Smithsonian Libraries 50th Anniversary Lecture - Steve Berry: In Conversation with Maggie Linton

Book cover reading Steve Berry, Bishop's PawnSteve Berry: In Conversation with Maggie Linton

Steve Berry
Author, The Bishop’s Pawn

Maggie Linton
Radio host

Saturday, March 24 at 6:00 p.m.
S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall

The conversation will be followed by a book sale and signing.
Free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.

What is believed to be known about the murder of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes under intense scrutiny in Steve Berry’s latest thriller, THE BISHOP’S PAWN.  Critics have said that, “nobody does history better than Steve Berry.”  His novels are an exciting mix of 90 percent fact and 10 percent speculation.  This one turns upside down what you may think you know about Dr. King’s murder, with issues like:

  • COINTELPRO:  The Counter-Intelligence Program founded by J. Edgar Hoover may have been the most corrupt organization ever created by the American government.  It waged an aggressive war of illegal surveillance against the civil rights movement and Dr. King, in particular; 
  • Last Words:  On the night before he was murdered, Dr. King delivered “The Mountaintop Speech.”  Entirely extemporaneous, every word was conceived as he spoke since King originally wasn’t going to attend the event and had prepared no remarks.  The primary theme of the speech was mortality, each word sounded like a man who knew he was about to die;
  • Amateur Assassin:  James Earl Ray was a failed, petty criminal, not a trained marksman, yet he loaded only one round into his rifle and, from several hundred feet away, at dusk, while standing in a bathtub, shot Dr. King directly in the head;
  • Lack of Answers:  To this day, there has never been an independent, objective, apolitical investigation into the murder.  Every inquiry has been tainted and the most important question remains unanswered—Why was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. killed?

Berry and award-winning radio host, Maggie Linton, will take a hard look at the research behind THE BISHOP’S PAWN and explore the death of a civil rights giant, which is extremely timely given that 2018 is the 50th  anniversary of the tragedy.

For access services, please contact us at silrsvp@si.edu or 202.633.2241, preferably by March 7.