Best-selling author Todd Brewster believes America invented childhood, and in his book, American Childhood: A Photographic History, he tells how it was that America became the first nation to see children not merely as “adults in waiting,” but in a separate sphere of life. He uses photographs from archives, flea shops, and other collections to tell stories of the famous (a young Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Shirley Temple, Lady Gaga, and Ernest Hemingway) and the infamous. Brewster speaks to the mysteries of the unknown or under-appreciated child, some for whom a small studio photograph may be the only public trace they have left behind but where careful research deriving from the photograph reveals a life of distinction.
The book, which includes more than 200 stunning photographs of children (from the Civil War era to the present) has been hailed by the New York Times and was chosen as an ABC Good Morning America “Buzz Pick” for 2023.
Please register for this in-person event. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the program.
Todd Brewster is a veteran journalist and historian who has served as senior producer of ABC News and a senior editor with Time. He is the co-author, with the late Peter Jennings, of the monumental best-seller The Century and was executive producer of the award-winning ABC documentary series of the same name. He has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time. In 2014, his book on the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s Gamble, appeared to great critical acclaim.
Brewster has served as Knight Fellow at Yale Law School and has taught journalism and constitutional law at Temple University, Wesleyan University, and until 2022 was senior lecturer in journalism at Mount Holyoke College. He is the founding director of The Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution. From 2008-12, he was the director of the Center for Oral History at West Point. His two most recent book is Seen and Unseen: Technology, Social Media and the Fight For Racial Justice, co-authored with Marc Lamont Hill.
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