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Debby Applegate

Historian and Biographer. She is the author of The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher, for which she won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

Debby Applegate, recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her book The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. Debby Applegate discovered Henry Ward Beecher, the scandalous 19th-century preacher, in the archives at Amherst College when she was an undergraduate and made him the subject of her American Studies dissertation at…

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Debby Applegate, recipient of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her book The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher. Debby Applegate discovered Henry Ward Beecher, the scandalous 19th-century preacher, in the archives at Amherst College when she was an undergraduate and made him the subject of her American Studies dissertation at Yale, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1998.

She spent a decade reworking her academic analysis into a lively narrative that performs the delicate balancing act of appealing of to a general audience while also contributing to scholarly debates about the culture of celebrity, the evolution of American Protestantism, and the history of print media.

In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, The Most Famous Man in America was named one of the best books of the year by the New York Times Book Review, NPR’s Fresh Air, and the Washington Post.

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