How Lincoln and Darwin Shaped the Modern World Subject of April 1 Presentation by Best-Selling Author

March 30, 2010

Event: Adam Gopnik, staff writer at the The New Yorker, will discuss his recent book "Angels and Ages: A Short Book about Darwin, Lincoln and Modern Life," at an event hosted by the Plan II Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

When: Thursday, April 1, 7 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, AT&T Conference Center Amphitheater, 1900 University Ave.

Background: Born on the same day in 1809 to strikingly different worlds, both physically and economically, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin lent more to our modern world than their roles as leaders of emancipation and evolution, according to Gopnik's book "Angels and Ages." Both men mastered a new kind of liberal language, featuring simple speech and seamless transitions from the particulars of forensics and species to grand visions of freedom and progress.

"In all these ways — their love of family, their shrewdness and sensitivity, their invention of a new kind of plain speaking — Lincoln and Darwin are worth looking at together precisely because they aren't particularly remarkable," Gopnik says in an article adapted from "Angels and Ages" on Smithsonian.com. "The things that they loved and pursued, the things that intrigued and worried them, were the same things that most other intelligent people in their day worried about and that worry and intrigue us still."

Gopnik's work for the The New Yorker has won both the National Magazine Award for Essay and for Criticism, and the George Polk Award for Magazine Reporting.

For more information, contact: Jessica Sinn, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404; Matt Valentine, program coordinator, Joynes Reading Room, 512-471-5692.