Live at Politics and Prose-logo

Live at Politics and Prose

Books & Literature

Readings and discussions featuring today’s best authors, recorded live at Washington DC’s famous Politics and Prose bookstore.


Washington, DC


Readings and discussions featuring today’s best authors, recorded live at Washington DC’s famous Politics and Prose bookstore.






1350 Connecticut Ave. NW Suite 400 Washington, DC 2003 (212) 445-5330

Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Rana Foroohar: Live at Politics and Prose

Taking her title from Google’s early mantra, Foroohar, the award-winning CNN global economic analyst and Financial Times columnist and associate editor, chronicles how far Big Tech has fallen from its original vision of free information and digital democracy. Drawing on nearly thirty years of experience reporting on the technology sector, Faroohar traces the evolution of companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon into behemoths that monetize people’s data, spread misinformation and hate speech, and threaten citizens’ privacy. She also shows how we can fight back by creating a framework that both fosters innovation and protects us from the threats posed by digital technology. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Susan Choi: Live at Politics and Prose

Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction; her second, American Woman, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and after that she was awarded the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award for A Person of Interest. Praised for narrative style, inventiveness, and keen insight, Choi in her latest work of fiction takes the novel to new places. At first a seemingly straightforward story of first love, the book follows two students at a performing arts high school who live, study, and fall in love in a competitive and rarefied world that has at its center a charismatic acting teacher. Then the off-stage dramas go too far, and the second half of the narrative puts into question all that preceded it. Choi is in conversation with Nicole Chung, author of All You Can Ever Know. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Carmen Maria Machado: Live at Politics and Prose

Machado’s electrifying Her Body and Other Parties—a finalist for the National Book Award—expanded our sense of what a short story could be and do. Her powerful new book draws on a similarly wide range of tones, cultural references, and formal innovations to redefine the memoir. Organizing each chapter around different themes—a haunted house, erotica, the bildungsroman—Machado explores an abusive lesbian relationship from multiple angles. As she chronicles her attraction to a charismatic and volatile woman, Machado looks back at the role of religion in her adolescence, interrogates the assumption that lesbian relationships are safe, and explores the history and reality of abuse within the queer community. Machado is in conversation with Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn’t Talk about When I Was a Girl. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Lindy West: Live at Politics and Prose

Lindy West, New York Times columnist and bestselling author of Shrill, provides a brilliant and incisive look at how patriarchy, intolerance, and misogyny have conquered not just politics, but American culture itself in The Witches Are Coming. With her signature wit and in her uniquely incendiary voice, The Witches Are Coming lays out a grand theory of America that explains why Trump's election was, in many ways, a foregone conclusion. Whether it be the notion overheard since the earliest moments of the #MeToo movement that feminism has gone too far or the insistence that holding someone accountable for his actions amounts to a "witch hunt," this book exposes the lies that many have chosen to believe and the often unexpected figures who have furthered them. Along the way, it unravels the tightening link between culture and politics, identifying in the memes, music, and movies we've loved the seeds of a reactionary movement now surging through the nation Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Sherrod Brown: Live at Politics and Prose

In this engaging political history, Brown, senior U.S. senator from Ohio, tells the story of twentieth-century progressive politics through the profiles of eight of the senators who occupied his chair—desk 88—before him. In a series of insightful essays, Brown traces the achievements of Hugo Black, Robert F. Kennedy, Al Gore Sr., George McGovern, Herbert Lehman, Glen Taylor, Theodore Francis Green, and William Proxmire, extolling the men’s hard work and dedication, assessing and celebrating their communal legacy, and, drawing on his own experience, showing that progressive ideals are still vital to the life of our democracy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Jack Goldsmith: Live at Politics and Prose

There have been many theories about the fate of Jimmy Hoffa, the longtime president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, since he disappeared in 1975. Many involve Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, Hoffa’s aide and Goldsmith’s stepfather. In this compelling investigation-cum-memoir, Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University and author of Terror Presidency and Power and Constraint, recounts how his childhood affection for O’Brien became more complicated as he pursued a legal career. Then, with the perspective he gained from serving as assistant attorney general under George W. Bush, Goldsmith was moved to uncover the truth about O’Brien, Hoffa, the mob, the waning of labor’s power, and the rise of the surveillance state. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Ronan Farrow: Live at Politics and Prose

In a dramatic account of violence and espionage, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Ronan Farrow exposes serial abusers and a cabal of powerful interests hell-bent on covering up the truth, at any cost, in Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators. In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood's most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family. This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it's the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement. Farrow is in conversation with Sunny Hostin, the Emmy-nominated co-host of The View. Over her decade long career that has included working at CNN, Sunny has brought clarity and context to some of the biggest stories of our time. She also hosts and executive produces Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin on Investigation Discovery. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Live at Politics and Prose

The Water Dancer is a bracingly original vision of the world of slavery, written with the narrative force of a great adventure. Driven by Coates’ bold imagination and striking ability to bring readers deep into the interior lives of his brilliantly rendered characters, this is the story of America's oldest struggle—the struggle to tell the truth—from one of our most exciting thinkers and beautiful writers. Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage—and lost his mother and all memory of her when he was a child—but he is also gifted with a mysterious power. Hiram almost drowns when he crashes a carriage into a river, but is saved from the depths by a force he doesn't understand, a blue light that lifts him up and lands him a mile away. This strange brush with death forces a new urgency on Hiram's private rebellion. Spurred on by his improvised plantation family, Thena, his chosen mother, a woman of few words and many secrets, and Sophia, a young woman fighting her own war even as she and Hiram fall in love, he becomes determined to escape the only home he's ever known. Coates is in conversation with Ibram X. Kendi, author, historian, and the Founding Director of The Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. He is the recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction for his book Stamped from the Beginning. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Olga Tokarczuk: Live at Politics and Prose

Winner of the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, Flights is narrated by a compulsive traveler eager to analyze experience from the perspective of motion rather than stability, and she reports from a wide range of places, vehicles, and eras. The stories start and stop, interrupt each other, continue, and subtly comment on each other, from a plot involving a Polish tourist in Croatia whose wife and children disappear then mysteriously reappear, to another unfolding at Chopin’s funeral, and a third following a pioneering 17th-century Dutch anatomist whose story resonates with many socio-political questions of our own day. Tokarczuk’s evident delight in storytelling is matched by her penchant for questioning everything we take for granted. Tokarczuk was a psychologist before becoming one of Poland’s premier fiction writers, and her early training is evident throughout this insightful, masterfully observed, and utterly original novel. Tokarczuk is in conversation with Jennifer Croft, who translated Flights from Polish into English. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Jacqueline Woodson: Live at Politics and Prose

The 2018-‘19 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Woodson is the award-winning author of dozens of books for children, young adults, and above, including the classic Brown Girl Dreaming. Her new novel, written for adults, and infused with her signature insight and rich, poetic prose, opens in 2001 in Brooklyn. The occasion is Melody’s sixteenth birthday, but it proves bittersweet as the assembled family recalls Melody’s mother—who never reached age sixteen. Charting the course of two families from different classes, Woodson’s affecting narrative tackles identity, ambition, desire, and parenthood as well as exploring how the decisions young people make change the generations to come. Woodson is in conversation with Lynn Neary, longtime NPR arts correspondent. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Margaret Atwood: Live at Politics and Prose

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades with The Testaments. When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison, or death. With The Testaments, the wait is over. Atwood's sequel picks up the story fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. Atwood is in conversation with Rebeccca Traister, author of three books and writer-at-large for New York magazine and The Cut, and a contributing editor at Elle magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Billy Bragg: Live at Politics and Prose

Bragg’s extraordinary career as a singer-songwriter and activist has spanned over thirty-five years. In both his music—which includes cover versions of iconic protest songs and socialist anthems—and his politically-inflected lyrics, he’s dedicated himself to effecting social change and to moving others to get involved in grassroots activist causes. His new book is a direct and bracing call to action in which he shows that freedom is composed of three elements: liberty, equality, and accountability, and demonstrates that accountability is our most powerful tool against the rising tide of authoritarianism. Bragg is in conversation with David Weigel, a national political correspondent for The Washington Post and author of The Show That Never Ends. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Caitlin Zaloom: Live at Politics and Prose

Based on a series of frank and personal discussions with students and parents across the nation, Zaloom‘s book documents how the struggle to finance college education is transforming middle-class life. An associate professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, a founding editor of Public Books, and author of Out of the Pits, Zaloom reveals the hidden consequences of student debt, describes the wrenching moral decisions parents make having to choose between jeopardizing their own financial security or forcing their children into debt, and relates the frustrations of navigating a labyrinth of government-sponsored programs, for-profit funders, and university aid requirements. Zaloom is in conversation with Dorian Warren, president of Community Change and Community Change Action. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Christopher Leonard: Live at Politics and Prose

Awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award, Leonard’s monumental work of investigative reporting charts the five-decade rise of Koch Industries. One of the largest privately held multinationals in the country, and one of the most secretive, Koch owns companies in businesses ranging from energy to chemicals to banking; its CEO, Charles Koch, and his brother, David, are together wealthier than Bill Gates. As Leonard shows, the brothers have consolidated power by practicing a single-minded attention to the bottom line—which has also meant quashing unions, widening income inequality, thwarting action on climate change, and making capitalism a deeply alienating force for many Americans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Téa Obreht: Live at Politics and Prose

Obreht made an unforgettable literary debut with The Tiger’s Wife, an international bestseller that won the 2011 Orange Prize and earned her a slot on The New Yorker’s prestigious “20 Under 40” list. Her eagerly awaited second novel unfolds in the drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893. Drawing on little known historical episodes, Obreht follows the intertwined fates of Nora, an intrepid frontierswoman whose husband and older sons have gone in search of water, and Luke, a former outlaw haunted by more than just his past. Richly imagined and vividly told, Obreht’s story recreates the myth of the American West. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Jia Tolentino: Live at Politics and Prose

Tolentino, a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2016, has quickly become one of the most exciting and authoritative critical voices of the millennial generation. Praised for her fierce intelligence, formidable mix of skepticism and optimism, and her lyrical, lucid prose, Tolentino has written on a wide range of social and cultural topics, from music and marriage to female empowerment and race in publishing. Her eagerly awaited book presents nine new essays that see through the hype and contradictions of contemporary life to show us a clearer picture of ourselves and our historical moment. Tolentino is in conversation with Kat Chow, reporter for NPR and founding member of Code Switch, currently working on a memoir about grief and identity forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

J. Michael Straczynski & Alexandra Fuller: Live at Politics and Prose

Straczynski may be best known as the creator of the Babylon 5 and Sense8 TV shows, but his amazing four-decade career also encompasses screenwriting—Changeling, Thor, and World War Z—writing for several D.C. and Marvel Comics’ series, and creating his own award-winning graphic works. Now in this stunning memoir he tells his own story—perhaps his most fantastic feat yet. Straczynski grew up in the care of adults variously damaged by addiction, mental illness, and poverty. His only refuge from the misery was comic books, and he gradually realized that he, too, could invent alternate worlds. But even as he managed to take power over his future, a terrible secret in his family’s past continued to haunt him. In a series of deft, powerful memoirs beginning with the award-winning Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Fuller has kept readers riveted with stories of her unconventional family’s life in southern Africa. Her moving new book, written with her signature brio and humor, focuses on her father, the adventurous, restless Tim Fuller, who, announcing at age 7 his plans to leave England, moved first to Rhodesia than to Zambia. Writing from the shock of his sudden death in 2015—in Pest, Hungary, of all places—Fuller profiles and pays tribute to a man who devoured life whole. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Oyinkan Braithwaite: live at Politics and Prose

Now available in paperback, Braithwaite’s spectacular debut novel is the story of two sisters, Ayoola and Korede, and the secrets that bind them together. As the book opens, Ayoola has just killed her boyfriend. She claims it was self-defense—as it was with the two previous boyfriends she killed. Korede, who works at a hospital, disposes of the body and tells no one. But her silent complicity is tested when Ayoola starts visiting her at work and attracts the attention of a doctor Korede is in love with. Fast-paced, smart, and chilling, Braithwaite ratchets up the tension to an explosive ending. Braithwaite is in conversation with writer and producer Tayla Burney. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Emily Nussbaum: Live at Politics and Prose

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer for criticism, Nussbaum writes about TV like the art that it is. Gathered from some fifteen years of work for The New Yorker, New York, and other publications—along with several new pieces—the essays in this collection wholeheartedly celebrate television and guide us to new ways of looking at it. Arguing that TV demands more than just watching, Nussbaum outlines her struggle with “prestige television”—an awakening she traces to Buffy the Vampire Slayer—and questions the breakdown of shows into high- and low-brow. She also examines programming in the light of #MeToo, explores how fans distort their favorite shows, profiles influential figures such as Kenya Barris, Jenji Kohan, and Ryan Murphy, assesses the legacies of Norman Lear and Joan Rivers, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

Michael Kellogg: Live at Politics and Prose

Kellogg follows his revelatory study of medieval thought, The Wisdom of the Middle Ages, with a similarly wide-ranging and accessible look at the major intellectual and artistic advances during the Renaissance. Starting with Petrarch (1304-1374), the scholar and poet often considered the inventor of humanism, and closing with Shakespeare (1564-1616), Kellogg examines two centuries’ worth of poetry, philosophical treatises, essays, letters, and dramas, tracing how ideas evolved, how they drove and were in turn influenced by, the Reformation, and examining how pivotal figures such as Rabelais, Montaigne, Cervantes, and the Bard brought us to the cusp of modernism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit