Event — Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington

Ford Evening Book Talk: Edward Gray

Where: Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. Mount Vernon, VA 22121

When: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 | 7:00 pm

Mount Vernon welcomes author Dr. Edward G. Gray to the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium to discuss his book Tom Paine’s Iron Bridge: Building a United States.

Details: In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams judged the author of Common Sense as having “a better hand at pulling down than building.” Adams’s dismissive remark has helped shape the prevailing view of Tom Paine ever since. But as Edward G. Gray shows in this fresh, illuminating work, Paine was a builder. He had a clear vision of success for his adopted country. It was embodied in an architectural project that he spent a decade planning: an iron bridge to span the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia.

Dr. Gray was educated at the University of Chicago and at Brown University where he received his doctorate in early American history. He joined the FSU history department in 1998 and since then has taught a range of courses in U.S. history, Native American history, the history of colonial North America, and the history of the Pacific in the age of Captain James Cook. In recent years, his work has centered on the intertwined histories of Britain and the United States in the age of the American Revolutionary War. His most recent book, Tom Paine’s Iron Bridge: Building a United States, explains why, at the height of his powers, the American Revolution’s most influential pamphleteer turned from politics to architecture.

Cost: Free

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