By Peter Rousmaniere
Special To The Standard
Enhanced by an historian giving the keynote address, Bookstock this year offers probably the strongest array of historians in its five-year history. Black history, the Civil War, Boston’s Fenway Park, a gritty Vermont life, and Cuba are all featured.
Saturday, July 27, at Bookstock begins at 10 a.m. with a riveting account of the life of Rosa Parks, to many the most inspiring of 20th Century Civil Rights women. Jeanne Theoharis, author of The Rebellious life of Mrs. Rosa Parks will describe her subject for the provocative, smart activist she was under the surface.
On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks refused to move to the back of a public transit bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance kindled civil rights activism that led to the Civil Rights Acts 10 years later. That this is only part of Park’ s story. Few people know of her extensive ties within the civil rights movement, or the fact she was part American Indian.
Any hardly anyone today knew , before Theoharis’ biography, that the same bus driver who had her arrested on Dec. 1, clashed with Parks 10yearsbeforeinan earlier bus-relating confrontation.
Another young historian of black culture and life, Emily Bernard, will discuss an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, Carl Van Vechten, on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Woodstock History Center.
Bernard, University of Vermont professor and one of the America’s most dedicated young historians of black culture and life, will discuss an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s.Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance: A Portrait in Black and White, is a chronicle of one of the many lives lived by Carl Van Vechten. A white man with an abiding passion for blackness, Van Vechten played a crucial and, at times, fiercely controversial role in helping the Harlem Renaissance, a black movement, come to understand itself. Historian Bernard teaches at the University of Vermont.
‘The foremost historian of Vermont and the Civil War,’ Howard Coffin, describes his new book, Something Abides: Vermont Civil War Stories and Places, on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the History Center. The book lists more than 3,000 Civil War sites that survive throughout the state. With this book, the reader can recreate what Vermont was like 150 years ago.
Coffin is a seventh generation Vermonter with six ancestors who served in Vermont Civil War regiments. He has given more than 300 talks on the Civil War in Vermont alone, and leads tours of Civil War battlefields.
Glenn Stout discusses his award winning book about Fenway Park and the 1912 World Series on Saturday at 4 p.m., also at the History Center. A noted sportswriter, Stout will discuss The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season and the Remarkable Story of Fenway’s First Season. This is the definitive story of the building of Fenway Park and the 1912seasonand World Series – a series that went to eight games.
Cassie Horner presents ‘Fact into Fiction: Writing Your Family Story’ during our Celebration of Local Authors on Friday at 4 p.m. in the Library Mezzanine.
Cassie Horner, a native of Woodstock, will explore how to identify the stories in your family history using everything from deeds to letters, court records and oral histories, and then transform them into fiction. The audience will be invited to share family stories and research questions. Horner will discus sher own book, Lucy E. – Road to Victory, about a tough, driven woman, born in the mountain town of Mount Holly, Vt., around 1826. Lucy E. was a hardscrabble New England farmer who went from poverty to property, and married five husbands along the way. Cassie Horner is the editor of Rutland Magazine.
A beautifully written journey along the Spanish-American War battle trail connects America’s troubled present to its forgotten past. William Craig will discuss his Yankee Come Home on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the History Center.
Craig searches Cuba’s most entrancing, storied landscape for the history – and values – that his country has left behind. He starts with the Gilded Age, when America became an overseas empire and wrested Cuba away from Spain at the end of the 19th century. Then he brings the story forward through the Guantanamo prison era.
As Craig travels Cuba’ s Oriente Province, every adventure – dancing at a spirit-possession ritual, cheering a baseball game, listening for the jazz in Cuban roots music and sweating through police interrogation – testifies to the enduring impact of the Spanish-American War.
A professor of history and an award-winning journalist, Craig has focused on neo-imperialism and international AIDS advocacy.
For much more information about all the engaging presentations and activities at this year’s Bookstock, visit the Festival website at www.bookstockvt.org.