With Ben Urwand and Greil Marcus
In his explosive new book, The Collaboration, Harvard Junior Fellow Ben Urwand argues that Hollywood studio moguls, many of whom were Jewish, actively collaborated with the Nazi regime, censoring and even quashing films that represented the Third Reich in a negative light in order to keep German theaters packed. Greil Marcus (Lipstick Traces, Mystery Train) joins Urwand for a conversation about the book, the intense debate it’s generated and the implication of moral culpability of Jews themselves.
With Ben Urwand and Greil Marcus
George Saunders and Karen Russell
Tobias Wolff calls George Saunders “one of the most luminous spots of our literature for the past 20 years.” The publication of his fourth book of stories, Tenth of December, is cause for celebration. Saunders (CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia) is bizarre, funny, compassionate and outrageous. He sits down with Karen Russell, bestselling author of the exquisitely peculiar Swamplandia! and the darkly imaginative Vampires in the Lemon Grove, to talk about literary influences, fantastical landscapes, genre-defying fiction and whether there’s ever an idea that’s too far-fetched.
With Davia Nelson of NPR’s The Kitchen Sisters
Alice Waters, the legendary chef of Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, is perhaps more responsible than anyone for revolutionizing the way we think about food. Her new cookbook, The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden, brings seasonal, vegetable-centric meals to the table. If you shop at a farmer’s market, grow your own food or are just thinking about making some changes, don’t miss this special event.
With Daniel Handler
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan The Russian Debutante’s Handbook) is best known for his tales of newly-landed immigrants, unrequited love and American and Soviet absurdities. In his new memoir, Little Failure, he turns his attention to his own story. With his trademark wit, wordplay and an audacious sense of fun, he shares what it means to be an immigrant, a grown-up, a son and an American.
Every day, 2.5 billion gigabytes of data are created. What can this “big data” tell us? Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel, two young Harvard scientists, teamed up with Google to mine the Google Books archive, a collection of 5 million books from across centuries. Their results can help us learn how human language evolves, how art has been censored, how fame grows and fades, and how nations trend toward war. Discover how big data is changing the game.
Our Mathematical Universe
Like the protagonist in TheTruman Show or The Matrix, cosmologist Max Tegmark has discovered that the ultimate nature of reality is not at all what it seems. His new book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, leads us on an astonishing journey through the physics, astronomy and mathematics that are the foundation of his work to arrive at his mind-boggling theory of the “ultimate multiverse.”
Haaretz’s Ari Shavit, one of the most influential columnists writing about the Middle East, illuminates many of the pivotal moments that led Israel to where it is today in his new book My Promised Land. He joins the New Yorker’s David Remnick to discuss the complexities and contradictions inherent in Israel and the future of the country.
With Barbara Lane
Conspiracy plots. Clever detective work. Sex. Violence. Twisting story lines. Homeland, Showtime’s riveting psychological thriller about CIA agents tracking a former Marine sergeant who might be a terrorist agent, explores the complexities of fighting terrorism after September 11. This gripping show has earned a cult following, critical praise and a Grammy for Outstanding Drama Series. Join creator and executive director Alex Gansa for a behind-the-scenes look at what makes Homeland tick.
With Peter Stein
Director Dror Moreh is best known for The Gatekeepers, his Oscar-nominated documentary featuring interviews with all surviving former heads of Shin Bet, the Israeli security agency whose activities and membership are closely held state secrets. He’ll reveal what he learned while making the film, his thoughts on the viability of a two-state solution and how he thinks The Gatekeepers is moving the political conversation forward in Israel and abroad.
Ann Patchett’s novels are feats of imagination. Whether spinning a tale about an opera singer held hostage inside a vice presidential mansion (Bel Canto) or the story of a forgotten tribe along the banks of the Amazon (State of Wonder), she creates richly-textured worlds. Her latest book, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, invites us into her own life, sharing the significant experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, writer and friend.