April 29, 2015 Special Program at 2015 National Book Festival to Focus on Veterans

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Website: National Book Festival

The 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival, to be held Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., will offer a special five-part program on “The Human Side of War” featuring several of the nation’s foremost writers on war.

The program will be emceed by Robert Patrick, U.S. Army Col. (Ret.), director of the Library’s Veterans History Project (www.loc.gov/vets/), which is marking its 15th anniversary. Created by Congress as part of the Library’s American Folklife Center, VHP collects, preserves and makes accessible personal accounts of American war veterans so future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

Some of the nation’s most distinguished writers about war, authors of both fiction and nonfiction, will participate in this extraordinary event. Speakers will include:

On World War II

  • Tom Brokaw. The eminent newsman will discuss his international best-seller “The Greatest Generation,” which is marking its 15th anniversary.
  • Rick Atkinson. The Pulitzer Prize-winner and writer for The Washington Post will present his Liberation Trilogy: “Army at Dawn,” “The Day of Battle” and “The Guns at Last Hour.”

On the Vietnam War

  • Christian G. Appy. This acclaimed writer and scholar will discuss his recent work, “American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.”

On Iraq and Afghanistan

  • Rajiv Chandrasekeran. The prizewinning former foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, now head of a new Starbucks media-production company, will discuss his book “For Love of Country,” written with Howard Schultz.

On Novels of War

Moderated by Elizabeth Samet, professor of war literature at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point

  • Elliot Ackerman. The decorated American war veteran will discuss his novel about the Afghan war, “Green on Blue.”
  • Roxana Robinson. Often compared to Edith Wharton, Robinson will discuss her new novel about a U.S. Marine’s return from Iraq, “Sparta.”
  • Phil Klay. The former U.S. Marine will discuss his National Book Award-winner about the front lines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, “Redeployment.”

The National Book Festival is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor and has pledged funding for the festival for five more years. Charter Sponsors include the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; the Patron Sponsor is the National Endowment for the Arts; the Contributor-level sponsors are Scholastic Inc. and WAMU 88.5 FM and, in the Friends category, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, Susan C. Lehrman and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Junior League of Washington will also return as the Library’s primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at devofc@loc.gov.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 15-077
ISSN 0731-3527