Lydia Moland at Harvard Book Store
Lydia Maria Child:
A Radical American Life
in conversation with CHRISTOPHER LYDON
November 17, 2022
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store welcomes LYDIA MOLAND, professor of philosophy at Colby College, for a discussion of her new book Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life. She will be joined in conversation by media personality and journalist CHRISTOPHER LYDON.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our Harvard Book Store events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the store. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
About Lydia Maria Child
By 1830, Lydia Maria Child had established herself as something almost unheard of in the American nineteenth century: a beloved and self-sufficient female author. Best known today for the immortal poem “Over the River and through the Wood,” Child had become famous at an early age for spunky self-help books and charming children’s stories. But in 1833, Child shocked her readers by publishing the first book-length argument against slavery in the United States—a book so radical in its commitment to abolition that friends abandoned her, patrons ostracized her, and her book sales plummeted. Yet Child soon drew untold numbers to the abolitionist cause, becoming one of the foremost authors and activists of her generation.
Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life tells the story of what brought Child to this moment and the extraordinary life she lived in response. Through Child’s example, philosopher Lydia Moland asks questions as pressing and personal in our time as they were in Child’s: What does it mean to change your life when the moral future of your country is at stake? When confronted by sanctioned evil and systematic injustice, how should a citizen live? Child’s lifetime of bravery, conviction, humility, and determination provides a wealth of spirited guidance for political engagement today.
Praise for Lydia Maria Child
“Lydia Maria Child was one of the few great intellectual freedom fighters in nineteenth-century America. Moland’s magisterial book takes us in and through Child’s rich world and life in an exemplary manner. Don’t miss this powerful text on a giant still so relevant to our bleak times.” ―Cornel West, author of Race Matters
“This is a biography on a mission. As Moland shows us, to discover Child is to discover ourselves, revealing the best and worst of who we are. Moland is at her best when eviscerating the flawed arguments of Child’s opponents, arguments that, she reminds us, are ubiquitous even today. This is a brilliantly written book: stylish, witty, barbed yet sympathetic.” ―Laura Dassow Walls, author of Henry David Thoreau: A Life
“Moland’s exuberant new biography gives us a Lydia Maria Child for the twenty-first century: a woman of fierce intelligence and astonishing ingenuity who never gave up the struggle to right the wrongs of enslavement and its legacy of race prejudice. Moland writes with a philosopher’s instinct to question both herself and the evidence she uncovers, yielding an intimate portrait that is also a history of America’s centuries-long reckoning with its founding principles.” ―Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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