2007 Guest Speaker, DEBBY APPLEGATE

About the Author

Debby Applegate has spent 20 years researching and writing about Henry Ward Beecher. She first discovered Beecher as an undergraduate in the college archives at Amherst College, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1989. She continued her work on Beecher while a Sterling Fellow in American Studies at Yale, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1998. Her research for the book spanned the American Revolution to the Gilded Age, and took her to scores of historical archives and scholarly libraries across the country, from country athenaeums to ivy covered towers to the damp basements of elderly great-grandchildren.

Her writing has won her numerous prizes and fellowships, has appeared in publications from the Journal of American History to The New York Times and has taught at Yale and Wesleyan Universities. A sample of her syllabi can be found the American Studies Syllabus Library online.

Debby lives in New Haven, Connecticut and Portland, Oregon with her husband, the management writer Bruce Tulgan. 

She has just been named a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award for THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: THE BIOGRAPHY OF HENRY WARD BEECHER.

She will have copies of her book available for sale and signing:

About the book:

"Henry Ward Beecher was a phenomenon: the scion of an amazing family, the most renowned American preacher of his day, an anti-slavery stalwart - and the main protagonist in one of the most sensational sex scandals of the Victorian era. If you thought that the personalities and machinations surrounding the Clinton impeachment scandal were interesting, you will find the Beecher expos riveting. More important, Debby Applegate has vividly brought Beecher and his entire era to life, in all of their piety, idealism, pomposity, and pride. I recommend her book highly to lovers of imposing historical figures and their tangled stories."     Sean Wilentz, winner of the Bancroft Prize for The Rise of American Democracy.

Debby Applegate, has just been named a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award for THE MOST FAMOUS MAN IN AMERICA: THE BIOGRAPHY OF HENRY WARD BEECHER.

"That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

“When those little gray eyes and face were lighted up by the inward soul on fires of emotion, then it was that all those apparently ugly or homely features sprang into organs of beauty. Sometimes it did appear to me that Lincoln was just fresh from the hands of his creator.”

William H. Herndon

Peekskill Train Station and Lincoln Portrait by Paul R. Martin III

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