The Mentelles: Mary Todd Lincoln, Henry Clay, and the Immigrant Family Who Educated Antebellum Kentucky

Christina Snyder, McCabe Greer Professor of History at Pennsylvania State University and author of Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson

The 37th annual Kentucky Book Fair is the anchor event of the Kentucky Book Festival events taking place November 12 – 17. The Kentucky Book Festival would not be possible without our sponsors, donors, and community partners. More information on the Festival, including a full list of sponsors, events, and authors can be found at the website or by calling (859) 257-5932.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment