February 23, 2010 Author Cecelia Tichi to Discuss "Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America," March 25

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Saladini (202) 707-2692

In the last quarter of the 19th century, great industrial growth resulted in corporate excesses and economic inequities, somewhat similar to current economic and social conditions. The Gilded Age led to community organizers fighting tirelessly to better the lives of working people.

Cecelia Tichi will discuss the era and its parallels to today in a lecture about her new book “Civic Passions: Seven Who Launched Progressive America (and What They Teach Us)” at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in Room 119 on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington D.C.

Sponsored by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Tichi, a former holder of the Chair of Modern Culture at the Kluge Center, will examine seven men and women who became agents of change: Alice Hamilton, physician; Walter Rauschenbusch, theologian; Louis D. Brandeis, jurist; Florence Kelley, consumer advocate; Ida B. Wells-Barnett, anti-lynching activist; John R. Commons, economist; and Julia Lathrop, child-welfare advocate.

Tichi is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, where she teaches classes in 19th- and 20th-century American literature, focusing on aspects of culture from consumerism and social critique to country music. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. Tichi is the author of six scholarly books and the editor of several others. One of her latest books is “Exposés and Excess: Muckraking in America, 1900/2000” (2003).

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit www.loc.gov/kluge/.


PR 10-032
ISSN 0731-3527