Charles F. Bryan Jr. launches new book at Virginia Historical Society

newspaperOn Thursday, July 9 at noon, Virginia Historical Society president emeritus Charles F. Bryan Jr. will deliver a Banner Lecture entitled “The History Crisis in America: Myth and Reality” and will launch his new book,Imperfect Past: History in a New Light. Tickets to the lecture are $6/adults, $5/seniors and $4/students and children. Admission is free for VHS members and Richmond Times-Dispatch readers with a Press Pass Coupon.

Many people look forward to reading Dr. Bryan’s regular essays in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Imperfect Past is a compilation of these and is available for pre-order at the VHS, where Dr. Bryan made history for twenty years as president and CEO.

In his tenure at the VHS, Dr. Bryan quadrupled the size of the headquarters building, significantly expanded educational programs statewide, and raised more than $110 million. In doing so, he transformed the VHS into a premiere educational institution, the place where schoolchildren and adults could go to learn about the commonwealth’s past in its entirety—all time periods and all regions and through all manner of collections.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Virginia Historical Society, a place I called home for twenty years,” said Bryan. “What better place to launch my new book?”

The society’s Banner Lecture Series was endowed to celebrate Dr. Bryan’s twenty years of remarkable leadership at the VHS. Established in 1988 by Dr. Bryan, it was the first public lecture series ever offered by the VHS. Since his retirement in 2008, he has continued to devote his time and efforts to promoting history education.

His approach has always been to focus on the stories about the people who made history in order to explain why it matters. For example, readers of Imperfect Past will learn how air-conditioning transformed the South, how ten books changed the course of American History, why George Washington was one of our best military commanders, and many other topics that shine a new light on our nation’s past and present.

A well-known and frequently quoted historian, Dr. Bryan received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee (UT), where he was recently honored as an outstanding alumnus.

The Virginia Historical Society (VHS)—a privately funded nonprofit organization—collects, preserves, and interprets the Commonwealth’s history, linking past with present to inspire future generations. The VHS is located at 428 North Boulevard in Richmond’s Museum District. Hours are Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. for the library, museum shop and a variety of programs. The VHS is closed on Sunday.

For more information about the VHS call (804) 358-4901, visit, or connect with the VHS on Facebook and Twitter. The Banner Lecture Series is sponsored by theRichmond Times-Dispatch.

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