Empires can be built on the backs of cicadas. Do you understand? Listen : the corn-chip smell of a hot night in the summer, grass dry – razor blades under your feet – and the air is all sizzle skillet sounds. In every direction. Oxygen no longer exists and you are just simply breathing the chirrups of cicadas into your lungs. Once upon a time (I think all history books should begin this way) our forefathers sweated through the swamp air of summertime, breathing cicada, and created history.
With his new book Revolutionary Summer, celebrated historian Joseph Ellis will bring the historic heat of summer 1776 to the Louisville Free Public Library  for a special presentation tonight at 7pm.
Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work presented in Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation, Joseph Ellis  continues to explore the lives of America’s famous fathers with Revolutionary Summer. Focusing on the summer months of 1776 as the likes of George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin hatched a nation, Ellis examines the personal political storylines during these influential moments. Juxtaposed with Britain’s Admiral Lord Richard Howe and General William Howe, the book delves into both sides of the Revolution plotline, unraveling the experiences from opposing perspectives and revealing how the events of one front influenced the other.
Join Ellis tonight at the Louisville Library’s Main branch and kick off the summer with a nod to the historic season that ignited our nation. The night cicadas aren’t singing just yet – but they will be. And each exhalation will be a revolution. Tiny, tiny empires hammered together between their wings. The songs get louder.
The Louisville Free Public Library’s Main branch is located at 301 York Street. For more information, visit the event page  or call the Main branch at (502) 574-1644.
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