Charles Rappleye: Wins prize for best book about Revolutionary Era





Round Tablers enjoyed a special treat in our final meeting of the spring – a packed house listened to Charles Rappleye tell how he wrote his extraordinary book, Sons of Providence, which the Board of Governors voted the best book on the Revolutionary era in 2006. The book deals with John and Moses Brown, two very different brothers, the first (John) a tough, even brutal realist, who was a slave trader and proud of it, the second (Moses) an idealist who was one of the first to call for the abolition of slavery in Rhode Island, and eventually in America. The book also won the annual Thomas Fleming Award from the Philadelphia American Revolution Round Table. These kudos, plus a glowing review by Tom Fleming a few months earlier, were more than enough to make everyone anticipate a fascinating talk – and we were not disappointed. But if we had known what was percolating elsewhere, we would have been even more mesmerized. Not long after Mr. Rappleye’s appearance at the Williams Club, he won the George Washington Prize, which carries a cash award of $50,000. It’s the biggest history award in the nation. Not bad for an author’s first book, wouldn’t you say? As for the RT’s Board of Governors, they are all chortling with justifiable satisfaction. They were the first to spot the book’s quality and call it the best of 2006. Maybe we’re bragging a little, here, but why not? We try very hard to get quality speakers for every evening and this time we hit the jackpot. When you get to the last page of this bulletin, you’ll see another reason for some "quality" bragging. We’re talking about the October speaker. But enough said on this point. Mr. Rappleye went home to Los Angeles with our applause ringing in his ears and he obviously deserved every clap of it. Before he left, he did a brisk business signing copies of his book. We’re sure by now the buyers are in full agreement with the prize awarders.

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