National Endowment for the Arts
"There's no substitute for
the love of language, for
the beauty of an English
substitute for struggling,
if a struggle is needed,
to make an English
sentence as beautiful
as it should be."
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is the rare American novel that can be
discovered with excitement in adolescence and reread into adulthood
without fear of disappointment. Few novels so appealingly evoke the daily
world of childhood in a way that seems convincing whether you are
sixteen or sixty-six.
Lee tells two deftly paired stories set in a small Southern town: one focused
on lawyer Atticus Finch's defense of an unjustly accused man, the other on
his bright, bratty daughters gradual discovery of her own goodness. For
many young people this novel becomes their first big read, the grown-up
story that all later books will be measured against.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts
designed to revitalize the role of literary reading in American popular
culture. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America, a. 2004 NEA
report, identified a critical decline in reading for pleasure among American
adults.The Big Read aims to address this issue directly by providing citizens
with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their
A great book combines enlightenment with enchantment. It awakens our
imagination and enlarges our humanity. It can even offer harrowing insights
that somehow console and comfort us.Whether you're a regular reader
already or a nonreader making up for lost time, thank you for joining
the Big Read.
Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts
■ jV**j " '->^x.*y
'Atticus said to Jem one day, 'I'd rather you shot
at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll
go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want,
if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to
kill a mockingbird.'
That was the only time I ever heard Atticus
say it was a sin to do something, and I asked
Miss Maudie about it.
'Your father's right,' she said. 'Mockingbirds
don't do one thing but make music for us to
enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't
nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but
sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin
to kill a mockingbird.'"
from To Kill a Mockingbird
HAILPB* LB *
2 THE BIG READ • National Kndowiiicnr for the Arts
Introduction to the Novel
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
begins at the end. "When he was
nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got
his arm badly broken at the elbow,"
writes the now-grown Jean Louise
"Scout" Finch in the novel's first
sentence. By the time Jem finally
gets around to breaking his arm
more than 250 pages later, most
readers will have forgotten they were
ever warned. This echoes the way
the whole book unfolds — in no
special hurry, with lifelike
indirection. Nothing happens all by
itself. The book's two plots inch
forward along parallel tracks, only
converging near the end.
The first plot revolves around
Arthur "Boo" Radley, who lives in
a shuttered house down the street
from the Finches and is rumored
to be some kind of monster.
Scout, Jem, and their next-door
neighbor Dill engage in pranks,
trying to make Boo show himself.
Unexpectedly, Boo reciprocates their
interest with a series of small gifts,
until he ultimately steps oflFhis
porch and into their lives when
they need him most.
The second story concerns Scout
and Jem's father, the attorney Atticus
Finch. The local judge appoints
him to defend a black man, Tom
Robinson, who is falsely accused
of raping a white woman. Atticus
suspects he will lose the case, but
he faces the challenge just the same,
at one point heroically stepping
between his client and a lynch mob.
Along with its twin plot lines, To
Kill a Mockingbird has two broad
themes: tolerance and justice. Lee
treats the first through the childrens'
fear of their mysterious neighbor.
She illustrates the second with
Atticus' courage in defending
Robinson to the best of his ability,
despite the racial prejudices of
their small Southern town.
Tying the stories together is a
simple but profound piece of
advice Atticus gives Scout: "You
never really understand a person
until you consider things from his
point of view... Until you climb
inside of his skin and walk around
in it." By the end of the novel,
Scout has done exactly that —
guessed at the pain not only
beneath Tom Robinson's black
skin, but also under the fishbelly
pallor of her neighbor.
National Endowment for the Arts "THE BIG READ 3
Harper Lee (b. 1 926)
If Nelle Harper Lee ever wanted
proof that fame has its drawbacks,
she didn't have to look farther than
her childhood neighbor, Truman
Capote. After her enormously
successful first novel, her life has
been as private as Capotes was
Nelle — her first name is her
grandmother's spelled backward —
was born on April 28, 1926, in
Monroeville, Alabama. Her mother,
Frances Cunningham Finch Lee,
was a homemaker. Her father,
Amasa Cole Lee, practiced law.
Before A. C. Lee became a title
lawyer, he once defended two black
men accused of murdering a white
storekeeper. Both clients, a father
and son, were hanged.
As a child, Harper Lee was an
unruly tomboy. She fought on the
playground. She talked back to
teachers. She was bored with school
and resisted any sort of conformity.
The character of Scout in To Kill a
Mockingbird would have liked her.
In high school Lee was fortunate to
have a gifted English teacher, Gladys
Watson Burkett, who introduced
her to challenging literature and the
rigors of writing well. Lee loved
19th-century British authors best,
and once said that her ambition was
to become "the Jane Austen of south
Unable to fit in with the sorority she
joined at the University of Alabama,
she found a second home on the
campus newspaper. Eventually she
became editor-in-chief of the
Over 25% of labor force
unemployed during worst years
of the Great Depression.
Franklin D. Roosevelt wins
presidency with promise of his
"New Deal" in 1932.
The Scottsboro Boys' trials last
from 1931-37. Nelle Harper Lee
is 6 years old when they begin.
Jackie Robinson signs baseball
contract with the Brooklyn
President Truman ends
segregation in the military and
discrimination in federal hiring.
Harper Lee moves to New York
City to become a writer.
Brown vs. Board of Education
rules school segregation
Rosa Parks refuses to surrender
her bus seat to a white man in
Lee accompanies Truman Capote
to Kansas as "researchist" for his
book In Cold Blood.
4 THE BIG READ • National Endowment for the Arts
Rammer Jammer, a quarterly humor
magazine on campus. She entered
the law school, but she "loathed" it.
Despite her father's hopes that she
would become a local attorney like
her sister Alice, Lee went to New
York to pursue her writing.
She spent eight years working odd
jobs before she finally showed a
manuscript to Tay Hohoff, an
editor at J.B. Lippincott. At this
point, it still resembled a string of
stories more than the novel that
Lee had intended. Under Hohoff s
guidance, two and a half years of
rewriting followed. When the novel
was finally ready for publication,
the author opted for the name
"Harper Lee" on the cover, because
she didn't want to be misidentified
Harper Lee, while visiting
Monroeville, Alabama, 1 96 1
To Kill a Mockingbird was
published in 1 960 to highly
favorable reviews and quickly
climbed the bestseller lists, where it
remained for 88 weeks. In 1961, the
novel won the Pulitzer Prize.
African-American citizens in
the rear of the bus in
compliance with South
Carolina segregation law.
The early 1960s The mid-1960s
To Kill a Mockingbird published
on July 11, 1960.
The film follows in 1 962 and
wins Oscars for best actor,
screenwriter, and set design.
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have
a Dream" speech delivered,
1963. He wins the Nobel Peace
Prize in 1964.
Congress passes the Civil
Rights Act of 1 964, enforcing
the constitutional right to vote.
Malcolm X is assassinated
Despite rumors of a second
Southern novel, Lee never
finishes another book.
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ 5
Though fans of the book waited for
a second novel, it never came. Lee
later researched a book, similar to
Capote' j" In Cold Blood, about a
part-time minister in Alexander
City, Alabama, accused of killing
five people for their insurance
money and later himself murdered
by a victims relative. She dropped
the project in the 1990s.
In the meantime, To Kill a
Mockingbird has sold more than 30
million copies in 1 8 languages.
According to biographer Charles J.
Shields, Lee was unprepared for the
amount of personal attention
associated with writing a bestseller.
Ever since, she has led a quiet and
guardedly private life. As Sheriff
Tate says of Boo Radley, "draggin
him with his shy ways into the
limelight — to me, that's a sin." So it
would be with Harper Lee.
From her, To Kill a
Mockingbird is gift
Harper Lee attends a
Los Angeles Public Library
awards dinner in her
Nelle Harper Lee and Truman
Capote became friends in the
early 1 930s as kindergarteners in
Monroeville, Alabama. They lived
next door to each other: Capote
with aunts and uncles, Lee with
her parents and three siblings.
From the start they loved reading
and recognized in each other "an
apartness," as Capote later
expressed it. When Lee's father
gave them an old Underwood
typewriter, they began writing
original stories. Although Capote
moved to New York City in the
third grade to join his mother and
6 THE BIG READ • National Endowment for the Arts
stepfather, he returned to
Monroeville most summers,
eventually providing the inspiration
for Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.
In 1948 Capote published his first
novel, OtherVoices, Other Rooms.
Around that time, Lee quit law
school and joined Capote in New
York to work at becoming a writer
too. Years of menial jobs followed
until To Kill a Mockingbird was ready
for publication. Capote read the
manuscript and made editorial
suggestions. Lee, in her turn,
accompanied him to Kansas to
help research In Cold Blood.
After To Kill a Mockingbird was
published, Capote resented Lees
success, and could have tried harder
to dispel baseless rumors that the
novel was as much his work as
hers.Their friendship continued
during the 1 960s and 70s, but
Capotes drug and alcohol abuse
strained the relationship. Later he
would stop publishing and sink into
self-parody, sponging off high society
and making endless rounds of the
talk-show circuit. When Capote
died in 1 984, Lee confided to
friends that she had not heard
from him in years.
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ 7
Historical Context: The Jim Crow South
Former slaves and their children had
little assurance that their post-Civil
War freedoms would stick. By the
1890s, a system of laws and
regulations commonly referred to as
u Jim Crow" had emerged; by 1910,
every state of the former
upheld this legalized
Most scholars believe
the term originated
around 1830, when a
his face, danced a jig,
and sang the lyrics to
the song "Jump Jim
Crow." At first the
word was synonymous with such
then-innocuous terms as black,
colored, or Negro, but it later
became attached to this specific
arsenal of repressive laws.
During the Jim Crow era, local
officials instituted curfews for blacks
and posted "Whites Only" and
"Colored" signs on parks, schools,
hotels, water fountains, restrooms,
and all modes of transportation.
Laws against miscegenation or "race-
mixing" deemed all marriages
between white and black not only
void but illegal. Almost as bad as
the injustice of Jim Crow was the
inconsistency with which local law
enforcement applied it. Backtalk
would rate a laugh in one town, a
lynching just over the
00 puwroftrir Kisusnr, ax«>? ^""^
Sheet music cover illustration
with caricatures of ragged
African-American musicians and
dancers, c. 1 847
Though violence used
to subjugate blacks was
nothing new, its
under Jim Crow.
the Ku Klux Klan
reached a membership
of six million. Mob
encouraged. Torture became a
public spectacle. White families
brought their children as witnesses
to lynchings, and vendors hawked
the body parts of victims as
souvenirs. Between 1 889 and
1930, over 3,700 men and
women were reported lynched in
the United States, many for
challenging Jim Crow.
All this anger and fear led to the
notorious trials of the Scottsboro
Boys (1931-37), an ordeal of
sensational convictions, reversals,
8 THE BIG READ • National Endowment for the Arts
Top, passengers lined up in front
of segregated buses at a Louisville,
Tennessee, bus station, 1943; Above,
a segregated drinking fountain.
'Why reasonable people
go stark raving mad
when anything involving
a Negro comes up, is
something I don't
pretend to understand."
— ATTICUS FINCH
in To Kill a Mockingbird
and retrials for nine young African
American men accused of raping
two white women on a train from
Tennessee to Alabama. The primary
testimony came from the older
woman, a prostitute trying to avoid
Juries composed exclusively of
white men ignored clear evidence
that the women had suffered no
injury. As in To Kill a Mockingbird,
a black man charged with raping a
white woman was not accorded the
usual presumption of innocence.
In January of 1932, the Alabama
Supreme Court affirmed seven out
of eight death sentences against the
adult defendants. A central figure in
the case was an Atticus-like judge,
James E. Horton, a member of the
Alabama Bar who eventually defied
public sentiment to overturn a
Despite these and many more
injustices, black Americans found
ingenious ways to endure and resist.
Education, religion, and music
became their solace and salvation
until, in the organized political
action of the Civil Rights
Movement, Jim Crow's harsh
music finally began to fade.
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ 9
How the Novel Came to be Written
Any claims for To Kill a Mockingbird
as a book that changed history could
not have seemed more farfetched one
winter night in 1958, as Nelle Harper
Lee huddled in her outer-borough
New York City apartment trying to
finesse her unruly episodic
manuscript into some semblance of a
cohesive novel. All but drowning in
multiple drafts of the same material,
Lee suddenly threw open a window
and scattered five years of work onto
the dirty snow below
Did Lee really intend to destroy
To Kill a Mockingbird? Well never
know. Fortunately in the next
moment, she called her editor.
Lippincotts formidable Tay Hohoff
prompdy sent her outside to gather
all the pages back — thus rescuing To
Kill a Mockingbird from yet another
The novel had its origins in Lees
hometown of Monroeville,
Alabama — the small, Southern
town upon which the fictional
Maycomb is based. Her fathers
unsuccessful defense of a black man
and his son accused of murder, in
addition to the Scottsboro Boys'
trials and another notorious
interracial rape case, helped to shape
Harper Lee in the
Lees budding social conscience and
sense of a dramatic story.
Along with his legal practice, Lees
father published and edited the
town newspaper. His regard for
the written word impacted Lees
sensibility as surely as his respect
for the law. Lee would name her
idealized vision of her father
after Titus Pomponius Atticus, a
friend of the Roman orator Cicero
renowned as, according to
Lee, u a wise, learned
and humane man."
For a long time, Lee
called her work in
progress Atticus. This
arguably marked an
| THE BIG READ • National Endowment for the Arts
® ® ® ® <* [
improvement over her first title, Go
Set a Watchman, but once she
fastened on To Kill a Mockingbird
she did not look back.
Lippincott finally published the
book on July 11,1 960, by which
time an unprecedented four national
mail-order book clubs had already
selected the novel for its readers. The
first line of The Washington Post's
review echoed many similar notices
that praised the novel for its moral
impact: "A hundred pounds of
sermons on tolerance, or an equal
measure of invective deploring the
lack of it, will weigh far less in the
scale of enlightenment than a mere
1 8 ounces of new fiction bearing
the tide To Kill a Mockingbird. "
Eighty-eight weeks later, the novel
still perched on the hardcover
bestseller list. During that time, it
had won the Pulitzer Prize for
fiction and the hearts of American
readers. One can't help wondering
how literary history
might have been
different had Harper
Lee thrown her
manuscript out the
window on a slighdy
"Writing is a process of self-
discipline you must learn
before you can call yourself
a writer.There are people
who write, but I think
they're quite different from
people who must write."
from a 1 964 interview
Lee with her father, 1 96 1
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ I 1
To Adapt a Mockingbird
Mary Badham and Gregory Peck
review the script on the set of the
film To Kill a Mockingbird, 1 962
In 1962, To Kill a Mockingbird
was adapted for the screen. It is
often considered one of the truest
literary adaptations in film history.
After Universal Studios bought the
rights to Lee's novel, they first
offered Rock Hudson the role of
Atticus Finch. But producer Alan
Pakula didn't want Hudson for the
part; he wanted Gregory Peck.
When Pakula sent a copy of the
novel to Peck, the tall, dignified
Californian read it in one night and
accepted, and the studio agreed to
finance the film.
With Peck on board, the next piece
of business was turning the novel
into a screenplay. Pakula offered
Harper Lee the chance to write it,
but she wasn't interested. She
pleaded responsibility to her second
novel and, with characteristic
humility, said she would welcome an
experienced screenwriter's trimming.
Gregory Peck and Harper Lee
on the set, 1 962
When playwright Horton Foote
landed the screenplay assignment
instead, all worked out for the best.
Foote's upbringing in a small Texas
town and knack for scenes of quiet
dramatic intensity were ideal for the
project. At Pakula's urging, Foote
compressed the novel's three years
into one in order to give the film a
sense of unity. As Foote has said,
"That decision was very freeing to
me. It gave me a chance to explore
the architecture that she had created
for the novel and not feel that I was
ruining anything or tampering
anything essential." He also
heightened the intensity of the
novels social criticism, reflecting the
growing momentum of the Civil
In spite of these and other
significant changes, Lee later
praised Foote's screenplay: "If the
integrity of a film adaptation is
measured by the degree to which
the novelists intent is preserved,
Mr. Foote's screenplay should be
studied as a classic."
Next, the producers had to find the
perfect set for Maycomb, Alabama.
They wanted to film in Lee's native
Monroeville, which between the
To Kill a Mockingbird is
about bigotry... For me
the most beautiful scene is
the moment when the
Judge drops by to ask
Atticus to take the case in
defense of Tom Robinson.
Casually put and casually
answered, the question
needed no answer. The
judge knew it would not
be possible for Atticus to
say no. As for Jem and
Scout, they learn a sense
of honor from Atticus."
book's setting in 1935 and the shoot
in 1961 had lost much of its
architectural charm. Wisely, the
design team instead transplanted a
street of shotgun shacks to the
studio back lot, and recreated
Maycomb in Southern California.
The set designers would win
Academy Awards for their work,
as would Peck and Foote.
Nominations went to actress Mary
Badham, cinematographer Russell
Harlan, and composer Elmer
Bernstein. The picture itself lost
only to Lawrence of Arabia.
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ | 3
Why do you think Harper Lee
chose as her novel s epigraph
this quote from Charles Lamb:
"Lawyers, I suppose, were
Why does the adult Scout
begin her narrative with Jems
broken arm and a brief family
How does Boo Radley's past
history of violence foreshadow
his method of protecting
Jem and Scout? Does this
aggression make him more,
or less, of a sympathetic
How does the town of
Maycomb function as a
character with its own
personality, rather than merely
as a backdrop for the novels
Atticus teaches Scout that
compromise is not bending
the law, but "an agreement
reached by mutual consent."
Does she apply or reject this
definition of compromise?
What are examples of her
obedience to and defiance of
6. The novel takes place during
the Great Depression. How
do the class divisions and
family quarrels heighten
racial tensions in Maycomb?
7. Atticus believes that to
understand life from someone
else's perspective, we must
"walk in his or her shoes."
From what other perspectives
does Scout see her fellow
8. How does Atticus quiedy
protest Jim Crow laws even
before Tom Robinson's trial?
9. What does Jem learn when
Atticus forces him to read to
Mrs. Dubose as a punishment?
Why does the lawyer regard
this woman as the "bravest
person" he ever knew?
10. Since their mother is dead,
several women — Calpurnia,
Miss Maudie, and Aunt
Alexandra — function as
mother figures to Scout and
Jem. Discuss the ways these
three women influence Scout's
growing understanding of
what it means to be a
I 4 THE BIG READ " National Endowment for the Arts
1 1. Why does Atticus Finch risk
his reputation, his friendships,
and his career to take Tom
Robinsons case? Do you think
he risks too much by putting
his children in harms way?
12. What elements of this
novel did you find funny,
memorable, or inspiring?
Are there any characters whose
beliefs or actions impressed or
surprised you? Did any events
lead you to revisit childhood
memories or see them in a
13. Adult readers may focus so
much on the novel's politics
that they may neglect the
coming-of-age story. What
does Scout learn, and how
does she change in the course
of her narrative?
If you'd like to read works by
authors admired by Harper
Lee, you might enjoy:
Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814)
Truman Capote's The Grass Harp
Mark Twain's The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn (1885)
If you'd like to read other
books set in the South, you
Olive Ann Burns' Cold Sassy Tree
Zora Neale Hurston s Their Eyes
Were Watching God (1 937)
Carson McCullers' The Heart Is a
Lonely Hunter (1940)
If you'd like to read other
coming-of-age novels, you
Louisa May Alcott's Oft/e Women
John Knowles* A Separate Peace
Any writer worth his saJt
writes to please himself... It's
a self-exploratory operation
that is endless. An exorcism
of not necessarily his demon,
but of his divine discontent."
from a 1964 interview
National Endowment for the Arts • THE BIG READ | 5
Other works by Harper Lee
In the 1 960s, Lee published three
essays in American magazines,
which can be read at Jane Kansas'
Web site: www. mockingbird.
published her fourth essay in 1985,
originally presnted as a paper at the
1983 Alabama History and
"Christmas to Me." McCalls 89
(December 1961): 63.
"Love — In Other Words." Vogue
137 (15 April 1961): 64-5.
"When Children Discover
America." McCalls 92 (August
"Romance and High Adventure."
Clearings in the Thicket: An
Alabama Humanities Reader. Ed.
Jerry Elijah Brown. Macon, GA:
Mercer University Press, 1985.
Interviews with Harper Lee
In the early 1 960s, Lee gave many
interviews before she chose to
step out of the public eye. One of
them was first published in Roy
Newquists book, Counterpoint,
another in Rogue magazine.
Both can be found at
www. mockingbird, chebucto. org/
Books about Harper Lee and
To Kill a Mockingbird
Bloom, Harold, ed. Harper Lee's
To Kill a Mockingbird. New York:
Chelsea House Publishers, 1 997.
Johnson, Claudia Durst. To
Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening
Boundaries. New York: Twayne,
Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A
Portrait of Harper Lee. New York:
Henry Holt, 2006.
Mary Badham and
| 6 THE BIG READ • National Endowment for the Arts
^^C^^ The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting
^^■^^ excellence in the arts — both new and established — bringing the arts to all Americans,
^^mS and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an
national independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nations largest
endowment annual hinder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner
cities, and military bases.
FOR THE ARTS
ij£ MuseurriandLibrary The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support
••": for the nations 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institutes mission is to
create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local
organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and
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Arts Midwest connects people throughout the Midwest and the world to meaningful
arts opportunities, sharing creativity, knowledge, and understanding across boundaries.
One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest's
history spans more than 25 years.
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Additional support for the Big Read has also been provided by the WK. Kellogg
Foundation in partnership with Community Foundations of America.
Excerpts from To Kill a Mockingbird, Copyright © 1960, 1988 by Harper Lee, are reproduced by permission of
Chafe, William H., Raymond Gavins, Robert Korstad, eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the
Segregated South. New York: New Press, 2001.
Culligan, Glendy. "Listen to that Mockingbird." Rev. of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The Washington Post, Times
Herald 3 July 1960: E6.
Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
Newquist, Roy. "An Interview with Harper Lee." March 1964. Online Posting. To Kill a Mockingbird and Harper Lee.
9 January 2006 <http://mockingbird.chebucto.org/interviews.html>.
Shields, Charles J. Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2006.
David Kipen, NEA Director of Literature
Writers: Charles J. Shields, author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee; David Kipen and Erika Koss for the National
Endowment for the Arts, with preface by Dana Gioia
Series Editor: Erika Koss for the National Endowment for the Arts
Special thanks to Susannah Bielak, Susan Chandler, Maryrose Flanigan, Liz Edgar Hernandez, and Jon Peede
Graphic Design: Fletcher Design/Washington, D.C.
Cover Portrait: John Sherffius for the Big Read. Inside coven Bettmann/Corbis. Page 1: Photo by Vance Jacobs. Page 2: Northern mockingbird
image by Jeremy Woodhouse/Getty Images; first edition book cover reproduced courtesy of HarperCollins. Page 5: top, image by Donald
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Winn/Corbis. Page 7: Both photos, Getty Images. Page 8: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Page 9: top, image by Esther
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The one thing that
doesn't abide by
majority rule is a
— ATTICUS FINCH
in To Kill a Mockingbird
FOR THE ARTS
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partnership with the Institute of Museum and Libraij
Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big
Read brings together partners across the country to
encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
A great nation deserves great art.
The Big Read for military communities is made possible by