They may have saved the best for last. Certainly nobody has studied the full range of Thomas L. Kane’s life and interests as completely as has Matt Grow. David J. Whittaker, organizer of the Kane Lecture series, writes:
Our last Thomas L. Kane Lecture will be given this week, on Thursday, 12 March at 2 pm in the Harold B. Lee Llibrary Auditorium. It will also be part of the Library’s House of Learning Lectures series, hence the change in day and time. Our speaker will be Matthew J. Grow, whose important biography of Thomas Kane has just been released by Yale University Press: “Liberty to the Downtrodden”, Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer. Matt received his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and is currently an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Indiana, where he also serves are the Director for the Center of Communal Studies. Matt has made full use of BYU’ extensive Kane Collections as well as Kane manuscripts throughout the United States. Matt’s lecture is entitled “Thomas L. Kane and Nineteenth-Century America.”
Matt’s Kane Lecture will broaden the scope of our previous presentations. While Kane is remembered in Mormon country as the nineteenth-century defender of the Latter-day Saints and as the hero of the Utah War of 1857-58, Kane also distinguished himself as a Civil war officer and as a crusader for antislavery, women’s rights, educational reform, and concern for the downtrodden. His activities illuminate the connections between nineteenth-century partisan politics, religion and social reform by demonstrating how Kane and likeminded others fused Democratic Party ideology, anti-evangelicalism, and romanticism into a broad agenda of reform. Matt’s new biography, based on his dissertation, explores all these themes in new and exciting ways. His Kane lecture will thus provide an introduction to the larger life and thought of Thomas L. Kane.
With the cooperation of the BYU Bookstore, copies of Matt’s “Liberty to the Downtrodden,” (reviewed recently by Jordan W. at Juvenile Instructor) will be available for purchase just outside the auditorium. Get your copy autographed will Matt is still on this side of the Continental Divide.