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Douglas Brinkley, photo by Danny Turner
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NYS Writers Institute, Thursday, April 27, 2017
4:00 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center Room 375, Uptown campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Clark Auditorium, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center,
Downtown Albany


Douglas Brinkley will read from and discuss his latest book, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America (2016), at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 27 in the Clark Auditorium, New York State Museum, Cultural Education Center, downtown Albany. Earlier that same day, at 4:15 p.m. in the Ballroom of the Campus Center on the UAlbany Uptown campus the author will hold an informal seminar with audience discussion. Free and open to the public, the events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and cosponsored by the Friends of the New York State Library.

Rightful HeritagePROFILE:
Douglas Brinkley,
professor of history at Rice University, CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Audubon, has been called “America’s new past master” by the Chicago Tribune.  Historian Stephen E. Ambrose has described Brinkley as “the best of the new generation of American historians.” Among Brinkley’s many accolades, his biography, Cronkite (2012), won the Sperber Prize in biography from Fordham University, and his The Great Deluge (2007), a gathering of true accounts of heroism during the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe, claimed the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. 

Brinkley’s most recent book, Rightful Heritage (2016) is a New York Times bestselling chronicle of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s environmental legacy.  The New York Times Book Review called it “Enjoyably exhaustive,” and the Washington Post described the book as “High-spirited and admirably thorough.” Pulitzer winner and bestselling journalist and biographer Jon Meacham praised Brinkley for recovering “one of FDR’s long-overlooked legacies: stewardship of America’s natural resources….This is a vivid history of an important subject. We are lucky that Brinkley has turned his attention to the Roosevelt we do not generally associate with the preservation of our environment.”  Bancroft Prize-winning historian Sean Wilentz called Rightful Heritage “a marvelous book; one of Brinkley’s very best…by telling this grand story so well, Brinkley provokes readers to appreciate how the national government can perform wonders of its own.”

Rightful Heritage traces FDR’s unique way of continuing the conservation work of another president: work that was the subject of Brinkley’s earlier book on Theodore Roosevelt, Wilderness Warrior (2010).  Clay Risen of the New York Times remarked that “the Roosevelt cousins make for a satisfying historical diptych….In Wilderness Warrior, Brinkley’s best set pieces involve bear-hunting trips and battles in Cuba; in Rightful Heritage, they feature epic fights with Congress, and within Roose­velt’s own administration.”  Candice Millard, bestselling author of The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey (2006), characterized Rightful Heritage as “an irresistibly powerful and beautiful tale of America’s fraught love affair with its land, told by one of our most gifted historians. Brinkley follows FDR on an astonishing journey that, despite war, depression, and political infighting, somehow preserved what is most precious to us.”

Brinkley’s other books include Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992), The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey (1993), The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House (1998); Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (2004), and The Reagan Diaries (2007), among others.

Brinkley is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly, and is a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Previous Visit: April 15, 1999

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst