Lydia Moland at Harvard Book Store

presenting

Lydia Maria Child:
A Radical American Life

in conversation with CHRISTOPHER LYDON

Date

Nov
17
Thursday
November 17, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

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

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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

Christopher Lydon
Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon covered politics for The New York Times from the Washington bureau in the 1970s. He hosted The Ten O’Clock News on WGBH TV through the 1980s, and he co-founded and hosted The Connection on WBUR in the ’90s. He recorded the original podcast in 2003 with Dave Winer. The rest is history in the making.

Photo Credit: Michael J. Lutch

Lydia Moland
Lydia Moland

Lydia Moland

Lydia Moland is professor of philosophy at Colby College. Her scholarship in German philosophy, including Hegel’s Aesthetics: The Art of Idealism, has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the ACLS, and the American Academy in Berlin. Her work on Lydia Maria Child has appeared in the Paris Review, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and on National Public Radio.

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