C-SPAN and Library of Congress Announce New Primetime Book Series for Fall 2023
"Books that Shaped America" Begins Sept. 18;
New Series Will Feature 10 Iconic American Books Tracing America's History
C-SPAN and the Library of Congress today announced a joint original feature production for fall 2023: "Books That Shaped America."
The 10-part series – which C-SPAN will air LIVE on Mondays, starting Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. ET – will be a literary journey, tracing America's history by exploring masterpieces in literature that have had, and still have today, a major impact on society.
The 10-week series will mark the various eras of American history and feature a diverse mix of stories and authors. The 10 featured books have:
- Provoked thought.
- Been best sellers.
- Led to significant cultural and policy changes.
"Books That Shaped America" Series schedule – all LIVE on C-SPAN at 9 p.m. ET:
Monday, Sept. 18 -
“Common Sense” by Thomas Paine (1776)
Monday, Sept. 25 -
“The Federalist” by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison & John Jay (1788)
Monday, Oct. 2 -
“History of the Expedition Under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark” (1814)
Monday, Oct. 9 -
“Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” by Frederick Douglass (1845)
Monday, Oct. 16 -
“The Common Law” by Oliver Wendell Holmes (1881)
Monday, Oct. 23 -
“Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain (1884)
Monday, Oct. 30 -
“My Antonia” by Willa Cather (1918)
Monday, Nov. 6 -
“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neal Hurston (1937)
Monday, Nov. 13 -
“Free to Choose: A Personal Statement” by Milton & Rose Friedman (1980)
Monday, Nov. 20 -
“The Words of Cesar Chavez” by Cesar Chavez (2002)
The new series was inspired by a list of 100 “Books that Shaped America” and an exhibition curated at the Library of Congress 10 years ago based on the results of a public survey about books that provoked thought, controversy and change throughout American history. Viewers of the series this fall will be able to weigh in with their own thoughts about books that had an impact on the nation.
As the world's largest library, the Library of Congress holds millions of books and other collections that offer a rich portrait of life in America. In partnering with the library, C-SPAN will be able to utilize these resources to help tell the stories behind the books featured in the series. The audience will see first-edition copies of famous works authored by Thomas Paine, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston and others, plus rare photos, maps, correspondence, and other items that highlight these books and the times during which they were written.
“Over the course of 10 weeks this fall, ‘Books that Shaped America’ will shine a light on a diverse group of books and authors whose skill with the written word and powerful storytelling left a lasting impression on our nation,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “These 10 books are just a start. Throughout the series, we will invite Americans to join the conversation and share their perspectives about more books that shaped America.”
Audience calls will be incorporated into each program. Longtime C-SPAN executive producer of BookTV Peter Slen will host each episode of the series. Paul Orgel is coordinating producer for the series and Jen Garrott is producer/video journalist.
- A dedicated webpage for the series, which will be populated with video and supplementary material: https://www.c-span.org/booksthatshapedamerica
- A series trailer: https://youtu.be/fzJ8vQ4Y2Tg
- A companion podcast series produced by C-SPAN Radio
About the Library of Congress:
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
C-SPAN, the public affairs network providing Americans with unfiltered access to congressional proceedings, was created in 1979 as a public service by the cable television industry and is now funded through fees paid by cable and satellite companies that provide C-SPAN programming. C-SPAN connects with millions of Americans through its three commercial-free TV networks, C-SPAN Radio, C-SPAN Podcasts, the C-SPAN Now app, C-SPAN.org and various social media platforms. The network's video-rich website contains over 270,000 hours of searchable and shareable content. Engage with C-SPAN on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, and stay connected through weekly and daily newsletters.
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