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Best of the National Book Festival: Cokie Roberts, 2015

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

Journalist, author and political commentator Cokie Roberts (1943-2019) was a frequent guest of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. In 2015 she came to the festival’s History stage to talk about her book “Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868,” which recognized the sesquicentennial of the Civil War with chronicles of female independence and political empowerment. Roberts was also a senior correspondent for NPR and was introduced by John Haskell, director of the Library’s John W. Kluge Center. Tim Collins, a financial adviser for Wells Fargo, which is a charter sponsor of the festival and sponsor of the History stage, opened the program.

Cokie Roberts mentions that “often the characters in my books are political wives. And it was a political wife who started this book festival. It was Laura Bush,” who brought her idea to then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. Q&A begins at 30:35.

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.

Comments (2)

  1. I have listened to many of the book festival videos and have enjoyed listening to them immensely. The closing remarks here from Cokie Roberts made in 2015 seem especially relevant today. She said that a politician’s job is to unite the people for the good of the people. Words and actions so desperately needed today.
    Thank you for making these videos available and for the work of the Library of Congress.

  2. Wonderful presentation and great Journalist. I love the Joke about the NINE PREGNANT CONGRESS WOMEN. MAY ARE SOUL REST IN PEACE AMEN.

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