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Meet the author

October 10, 2008

John Fea will be at Washington County Free Library, 100 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, Thursday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. to discuss his latest book, "The Way of Improvement Leads Home."

A book-signing will follow. Call 301-739-3250, ext. 136, for a free ticket.

The book traces the short but fascinating life of Philip Vickers Fithian, one of the most prolific diarists in early America. Born to Presbyterian grain-growers in rural New Jersey, he was never satisfied with the agricultural life he seemed destined to inherit. Fithian longed for something more - to improve himself in a new and revolutionary world that was making upward mobility possible.

Though Fithian is best known for the diary that he wrote in 1773-74, this first full biography moves beyond his experience in the Old Dominion to examine his inner life, his experience in the early American backcountry and his role as a Revolutionary War chaplain.

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