National Book Award Winner Joseph J. Ellis to
Give Lecture at Middlebury College on Oct. 1

Historian Joseph J. Ellis, who won the National Book
Award for “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson”
(Knopf, 1997), will deliver the Charles S. Grant Memorial Lecture
on Friday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. in Middlebury College’s Mead Chapel
on Hepburn Road, off College Street (Route 125). The title of
his talk is “What Jefferson Did: The Jefferson Legacy Today.”
The lecture is free and open to the public.

Joseph J. Ellis, the Ford Foundation Professor of
History at Mount Holyoke College, is a nationally recognized scholar
on American history from colonial times through the early decades
of the republic. “American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas
Jefferson” explores the complexities of Jefferson’s character
and analyzes the central role of his political philosophy in the
unfolding of the American experience. He is currently at work
on a new book titled “Founding Brothers,” about the
entire revolutionary generation.

Ellis’ work, from scholarly articles and essays to
reviews and opinion pieces, has been published in a variety of
publications, including American Heritage, The Boston Globe, The
Washington Post, The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The New
Republic, and Civilization. He has also appeared many times on
C-SPAN, “Fox News,” and “The NewsHour with Jim

Ellis, who received an undergraduate degree from
the College of William and Mary and a master’s and doctorate from
Yale University, has taught at Yale, West Point, and, since 1972,
at Mount Holyoke College. A former U.S. Army officer, Ellis has
lectured at the Army War College and at West Point on the Vietnam
War and on the education of Army officers in the post-Cold War
era. He was also a consultant and appeared as a participant in
the Ken Burns documentary “Thomas Jefferson,” which
aired on PBS in February of 1997. He also co-authored an article
which accompanied the DNA study of Jefferson’s descendants by
Sally Hemings in the November 1998 issue of Nature magazine.

Professor Ellis has received many honors and fellowships,
including a Guggenheim and a National Endowment for the Humanities
Senior Research Fellowship.

Ellis’ talk will be the 24th Grant Memorial Lecture,
established in honor of the late Charles S. Grant, a member of
the Middlebury College history department for several years prior
to his untimely death in 1961. Previous speakers who have delivered
the Grant Memorial Lecture, which maintains a focus on American
history, range from David McCullough, author of the prize-winning
biography “Truman,” to Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., who
served from 1961-1963 as special assistant to President John F.

For more information, contact Travis Jacobs in the
history department of Middlebury College at 802-443-5315.