We're fortunate to have an impressive quantity and quality of books written and/or produced in our small state of Vermont.
From gripping historical novels to startling murder mysteries, a homebrewer’s guide, and the adventures of fictional characters dashing through history, the Vermont History Expo always features notable authors you can enjoy.
2016 Schedule of Authors
Saturday lineup was
11:00 am - Ambition and Grit: The Life of Truman Naramore, Civil War Veteran and Entrepreneur by Richard Allen
Truman Naramore joined the Vermont Cavalry, fought in the Civil War, survived the Confederacy’s notorious Andersonville Prison, and came home to Vermont to raise a family, to farm, invent farm implements, and start local Grange chapters, all the while dealing with poor health. He eventually moved to California and was in the midst of the great land boom in Los Angles in the 1880s.
Naramore’s life reveals the impact of some major events of the nineteenth century on one man and his family: the Civil War, the mechanization of agriculture and migration west. His adaptability to respond to changing times and demanding economic factors is a testament to the strength of Union veterans after the war.
1:00 pm - Burlington: A History of Vermont's Queen City by Vince Feeney
This is the first history of the Green Mountain State’s largest city, home of the state university, and commercial and retail center for a majority of Vermonters, and enjoyed by the Quebecois who live just across the Canadian border. It is a story that outlines the development of a small village nestled between a river and a lake that became one of New England’s urban jewels: the economic “engines” that nurtured the community; the various ethnic groups that settled in Burlington; and the political shifts that announced cultural changes. Burlington: A History of Vermont's Queen City provides the stories of the people, places, and events that resulted in the buildings, streets and neighborhoods of today.
2:00 pm - Daisy Turner's Kin: An African-American Family Saga by Jane Beck
A daughter of freed African American slaves, Daisy Turner became a living repository of history. The family narrative entrusted to her--"a well-polished artifact, an heirloom that had been carefully preserved"--began among the Yoruba in West Africa and continued with her own century and more of life.
In 1983, folklorist Jane Beck began a series of interviews with Turner, then one hundred years old and still relating four generations of oral history. Beck uses Turner's storytelling to build the Turner family saga, using at its foundation the oft-repeated touchstone stories at the heart of their experiences: the abduction into slavery of Turner's African ancestors; Daisy's father Alec Turner learning to read; his return as a soldier to his former plantation to kill his former overseer; and Daisy's childhood stand against racism. Other stories re-create enslavement and her father's life in Vermont--in short, the range of life events large and small, transmitted by means so alive as to include voice inflections. Beck, at the same time, weaves in historical research and offers a folklorist's perspective on oral history and the hazards--and uses--of memory.
3:00 pm - We Are as Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America by Kate Daloz
When Loraine, Craig, Pancake, Hershe, and a dozen of their friends came into possession of 116 acres in Vermont, they had big plans: to grow their own food, build their own shelter, and create an enlightened community. They had little idea that at the same moment, all over the country, a million other young people were making the same move—back to the land.of the 1970s, waves of hopeful idealists abandoned the city and headed for the country, convinced that a better life waited. They were full of dreams, mostly lacking in practical skills, and soon utterly out of money. But they knew paradise when they saw it.At the dawn of the 1970s, waves of hopeful idealists abandoned the city and headed for the country, convinced that a better life waited. They were full of dreams, mostly lacking in practical skills, and soon utterly out of money. But they knew paradise when they saw it.
Sunday's authors included
11:00 am - Mountain Brew: A High-Spirited Guide to Country Beer-Making by Tim Matson
Long before Heady Topper or Hill Farmstead, Vermont was already at the forefront of the American beer revolution. In the 1970s, the big-name brews like Bud and Coors ruled the roost, and homebrewed beer was still as illegal as moonshine. But a small group of Vermonters―people like Tim Matson and Lee Anne Dorr―weren't the kind to let a little thing like the law stop them from enjoying their own brews. They shared their concoctions with friends and family and then went a step farther: publishing the first homebrewer's guide since Prohibition and selling it out of the back of their truck.
Now, forty years later, that groundbreaking book is back. Featuring a brand-new introduction,Mountain Brew shows you how to produce homemade malt, grow your own hops, and keep away thirsty neighbors who want to steal your hooch. Through recipes and colorful stories from their day, let these Green Mountain boys (and girls) show you how to make better beer than you'd ever find at the local watering hole.
1:00 pm - Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House by David Schutz and Nancy Price Graff
Intimate Grandeur is a 120-page celebration of the historic seat of Vermont state government. Illustrated with exquisite photographs and dozens of historic paintings and drawings, this volume is destined to become a classic. State Curator David Schutz will speak about the history of Vermont’s state house as well as the process of writing and publishing its newest history.
2:00 pm - Vermont Prohibition: Teetotalers, Bootleggers and Corruption by Adam Krakowski
Vermont became the nation’s second dry state in 1853. But some locals refused to comply, and inept law enforcement led to ineffective consequences. What was intended to increase wholesomeness forced a newly carved detour toward crime and corruption. Early laws, such as the Liquor Law of 1853, targeted distilled spirits while conveniently protecting cider. As regulations tightened, morals loosened. Without legalized booze, smugglers imported liquor from Canada, and bootleggers ensured that domestic speakeasies kept the liquor flowing. Crime ran so rampant that Newport, Richford and Lyndonville residents relocated to escape rum-running gangs. Join author Adam Krakowski as he discloses the tumultuous side of Vermont’s temperance movement.
3:00 pm - Orville's Revenge: Anatomy of a Suicide by Stephen Martin
The story of Orville Gibson, a Newbury, Vermont farmer whose frozen body was found in the waters of the Connecticut River on March 26, 1958, has remained controversial for over half a century. The investigation into Gibson’s death and the subsequent trials and acquittals have made the case one of Vermont’s most famous “murder” investigations. In his new book on the case, retired Judge Stephen B. Martin of Barre, Vermont offers the fullest account of the events leading up to the victim’s disappearance and death, including the individuals involved, and the expert testimony that was brought to light during the court proceedings.
Remember, you can always buy copies of the books from Expo at the Vermont Historical Society Bookstore.