An Evening With S.C. Gwynne and Stephen Harrigan

Oct 16, 2019

Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
6 p.m. (Doors open at 5:15 p.m.)

LBJ Auditorium

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Friends members are invited to join us for an evening with best-selling Texas authors S.C. Gwynne and Stephen Harrigan, speaking in conversation with Elizabeth Crook. Prior to the conversation, copies of Harrigan's new book, Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas, and advance copies of Gwynne's upcoming release, Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War, will be available for sale and signing.

About our Participants:

Elizabeth Crook is the author of five historical novels, including Monday, Monday, which received the Jesse H. Jones Award from The Texas Institute of Letters and was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction Book of 2014, and The Which Way Tree, currently under option for film. Elizabeth has written for The Southwestern Historical Quarterly and Texas Monthly and is co-writer, with Stephen Harrigan, of the screenplay for The Which Way Tree.

S.C. "Sam" Gwynne is the author of two acclaimed books on American history: Empire of the Summer Moon, which spent 82 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, also a New York Times best-seller and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pen Literary Award for Biography.

Stephen Harrigan has devoted much of his life to exploring and explaining Texas, ever since his family crossed the Red River from Oklahoma in 1953. He is the author of numerous works of nonfiction and fiction, including the critically acclaimed novels A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, Remember Ben Clayton, and the New York Times best-seller The Gates of the Alamo. He is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly and an award-winning screenwriter who has written many movies for television.

Book Signing:

Prior to the event, The Store at LBJ will host Harrigan for a signing of Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas and Gwynne for a signing of Hymns of the Republic. Book sales and signing will be held in the upper auditorium lobby from 5-5:45 p.m. Proceeds benefit the LBJ Presidential Library.

Friendly reminder! As a benefit of your Friends membership, you receive 10% off your book purchase(s) and all other items in The Store at LBJ.

About the Books:

Big Wonderful Thing invites us to walk in the footsteps of ancient as well as modern people along the path of Texas' evolution. Blending action and atmosphere with impeccable research, Stephen Harrigan brings to life with novelistic immediacy the generations of driven men and women who shaped Texas, including Spanish explorers, American filibusters, Comanche warriors, wildcatters, Tejano activists, and spellbinding artists—all of them taking their part in the creation of a place that became not just a nation, not just a state, but an indelible idea.

The fourth and final year of the Civil War offers one of that era's most compelling narratives, defining the nation and one of history's great turning points. Now, S.C. Gwynne's Hymns of the Republic addresses the time Ulysses S. Grant arrives to take command of all Union armies in March 1864 to the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox a year later. Gwynne breathes new life into the epic battle between Lee and Grant; the advent of 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army; William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea; the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including the surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln.


Friends members at the Individual and above levels may RSVP to [email protected]. Guests are permitted for this event at the charge of $20 per person, payable in cash at the door. Please account for your guest when you RSVP. 

Doors open at 5:15 p.m. The program begins at 6 p.m. There is no reception following the program.

Location and Parking:

The LBJ Auditorium is located on the lower level of the LBJ complex at 2313 Red River St. Access to the auditorium will be through the lobby of the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Free parking will be available in the LBJ Library visitors’ lot (#38), and lots #37 and #39 after 5 p.m. Overflow parking will be in Manor Garage on a self-pay, space available basis.

The Evening With speaker series is generously sponsored by St. David's HealthCare and the Moody Foundation.

Not a member of the Friends of the LBJ Library? Learn more and join today.

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Contact Us

Sarah McCracken
Director of Public Programs
LBJ Presidential Library
2313 Red River St.
Austin, TX 78705
[email protected]

Deborah Arronge
Membership Manager

LBJ Presidential Library
[email protected]

Please be aware that LBJ Presidential Library events may be filmed and/or photographed. Your attendance constitutes your authorization for the LBJ Library to use your photograph, voice, or other likeness for purposes related to the Library, including but not limited to marketing and promotion in both print and electronic forms.