Boston Public Library
Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award

Associates of the Boston Public Library



The Annual Meeting and Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1914

Wednesday, November 5, 2014, 6 pm
Abbey Room, Boston Public Library

 

Following a brief Annual Meeting, the Associates of the Boston Public Library is holding its Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award competition, weighing the enduring literary merits of bestsellers published in 1914. Contenders for the prize are James Joyce’s Dubliners, John Reed’s Insurgent Mexico, and Elinore Pruitt Stewart’s Letters of a Woman Homesteader. The books will be defended by Anna Mundow, long time correspondent for the Irish Times; H.D.S. Greenway, author of Foreign Correspondent; and Erica Funkhouser, author of eight volumes of poetry and professor of creative writing at MIT. The irreverent debate will be moderated by Christopher Lydon, host of "Open Source" on WBUR. The audience will vote to determine the winner of the Book Award of 1914. A reception with the panelists will follow.

Please join us for this lighthearted event on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6 PM in the Abbey Room of the Boston Public Library’s Central Library in Copley Square. Seating is available on a first-come first-served basis on the night of the event; but for planning purposes, please RSVP for this free event:

 

Eventbrite - Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1914


Debate Moderator:

Christopher LydonChristopher Lydon

The host of WBUR’s Radio Open Source - "an American conversation with global attitude, on the arts, humanities, and global affairs".

 

 

Speaking for the Candidates:

Anna Mundow DublinersAnna Mundow
Originally from Ireland, Mundow is a long time correspondent to The Irish Times, and book critic for The Boston Globe. She has written for The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, among other publications.

H.D.S. Greenway Insurgent Mexico

H.D.S. Greenway
Greenway is the author of Foreign Correspondent, a recently published memoir of his 50 years in the front lines of journalism as a correspondent for Time Life, the Washington Post and The Boston Globe. He also earned a Bronze Star from the U.S. Marine Corps, and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard.

Erica FunkhouserLetters of a Woman HomesteaderErica Funkhouser
Funkhouser is the author of five books of poetry, including her most recent title, Earthly. She teaches the Introductory and Advanced Poetry Writing Workshops at MIT, is a former Literary Light, and the recipient of the 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship.

 

 

   

   

The Annual Meeting and Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1913

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm
Abbey Room, Boston Public Library

 

Following a brief Annual Meeting, the Associates of the Boston Public Library conducted its Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award competition, weighing the enduring literary merits of best sellers published in 1913. Contenders for the prize were Sigmund Freud's Totem and Taboo, defended by Harvard professor Maria Tatar; Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography, presented by TR’s great-grandson Tweed Roosevelt; and Scott's Last Expedition (edited by Leonard Huxley), championed by mountaineer and author David Roberts. Radio Open Source host Christopher Lydon moderated the irreverent debate, after which the audience voted to determine the winner of the Book Award of 1913. A reception with the panelists followed.

And the winner was … Scott's Last Expedition.


Debate Moderator:

Christopher LydonChristopher Lydon

The host of Radio Open Source - "an American conversation with global attitude, on the arts, humanities, and global affairs" - in partnership with the Watson Institute at Brown University.

 

 

Speaking for the Candidates:

Maria TatarFreud Totem und TabuMaria Tatar
A 2009 Literary Light honoree; the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University; and the author of Enchanted Hunters: The Power of Stories in Childhood.

Tweed RooseveltThoedore Roosevelt

Tweed Roosevelt
Chairman of Roosevelt China Investments; the great-grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt; and the President of the Board of Trustees of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

David RobertsScott's Last ExpeditionDavid Roberts
Climber; mountaineer; former president of the Harvard Mountaineering Club; and the author of 25 nonfiction books, including The Mountain of My Fear.

 

 

   

   

The Annual Meeting and Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1912

Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 6 pm – 8 pm
Abbey Room, Boston Public Library

 

Following a brief Annual Meeting, the Associates of the Boston Public Library conducted a Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award competition, weighing the enduring literary merits of best sellers published in 1912. Contenders for the prize were Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes, defended by 2012 Newbery Medal winner Jack Gantos; Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage, presented by film critic Ty Burr; and Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, championed by children’s author Gregory Maguire. Novelist Stona Fitch moderated the irreverent debate, after which the audience vote to determine the winner of the Book Award of 1912. A reception with the panelists followed.

And the winner was... Riders of the Purple Sage!

 

Christopher LydonStona Fitch moderated the debate. He is a former Literary Light; an award-winning author of powerful and disturbing novels, including Give + Take; and the founder of the renegade Concord Free Press, the world's first generosity-based publisher.

 

 

Speaking for the Candidates:

Jack GantosTarzan of the ApesJack Gantos
is a former Literary Light for Children; has written books for people of all ages; won the 2012 Newbery Medal for his book Dead End in Norvelt; and teaches at Vermont College M.F.A. program for children's book writers. Gantos defended Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes.

Ty BurrRiders of the Purple Sage

Ty Burr
is a film critic for The Boston Globe; wrote three books about the greatest movies and stars of all time; and is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics. Burr made a case for Zane Grey’s Riders of the Purple Sage.

•	Gregory MaguireDeath in VeniceGregory Maguire
is a former Literary Light and a former Literary Light for Children; the author of four novels for adults and more than a dozen novels for children; one of his best known titles was made into the Broadway musical, Wicked; and is a co-director of Children's Literature New England, Inc. Maguire championed Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice.

 

 


   

Highlights from the Annual Meeting and 100-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1911

November 9, 2011

Watch Video Highlights

Contenders for the Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 2011 were inventor Ray Kurzweil, who defended the Tom Swift series; comedian Jimmy Tingle, who made a case for The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce, and novelist Stona Fitch, who defended The Boy Scout Handbook. Christopher Lydon, host of "Open Source" at Brown University's Watson Institute, moderated the irreverent debate. The audience voted to determine the winner of the Book Award of 1911.

And the winner was... The Devil's Dictionary!

 

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon
Chris is the host of the Radio Open Source – "an American conversation with global attitude, on the arts, humanities, and global affairs" – in partnership with the Watson Institute at Brown University.

 

 

Speaking for the Candidates:

Stona FitchThe Boy Scouts Handbook of 1911Stona Fitch
Stona is a former Literary Light; an award-winning author of powerful and disturbing novels, including "Give + Take;" and the founder of the renegade Concord Free Press, the world's first generosity-based publisher. He defended The Boy Scout Handbook.

Jimmy TingleThe Devil's DictionaryJimmy Tingle
Jimmy is a Boston social and political humorist; a theatre and comedy producer; and a stand-up comic, writer, commentator and actor for radio, television and film. He championed The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce.

Ray KurzweilTom Swift and His Sky RacerRay Kurzweil
Ray is an award winning author, inventor and futurist; a leading authority on artificial intelligence; founder of Kurzweil Applied Intelligence; and was named an MIT "Engineer of the Year." He promoted the Tom Swift series by Victor Appleton.

 

 


   

Highlights from the 2010 Annual Meeting and 100-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1910

November 3, 2010

Watch Video Highlights

The Associates of the Boston Public Library's Annual Meeting and Retroactive Book Award of 1910 was held on November 3rd. One of the Associates' most popular events, the contenders for this year's award were Tales of Men and Ghosts by Edith Wharton, Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman and Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams — all books by women effecting important social change.

It was a very close contest, but the "winner" was Twenty Years at Hull House!

Christopher LydonThe presentations were moderated by Christopher Lydon, host of Radio Open Source — "an American conversation with global attitude" — from the Watson Institute at Brown University.

Speaking for the Candidates:

Kathryn LaskyKathryn Lasky
An award-winning children's book author whose series The Guardians of Ga'Hoole has been made into the 3D movie The Legend of The Guardians, Lasky defended Tales of Men and Ghosts, by Edith Wharton.

Vivian GornickVivian Gornick
A teacher at The New School and author of the forthcoming book Revolution As a Way of Life: Thinking About Emma Goldman, Gornick promoted Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman.

Louise KnightLouise W. Knight
Currently a consultant with non-profits and foundations, Knight is the author of the new and acclaimed biography Jane Addams, Spirit in Action and championed Twenty Years at Hull House by Jane Addams.

 


   

Highlights from the Annual Meeting and 100-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1909

November 5, 2009

Watch Video Highlights

At the Associates of the Boston Public Library’s Annual Meeting and Hundred-Year Retroactive Book Award of 1909, the books up for debate were Personae by Ezra Pound, Three Lives by Gertrude Stein, and The Harvard Classics selected by Charles W. Eliot. The books were defended by:

Rosanna Warren, poet, author and Professor at Boston University.

Leland De La Durantaye, Gardner Cowles Professor of English, Harvard University, and author.

And, Christopher Beha, author of The Whole Five Feet and assistant editor at Harper's Magazine.

The pre-election debate was moderated by Robert Darnton, Pforzheimer University Professor of History, Director of the Harvard University Library and author of many books including The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-revolutionary France, The Business of Enlightenment, and The Great Cat Massacre.

Associates of the Boston Public Library
700 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
Phone: 617-536-3886
E-mail: associates@bpl.org