Lewes, DE

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Authors to Deliver Keynotes for 2022 History Book Festival

Janine Paris

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“Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II” cover; and author Buzz Bissinger; “Cuba: An American History” cover, and author AdHistory Book Festival

Pulitzer Prize-winning authors will open and close the 2022 History Book Festival in Lewes, DE, bookending presentations by roughly 20 distinguished authors of historical nonfiction and fiction works.

Buzz Bissinger – widely known for his 1990 bestseller Friday Night Lights, which inspired a feature film and television series – will discuss his newest book, Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II, during the Festival’s keynote presentation on Friday, September 23rd.

The keynote begins at 7 PM at Bethel United Methodist Church, located at Fourth and Market Streets in historic Lewes. Tickets for the keynote event, which includes a question-and-answer session and a signed copy of the hardcover book, are $32.50.

Ada Ferrer, winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in History for her latest book Cuba: An American History, will do the closing presentation on Sunday, September 25th at Lewes Public Library, beginning at 1 PM. Admission is $20 and includes the presentation, a question-and-answer session, and a signed copy of the paperback book.

Tickets for the keynote and closing presentations must be purchased in advance.

On Saturday, September 24, best-selling authors and promising new writers will discuss their works – ranging from politics and world history to exercise, medicine, and music – at various locations in Lewes. Authors will be available to sign books following their presentations.

The day will conclude with a “spirited discussion” at the Lewes Public Library.

All of the Saturday events are free.

Mosquito Bowl tells the story of dozens of top college football players who became U.S. Marines during World War II and who, on Christmas Eve of 1944, found themselves in the middle of the Pacific Ocean training for the invasion of Okinawa, the bloodiest battle of the war.

The 4th and 29th Marine regiments included one of the greatest pools of football talent ever assembled: Former Americans; captains from Wisconsin, Brown, and Notre Dame; and nearly 20 men who were either drafted for or would ultimately play professional football. After the verbal sparring between the regiments reached a fever pitch, they decided to play a football game in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal.

Within months of the bruising and bloody game that became known as “The Mosquito Bowl”, 15 of the 64 players perished at Okinawa, by far the largest number of American athletes ever to die in a single battle. Bissinger relates the personal stories of the brave young men who survived, and those who did not, exploring their family lives and influences that shaped them.

While working at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bissinger received the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism for a story on corruption in the city’s court system. He is the author of four books, including Friday Night Lights, which has sold 2 million copies, and The New York Times bestseller 3 Nights in August. Bissinger is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a sports columnist for The Daily Beast, and has written for The New York Times and many other publications.

Ferrer’s Cuba: An American History focuses on the United States’ tumultuous relationship with Cuba, offering new insights into U.S. history and imagining a new rapport between the two nations.

Based on decades of research, the book provides a front-row seat to witness the evolution of Cuba, with its dramatic record of conquest and colonization, of slavery and freedom, and of independence and revolutions made and unmade.

Along the way, Ferrer explores the sometimes surprising and often troubled intimacy between the two countries, documenting not only the influence of the United States on Cuba but also the many ways the island has been a recurring presence in U.S. affairs.

Ferrer is the Julius Silver Professor of History and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where she has taught since 1995.

She is the author of Insurgent Cuba: Race, Nation, and Revolution, 1868–1898, winner of the Berkshire Book Prize for the best first book by a woman in any field of history, and Freedom’s Mirror: Cuba and Haiti in the Age of Revolution, which won the Frederick Douglass Book Prize from the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University. as well as prizes from the American Historical Association.

Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, Ferrer has traveled to Cuba frequently since 1990 to conduct research for her books.

Additional information on the keynote and closing presentations and other books featured in the 2022 Festival is available at www.historybookfestival.org.

Books may be purchased in advance at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach and at biblion in Lewes. In addition, History Book Festival titles may be borrowed through the Delaware Public Library system as they are published.

Presenting sponsors of the Festival are Delaware Humanities and The Lee Ann Wilkinson Group of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Gallo Realty. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and Distilling Company is the funding partner for the keynote address; Joe and Debbie Schell are funding partners for the closing presentation.

The History Book Festival is the first and only book festival in the United States devoted exclusively to history.

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I'm a dual-located independent reporter covering arts, culture and humanities topics primarily in Delaware, lower PA, and occasionally the west coast as I travel. [Please send tips and press releases to my news address (janineparisnews@protonmail.com), not my personal email.]

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