Mount Vernon welcomes author Carolyn Eastman to the Smith Auditorium to discuss her new book The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

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Add to Calendar 10/27/2021 19:00:00 10/27/2021 20:00:00 America/New_York Ford Evening Book Talk: Carolyn Eastman

Mount Vernon welcomes author Carolyn Eastman to the Smith Auditorium to discuss her new book The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Register

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium George Washington's Mount Vernon tickets@mountvernon.org MM/DD/YYYY 15

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Cost

Free

Attend in Person or Watch Live Wednesday, October 27 at 7 pm ET

About the Book

When James Ogilvie arrived in America in 1793, he was a deeply ambitious but impoverished teacher. By the time he returned to Britain in 1817, he had become a bona fide celebrity known simply as Mr. O, counting the nation’s leading politicians and intellectuals among his admirers. And then, like so many meteoric American luminaries afterward, he fell from grace.

The Strange Genius of Mr. O is at once the biography of a remarkable performer--a gaunt Scottish orator who appeared in a toga--and a story of the United States during the founding era. Ogilvie's career featured many of the hallmarks of celebrity we recognize from later eras: glamorous friends, eccentric clothing, scandalous religious views, narcissism, and even an alarming drug habit. Yet he captivated audiences with his eloquence and inaugurated a golden age of American oratory. Examining his roller-coaster career and the Americans who admired (or hated) him, this fascinating book renders a vivid portrait of the United States in the midst of invention.

About the Author

Carolyn Eastman is an Associate Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University where her work is particularly concerned with the connections between civic culture, gender, and print, visual, and oral media in early American history. She is the author of the prizewinning book, A Nation of Speechifiers: Making an American Public after the Revolution. Eastman serves as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Her most recent piece, “The Fever that Struck New York,” appeared in the March 2021 issue of Smithsonian Magazine. She is a member of the Washington Library’s 2021-22 class of research fellows.

Sponsored By The Ford Motor Company Fund

Sponsored By The Ford Motor Company Fund

Mount Vernon has enjoyed a very special relationship with the Ford Motor Company dating back more than 90 years. We are grateful for their generous support and we applaud their abiding respect for American heritage.

Contact

Stephen A. McLeod

Director, Library Programs

703.799.8686

smcleod@mountvernon.org

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