In the early years of the nineteenth century, former Virginia schoolteacher James Ogilvie embarked on a lecture tour that took the United States by storm.
Born Scotland, Ogilvie became a renowned orator, packing rooms in urban Philadelphia and rural Kentucky alike. As he crisscrossed the nation, lecturing on topics that spoke to American anxieties about the fate of their young republic, Ogilvie became a major celebrity.
Many Americans admired him, some even hated him, as he asked them to look into the mirror to see themselves.
On today’s show, Dr. Carolyn Eastman joins Jim Ambuske to discuss her new book, The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The United States’ First Forgotten Celebrity published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2021. Dr. Eastman is a Professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University. Please visit the University of North Carolina Press's website to learn how you can get 40% Dr. Eastman's book.
About Our Guest:
Carolyn Eastman, Ph.D., is associate professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of the prizewinning A Nation of Speechifiers: Making an American Public after the Revolution.
About Our Host:
Jim Ambuske, Ph.D., leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. A historian of the American Revolution, Scotland, and the British Atlantic World, Ambuske graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA Law, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project. He is currently at work on a book about emigration from Scotland in the era of the American Revolution as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.
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