On March 19, Simon Schama was joined onstage by Adam Hochschild to talk about The Story of the Jews, Mr. Schama’s multimedia account of Jewish history from 1000 BCE to present times. He also showed clips from the five-part PBS documentary series. Although Judaism is the only religion that commands us to remember for future generations, Mr. Schama is determined to portray Jewish history not as a history of suffering or Jews as a people apart. It was an entertaining evening with two charming intellectuals on subjects usually discussed reverentially.
IDEO Founder and CEO David Kelley kept an audience rapt with his revolutionary simple notions of humanizing design and unleashing the creative potential within us all. Interviewer Douglas McGray was a perfect partner to help us explore Kelley’s life and work. Several in attendance said that “it was an honor to be in the same room with him.”
The second in the three-part Manovill Conversations – Reporting Israel: The Personal, the Political & the Press took place on Thursday, February 20, with Haaretz’s editor-in chief, Aluf Benn and Bloomberg Views’ Jeffrey Goldberg. The focus was foreign affairs and the shifts on the geopolitical landscape as a result of American Iranian détente, American policy toward Syria, the rise of the BDS movement, and Kerry’s renewed peace process. They also addressed American Jewry and its relationship with Israel.
Investigative journalist Gabriel Sherman’s The Loudest Voice in the Room: The Inside Story of How Roger Ailes and Fox News Remade American Politics has been the subject of much comment, speculation and accusation in the press and online. Sherman spent more than two years covering Fox News, working as a contributing editor for New York magazine and reporting for the book.
Michael Gerson , Op-Ed Columnist, Washington Post
The Republican Party has seen its share of fractures, factions and disruptions of late. Some in the party openly suggest that rift s within are caused by anti-government extremists; others, especially younger members, complain that the GOP has become closed-minded, inflexible and old-fashioned. Michael Gerson weighs in on how the Republican Party can build internal consensus on what it stands for and who is best poised to lead the charge.
With Barbara Lane
Chilean-American author and activist Isabel Allende (The House of the Spirits, City of the Beasts) is among the best-known Latin American novelists. Building upon the magic realist tradition, she spins stories of family, politics and human rights. Her new novel, Ripper, demonstrates her remarkable literary versatility with an atmospheric, fast-paced mystery involving a brilliant teenage sleuth who must unmask a serial killer in San Francisco.
Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life
With Barbara Lane
Beloved broadcast journalist Jane Pauley has been a familiar face on TV for more than 30 years, having served as cohost of Today and Dateline NBC anchor. She hosts the award-winning “Life Reimagined” segment on Today, profiling remarkable yet relatable people whose personal reinventions inform and inspire. Pauley builds on her own story in her new book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, which helps people in midlife successfully navigate their “reinvention” to build a positive, powerful future.
Conversation & Songs
Grammy-winning Beninoise singer–songwriter Angélique Kidjo is considered Africa’s greatest living diva. She is acclaimed for her uplifting and dynamic music, a blend of tribal and pop rhythms of her West African heritage with zouk, rumba, jazz and Latin, sung in English, French, Fon and Yorùbá. Her new book, Spirit Rising, tells the story of her harrowing escape from Communist Benin in to France, her rise from poverty to become an international sensation and her tireless advocacy work for the education of African girls and women’s rights.
Alisa Solomon, Columbia University
Drama critic and Jewish historian Alisa Solomon explains why Sholem Aleichem’s story of Tevye the Dairyman was reborn as blockbuster entertainment and became a cultural touchstone for people all over the world. Solomon’s captivating new book, Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof, describes the enduring story of a Broadway musical that speaks to our deepest conflicts and desires – fraying traditions, generational tension, the loss of roots – resonating with people across borders and time.
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.