Monday, September 28, 2015

Fords Theatre Hosts Cokie Roberts Book Discussion, October 22nd

From our friends at Ford's Theatre Society...

Ford's Theatre Society Presents Author Talk with Cokie Roberts

Author Cokie Roberts will discuss her latest book, Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington 1848-1868, at Ford’s Theatre (511 Tenth Street, NW) on Thursday, October 22, 2015, at 7:00 PM. The one-hour program concludes with an audience question-and-answer session. Roberts will sign copies of her book in the Ford’s Theatre lobby following the program. Books will be available for purchase in the Ford’s Theatre gift shop.

Tickets for this discussion are free but required, and may be reserved in person at the Ford’s Theatre Box Office (511 Tenth Street, NW, Washington, DC), through Ticketmaster at (800) 982-2787 or online at (fees apply). Groups of 15 or more may request tickets online at

About Capital Dames:
Marking the culmination of the Civil War’s sesquicentennial in 2015, Cokie Roberts provides a revelatory look at the lives of women during a tumultuous and perennially fascinating era of American history. Concentrating on Washington, DC, then a small Southern town that sat as a bull’s eye between battling armies, Roberts explores newspaper articles, government records, and private letters and diaries - many never before published - to reconstruct a remarkable period of conflict and change for its self-described belles, for whom life would never be the same.

Through the eyes of Washington’s fierce, sometimes funny, and almost always formidable female residents, such as Adele Cutts Douglas and Elizabeth Blair Lee, Roberts describes the city’s transformation from a sleepy, social city to a contested place of political power. The secession forced many of the southern women to depart, and the union loyalists - and friends - they left behind were soon grappling with questions of safety and sanitation as the capital was transformed first into a huge army camp and then a massive hospital.

With the men gone to fight, women stepped up to the plate as nurses, supply organizers, relief workers, propagandists and journalists. Just like World War II’s Rosie the Riveter, women made munitions at arsenals, many losing their lives in awful accidents, and worked at the Treasury Department to print greenbacks to pay for the war. The Navy Yard broke with tradition as well and hired women to sew canvas bags for gunpowder.

There is no author better than Roberts to chronicle the increasing political empowerment these women experienced through their new-found independence and importance. After emancipation was declared in the capital in 1862, friends previously divided resettled and united to promote a common cause - changes in public policy, through lobbying and activism, which were desperately needed to heal a country torn apart.

About Cokie Roberts:
Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. She has won countless awards, and in 2008 she was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress. She is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters. Her other books, Founding Mothers, Ladies of Liberty and From This Day Forward (written with her husband, journalist Steven V. Roberts), also spent weeks on the bestseller list. She and her husband have also collaborated on Our Haggadah. Roberts is the mother of two and grandmother of six.

About Ford’s Theatre Society:
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s ideals and leadership principles: courage, integrity, tolerance, equality and creative expression.

The Ford’s Theatre Society was founded under the guidance of executive producer Frankie Hewitt, who, during her 35-year tenure, established Ford’s as a living, working theatre producing performances that highlighted the diversity of the American experience. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatre-going public have recognized Ford’s for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the nationally acclaimed Big River to the world premieres of Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Liberty Smith, Necessary Sacrifices and The Widow Lincoln, Ford’s Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape. In the last decade, the mission of Ford’s Theatre Society expanded to include education as a central pillar. This expansion led to the creation and construction of the Center for Education and Leadership, which opened in February 2012. Currently, under the leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Eric A. Spiegel, the Society is building Ford’s Theatre into a national destination for exploring Lincoln’s ideas and leadership principles and finding new ways to bring Lincoln’s legacy to life for the 21st-century learner.