The Eberly College of Arts and Sciences and its acclaimed West Virginia University Press will formally launch publication ofRobert C. Byrd: Child of the Appalachian Coalfields,the senators 800-page autobiography, with a special event Monday, June 20, at 11 a.m. at the WVU College of Laws Lugar Courtroom.

Sen. Byrd will be on hand for the event, which will include a personal reading from the first chapter of his memoirs and a display of memorabilia. WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr. will introduce the senator; the public is invited to attend.

Child of the Appalachian Coalfieldsrecounts the senators life experiences from growing up in Stotesbury, W.Va., in the early 1920s to his election to an unprecedented eighth U.S. Senate term in 2000, said Patrick Conner, director of the WVU Press.

This book is the generous act of a most generous man who offers us in these 800 pages the chance to understand intimately his role in our political history since World War II,Conner said.

Byrd called the projecta labor of love,adding,the book takes the reader on a journeythe story of my life.

The national launch of the book will be held Tuesday, June 21, at the National Archives William G. McGowan Theater. A reception is planned for 6 p.m., with a personal reading to follow at 6:45 p.m. The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom will be open to the public following the reading until 9 p.m.

Copies purchased at the Morgantown event will include a bookplate signed by Sen. Byrd. Price of the book is $35.

There will be no personal signing opportunities at the public events.

The book can also be ordered by contacting the WVU Press toll-free at 1-866-WVUPRESS, or by