Highlighting History at the Maine Festival of the Book

The 2012 Maine Festival of the Book, which starts today in Portland, has much to offer folks interested in history.

On Friday night, Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic, will deliver the keynote address. His riveting new book, Midnight Rising, explores the story of abolitionist John Brown and the raid on Harper’s Ferry.

On Saturday at 11am, Horwitz, Portland-based Colin Woodard, and Michael Willrich will participate in a panel discussion, “New Takes on Past Connections,” that focuses on how these writers use history to help us understand contemporary American culture, politics, and identity. The panel will be moderated by Maine Historical Society Assistant Director Steve Bromage.

For more information on the festival, please visit Maine Reads‘ website.

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SPIN

A great little essay on the last title in our American Historical Fiction book (which had a very fine kick-off late last month). While our book group is full, consider — in this 10th year since 9/11 — reading McCann’s novel on your own and pairing it with the compelling documentary “Man on Wire” about Philippe Petit, the man who really walked between the twin towers.

Read the essay from NPR.org here.