"First Friend. Thomas Jefferson: The Original Social Networker" is released today as the initial installation in Wakestone Press’s New Legacy Series

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Virginia’s First Lady calls it a brilliant approach.

“First Friend. Thomas Jefferson: The Original Social Networker,” written by Kathleen Reid, is released today in a groundbreaking format tying social media to our 3rd President.

Thomas Jefferson actually developed the first social network 200 years before the founders of MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn were born, said Reid. He wrote more than 20,000 letters to thousands of friends during his lifetime; his network was the foundation of a lifelong commitment to learning that left a legacy we benefit from today.

“Combining the appeal of modern social networking with historical accounts and life stories of Jefferson is quite the brilliant approach to catching the eye of today's young adults,” said Virginia’s First Lady Maureen McDonnell, “’First Friend. Thomas Jefferson’ presents itself as a successful start to the series created with the purpose of connecting teenagers with history.”

Based on scholarly research, Reid set out to appeal to readers overwhelmed by minutiae, “First Friend” allows readers to see Thomas Jefferson through a familiar lens, and see him as a connection in their social network. His life, his accomplishments, his travail and triumph are experienced as he would blog, tweet and text them.

“I-pad and stylus replace the quill pen and parchment in Kathleen Reid’s innovative retelling of the events of Mr. Jefferson’s life.” said Professor Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “As one of the most creative technophiles of his time, no doubt Mr. Jefferson would have employed today’s social media wisely, and perhaps in much the same manner as the author imagines.”

“First Friend” is Volume 1 of the Wakestone Press Legacy Series. The series’ biographies bring stories into a modern context and allow readers to engage with historical figures through a new, brighter lens. It makes history approachable and tells stories of people who shaped our nation and culture. Written for young adults (of all ages) these books bring alive the men and women we know and are supposed to know.

“We wanted to make it fun for everyone to learn about historical figures while thoroughly enjoying the thrill of the new medium, “ said Carol Daniels, Publisher of Wakestone Press. “In the publication of the first two Legacy books, the biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Elvis Presley (set for release in June 2012), are freshly revealed.

Wakestone Press, established in 2010 and based in Nashville, Tenn, was founded on the belief that neither authors nor stories get proper attention, and that new technologies make small publishing houses viable.

Kathleen Reid graduated from Mount Holyoke College and had a career in corporate marketing in Washington, D.C. and New York City before she began writing full time. As a guide at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, she developed a love of art that inspired her first picture book, “Magical Mondays at the Art Museum“, a project enthusiastically endorsed by the former First Lady of Virginia. Her dream of writing a novel came true with the publication of “Paris Match.” Her second novel, “A Page Out of Life“, tells about the lives and loves of women who scrapbook. Kathleen lives with her husband and two daughters in Richmond, Virginia.

“First Friend. Thomas Jefferson: The Original Social Networker,” Wakestone Legacy Series, Volume 1, is published by Wakestone Press, Nashville, Tennessee. ISBN: 978-1-60956-012-6, US $18.99

For more information, go to: http://www.WakestonePress.com.

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