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Author of New Book on Thomas Jefferson in 1781 Will Speak June 26 at Yorktown Victory Center

 Michael Kranish.jpg
Michael Kranish

YORKTOWN, Va., June 3, 2010 – Michael Kranish, author of the recently published “Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War,” will speak on the subject of his new book at the Yorktown Victory Center at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 26.  A book signing will follow the free public lecture.Kranish is a Washington correspondent for The Boston Globe.  He has produced lengthy profiles of modern political figures and was awarded a fellowship at the International Center for Jefferson Studies to research and write “Flight from Monticello,” published by Oxford University Press.  The Wall Street Journal praised the book as “a superb narrative of [Jefferson’s] turbulent wartime years,” and Library Journal called it “popular history at its best.”

The June 26 talk will put in perspective what happened in Virginia in the months before the October 1781 American victory at Yorktown when, Kranish said, “American victory was anything but certain.  The traitor Benedict Arnold invaded Virginia in January 1781, forcing then-Governor Thomas Jefferson to flee Richmond.  Other British forces forced him to take flight from Monticello in June.  Investigations were launched into Jefferson’s failure to stop the invasion.  Were it not for the victory at Yorktown in October, which led lawmakers to drop the investigation, Jefferson might be remembered far differently by history.”

The lecture coincides with the fifth reunion of the Page-Nelson Society and will be a highlight of the reunion.  Many members of the Society are descendants of Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, who followed Jefferson as wartime governor of Virginia, and of Virginia patriot and Jefferson friend John Page of Rosewell.  Nelson and Page both appear in the pages of “Flight from Monticello.”

The Yorktown Victory Center, a state-operated museum of the American Revolution, is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, until 6 p.m. June 15 through August 15.  Museum admission is $9.50 for adults, $5.25 for ages 6 through 12.  A combination ticket is available with Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia.  Admission is free to the June 26 lecture at the Yorktown Victory Center’s Richard S. Reynolds Foundation Theater.  Copies of “Flight from Monticello: Thomas Jefferson at War” will be available for purchase.

For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.