August 6, 2001 Biography and Film About Henry Villard Highlighted at the Library of Congress on September 24

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-0189
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

The career of journalist and industrialist Henry Villard, one of the most remarkable and important figures in post-Civil War America, will be discussed at the Library of Congress at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 24, in the Pickford Theater, third floor, James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The speaker will be Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave, Henry Villard's great-granddaughter who, with John Cullen, is the author of Villard: The Life and Times of an American Titan (Doubleday, 2001).

The program, part of the Center for the Book's "Books & Beyond" current author series, is cosponsored with the Library's Office of Scholarly Programs. It is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. A brief German documentary film about Henry Villard that supplements Ms. de Borchgrave's observations will be part of her presentation.

Henry Villard's career is extraordinary given his arrival in New York at age 18 with $20 in his pocket and no English-language skills. Ms. de Borchgrave's biography of her great-grandfather has been widely praised. Historian Michael Beschloss called it a "fascinating, brisk, and judicious life of one of the most intriguing figures in American history," the story "not only of one man's heroic enterprise, but also of Abraham Lincoln, William Lloyd Garrison, the Civil War, the rise of railroads, the contradictions of the Gilded Age, and New York's arrival as a world-class city."

Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave is a distinguished photographer who lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, publisher Arnaud de Borchgrave.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. For information about its program, publications, and the activities of its affiliated centers in 43 states and the District of Columbia, visit its Web site at The Office of Scholarly Programs seeks to stimulate scholarly exchange among researchers and staff and to facilitate communication about research across national and disciplinary boundaries.


PR 01-110
ISSN 0731-3527