NASCAR, Moonshine, and Books Collide on June 23 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame
Learn about the rich history of NASCAR and stock car racing in North Carolina.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 9, 2022 -- On June 23 North Carolina Humanities will host its final North Carolina Reads event with special guests: author of Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR Neal Thompson, NASCAR Cup Series driver Erik Jones, and stock car racing scholar Dr. Daniel Pierce.
The trio will have an onstage conversation at the NASCAR Hall of Fame about themes from the book Driving with the Devil and the fascinating history of stock car racing, from its roots in Prohibition-era bootlegging to the sport's status as a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Each guest will bring their unique perspective to the conversation, from Thompson's journalistic inquiries about the sport's history, to Jones' involvement as a current racer today, to Pierce's in-depth scholarly research. As Driving with the Devil focuses on NASCAR's evolution through the early 2000s, Thompson, Jones, and Pierce will also discuss how the sport has changed in the last 20 years.
"At the heart of North Carolina Reads is North Carolina Humanities' desire to connect communities through shared reading experiences," said Sherry Paula Watkins, Executive Director of North Carolina Humanities.
"The stories and histories from Thompson's Driving with the Devil allow us to learn more about the place we call home: North Carolina," Watkins continued. "We hope this program can help expand our understanding, respect, and empathy for others' stories and experiences, which we believe is important to enriching the lives of North Carolinians."
North Carolina Reads is North Carolina Humanities' statewide book club for 2022 that featured five books exploring issues of racial, social, and gender equality and the history and culture of North Carolina. North Carolina Humanities has a fifty-year history of providing free book-centric programs and resources, like North Carolina Reads, to communities statewide.
The event, North Carolina Reads: Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR, will be held on June 23 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. A pre-event reception with hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be held from 6:00-7:00 PM. The onstage conversation will take place from 7:00-8:30 PM. Brain Kahn, North Carolina Humanities Board Trustee and local "Charlotte Squawks" parody show writer will moderate the conversation. The event is free, and registration is required.
Throughout 2022 North Carolina Humanities has hosted monthly book club events where participants heard guest speakers, including book authors and topic experts, discuss themes and topics related to each North Carolina Reads selected book.
Selected North Carolina Reads books for 2022 were:
- Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia by Thomas Healy
- The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
- Even As We Breathe by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
- Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life by Troy R. Saxby
- Driving with the Devil: Southern Moonshine, Detroit Wheels, and the Birth of NASCAR by Neal Thompson
The June 23 event is the final in this 2022 program series. All previous North Carolina Reads book events are available to watch on North Carolina Humanities' YouTube channel for free.
North Carolina Reads is made possible in part by a special initiative grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, "A More Perfect Union". Please note that selected North Carolina Reads books are intended for readers 18 and over and may not be suitable for some audiences.
"We hope to see NASCAR fans, book lovers, and those interested in learning more about North Carolina on June 23," Watkins concluded.
About North Carolina Humanities: Through grantmaking and public humanities programs, North Carolina Humanities connects North Carolinians with cultural experiences that spur dialogue, deepen human connections, and inspire community. North Carolina Humanities is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The North Carolina Center for the Book, the state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, is a program of North Carolina Humanities that promotes books, libraries, literacy, and reading around the state. To learn more visit www.nchumanities.org.
SOURCE North Carolina Humanities